Clifton Merchant Magazine - August 2022

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Life Saving Work, in Different Ways On July 27, the busy hustle of the day’s end at Clifton Little School on Broad St. was pretty normal. The butterflies burst out the front door into the parking lot as scores of kids said their goodbyes to teachers and friends. They were greeted with smiles and love by moms and dads, caregivers and grandparents who collected the toddlers, along with their backpacks, lunch boxes and beautiful craft projects from the day. Then it happened: a parent’s worst nightmare. As a dad collected his child and items from a cubby, he strapped the infant in a car seat and provided a snack. But by time the dad walked around to the driver’s seat, he saw his son choking and the child’s lips turning blue. “When the parent came running to the front door screaming for help,” explained Clifton Little School owner Joanne Cifelli, “Miss Nathalie swung the door open, grabbed the child from him and went into action performing infant choking first aid.” That’s Nathalie Perez (pictured above), a group teacher in the two-year-old section who has been with Clifton Little School for almost five years. “Every year we have a first aid class for our staff which teaches and reinforces CPR and other life saving measures,” said Cifelli, days after the incident. “Obviously a great investment.” After Perez took action, she felt the baby gasp a deep breath and he began to cry. Her quick response was life saving work.

“The baby went to the ER and I am happy to report he is doing well and in fact he is back in school. Our Miss Nathalie,” concluded Cifelli, “is a hero.” This month’s cover also tells of a parent’s worst nightmare. On Sept., 3, 2018, Kyle Terry, a CHS 2008 grad, died from a drug overdose. And while there is a forever hole in their hearts, Kyle’s mom, Sue Araneo, and his sister, Courtney Terry, have turned the loss into a different kind of life saving work. As part of an Overdose Awareness campaign, they share Kyle’s story, both as a celebration of his life and as a warning for others. It is a Christian faith they found— thanks to Kyle—which gives them hope and has set them on a mission to witness that addictive patterns can be broken, lives can be saved and paths can be found to success. Read their story, which begins on page 66. You may also want to support them at dusk on Aug. 31—Overdose Awareness Day—at city hall, in a program presented by Clifton Against Substance Abuse. On the following 62 pages, take a trip with us to 2012, as we relive the not-so-distant history of our hometown. It’s a fun look back and a first peek at our community’s written history as it was reported by our team. Enjoy the summer!

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Editor & Publisher Tom Hawrylko, Sr. Art Director Ken Peterson Associate Editor & Social Media Mgr. Ariana Puzzo Business Mgr. Irene Kulyk • August 2022


2012 Takes on the Economy

That’s Clifton favorite Marching Mustang Bob Morgan on our cover. Talking about the economy, top left, Keith Krehel, Lucy Diaz, Johnny Penkalski, Mike Placko, Judith Hiemer Van Wie, John A. Celentano Jr., Nick Tselepis, Bob Foster and Frank Carlet.

Jan. 2012: Clifton Merchant enters its 17th year by innovating and investing in our product. That month we added color on every page and switched to a high quality, white recycled newsprint to make photos and advertisements more colorful. Among the features that month was a profile on Marching Mustang Band Director Bob Morgan who had marked his 40th year as the director of the Showband of the Northeast. We also launched by showcasing 185 covers we published over the first 16 years of our service. Jan. 2012: After his hire in the Summer of 2011, the city’s still relatively new city manager Matthew Watkins gets settled in his new role. Watkins, the successor of Al Greco, was faced with a tumultuous start to his tenure as Hurricane Irene and an early season snow storm just before Halloween wreaked havoc on city roads and the budget. Watkins estimated that the Halloween storm damages, alone, cost the city in excess of $500,000.


August 2022 •

CHS Class of 2005 grad Jonathan Borrajo, at age 24, signs a four-year contract with the New York Red Bulls. Signing with the team marked the continuation of his professional soccer career after a two-year run with the Norwegian club, Hamarkameratene. • August 2022


2012 In January, we met Vinnie Sauro of Clifton Billiards who purchased and renovated the second floor pool hall on Harding and Main after a fire gutted and left vacant the Downtown Clifton structure. Another Made in Clifton feature in January was NJMET, NJ Micro Electronic Testing, Inc., at the corner of Main and Washington Aves. President Giacomo ‘Jim’ Federico and his son, Vice President Joe Federico shared the success story of their 40-yearold sophisticated electronic component business in Downtown Clifton.

Jan. 2012: Clifton Schools releases its preliminary budget with an increase of $2.7 million. The budget accounted for 10 new employees. The proposed total was based on state aid remaining flat and amounted to $143,912,231.

Jan. 2012: The State DEP rejects a proposed elementary charter school on Valley Road. The location was the site of the former Pope John Paul II Elementary School that closed in 2009. Jan. 2012: The Clifton Recreation Department donated a total of 174 scarves to the New Jersey Special Olympics Winter Games athletes.

Jan. 2, 2012: The City Council spends its meetings considering moving elections for the seven-member body from May to November. The move would require candidates to declare a party when running. The switch would save the city $125,000 per election. Jan. 17, 2012: A gas line break on Broad Street causes three businesses and one residence to be evacuated.

Jan. 21, 2012: The Knights of Columbus St. Philip The Apostle Council 11671 marks the 39th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion with a protest in front of St. Philip Church.

Above left, Dr. Kent Bania of PCTI with Linda Ebertz, of Hiemer & Company Stained Glass Studio, as Ebertz completed a three-year apprenticeship in stained glass through PCTI adult division. At the Paramus Catholic open house on Jan. 16, PC’s Director Gary Sabak with Clifton Marching Paladins Brittany Schultz, Christopher Daniello, Leah Minio, Rushabh Naik and Tyler Vandenberg.


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Alice Haris, a volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club Bingo hall, says $9,000 in cash prizes is offered at the Jan. 7 game. Bingo is a major contributor to funding the services at the B&G Club.

Jan. 22, 2012: Five businesses on Piaget Avenue have their windows smashed in the early morning hours. The burglaries were thought to be related to a string of 10 similar incidents around the city. Fette Ford, KIA & Infiniti broke ground on Jan. 19 for a new Infiniti showroom at the intersection of Rt. 3 and 46. From left: Gloria Martini of the North Jersey Regional Chamber with John and Kristin Fette, and Mayor James Anzaldi


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Jan. 29, 2012: Five-year-old piano prodigy Tyler Fengya (at right) performs at the New Jersey State Opera’s 47th season opener at the Aprea Theater at 199 Scoles Ave., the former home of the YM-YWHA. The NJSO relocated from Newark – its home since 1968 – to Clifton’s Aprea.


Cliftonite Joe Frost celebrates his 107th birthday. Frost, who was at the time older than his city, served in the US Navy during the 1940s as a dental technician. After, he joined his brother, Harry, at the Frost Family Market, which was on the corner of Grunwald St. and Van Houten Ave. in Athenia. He is pictured with his cousin Bill Frisch. St. Philip KofC members protest on Valley Rd. to mark the 39th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion.

Clifton Rec and a team of knitters, some of whom are pictured here, produced 174 handmade scarves for the New Jersey Special Olympics Winter Games athletes. Over 38 individual citizens and four groups worked together to make the 174 scarves that were delivered to the New Jersey Special Olympics office in Lawrenceville. Some Cliftonites made 10 or more scarves themselves. • August 2022




Our February edition showcases the tales and journeys of your Clifton neighbors. We heard about young love, longlasting love, and what makes love and marriage work.

Lenn and Marie Elena Feldmann, Dawn and Emil Ihle. Bob and Elaine Robertazzi, Russ Schneider and Courtney Coleman.

Clockwise, Dean and Ashley Veres, Cathy and John Burke, Roland Krygsman with his wife of 59 years, Lena, the Sainz family: Alexis, Alexis Jr., Sylvia and Johan. Joe Shackil (offering dating advice) and girlfriend Lindsay Dueben, Warren and Linda Orey.


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Arifur Rahmen is pictured with Norm Tahan, a Deputy Chief in the Clifton Fire Dept. and founder of the Clifton Rocket Club. Tahan runs a free Saturday program for kids to learn about science and rocket making. We profiled Dr. Elissa Greenwald of the CHS English Dept. Within the school, the educator was regarded as one of the best by both students and peers, and was annually cited as a favorite of graduating seniors.

Feb. 2012: Cliftonite and PCTI senior Tyjee Williams signs an academic and athletic football contract with New Haven University. Williams was a co-captain and played football for the Bulldogs for all four years of high school.

Feb. 1, 2012: Clifton Billiards, at Taking the oath to serve as Clifton Firefighters on Feb. 9 are Artie Veale, Jonathan 1158 Main Ave., is slated to open. Nourse, Andrew Zintilli, and Brian Reilly. The second floor pool hall’s roots spanned back to the 1960s. Its hisFeb. 2012: Clifton Police Department officers Scott Gibtory would have remained just that if not for the tenacity son and Wendy Juba are presented with certificates from of Vinnie Sauro, who stepped in on the project and was a the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety for their outfrequent patron of the pool hall before a 2011 fire on the standing record in DUI arrests and for helping make roadfirst floor nearly gutted the space. ways safer for pedestrians.



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Clifton teachers demonstrate for a second time that month in front of the Board of Education building on Clifton Avenue. The first demonstration was Feb. 13, bringing attention to their still unsettled contract. Some 1,300 teachers had worked without a contract for nearly three years. St. Phillip the Apostle K of C Grand Knight Jack Jaeger with Dr. John Houston, who received the 2012 service award for his work on the Board of Education.

Feb. 2012: The Board of Education votes by a 6-1 margin to move its regular election from April to November. The move meant residents wouldn’t vote on a budget, but would see annual savings in election expenses.

Feb. 7, 2012: Residents show up to speak at the City Council meeting about recent closings of public libraries

on Sundays. The Council opted to close the two facilities on Sundays to curtail spending. The Library budget had fallen more than 17% in the previous three years. Feb. 17, 2012: Joey Barcellona hosts a fundraiser at his club, Bliss Lounge, for the Clifton members of the 2012 Police Unity Tour. • August 2022


Passaic County History and Tourism Board members make a presentation about the 175th anniversary of the founding of Passaic County at a Freeholder meeting. Individuals who were in attendance included Passaic County Historian Edward Smyk (left) and City of Passaic Historian Mark Auerbach. Sure the Giants won the 2012 Super Bowl on Feb. 5. And for the 14th consecutive year, hundreds of Cliftonites went to the Boys & Girls Club to watch the game on big screen TVs and spent some time with family and friends while they munched away on pizza, hot dogs and more. In Clifton, the MVPs were the volunteers, sponsors (like Jack Jaeger and Judy Bassford of CASA) and those who attended that made this family-friendly event a success.


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A four-inch scar curves the front of Rosangela Tumminia’s neck, a sign of survival for the 26-year-old. Her story of beating thyroid cancer and other individuals’ medical miracles was the theme of the March edition. Among those featured included cancer survivor John Nelson, Clifton Police Chief Gary Giardina and a frank interview about drug addiction from a Clifton mental health therapist.

Readers met School 5 PE teacher John Silva, John Nelson beat Chordoma, Clifton Police Chief Gary Giardina survived being hit by a vehicle early in his career and John Alexander is a drug counselor who mainly treats individuals’ aged 18 to 27 who are addicted to drugs such as OxyContin.

March 2012: Donald Golabek (right) receives the NJ Skillful Angler Awards certificates for two catches he landed in April of 2011 at the Round Valley Reservoir, Clinton Township. On April 7, he landed an 8-pound, 8-ounce rainbow trout, measuring 28 inches while on his 17-foot boat. Two days later, he returned to the same spot and caught an 8-pound, 4-ounce brown trout at 27 inches. March 3, 2012: St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, at 217 President St., Passaic, unveils an authentic replica of The Shroud of Turin (at left). The replica’s display was available until March 17. That was the ninth replica of the Turin Shroud sanctioned by the Vatican.


August 2022 •

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CHS 2005 grad Bowen Walsh competes in the National Trumpet Competition, sponsored by the National Trumpet Guild. Walsh was one of 37 chosen in the graduate division to compete in live rounds at George Mason University in Virginia. At CHS, Walsh had played all four years with the Marching Mustangs and the CHS brass band. Seniors who were in the prom fashion show on March 11. Front; Lori Hart, Kelly Hanrahan and Arantsa Medina. Middle: Ryan Hariton, Michael Jurgowski, Christina Hlavaty, Rachel Ventrella, Bruno Gambirazio and Patrick Ferrara.

March 2012: The BOE uses $2 million in state aid it received to lower taxes. Tentative figures put it at a $66 hike for the average home. The Council expected its increase to be $144. The average assessed Clifton home was $177,077. March 2012: Three Paterson teens are arrested after a string of several robberies of middle school kids around Downtown Clifton.

March 2012: Cliftonites Kristina Evans, Izabela Grzebyk, Radhi Patel, and Natalie Rebisz are among the 60 Paramus Catholic High School students who toured Europe during spring break. March 17, 2012: A hit-and-run accident kills two on Route 46. Clifton Police embarked on an extensive investigation over the next several weeks.

Cheryl Bender’s first grade class at School 5 was one of many in the district to observe Dr. Suess’ birthday on March 2 with Read Across America day. Bender helped coordinate School 5’s event, and many community leaders came to read. Assistant Superintendent of Schools Mark Tietjen visited the class and read a selection from a Dr. Suess book.


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2012 March 23, 2012: Restaurateur and US Navy veteran Harry P. Burns (at right) passes away. Burns owned the landmark Burns Country Inn, now Alexus Steakhouse, on Valley Road for 30 years. Our friend Philip M. Read who authored “Clifton. The Boomtown Years,” provided us the photo of an album recorded at Burns Country Inn. Here is what was written on the jacket cover: “Burns Country Inn is one of those rare phenomena, a place that tries to be all things for all people, and succeeds. At noon, the hushed hum of business luncheon conversation fills the early American dining room and the “Country Store.” At five, it’s the spot for a generous cocktail and pleasant conversation after work. Then at seven, diners listen to the beginnings of the evening metamorphosis, when Joe Berle, at the Steinway starts to build the mood of the night. Later, Don Cinderella adds his excellent bass and often, they are joined by a soft trumpet, or guitar, or as on this evening by Bill LaVorgna on the drums. The night has begun. The diners stay, and those who come to enjoy jazz arrive and join them to listen to Joe and the group break The 2012 Clifton Police Unity Tour members with Congressman Bill Pascrell and Sheriff Richard Berdnik. Riders: Andrew Alvarez Robert Bais Randy Colondres Richard DiBello Brian Fopma Tom Hawrylko Daniel Ishak John Kavakich Motors: Darren Brodie Derek Fogg Gary Giardina Vincent LaRosa Support: William Frank Gary Giardina Jr. Michael McLaughlin


August 2022 •

loose with an upbeat piece such as “Green Dolphin Street”, or weave a spell with the soft sounds and tender lyrics of “Meditation.” Everyone has his favorite. The pieces recorded here (on the album) are Joe Berle’s own choice as the kind of music you’ll enjoy during a night at Burns Country Inn.” March 24, 2012: The Canal Society of New Jersey offers free guided hikes of the Morris Canal Greenway. March 24, 2012: Kids For Less opens at 550 Getty Ave., within the James Corrado complex.

March 26, 2012: Cliftonites Amy Siegel and Kathy Matulewicz participate in the National Pillsbury Bake-Off. Siegel had more than $50,000 in winnings to her name. They were among the 100 finalists in the Florida competition. • August 2022



As part of their annual pilgrimage of visiting area churches on Holy Thursday, which was April 5, 2012, from left: Dolores Vargas, Fe Wakkary, Doris McFarlane and Father Robert Wisniefski, administrator of St. George and St. Brendan parishes. They are pictured in St. George Church on Getty Ave. in Paterson where the ladies began their Apostle-like Easter journey.

Woodland Ave. resident, inventor and master salesman Bill Tooma visited our office to introduce the Toothbrush Turtle. A fist-sized plastic bubble dome that gets attached to the wall or cabinet in a bathroom, it holds four toothbrushes, covered in a sanitary manner. Why the need, we asked? “Your toilet has a cover. Your toothpaste has a cover. Dental floss has a cover. Your razor has a cover,” exclaimed Tooma. The only thing that doesn’t have a cover is your toothbrush holder.” And thus was Bill Tooma’s mission: to sell America on his Toothbrush Turtle.


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The Clifton Red Hawks 12u, travel baseball took first in the 2012 Scott Durning Tournament. Front left: Michael Algieri, Kyle Lesler, Anthony Algieri, Michael Lesler, Dan McLaughlin, Anthony Delgado. Middle: Douglas Edert, Jacob Abill, Justin Russo. Back: Coach Edgar Ruiz, Mike McLaughlin Jr, Mike Lesler, Estaban Gomez, Rob Algieri, Trevor Rokosny, Coach Tom Fenelon, Marty Higgins, Matt Goehrig, Ethan Ruiz. April 2012: Noel R. Coronel of NOC Autobody and Telep Towing on Van Houten Avenue receives the Order of Towman from American Towman Magazine. Noel and his wife, Odette, were honored for their community service, ranging from street fairs and car shows to issues related to education.

April 2012: Clifton High’s JFK Auditorium is approved to have longawaited improvements, from seating to lighting, at a cost of up to $300,000.

April 2012: Gloria Abero and Barb Farrell Swenson join the staff of Main Memorial Library Children’s Room. • August 2022


2012 A suitcase of mysterious photographs and personal papers belonging to Joseph Bellanca found in Room 208 in the Hotel Passaic on Henry St. was brought to our Downtown Clifton office in March 2012. Publishing the photos, and a little that we knew of Bellanca, we asked readers for help. Dozens responded and in April we found the 81-year-old Bellanca, alive and, well and very talkative at the Hamilton Plaza Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Passaic. After meeting Bellanca, and thanks to letters, calls and emails from readers, we presented his interesting life story, which can be read in its entirety at Bellanca (CHS 1948) fell in love with photography during his teenage years and attended the School of Modern Photography in New York. “It was a good profession at that time,” he recalled of those early years. “At school, it was all veterans who had returned from the war. I was the youngest kid there. And then I decided to explore the world and life with my camera.” By 1950, at the age of 20, he had his first piece on display at the Museum of Modern Art: ‘Untitled’, a black and white shot of men with warped faces carrying a casket during a funeral, which is in the MoMA permanent collection. “With that photograph, I was experimenting a lot in the dark room,” he explained of his craft. His work evolved much over those early years and his services were in great demand. “It is intensely black and white and spooky.” Bellanca’s photographic art appeared in three separate exhibitions at MoMA in 1952, 1958 and 1959 and he also has two other pieces in the MoMA permanent collection: ‘Man of the Planets’, 1963, and ‘A Special Place’, 1964. Both were gifted to MoMA by the Clifton artist.


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“At one point, I had more color photographs on display in MoMA than any other photographer,” Bellanca, above, claimed proudly. “That was my favorite memory.” April 18, 2012: Clifton teachers demonstrate again at the BOE building. The goal was to let BOE Commissioners and the public know that Clifton teachers had worked without a contract for three years and counting.

April 19, 2012: About 120 residents attend a BOE meeting to voice opinions on school uniforms. On April 24, Clifton Asserting Parental Rights members protested at the BOE building that uniforms would infringe on personal rights.

School 5 and School 14 kids observe Autism Awareness Month on April 19 at the St. Andrews Blvd. school. Brookwood headlined the 11th annual Clifton-Passaic UNICO Spring Concert at Bliss Lounge on April 22. Also performing were Who New?, El Supremo and DJ Lugghead. Proceeds benefitted UNICO scholarships and other charities. Brookwood, named for the street they grew up on, are from left John Giardina, James Tex O’Connor, Dan Pugliese, Michael Centinich and his brother Pete.

On April 29, 2012 the late and legendary Bob Potts was honored by naming the baseball diamond at Nash Park in his honor. It is a fitting tribute to Clifton’s Mr. Baseball. Over the years and up until his death in 2007, Potts nurtured many baseball programs and players. The Phillies were the oldest active and successful semi-pro team in New Jersey. Lasting 45 years, they had over 1,500 victories—winning 32 assorted league and division titles, and the 1959 state championship. In 1972, Potts’s career with the Phillies almost ended. A change of hours at the Paterson Evening News (where he worked as a pressman) made getting to Nash Park by game time impossible. In a 2003 interview, Potts explained: “We had an outstanding centerfielder who told me, ‘Don’t worry, Bob. I’ll take everything un-

til you get here.’ That was Len Coleman, former National League president. He played centerfield for us for nine seasons, and would come to see us whenever he was in town.” Other stars include 1975 National League Rookie of the Year John “the Count” Montefusco, the Chicago Cub’s Willie Prall, and Frank MacCormack, who pitched for Seattle and Detroit. “I’ve had about 90 players signed from my team into pro ball,” Potts said. Clifton also produced some great native talent. “Pat Grady was one of my greatest players,” Potts says. “We won three straight championships with him in the outfield. Dan Sinisi was another. Years ago, Dennis Cesar was one of my all-time best outfielders.” Another of Potts’ favorite ex-players is former CHS coach Paul Pignatello. In March 2000, Potts folded the Phillies, thus essentially ending an era in Clifton baseball. • August 2022







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May 28, 2012: Clifton’s Avenue of Flags on the grounds of the municipal campus features 1,410 red, white and blue banners, dawn to dusk on Memorial Day. Each flag is sponsored in memory of a living or deceased veteran. Flags are three by five feet and stand on a 10-foot pole with a brass name plate. Ten years prior, the Avenue of Flags began when the late co-founder Walter Pruiksma (inset) floated the idea. By Veterans Day in 2002, 300 or so flags dressed the City Hall grounds.

May 2012: Passaic County Community College wins the 2012 Diana Hacker TYCA Outstanding Programs in English Award for improving language learning. PCCC’s Increasing Achievement & Program Completion through Title V Writing Initiative, was the recipient. The Writing Initiative was established through a five-year, $2.5 million grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Division.


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Top: Volunteers at the Avenue of Flags and on the cover Bill Van Eck with John Biegel Jr. Veterans featured in the May magazine: Tony Latona, Mark Scarpa, Oscar Buonafina, Lou Barbato, Phil Sharkey, Ryan Gabel, Matt Lalumia, Nick Benigno, Kevin and Diana Beagin. • August 2022



May 4, 2012: Bishop Arthur Serratelli brings 11 seminarians a step closer to priesthood as he ordains 11 men as deacons at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, 124 Union Ave. Below, on Lakeview Ave. St. Brendan’s RC Church’s parishioners celebrate Father Frank Weber’s 50-year priestly journey at The Brownstone on May 20.

On May 1, 2012, the Passaic County 200 Club hosts its annual Valor Awards at The Brownstone in Paterson. The ceremony recognized and honored the police, fire, or EMT personnel who risked their lives while performing their duties. Those honored for life-saving action on Nov. 6, 2011 on Elmwood Drive included the former Clifton Fire Chief Vincent Colavitti, Jr., Lt. William Ricci, and Firefighters William Espinoza and Ken Prior.

Christina Foukas, mother of Dr. George Foukas and Tina Anastos, was named Grandmother of the Year at St. George Greek Orthodox Church on Valley Rd. on May 13, Mother’s Day. Each year, St. George’s honors a mother and grandmother from its parish.


August 2022 • • August 2022


May 11, 2012: A live telethon, Dollars for Scholars, is broadcast from City Hall. The event featured live entertainment and live bids, while benefiting CHS’ senior scholarship.


May 15, 2012: CHS’ ESL program is one of 10 districts honored by the NJ Department of Education for communication efforts as it connects with 700 ESL students who speak an estimated 72 languages in Clifton Schools.

After reading our May 2011 cover story on Guy Tulp, School 5 PE teacher John Silva (at top) shared the story with students. On their annual Safety Patrol trip to Washington DC in May, 2012, Silva and volunteer Joe Cupoli told more about Tulp’s life—and his death in Viet Nam, on April 30, 1969. They are pictured at the Viet Nam Memorial where students took tracings of Tulp’s name from the wall. Photo by Tim Lyons. / 718.267.ALMA (2562) 12 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS IN NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY

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2012 Our June edition celebrated the Class of 2012, as seniors from CHS, Paramus Catholic, PCTI, Queen of Peace and other high schools share their hopes, dreams and plans for the future. The grads responded to our survey, asking them to share a favorite memory, a future goal or to tell of someone who has inspired them over the last 12 years of their lives. June 2-3, 2012: Clifton’s Relay for Life sees some 800 participants on 53 teams raise more than $101,000 to fight cancer. The overnight event took place at Clifton Stadium and teams included the Red Hat Angels – $29,148, Book A Cure – $10,572, and Running on Empty – $8,158.


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The Hope Reformed Church, 308 Burgess Pl., Dutch Hill celebrated its centennial on June 2. From left, Deacon David Webb, Deacon Daniel Morovan, Elders Peter Mierop, Pastor Eric Farrar, Deacon John Brown, Edler Attila Havassy and Edler Bong Bunagan.

On June 8, students at School 9 formed a living 90.

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June 2012: The Boys & Girls Club of Clifton shared in a $50,000 grant from the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey with four other clubs. The grant supported the BGCC’s Triple Play Program, teaching about nutrition, making healthy eating choices and boosting physical activity.


June 2012: Clifton’s bond rating from Standard & Poor is once again AA-, the second highest available rating.

June 1, 2012: Spencer Savings Bank, with Piaget Ave. and Van Houten Ave. branches, takes part in a Habitat for Humanity Build Day. The community bank also contributed $2,000 to the Paterson Habitat for Humanity through its participation in the 2012 Corporate Challenge.

June 14, 2012: School 5 holds its Grade 5 Moving Up Ceremony on Flag Day. In a learning moment, PE teacher John Silva invited Josephine Tulp, mother of Guyler Tulp, who was killed in Vietnam. She was presented with a name rubbing from the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC.

June 8, 2012: Students at School 9 celebrate 90 years of learning at 25 Brighton Rd. For the 90th birthday party, students dressed in clothing of their designated decades and performed music and dance selections. Notable figures who served School 9 were in attendance. Former Principals Sal Anzaldi, Barbara Lofthouse and Janet Kolano attended, as did former Superintendent William Leiss and Mayor James Anzaldi.

June 20, 2012: Assemblyman Thomas Giblin visits Clifton Schools to present the ESL Department with a proclamation from the NJ Department of Education.


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June 24, 2012: Thirty-six teams participate in the Knights of Columbus Tank Pull on Clifton Avenue, near Eddie Mayo Field. Event participants and supporters helped to raise more than $60,000 for the K of C and the Wounded Warriors Project.

On June 16, 2012, 600 motorcyclists rode through the Avenue of Flags on a tour that no rider will forget. The Freedom Roast paraded near Ground Zero and then through North Arlington Cemetery to honor fallen US Army Sgt. Jorge Oliveira, also of the Essex County Sheriff’s Dept. Riders then returned to the Masonic Lodge on Van Houten Ave. for a pig roast with returning patriots from National Guard Platoon SEC-FOR and their families. Organized by Clifton Police Officers John Kavakich, Steve Farrell and Wayne Stine, the goal is to welcome home and honor Wounded Warriors and all others who served or are currently serving in the United States military. June 24, 2012: The family of the late John Albert Greco (below), a Clifton public school teacher and lacrosse coach at Montclair State University, walked in the Meadowlands Heart Walk to honor his memory. The former CCMS teacher passed away on Nov. 4, 2010 of a heart attack.

June 28, 2012: Roche announces its plan to shut its location straddling the Clifton-Nutley border. The research facility, which was 83-years-old in 2012, sat on a 119-acre campus. Business operations were set to end by 2013 and the site to close by 2015.


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Gloria Tramontin Smith is profiled in our July 2012 edition. The CHS 1942 grad and then 87-year-old was (and today in 2022, still is!) riding her Harley Davidson. She is shown in inset along with a painting done for a book about her life. Other Mustangs, in answer to the question posed on our cover, we featured: 1952 grads Albina (Pelligrino) DeLora, Frank Carlet, Wendell Inhoffer and Glory Smith. Turn the page and see photos of some of the others we met. July 2012: The Clifton 11-year-old softball all-stars earn a spot in the NJ Little League State Tournament with their win over Parsippany. July 2012: John Traier is named Chair of the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization. He served nine years on the Board of Education and was the Assistant NJ Banking Commissioner for Governor Christie Whitman. July 2012: The BOE targets non-resident students in Clifton schools. In 2011-12, the district conducted 662 investigations, resulting in 70 dismissals. In 2010, there were 428 investigations and 43 dismissals, an increase of 62%.


August 2022 • • August 2022


2012 July 1, 2012: Clifton Firefighters begin the month by participating in a rescue training drill at Bay State Milling Company on Getty Avenue. July 2012: Summer programs offered by Clifton Schools are diverse. Mackensie Miller played Cruella de Vil with some of the 101 Dalmations in a July Arts Enrichment course. The course was staged at the CHS Annex. Mid-July 2012: Hundreds of local school kids participate in Clifton Recreation’s Summer Olympics at Athenia Steel Park.

Mid-July 2012: Call him Lieutenant or Sensei—and now you can add the title author. Retired Clifton Police Lieutenant Patrick J. Ciser has published a memoir of his time on the job and if you are a Cliftonite, you have to read it. “Budo and the Badge: Exploits of a Jersey Cop,” is a self-published book by Ciser that details his experiences on the job, and how learning and teaching Koei-Kan Karate helped shape his philosophy on life—and save some lives in the process. A Clifton Cop for nearly three decades and a highly accomplished practitioner of Koei-Kan Karate, Ciser is the US liaison to Japan for Koeikan Karate and he is also the owner of a Downtown Clifton dojo or Karate School. A 2002 bust took 26 kilos of cocaine off the streets, from left: Bill Frank, Michael McLaughlin, Lt. Ciser, Gary Passenti and Tom Rinaldi. Ciser is also pictured as a patrol officer.

Pictured at left is Mackensie Miller as Cruella de Vil with some of the 101 Dalmations she performed with in an Arts Enrichment course offered at the CHS Annex. Above, School 17 teacher Sharon Tynio uses abstract approaches to problem solving, making learning fun.


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Some of the Mustangs who graduated on the 2’s we featured in July 2012, from top left: CHS ’62 Bob Havasy, CHS ’92 Anna Marie Menconi, CHS ’72 Rich Glita, CHS ’02 Tara Fueshko, CHS ’92 Peter Kosciolek. Second row: CHS ’02 Diana Rooney, CHS ’92 Michael Tarlavsky, CHS ’52, Bob Zschack, CHS ’52 Adeline DeVries, CHS ’52 Barbara Zabriskie. • August 2022



Joel Robertson and Cathleen Kellaigh of Action Theater Conservatory in Downtown Clifton with their former student Nina Arianda, who was profiled in our August 2012 cover.

In a favorite file photo, the late Doc Paternoster with son Rick, who took over Doc’s dental practice on Getty and Clifton Aves. in 1996.

August 2012: In Botany Village, the Old Friends Beneficial Club, aka Vecchi Amici Club, was founded in 1936 by 25 men after a friend died and the family lacked the money to bury their relative. Rossi’s Tavern, at 254 Dayton Ave., became their base and they met there in late July, pictured above, right.


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August 2012: Thieves steal and smash two patriotic eagles and do other damage in front of VFW Post 7165 on Valley Road. Plans for a replacement and enhanced security were made while looking for the culprits.

Our August magazine offered some of our favorite stories, including a profile of Doc Paternoster, Joan Kuzmich (above) who left CHS before graduation in 1952 to be named Miss New York City. There was also CHS 2002 grad Kaity Rodriguez, crowned Miss New Jersey in 2008. We also dusted off a profile of Billy Ramouth (aka Kilroy), a boxer, veteran, Clifton Police Officer, movie stuntman, poet and much more. • August 2022


2012 Thieves stole and smashed two patriotic eagles in front of VFW Post 7165 on Valley Rd. The eagles will be replaced and new security will be in place but Ed Nibbling, Dennis Suto, Robert Mantz Sr., Kevin C. Gorman, Greg Collucci and Ray Sanicki are on the look out for the culprits.

Vito DeRobertis with his son, Peter, the second generation owner of Vito’s Towing, which marked 30 years of service.

Aug. 2012: Clifton’s links to Broadway and Hollywood prepares to take on added luster due to a rising star – that year’s Tony Award winner for her performance in Venus in Fur, Nina Arianda. In Clifton Merchant’s August edition, we traced Arianda’s Clifton roots back to her first stage experience at age 3 when she recited a patriotic Ukrainian poem at the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Church’s school hall in Passaic and through her training at Action Theater Conservatory in Downtown Clifton.


August 2022 •

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2012 From school bus driver Anastacio Rojas to Allison Rooney, who worked that summer as part of a five-member sailboat crew, our September magazine celebrated Labor Day, and the American worker. Some, like retired Clifton Police Officer Dave Kisbaugh, entered the second phase of his life and founded DNK Cycling. Mike Cervine was then in his third phase of life when he entered retirement and embarked on being a volunteer, helping seniors sort through Medicare and retirement planning.

September 2012: CHS junior Lizannette Thormes becomes the reigning Miss Puerto Rico. A member of the Clifton Boys & Girls Keystone Club, she was involved in fundraising for cancer research and environmental issues.

Cliftonites featured in our jobs edition: Anastacio Rojas, Mike Cervine, Dave Kishbaugh, Allison Rooney, and tropical fish expert Pat Egan.

September 2012: Parents and board members are up in arms after Superintendent Richard Tardalo authorizes the changing of the passing grade from 70 to 65. He had the authority to make such a decision, but BoE members were upset that he did not consult them. A third of CHS students failed a class with a mark between 60 and 69 in the prior school year. September 2012: BOE members implement alterations to normal dress code measures to specifically ban pajamas, sandals, and other items. Many teachers and administrators were more concerned with the enforcement of these new codes.

Sept. 7, 2012: The Clifton Fire Department swears in eight new firefighters. Their salaries were set to be paid the next two years using a $1.35 million federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant. Among the hires were Cliftonites Scott Isenhour and Daniel Schwaner.


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Sept. 6, 2012: Frank and Nina Corradino of the Geraci Citizen League of Clifton/Passaic receive a plaque in Palermo, Sicily from Bartolo Vienna, Mayor of Geraci, and his wife, Graziella, in thanks for the reception Vienna received on his earlier visit to Clifton. • August 2022



Aisha Alzubi, the September CHS Student of the Month. Sisters Andrea and Lisa Bobby discuss CHS tennis history.

Sept. 7, 2012: Saint Philip the Apostle School, at 797 Valley Rd., is named a Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education. It was one of more than 300 schools honored with a Blue Ribbon that September.

Sept. 27, 2012: Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., founder and co-chairman of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, Mayor James Anzaldi, and Clifton Junior Football head coach Joe Gaccione meet at Athenia Steel Park. The group announced developments in Traumatic Brain Injury treatment and prevention in young athletes.

CHS Junior Lizannette Thormes is also the reigning Miss Puerto Rico. A member of Clifton’s Boys & Girls Keystone Club, she is involved in fundraising for cancer research, environmental issues and other topics. Also pictured: Keystone Club advisors Ramon Pleasant and Paula Benjamin.

What began for many as a childhood after-school activity has grown into a lifelong commitment. Started in 1911, Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization now boasts over 13,000 members worldwide, with a local branch in Passaic which counts many Clifton residents among its members. Passaic was chosen as the location for a Plast branch because of the already present St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, built in 1910, and the Ukrainian community center. “The Ukrainian community has always centered around the church,” Daria Temnycky said. “Our Plast members belong to either St. Nick’s or Holy Ascension Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Clifton.” “The first part of the Plast Scout Oath is to ‘be loyal to God and Ukraine,’ which we do by supporting our church, school and parish,” Bohdan Kramarchuk said. “We volunteer at the church picnic and take part in festivals.”


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Reporters Joe Hawrylko, Tania Jachens and Carol Leonard interviewed people from across our community. Topics varied from the Board of Education race to the Presidential campaign. At Hot Bagels Abroad on Clifton Ave., on Sept. 16, from left:  Roy DeLuca, Jim Varetoni, Roy’s brother Willie, Peter Tritak and Fred Hanle.

We took the pulse of Clifton voters starting with Republican City Chair Joe Cupoli and Democratic City Chair Lauren Murphy; also from left, Sherine El-Abd, Rick Farfan, Odette Coronel, Tom Whittles, Rosemary Pino, Joseph Mongare. At right: Helen Newmerzycky, Bill Sichel and Isabel Farfan.

October 2012: School 16’s Home & School Association on Grove Street raises over $700 with a Pajama Day (at left) to donate to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy’s fight to cure Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Funds went directly to the research for the disease, a fatal form of Muscular Dystrophy that overwhelmingly affects boys. October 2012: Paramus Catholic senior Jacqueline Grant is named a Commended Student in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program. Grant, who attended School 3 and Classical Academy Charter, finished in the top 5% of more than 1.5 million students in the 2013 competition.

October 2012: Clifton teachers union went to vote on a new contract to provide teachers with a raise. The union had more than 1,100 staff members. The three-year deal was speculated to include 2 to 3% increases.


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Candidates in the Nov. 6, 2012 election, from top left: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Robert Menendez, Joseph Kyrillos, Bill Pascrell, Shmuley Boteach. Second row, Passaic County Freeholder candidates from left, John Bartlett, Ronda Casson Cotroneo, Hector Lora, Deborah Ciambrone, Michael Marotta and Edward O’Connell. Board of Education Candidates Jim Daley, Jack Houston and Tafari Anderson.

Oct. 19, 2012: Singer, songwriter, and saxophonist Hunter Hayes performs at a benefit supporting the Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Treatment Center, now the North Jersey Elks Developmental Disabilities Agency.

Oct. 22, 2012: Hurricane Sandy touches down as a tropical wave in the Caribbean and develops into a tropical storm. By Oct. 29, Sandy strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane and moved ashore near Brigantine, NJ. Damage in the United States amounted to $65 billion (2012 USD).

Oct. 28, 2012: Barring a repeat of the record breaking Oct. 29 snowstorm that shut down Halloween in 2011, Clifton’s Annual Halloween Parade & HarvestFest strolls (including those Dalmations at right) along Main Avenue in Downtown Clifton instead of Lakeview Avenue and at Nash Park.

Oct. 29, 2012: Clifton Martial Arts Academy raises $1,900 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital with its 2012 Kick-athon in Chelsea Park. The fourth annual event saw CMAA students doing 500 kicks within an hour. Participants got pledges by collecting 1, 2, or 5 cents per kick.


August 2022 •

Oct. 31, 2012: Dentist Wayne Gangi, whose Halloween tradition on Grove Street entered its 12th year, offers neighbors plenty of traffic jams as the city restricted parking in the neighborhood for the second year in a row.

Oct. 20, 2022: Parishioners at Saints Cyril and Methodius Parish, 218 Ackerman Ave., celebrates 100 years. The evolving parish offers liturgies in Slovak, Spanish and English. Centennial Committee members include: Rev. Martin Kertys, Chair Bob Raichel, John Pogorelec Jr, Tom Krack, David Bulwin, Rev. John T. Connolly, Ellen Lesch, Anthony Glodava, Anna Walentowicz, John Termyna and Rev. Hector Melendez. • August 2022



WWMS students were in the run to win a grant from Clorox. Pictured were Ana-Maria Prkic, Nasif Basith, Samantha Miller, Zaria Smith, Molly Herner, Kevin Scorziello, Michael Guzman, Pooja Nahar, David Carcamo, Sarah Shannon. Also on the cover: CHS junior Elizabeth Barattini boosting a food and coat drive.

Top, Johnny Manganiotis (aka Mr. Cupcakes) and his dad John. Above, John Fette, president of Fette Ford, Kia & Infiniti, is awarded the Star Gala Award from the North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce. At left, the CHS Madrigals.

Nov. 2, 2012: Woodrow Wilson Middle School could win up to $50,000 in grants from the Clorox Power a Bright Future program, which offered one $50,000 prize and six $25,000 grants, said Principal Maria Romeo and Vice Principal Mike Doktor.

Nov. 3, 2012: Mr. Cupcakes, at 1216 Van Houten Ave., turns five. The business began when Johnny Manganiotis was a college kid looking for a unique business venture. In five years, it expanded to two counties with three stores in North Jersey. At CHS, leads in Murder on the Orient Express, from left: Katie Lazcano, Gregory Gwyn, Allison Green and Kira Abrahams.


August 2022 • • August 2022



We recalled the storied careers of newspapermen Jack Anderson and George Homcy, who “covered Clifton like a glove” for The Herald & News. Spencer Savings Clifton branch manager Ed Kurbansade, Jr., was recognized for his volunteer activities. Craig Casperino and Don Knapp were among the inductees at the 2012 Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame event.

Nov. 11, 2012: The Veterans Day Parade is held along Van Houten Avenue and continues to City Hall’s campus, where the 10th anniversary of the Avenue of Flags is marked. Clifton Firefighters were collecting gently used coats. Pictured at Station 5 on Brighton Rd. are FF Sean O’Rourke, FF Joe Lauritano, FF Steve Turi, Cpt. Nick Marchisello and LT. Fikret Darzanoff At the Nov. 28 packing event to send items to The Troops, Clifton Cares organizers from left include Lizz Gagnon, Dona Crum and Chris Liszner.


August 2022 •

Prior to the Thanksgiving morning clash between the Passaic Indians and Clifton Mustangs, the teams meet to break bread in a hot dog night sponsored by the Clifton and Passaic Optimist Clubs. Team captain pictured from rear left: Dennis Morris, Mark Gardinet, Davon Stowe, Marquise Stephens, Traverus Moore and Bryan Sheppard. Front row: Chris Acevedo, Moe Shahin and Adam Linares.


Nov. 5, 2012: Anabela Carrino and Gina Scaduto lead a team of some 60 volunteers in packaging goods for the state residents in need following the devastation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. In less than two weeks, the group collected over 500 boxes of clothing, food, toiletries, blankets, cleaning supplies, diapers, pet supplies, and more. Nov. 6, 2012: The BOE changes and three candidates ran for the three available seats. Those running were BOE president Jim Daley, four-time candidate Jack Houston, and newcomer Tafari Anderson.

Nov. 16, 2012: The Boys & Girls Club’s 2012 Hall of Famers by era: 1950s: Tom Cupo and Gordon Hahn; 1960s: Ken and Keith Shedlock; 1970s: Walter Munk and Carl Williams; 1980s: Don Knapp and Stan Lembryk; 1990s: Anton Dittrich and Melissa Butler; and 2000s: Laura Bania and Craig Casperino. Nov. 22, 2012: The Passaic Indians snap a 12-game losing streak as they shutout the Mustangs 29-0. Despite the loss, Clifton still retains a 44-36-5 lead in the all-time series. MVPs are Moe Shahin, James Sonzogni, Marquise Stephens, and Mark Gardinet.

Nov. 28, 2012: About 50 Clifton Cares volunteers gather at the Senior Barn on the City Hall campus to put together 137 packages of needed items and hometown sweets for US service members stationed and serving across the globe. • August 2022



Dec. 7, 2012: With a positive perspective, 1999 CHS grad Chrissy Cluney shared her life story in our magazine. She had contracted viral encephalitis as an infant and learned to navigate life, graduate college and work in public relations for Giggle Theater, part of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Paterson.

It was a middle school fundraising competition. At CC (front from left): Bryan Kelly, Brandon Sunbury, Joseph Walker, Jacoby Ayala, and Nicholas Iannacone. Back: Kemani Martinez Lewis, Gianna Casillas, Elisa Mills, Dayamaris Cuello-Pena, Tatianna Ayoub, Stefany Serrano, Karen Delgado, and Emily Maliborski.

Dec. 8, 2012: The 2nd Annual Fernando Rossi Alumni Game is held at CHS. More than 50 former players and coaches spanning five decades came together to raise money for a scholarship in the late coach’s name. Dec. 9, 2012: Stanley Kwolek, co-proprietor with his brother Teddy of Polonia Meat Market, is presented a Community Service Heritage Award at Giblin Association’s Community Service and Charity Breakfast. Dec. 9, 2012: WWMS students Kaitlin Azevedo, Sydney Shannon, Krystina Fila, and Sarah Shannon raise $490 for the American Red Cross by singing Christmas carols in their neighborhood. Dec. 10, 2012: St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church congregants donate 100 hand-knit hats to the students of the CP Center, now NJEDDA. Performers in TLC’s Dec. 15 Christmas cabaret: Stephanie (Peterson) Yoda, Mark Peterson, Louie Torres, Penny Surgent.


August 2022 •

At WW, from left selling cupcakes, Carlos Polanco, Cindy Hernandez, Mohini Savalia, Nasif Basith, Nikki Klingler, and Rebecca Beres, Student Council Advisor.

Clifton Public Schools Employment Opportunities

The Clifton Public School District is currently accepting applications for the following positions:

School Nurses (NJ Certification)


Registered Nurses

Substitute Teachers

ESL Teachers (NJ Certification)

Substitute Paraprofessionals

Teacher of Mathematics (NJ Certification)

Special Education Teachers (NJ Certification)

Highly Qualified Paraprofessionals for Preschool

Board Certified Behavior Analyst for Preschool

Preschool Special Education Teachers (NJ Certification)

Apply today at Clifton Public Schools 745 Clifton Avenue Clifton, NJ 07013 Phone: 973-594-4195 E-mail: • August 2022



CHS Senior Michelle Shackil with Marching Mustang Director Bob Morgan. Yara Chalupa, Natalka Carrol, Marianna Znak-Hoholuk and Anna Diduch, organizers of the Christmas Bazaar at the Ukrainian Center on Dec. 16. NJRCC Director Gloria Martini retires.

Dec. 11, 2012: Spencer Savings donates $25,000 to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief. Employees at the two Clifton branches additionally raise $1,725, which was donated to Eva’s Village. Dec. 14, 2012: The Council approves a $100 fee to be billed to insurance companies for emergency medical services that don’t result in a trip to the hospital. The measure was taken to replenish ambulance supplies used to the 9-1-1 response.

Dec. 14, 2012: Rockin’ for Relief is the theme as rock ‘n rollers from Brookwood and the Downtown Clifton Economic Development Group team up for a benefit that supports the Hurricane Sandy victims. The Clifton Rotary Club and Kohler distributors were sponsors. The event was held at the Clifton Moose Lodge, at 1268 Main Ave., with proceeds going to the American Red Cross. Dec. 14, 2012: The deadliest mass shooting at an elementary school in U.S. history occurs at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct. In the aftermath, Clifton students reach out to support their peers. Laurie Kirwin, Anne Marie Genneken, and Rosemary Trinkle Baran spread word on Facebook about a drive to create snowflakes for the Newtown students’ new school. They also enlisted the help of School 2 teacher Diane Jakimec, School 14 teacher Maria Herschbein, and their students.


August 2022 •

Civil War General Mike Baran shared stories during the Hamilton House Museum candlelight tour on Dec. 7. Egon Kot is a classic story teller as well as he turns 89 and is still working. Stanley Kwolek. Gina Scaduto and Anabela Carrino of Jersey Cares Hurricane Relief.

Dec. 24, 2012: Clifton PBA 36 officers and their families collect over 70 gifts and visit the Hispanic Multi-Purpose Service Center in Paterson to share holiday cheer with boxes of supplies and gifts for children. Those visiting included officers Derek Fogg, Mike Adamo, and Freddy Valentin, and School 2 fifth grader Brandon McLaughlin.

Dec. 29, 2012: Nineteen artists and 37 works of art are featured in an exhibit at the Clifton Public Library. Among the artists were Eugenia Gore, Thomas Dzubina, Gloria Marino and other members of the Clifton Association of Artists. Dec. 31, 2012: Gloria Martini steps down as the President of the North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce. Martini had directed numerous changes to benefit the business advocacy group. Martini joined NJRCC Foundation a decade prior. Before her retirement, Martini established a grant for returning veterans to attend college. • August 2022



August 2022 • • August 2022


Faith. Hope.


As advocates for Overdose Awareness Day, Sue Araneo and her daughter Courtney Terry (holding Kylee), are Fighting Stigma & Offering Support alongside CASA. By Ariana Puzzo

The dark and winding journey of addiction and recovery can evoke many emotions in a family. As Susan Araneo reflected on her son Kyle Terry’s life, she acknowledged that there were many conflicting emotions at play. “It wasn’t all anger. There was love and hope,” said Araneo, 66. “There definitely was hope with all of us.” This September marks four years since Kyle’s passing. A former Clifton resident and CHS 2008 graduate, Kyle passed away on Sept. 3, 2018 at the age of 28. The determined cause of death was a fentanyl overdose. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is often added to other drugs due to its potency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. In a CDC 12-month comparison in 2020 and 2021, the CDC found that overdose deaths largely involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl rose 55.6%. In turn, this type of


August 2022 •

synthetic opioid is now a leading cause of overdose deaths in the United States. For Dorothy Adlon, a member of Clifton Against Substance Abuse, it makes raising awareness about fentanyl even more crucial. On Aug. 31, CASA will hold a Candlelight Vigil and Night of Hope at City Hall to commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day. Adlon, who lost her step-grandson, Kyle Garnto, 24, to a fentanyl overdose on April 10, 2020, said that the vigil is all about awareness. “In 2019, I joined CASA because it was something to do to give back to the community,” said Adlon, 75. “Little did I know that in 2020 I would become emotionally involved in a drug fight. With fentanyl deaths on the rise, this event to us is the most important way to get our message out about … the destruction of lives that can be [caused] by this drug,” continued Adlon. • August 2022


Faith. Hope. Mission. Kyle to the Rescue Part of what makes fentanyl overdoses so pervasive is it’s possible for someone to take a pill without knowing it contains fentanyl. It’s also possible to take a pill without knowing whether it contains a lethal dose of fentanyl. Araneo, a secretary of about 16 years in Christopher Columbus Middle School’s main office, said that her son Kyle “didn’t want to die.” “He was so compliant to whatever we asked, including him getting help,” said Araneo, a resident of Woodland Park. “He was remorseful. He didn’t want this.” The characteristics that Araneo primarily used to describe her son were compassionate and caring. She added that Kyle was extremely athletic and was an excellent student that “didn’t have to work on anything he did.” He made the Varsity Baseball team in his freshman year at CHS and played for travel teams. “Anything he did, he did it to the extreme, and that’s such an addict characteristic,” said Araneo. “When he loved you, he loved you 150%.” Kyle shared that love especially with his mother and older sister, Courtney. After Araneo and Kyle’s father, Robert, divorced, she said Kyle worked hard to become “the man in our home.” “He tried so hard to keep our home together,” said Araneo. “He taught himself how to do almost anything. From plumbing to painting to fixing the washer, cooking and cleaning. Whatever Mom needed, Kyle to the rescue.” As for Kyle’s relationship with his sister, Araneo said that Courtney “adored her little brother.” It was also returned in Kyle’s own admiration for Courtney and her accomplishments. “We formed a bond, just the three of us,” said Araneo about their family dynamic. “No one in and no one out.” An Everywhere Problem Courtney’s favorite memories with her brother involve the holidays. Until she was in high school, she recalled that they would decorate the house together around Christmastime. Along with these memories, she remembers her brother as a positive force and as someone who believed he could overcome his addiction while also helping others. “He was always the type of person that gave back, [and] I really admired that about him,” said Courtney, 35. “He may


August 2022 •

Courtney Terry with husband Nick Fallivene and daughter Kylee this past May.

not have had it all together, but he would help someone else who was going through the same thing that he was.” Courtney has also found ways to help others who may find themselves headed down a similar path to Kyle’s. After graduating with the CHS Class of 2005, she attended Montclair State and obtained a Family and Child Services degree. She earned a master’s in social work at Rutgers. She now works as a Student Assistance Counselor at CHS. Incidentally, Courtney started the position a week later than planned because she was set to start work after Labor Day in 2018, the same week that Kyle passed away. “Every single day, I’m faced with something different,” said Courtney. “I deal a lot with students who … get caught with substances or students beginning to display mental health difficulties.” “My focus for 100% of the day is being there for students, regardless of what type of issue they’re going through,” she continued. When it’s applicable, Courtney said that she’ll use parts of Kyle’s story to close the gap between her and a student who’s reluctant to open up to an outside adult. Working with adolescents is a passion that she always had, but choosing to become a counselor came later after she realized that she wanted to truly help others. • August 2022


Faith. Hope. Mission. Courtney married Nicholas “Nick” Fallivene on May 14 and the couple have an eight-monthold daughter Kylee, named in honor of her uncle. Along with her family, Courtney views her faith as a top priority that has helped her during the grieving process. “Knowing that everything happens for a reason and there’s a reason why Kyle’s story needs to be told has helped me,” said Courtney. “This is not just a Clifton, New Jersey problem. It’s an everywhere problem.”

Kyle’s mom keeps this tribute to her son in her bedroom.

Faith is what continues to uplift and offer Araneo purpose. Although she was raised religious, she became more Embracing Faith deeply connected to it later in life. Although later in life Kyle would admit that he needShe said it was Kyle who provided her with what she ed help, Araneo noted that Kyle was also good at hiding needed to fully embrace Christianity. He did it by sitting things. What Araneo considers the turning point in Kyle’s with her and watching Christian movies. Araneo added that adolescence toward drug use is her and Robert’s divorce. he also taught her how to read the Bible and brought her to Prior to the divorce, Kyle was smoking pot and in Emergence Church in Totowa. middle school had switched friend groups. It was around Araneo attends a Redemption and Recovery program 10th grade that Kyle started taking pills. During a paroffered by Emergence on tial semester spent attending Tuesday nights. It’s a comMontclair State, someone inmunity that she said “wraps troduced him to heroin. “Knowing that everything happens for a reason itself around you” and is one “People think addicts are and there’s a reason why Kyle’s story needs that she plans to always be a partiers, but they’re alone doto be told has helped me,” said Courtney. part of, especially because its ing it,” said Araneo. “Looking back, I think [contribut- “This is not just a Clifton, New Jersey problem. members knew and embraced Kyle for two years. ing factors were] the [lack of It’s an everywhere problem.” “A friend from R&R once a] male figure … and a lot of described Kyle and his magrejection from his father that I netic presence with a smile that would melt away anyone’s think he buried and never dealt with.” worries,” said Araneo. “That was what he brought every In the next decade, Kyle faced multiple relapses and was day to our lives.” in and out of 20 rehabilitation facilities. Araneo recalled the difficulty of finding family meetings to attend and how difFinding A Community ficult it could be to find ways to help a child. Finding a support system has made all the difference for “Doing tough love with a child is much different than Araneo in the past nearly four years. Speaking at Emerwith a spouse,” said Araneo. “It goes against every grain gence about her journey has been part of the process. She of your body to turn off your instinct to save or help them.” also spoke for CASA’s candlelight vigil last year and plans “I thought it was on me to save him,” she added, “but it to do so again later this month. was up to him to save himself with the help of the Lord.”


August 2022 • • August 2022


Faith. Hope. Mission. Adlon said that CASA’s goal for the event is helping to ensure that no one feels shame or disgrace about an overdose. The other overarching theme is that addiction and recovery resources can save lives. This September, CASA will create a collaborative PSA film with CHS’ CAST students about the dangers of fentanyl and Narcan, intended to air on the city’s cable channel. The vigil is set to take place from 8 to 9 pm. But Adlon added that Angel Families – those who lost a loved one to addiction – are never turned away from speaking, even if they decide they want to speak that evening about their personal experiences. “It’s not just the person who dies, it’s the whole family that dies inside,” said Adlon. “There’s always an empty chair. It’s a very emotional night.” That’s what makes community even more important and something that Araneo knew she would need from the start of her grieving process. “We were not born into this world to go through this on our own,” said Araneo. “You have to find a community, even if it’s one person that you trust.”


August 2022 •

If you or your family needs help with mental health or substance abuse concerns, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s free National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357. The 24/7/365 treatment referral and information service is confidential. For more info or to find a treatment services locator, visit If after reading this story you want to volunteer or get involved with CASA (Clifton Against Substance Abuse), call President Tom Whittles at 973-800-2938 or write to him at

WAR in Ukraine The

By Ariana Puzzo

A helmet can save a life, and Father Oleksii Holchuk is grateful for his community’s ongoing support that makes saving Ukrainian lives possible. Father Holchuk emigrated from his home country to the United States six years ago. Once he arrived, he joined Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Cathedral, at 635 Broad St. The parish, he said, has collected donations to send overseas for years, but not in as significant a way as they do today. Now with the heightened pressure following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, organizations around the city have gotten involved. On July 15, the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office donated about 63 bulletproof vests to the parish. These donated vests were to be sent to Ukraine to assist them in their wartime efforts. “We are trying to protect people’s lives … so we asked the policemen to help us,” said Father Holchuk. “Sheriff Richard Berdnik gladly said yes, and different police departments started to bring vests and helmets.” Volunteers have brought many donations to Poland. One charity organization receiving items is Dobra Sprava, located in Lutsk, Volyn Oblast, Ukraine, in the northwestern region. The group is closer to the border of Poland, which makes it easier to deliver the needed items. To learn more about the organization, visit their website dobrasprava. help. One story stands out to Father Holchuk. He recalled the happiness expressed by Dobra Sprava’s Project Manager Liliia Sytnyk when vests and helmets arrived. Sytnyk lives in the western part of Ukraine, but her brother was fighting in the eastern region. He fought for one month before he was rotated to a safer location. Before he left, he gave his vest and helmet to a 19-year-old boy “because he had nothing.” “Fifty minutes after that, they bombed that place and that boy survived [after a] piece of rocket flew into his head and the helmet stopped it,” said Father Holchuk. “The helmet saved his life.” Father Holchuk said he started crying when he learned the news.

“Even if we saved just one life, one life is worth much more than this universe,” said Father Holchuk. “That 19-year-old boy should one day have a family and kids, and he will have it.” Father Holchuk grew somber when he considered what he would like to say to his community. He acknowledged how for many people in the U.S., the stories about the war are photos on a phone or laptop. He added that he understands why some people don’t want to hear about it constantly since “no one wants to live in threat.” “But for us, for Ukrainians, it’s reality,” said Father Holchuk. “We wake up every morning … and call our families and read the news to see what happened in Ukraine during the few hours that we slept.” “I don’t want to lose my country. This is my heritage, this is what I am,” added Father Holchuk. “We’re fighting for the whole world because Russia … won’t stop after Ukraine. We need your help, please.” To support Holy Ascension’s efforts, visit To show support for Ukraine, the community will host a flag raising ceremony on the great lawn of city hall on Aug. 24 at 6 pm. The date marks the 31st year that Ukraine has been independent of Russia and the sphere of the USSR. • August 2022


EVENTS & BRIEFS It’s an End of Summer Beach Party at the Athenia Veterans Post on Aug. 27. Doors open at 5:30 pm with music by Swingman and the Misfit-Mutts. Catered by Agamie Deli, beer, wine and soda are included with the $40 ticket. Make checks to Friends of the Athenia Veterans. Call Kim Oeffler: 862-290-5464. No tickets sold after Aug. 22. Dress for the beach! Donations for Tricky Trays welcomed. CHS Class of 1972’s 50th Reunion is Sept. 24 from 6-10 pm at the Barnyard & Carriage House, Totowa. The fee is $60 and includes a buffet, DJ, and cash bar. Payment due by Aug. 30. Join Clifton High School (NJ) Class of 1972 FB page for details on where to send your payments. It’s a car show, a street fair and a place for guys with long legs. The Van Houten Avenue Street Fair returns.

Art Parasols in the Garden is a two-day workshop for seniors on Aug. 25-26 from 1:30-3:30 pm with instructor Marisol Rodriquez. Offered by the Clifton Arts Center, students will paint and work outside and within the gallery, at 900 Clifton Ave. The fee is $25 per student, which includes material supplies and reception. Seating is limited. Register by Aug. 19 for a seat. For more info or to register, email or call 973-472-5499. In Motion is an exhibit of artistic movement at the CAC interpreted by Clifton Association of Artists members and exhibited from Aug. 10 – Sept. 3. Meet the artists at a reception on Aug. 13 from 1 to 4 pm, with viewing Wednesdays through Saturdays. The admission fee suggestion is $3 to support the Arts Center. For more info about the exhibition, visit or follow the Arts Center’s Facebook and Instagram @cliftonartscenter. The Food Truck, Music and Art Festival is Sept. 4 from 11 am to 7 pm at the City Hall campus. Proceeds benefit the Clifton Veterans Committee (Veterans Day Parade) and Art in the Park. There will be activities, live music, food trucks and art as well as crafts for kids. Admission is $5 and toddlers are free. Park at CHS, 333 Colfax Ave. For info, email

Clifton’s Annual Van Houten Avenue Street Fair returns on Sept. 18 at 11 am with vendors, crafts, and food for the entire family. The event stretches from Spencer Avenue to Marconi Street. Live entertainment will include Swingman and the Misfit Mutts Band and a fast-moving musical performance by the CHS Mustang Marching Band. Roy Garretson of Shook Funeral Home is coordinating the Classic Car Show with sign-in and registration at 9 am. Email or call Roy at 973-471-9620. The Athenia Vets will sponsor a Beer/Wine Garden. To be a sponsor or a vendor, call Laurie at 973-202-8578 or Chris at 201-410-1686.


August 2022 •

Samantha Sabina Paccha (at left) enters 8th grade at CCMS with a portfolio. In 2020, she won a fifth grade poetry contest at School 12. Last month, she was crowned as Cover Star at Stellar Role Models National Pageant. The crowning ceremony was held on July 24 at the Saddle Brook Marriott in Saddle Brook. Stellar Role Models is a youth empowerment program for girls ages 5-13 that promotes social skills, community service, positive self-image, and other valuable life skills. St. Philip’s Players is seeking performers for their original but yet unannounced musical revue, set to debut Nov. 18 and 19. The theme is “celebration” and those interested should be representative of a diverse ethnic and racial background with strong vocals. Clifton’s theatre group is looking for candidates to move well and project dramatic and comedic qualities onstage. For consideration, email credentials to Auditions are by appointment; candidates will receive a reply with a date and time.

Sisters Anna, 9, and Josephine Uzzalino, 7, (above) competed in Girls Shot Put at the AAU Region 1 Qualifier in New Haven, CT, on June 26 which earned them a spot in the 2022 AAU Junior Olympic Games in Greensboro, NC. Anna won gold medals in the Shot Put at the New Jersey District Qualifier and the Regional Qualifier, ranking Number 1 in the AAU’s Region 1. Josephine won bronze in the Turbo Javelin at the New Jersey District Qualifier and placed 5th at the Regional Qualifier for Shot Put. As our magazine went to press, the St. Philip Prep students competed against the other top-ranked throwers in the country on Aug. 1 in Greensboro. • August 2022


The Peruvian Parade on July 31 began in Passaic and followed Main Ave. through Clifton and into Paterson. It’s a celebration of the nation’s independence and the Peruvian culture.


August 2022 •


A century-old single-family home on nearly four acres of land on the so-called steep slope of Garret Mountain may soon be developed into 21 townhouses. The Zoning Board will consider the matter on Sept. 7 as the developer, George Solimene, proposes razing the 1900-sq Victorian home built in 1890. Sitting on a 3.847acre subdividable lot, the property, at 522 Valley Rd., (above) sold on June 13, 2020 for $320,000. If approved, 21 townhouse will be built within three separate buildings. The project would also involve related site improvements, such as coverage for parking, landscaping and lighting. Represented by attorney Jason R. Tuvel, he is seeking height variance and bulk variance relief. The proposed height is 42.75 ft., in contrast to the permitted 35 ft. Additionally, the applicant originally proposed four stories, rather than the permitted three. The project is within Clifton’s Steep Slope District. Zoning Board members must consider the “environmental sensitivity of steep-sloped topography,” the ordinance states, and “a special need to control development which could create hazards such as flooding, soil erosion or land slumps, or could destroy important public resources such as ridgelines, tree masses or other amenities.” The Sept. 7 meeting is at 7 pm in city hall chambers.

On July 12, staff members of St. Joseph’s Health’s CenteringPregnancy Program received the 2022 New Jersey Hospital Association’s (NJHA) Excellence in Patient Experience Award. The CenteringPregnancy program is offered through St. Joe’s Obstetrics and Gynecology at its DePaul Center. Moms-to-be can join interactive group discussions on topics including nutrition, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, stress management, and infant care. Group members also receive one-on-one time with their healthcare providers. More info at • August 2022


Inspiring Community

& Personal Growth Story by Ariana Puzzo • Photos by Lisa Medina The Clifton Junior Police Academy is all about accountability and taking action — two qualities that Brian Berthelsen, Jr. had before enrolling in this year’s weeklong academy. The rising eighth grader at Woodrow Wilson Middle School was the one who decided he should attend the program from June 27 to July 1. Berthelsen said that he had heard about other cities doing it and thought maybe Clifton had a similar program. “I looked and they were, so I asked my parents [Brian and Kimberly] if I could go and they were very happy to let me go,” said Berthelsen, 13. “It was very fun.” Berthelsen said a favorite moment was when the group witnessed a state police helicopter landing on Garret Mountain in the field area. “That was really cool,” said Berthelsen.

Top of page, starting the day at Clifton Junior Police Academy with a salute and pledge to the flag. Above, cadet Brian Berthelsen with Detectives Michael Panepinto and Wayne Stine.


August 2022 •

Making Honorable Choices Since 2017, Clifton’s middle school-aged students have been encouraged to put down their phones and start each morning with a flag salute, physical training sessions, and formation drills.

Detective Wayne Stine said the primary goal is to teach team building concepts to kids aged 12 to 15. The Academy’s Class of 2022 started with 51 recruits and graduated 47, an increase from the 35 recruits in 2017. “During the week, they have to work to accomplish certain tasks, missions, and assignments together,” said Stine, 52. “We evaluate them through the whole academy … and focus a lot on self-discipline.” The Academy also speaks with recruits about ways to be productive in life and make honorable choices, as well as

exposes recruits to different occupations. The New Jersey State Police are on hand with a helicopter for those interested in pursuing aviation. Other activities include the US Army National Guard training with the junior recruits, lifeguards discussing what to do if you get caught in a rip current, and using clues to solve a mock crime scene investigation together. This year, the Clifton Fire Department spent a half-day with the recruits and gave them a presentation on what other first responders do. • August 2022


Stine said that it’s an overall good experience for Clifton kids and an opportunity for them to get hands-on experience out of their natural element. “They can see what we do every day … and I think they enjoy it for the most part,” said Stine. “I tell them that the first day might be rough … but for them to stay with it.” “Everything here is earned, not given,” continued Stine. “I tell the students, ‘Nothing’s free here.’ They can leave any time.” Never Quitting Specific group activities that Berthelsen recalled included an obstacle course that they all ran and running a rope around the soccer field that everyone held onto together. Another activity was dragging a 90-pound sand bag across a small area. “We learned to never quit,” said Berthelsen. “It’s always a mental game when it comes to fitness and whatnot. To keep working. We were told by, I believe, one of the drill instructors – you’re only as strong as your weakest link.”


August 2022 •

Berthelsen said the obstacle course was the first activity on the first day after the drill instructors spoke with them. “Parts of it were really hard,” said Berthelsen. “I thought I was going to fall behind in the running part. I just remembered, you have to push through it. You can’t quit.” These important lessons from the Clifton Police Department were placed on hold for two years during the coronavirus pandemic. After returning this year, Sergeant Gary V. Giardina said that the core ideas remain the same: to engage Clifton youth in positive relationships with the police and re-establish open-minded communication. Giardina has worked in law enforcement for 16 years and has spent 13 of those years in Clifton. His father, Gary F. Giardina, served as the Clifton Chief of Police from March 2010 to May 2014. “When we did the graduation, I said that our community is outstanding. It’s a great city,” said Giardina, 37. “There are plenty of sponsors and donors able to get this program running … without any registration fee or charging a penny to the parents.” • August 2022


Some of the businesses and groups involved include the ShopRite in Passaic, Lefty’s Pizzeria, Matthew’s, the Upper Montclair Country Club, Clifton Against Substance Abuse, Clifton’s Health Department, and Clifton PBA Local 36. “[It’s] huge to be able to offer [a free program] to the public, and we’re only able to do that because of the sponsors we have,” continued Giardina. “I can’t thank them enough.” Parents or guardians interested in signing up their middle-schooler for next spring’s camp can visit and select JR Academy Application on the home page’s menu. Honor to Serve Stine, who works in the Community Police Division, is in his 25th year with the Clifton Police. He served four years active duty as a staff sergeant in the Marines before transferring to the US Army National Guard. Stine also later became a member of the New Jersey National Guard. “It’s an honor to help juveniles in Clifton and honor to serve in this capacity,” said Stine. “It’s something that I can give back.” Stine acknowledged the support the program receives from sponsors, instructors, and the kids who come into the program motivated to succeed. Berthelsen is one of the graduated recruits who hopes to put the skills he learned to good use. “I’ve always been very interested in law enforcement,” said Berthelsen. “I would like to go into the Navy as a pilot and after that, maybe I will also do police work. I’ve always liked planes and wanted to be a pilot. So I thought, what would be cooler than being a pilot for the military, especially the Navy?”


August 2022 • • August 2022


Birthdays & Celebrations - August 2022

Anthony Michael was born July 8th to Lauren (Hrina) and Kevin Meade, both 2010 CHS grads. Proud grandparents are Michael and Jacquelyn Hrina. Greetings to Emilie Oakley who is 29 on Aug. 22. Aubrey Lynn Toro turns 14 on August 8, 2008. Reilly Tedesco turns 19 on August 31. At right, Barbara Latiano will be 59 on August 6 and her dog, Mandy, will be 2 on August 10.

Barbara and Ted Guzowski celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on July 10. Luciana Meneses will turn 16 on Aug. 23. When you see Donald D. Dunn wish him Happy Birthday on Aug. 22. Peter & Christina Kedl celebrate their 18th anniversary on Aug. 21. Their children Ottilia Kedl turned 16 on July 23 and her brother Alexander celebrates his 14th birthday on Aug. 28. Margot Villanova................. 8/1 Kim West............................ 8/1 Angelo Greco...................... 8/2 Karen Lime.......................... 8/2 Michael Urciuoli.................. 8/2 Christian Gomez.................. 8/3 Kevin Ciok.......................... 8/4 Scott Malgieri...................... 8/4 Mark W. Mikolajczyk........... 8/5


August 2022 •

Christina Sotelo................... 8/5 Ed Gasior Sr........................ 8/6 Sean McNally..................... 8/6 Gladys Shefchik................... 8/8 Chiara Cristantiello.............. 8/9 Jean Schubert...................... 8/9 Emily Hawrylko................. 8/12 Danielle Swede................. 8/13 Andrew Cronin.................. 8/14

Kimberly Mozo.................. 8/14 Michelle Smolt................... 8/14 Christopher Antal............... 8/15 Peter Bodor....................... 8/15 Tom Hawrylko................... 8/15 Andrew Noblett................. 8/15 Jessica Oliva..................... 8/15 Maria Pinter...................... 8/15 Susan Van Blarcom............ 8/15

Bruce and Diane Drake will celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary on Aug. 22. Daniel Wolfe..................... 8/15 Arlene Hard...................... 8/17 Bella Bulsara..................... 8/18 Alexandria Veltre............... 8/19 Michael Melendez............. 8/20 Rachelle Swede................. 8/20 Luciana Meneses............... 8/23 Cara Cholewczynski.......... 8/24 Yasmin Ledesma................. 8/24 Joanne Pituch.................... 8/24 Robbie Lucas..................... 8/25 Eileen Gasior..................... 8/26 Cameron J. Popovski.......... 8/26 Adam Brandhorst............... 8/27 Peter Fierro, Jr.................... 8/28 Nicholas Swede................ 8/29 Michelle “Mish” Choy........ 8/30 Joe Rushen........................ 8/30 Kathleen McKenny............. 8/31

Jack & Anne Houston celebrate their 36th anniversary on Aug. 8. • August 2022


It’s the most anticipated rematch in Clifton football history. That isn’t hyperbole. It’s a stone-cold fact. The Mustangs will kick off their 2022 season on Thursday, Sept. 1 on their home field, looking to finally shed the bad taste left in their mouths following their loss in the North, Group V Regional Championship game. Their opponent, of course, will be East Orange Campus, the team that beat them on what has become known in Clifton as the “Robbery on the Raritan”. The rematch takes place on a grand stage, as part of the High School Football Classic held by rising high school sports media platform Zone6ix. “We haven’t lost on opening day in my tenure,” said Clifton head coach Ralph Cinque regarding the start of his eighth season at the helm. “Who wants to start 0-1? You start lifting on January 4th, and nine months later you lose? How disheartening is that? This game is important.” Of course, this game has some extra sizzle. To recap, the Mustangs won the 2021 North II, Group V title last fall, and met the Jaguars at Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium for the North, Group V regional crown. After going up, 17-7, Clifton gave up 10 straight points and the game went to overtime. And then double overtime. And then both teams scored to force a third overtime. Clifton QB Kyle Vellis appeared to score a touchdown on a fourth down sneak from the 1, but Jaguars linebacker emerged from a scrum with the ball, and ran 100 yards to pay dirt. Zone6ix’s video showed that Vellis had crossed the goal line with the ball still in his possession, but officials upheld the call on review. East Orange won the game, 30-24. Now, nearly nine months later, the Mustangs get a chance for a measure of revenge. “I think we are excited,” Cinque said. “There are a lot of new faces, but they carry the same chip. The way the game ended and how it got taken away from us. They feel there is redemption to be had.” Senior tight end/linebacker Joe Abill is back after a monster junior campaign, and junior defensive end/offensive tackle Trumain Lawson has seven FBS offers. Sophomore Romelo Tables will be Clifton’s new quarterback, and junior wide receiver/safety Nate Ceneri will be a name to watch.


August 2022 •

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