Clifton Merchant Magazine - April 2009

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My Mowimy Po Polsku (Dentystka)


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Clifton Merchant Magazine is published the first Friday of every month at 1288 Main Ave., Downtown Clifton • 973-253-4400

Expect a Miracle: During the 14 years that I have published this magazine, I have never received as many letters, comments and phone calls as I did with the March edition. From the carved message Peter Salzano held on the cover, to the profiles of our friends and neighbors who faced illness and beat the odds, we served up some well-needed inspirational good news. Over the four weeks since distribution, readers and some of the folks we wrote about have stopped in our Main Ave. office, written or called to thank us for sharing these stories. On the following pages, you’ll find some of their comments as well as letters and additional information in reaction to the historic stories we had in last month’s magazine. Tom Hawrylko Editor & Publisher

I was at the Atlantic Bread Company in Styertowne and a woman came up to me and asked if I was the person on the cover of your magazine. She told me that her husband was just diagnosed with brain cancer and the story gave him hope. After reading it, he said he was going to beat the disease, too. The woman grabbed my hand and told me she was having such a bad day, but seeing me in person really lifted her spirits and she was going to tell her husband about it. I just wish all of the survivors in this Woodrow Wilson Middle School guidance counselor Peter Salzano was featured on last month’s cover. The March edi- edition could’ve been on the cover.

Peter Salzano WWMS Guidance Counselor

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Cancer Survivors: Tom, you and I have something in common—I am also a Hodgkins survivor. I enjoyed your story as it set the stage for the additional articles on those other brave survivors. My treatment wasn’t as regimented as yours with the chemotherapy. The most difficult part was not being able to swallow since my throat was burned from the radiation. But I consider myself blessed compared to those I saw at treatment and those that were lost to this demon disease. Also, I’d like to introduce you to Relay for Life Clifton and invite you to join my Red Hat Angels team as we walk for the cure on May 16. Chris Liszner Clifton

Dr. Michael Basista and I want to thank you for the excellent job Jordan Schwartz did with the ImmediCenter article. It was interesting, informative, occasionally funny, and it truly captured the essence of the urgent care facility. The article is posted on our website, at the 25 Years of ImmediCenter link. Jordan Kaplan Media Director, ImmediCenter

16,000 MAGAZINES are distributed to hundreds of Clifton Merchants the first Friday of every month. SUBSCRIBE PAGE 76 $16/year in Clifton $27/year out of town CALL 973-253-4400 entire contents copyright 2009 © tomahawk promotions

Some of the participants in Relay for Life Clifton. From left, are Michelle De Haven, Mary Rossi, Relay Co-Chair Mike Rossi, Vicky Kaufman, Diane Alexander, Chris Liszner, Todd Liszner and Jennifer Pearson. For more info, turn to page 70.

Ben Martyn’s story last month about Richardson Scale brought back memories. I worked there from 1943 to 1945 during my CHS summer vacations. Jim Pruiksma helped me get the job. My father was a builder and we had a bunch of chestnut wood that needed to be cleaned up before being installed in the original St. Peter’s Church and Mr.

Richardson let us use his shop. He was a giving person and a character. One day I was with him in his big old Chrysler and he stopped and got out it in the middle of Van Houten Ave. He told me to park it, but I didn’t know how so I sat in the car in the middle of the street until he came out. William J. Plokhooy Garfield

EDITOR & PUBLISHER Tom Hawrylko BUSINESS MANAGER Cheryl Hawrylko STAFF WRITERS: Joe Hawrylko, Jordan Schwartz GRAPHIC ARTIST: Tomahawk Promotions Rich McCoy 1288 Main Avenue CONTRIBUTORS: Downtown Clifton, NJ 07011 Don Lotz, Rich DeLotto 973-253-4400 • April 2009 • Clifton Merchant



April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

touch, thanks to your magazine. pride by highlighting good news of The Babe Plays Basketball: I just Keep up the good work. locals and one time locals. want to tell you how excited my brother Dennis and I were to read We don’t all live as close anyJoe Reynics Hamburg the story about Babe Ruth playing more but we do manage to stay in against the Original Celtics with local Passaic/Clifton basketball All Stars. One of the “locals” Jack DeVries wrote about was our uncle Bobby Reynics. My brother and I had heard the story of our uncle playing along with the Babe from our father when we were little kids. Our father passed away many years ago and the story faded along with an old picture cut out of a copy of the Passaic Herald. I want to thank Jack for all his research to bring a family story alive again and you for all your articles that That’s Babe Ruth with the Powers Five, one of the leading basketball teams of the barnreach out to so many people storming era. Joe Reynics identified the team members, most of whom called Passaic home, that are equally warmed by including Bennie Borgmann, Bobby Reynics and Jack, Ralph, Charlie and Art Powers, who stories that reinforce family later coached many Clifton athletes on the baseball diamond.

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


60 Seconds to Stomp Out Cancer Foot melanoma is the deadliest cancer, but routine foot self exams can increase early detection, survival. So the next time you clip your toenails, take a closer look at the rest of your feet. An extra 60 seconds could save your life. Thomas A. Graziano, MD, DPM, FACFAS is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. The Clifton foot and ankle surgeon says routine self examinations of the feet are an important way to find skin cancer early, when it’s easiest to cure. Half of the people who learn they have melanoma of the foot die within five years because the cancer had already spread throughout their body by the time it was diagnosed. Nearly 60,000 people will learn they have melanoma this year. It’s not known how many of those cases will involve the foot, but more than 8,100 melanoma patients will die… nearly one death every hour. If melanoma is detected in its earliest stages, 92 percent of patients are alive after five years. Unlike other types of cancer, melanoma strikes people of all ages, even the young. Whites are 10 times more likely to develop melanoma than blacks. But studies suggest more than half of melanoma cases in blacks involve the foot. Routine foot exams increase the likelihood of noticing suspicious moles, freckles or other spots. Dr. Graziano recommends focusing on the three most common areas for foot melanoma: the soles, between the toes, and around or under the toenails. He notes melanoma can develop anywhere on the body including areas that receive little sun exposure, such as the feet and ankles. You should be concerned if a mole, freckle or spot starts to change over the course of a month and becomes asymmetrical or changes its border, color, diameter or elevation. 8

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

The CHS production of Rent was so good that I just had to write about it. I have been attending the CHS musical every year since my family and I moved back to Clifton in 2001, and this show is the best I’ve seen. Everything about it was as rehearsed and polished as you could expect from a professional ensemble. The lighting was well-executed and appropriate. The wireless microphones were tuned and focused, lacking any kind of static or feedback. The costumes were stylized to fit the proper time and character. The choreography was as good as any production of the show that I have seen, most notably Mimi’s number (“Out Tonight”) and the Christmas dinner scene (“La Vie Boheme”). What a great show! I can only imagine what they will do next year! J. Michael Baran Clifton

I want to extend my congratulations for the ongoing excellence of information and care that is offered to the community by Clifton Merchant Magazine. The March issue was special with Peter Salzano’s story and “stories of others overcoming odds.” The issue was unique and reminds everyone to live with hope and to expect a miracle. Thanks for covering the candidates for the upcoming BOE election. Nice work with the profiles of the candidates, and this will help the community and the voters to make good decisions on April 21. This approach is a significant help for the city and the coverage always leads to the improvement of the schools. I am happy with the explanation and account of my background and views of the BOE. The piece was excellent and a number of my friends remarked about the word “unifier” and the positive approach that you developed about my decision and candidacy. Joe, thank you for the interview, for taking the time to speak with me, and most of all, for your personal gift of understanding people, issues, and important situations. Jack Houston Clifton BOE Candidate

Some of the cast of the CHS production of Rent included Jose Lamarque, Victoria Waumans, John Almiranez, Jake Wilson, Tricia Torley, Sarah Robertson, Brian Bender, Paige Sciarrino and Kris Alvarez.

A Proud Teacher: I just finished looking over the March issue and as always, I enjoyed it, but this one more especially than most. First, congratulations on your recovery from cancer, Tom. Second, thank you for including other stories of courage and inspiration— real articles about real people living real lives. Finally, I was heartened to learn of the successes of former students of mine at CHS. Your son, Joe, has obviously worked his way up the ladder in the family business; Lisa Hojnacki’s mom is bravely standing up to breast cancer; and Saedah Salhia has diligently progressed to General Manager at Clifton’s Mandee store. This is all terrific news! John R. Groh Randolph

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April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Opening for Business

Story by Jordan Schwartz

Owners say locating in Clifton was a learning experience Clari Aranda wishes there was one person she could have gone to who would have told her everything she needed to do to open up her new Peruvian restaurant on Main Ave. “Everyone is very helpful in their own speciality,” she said about the employees at Clifton City Hall, but she was frustrated by the process. The North Bergen resident and her husband, Edgar, opened Aji Limon on Feb. 25, two years after coming up with the idea for the business. “I was trying to do something different,” said Mr. Aranda, who emigrated from Peru in 1995. “I wanted to open a higher-end place to show everybody our food and culture.” With a Peruvian embassy located in Paterson, the Arandas thought Passaic County would be a good spot to for the restaurant. “When we passed by Clifton, we liked that it was nicer,” said Mrs. Aranda. “Paterson and Passaic have a different kind of look. The street lights were different and the awnings looked better here.” After deciding on a location, the owners visited city zoning officer Dan Howell. “A good sit down restaurant becomes a destination business; it’s a draw and it brings people downtown,” said Howell, who added that the downtown overlay district is the only place in Clifton specifically zoned for these types of eateries. “If it’s take-out, then it has to go before the Board of Adjustment because that would be a conditional use,” he said. Howell told the Arandas to visit the business department next where 10

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Edgar Aranda stands in front of his new Peruvian restaurant at 1239 Main Ave.

they picked up an application for a Certificate of Business Compliance (CBC). The next stop was the health department on the second floor at City Hall. All food establishments in Clifton must be licensed, from a Burger King all the way down to a fitness store that uses a blender. “The health officer, John Biegel, was definitely the nicest man in the whole process,” said Clari Aranda. “They signed me up immediately for the class you have to take, but that was because I asked for it. You can’t open unless you take the class and the only reason I knew to ask was because a friend of mine had gone through a similar situation.” The two-hour food handling course is held four times a year. The next one is April 7 from 3:30 to 5:30 pm at the Clifton Library.

Biegel said the most important thing for a food establishment to have is a three-compartment sink. The first is for washing with soap and hot water, the second is for a clear rinse and the third is used for sanitizing with a bleach and water solution. The business must also have a separate sink to store a mop. “When we do an inspection, it’s more of an educational thing,” said Biegel. “We don’t want to take people to court.” In addition to a health inspection, new businesses must also undergo building, electrical, plumbing, fire, zoning, hazmat and maintenance reviews. At the end of the process, the Arandas were surprised when they received a $5,347 bill from the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners.

“They said it was a one-time fee for usage,” explained Mrs. Aranda. The expenses kept piling up when the restaurateurs found out there was no money left in the city’s budget to pay for their green awning. “So we had to pay $2,400, which is a lot of money when you’re just starting out,” said Aranda. “Everything costs money and I just wish there was a list in town of what we needed to do to open a business. It would’ve made things so much easier.” But Howell said the reality is that people need to do some research on their own before coming to City Hall. “When you’re opening a business, you kind of want to know what you’re doing,” he said. Another thing the Arandas were not aware of was the fact that BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) is illegal in Clifton because it’s a violation of the restaurant ordinance. “I didn’t find that out until the end of the process,” said Aranda. “I never heard of a town that was not BYOB. The kind of person that goes to a tavern isn’t the same type of person that comes to a restaurant.” Aji Limon has a small sports bar area in front but only juice is served there now. It will be difficult for the restaurant to obtain an actual liquor license due to its proximity to the Pioneer Academy of Science. Dorothy Marmo in the city’s legal department said any place that serves liquor must be located at least 200

feet from any school, public playground or church. And then there’s the fact that there are no more licenses available. Clifton has already issued all of its allotted 130 permits and so the only way to get a hold of one now is by purchasing it from a fellow business owner. Marmo said they go for between $35,000 and $50,000. These are the types of obstacles the Arandas could’ve done without as they attempt to open a restaurant in an already difficult economy. The 2,400 sq. ft. eatery holds 83 people at 26 tables. Aji Limon serves lunch and dinner from noon to 9 pm every day except Monday and employs five people. Peruvian food combines the tastes of Europe, Africa, Asia and South America, thanks to the country’s diverse heritage. Some of the popular dishes at the Main Ave. restaurant are choros a la chalaca (mussels) and lomo saltado (wok fried beef sticks). If the Arandas need any help bringing customers in, they can enlist the assistance of the Downtown Clifton Economic Development Group. The DCEDG is a collection of volunteers, local business owners and city officials who work to improve the Special Improvement District (SID), an area along Main Ave. from Piaget Ave. to the Passaic border. The group collects an extra tax from property owners which is matched by city and state funds and then reinvested in the district via promotion and improvements.

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Chairman Michael Andalaft, a downtown attorney, said he visited Aji Limon twice during the first couple weeks it was open and invited the owners to take advantage of what the group has to offer. The Downtown Group acts as a liaison to City Hall and informs business owners of any possible grant opportunities, like the ones that may come out of the federal government’s new stimulus package. A lot of this information can be found at, where vendors can purchase yearlong ad space for just $125. In the works for this year is a business owner’s resource section where helpful courses or seminars will be listed. A business social has already been scheduled for 5:30 pm on May 12 at El Mexicano Restaurant, 1293 Main Ave. The DCEDG—as does the Historic Botany Special Improvement District—also supplements the Department of Public Works’ street cleaning efforts with its own maintenance person and it plans to continue beautifying the area in 2009 with hanging plants. But the merchants associations can’t do all the work on their own; they need help from the business owners themselves. “Our group gets stronger with the businesses that we service,” said Andalaft, “but if they don’t communicate with us, we can’t help them.”

Steps For Opening A Business 1. Contact zoning officer Dan Howell (973-470-5808) to make sure the building you would like to use is zoned for your type of business. 2. Call city planner Dennis Kirwan (973-470-5909) to discuss whether or not your proposal is appropriate and consistent with Clifton’s master plan. 3. Fill out an application for a Certificate of Business Compliance, available at the Building Department (973-470-5809). This will trigger a series of inspections: building, electrical, plumbing, fire, zoning, health, hazmat and maintenance. Fee for CBC is $175. 4. If you are licensing a food establishment, you will need to visit the Health Department (973-470-5758) to pick up its nine-step list of procedures to complete. 5. Learn about grant opportunities and incentives by contacting: Office of Econ. Development (973-470-5200), Revolving Loan Program (973-470-5789), DCEDG (973253-1455), Historic Botany District (609-209-3858), Lakeview Merchants Assoc. (973-928-1696), Passaic County Office of Econ. Development (973-569-4720) and Regional Chamber of Commerce (973-470-9300).

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Waking With the Fishes Frank Minio is the president of the Fulton Fish Market Story by Jordan Schwartz You smell the fish from the time you get into Frank Minio’s red Chevy Avalanche. “It’s gonna get much worse,” he warned. He was right. The Rosemawr resident knows all about seafood: the odor, the taste and the cost. That’s because for the past seven years, he’s been the president of the second largest fish market in the world. Only Tokyo has a bigger facility than the Fulton Fish Market in the South Bronx, where 39 businesses sell similar products, each one trying to undercut the other. Minio owns Smitty’s Fillet House, a second generation company started by his father, Joseph, in 1942. He and his wife, Anna, lived on Cherry St. in Little Italy and when they both came down with measles at the same time, they got the nicknames Smitty and Ginny after comic strip characters who also suffered from the same sickness. “Smitty” died suddenly in 1978 and his two sons, Frank and Joseph, were forced to make a decision: either take over the business or sell it. They opted to keep the firm going. “It was nice to be relied on,” said Frank, who may have regretted that decision after a few months. During his first year at Smitty’s, Minio and his secretary were victims of an armed robbery. “You feel so violated,” he said about the incident during which he had a gun pointed at his head. “I said, ‘You can do whatever you

Smitty’s Fillet House owner Frank Minio holds a sample of what he sells.

want to me, just don’t hurt the girl.’ I couldn’t believe I said that.” Minio never had any intention of selling fish in the first place. The 59-year-old went to Savarian High School in Brooklyn before getting his undergraduate degree from Fairfield University and a master’s in both English and theater at Villanova. He taught literature and acting in Philadelphia while doing theater of his own on the side. “I always liked to teach and then I went to a play in grad school and I thought I could do that,” Minio explained. “Like Dustin Hoffman

once said, acting is a great way to meet women.’” Once his father passed away, the aspiring thespian thought he could sell fish at night and then audition during the day, but the two worlds became impossible to blend. Back in the early years, the Market used to open at 4 am, but with customers needing to get out before the start of rush hour traffic, Minio’s work day now begins around 1. The married father of one wakes up at midnight and makes the more than half-hour trip from his Heights Rd. home, across the George April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Washington Bridge, to Hunts Point. After driving past the sleepy toll collectors at the entrance gate, Minio parks behind his business and makes his way up to his office. Following a few minutes fielding orders over the phone and tidying up yesterday’s paperwork, the owner makes his way down to the 38 degree floor. While most of the country is fast asleep, Minio is selling fish. “It’s a whole different world,” he said. The Fulton Fish Market is a chilly hub of activity at 2 am, a stark contrast to the desolate, poverty-stricken streets just outside its walls. Buyers – mostly Asian vendors from Chinatowns in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan – haggle with Minio over the price of perch, pollock and monk tail, while some of his 16 New York employees fillet fish behind him. The price of fish changes everyday depending on the weather and the latest government restrictions on catches.

A monk fish display at Corrado’s, one of Minio’s clients for the past 10 years.

“This has always been a business based on volume,” said Minio, who also owns an operation in Maine. “Less than six years ago, I was selling 40,000 pounds a day. Now it’s down to 20,000. “If you limit what you can catch, it’s the same as not going,” he continued. “They put a 500 pound restriction in a lot of areas on cod

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fishing. The problem is the boat goes out and catches 1,200 pounds, so it has to stay out and waste time and fuel until the next day so it doesn’t get fined.” Minio said a weekly limit would make more sense. From 1822 to 2005, the Fulton Fish Market was located near the Brooklyn Bridge in Lower Specializing in Medical & Surgical Foot & Ankle Correction

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Manhattan, but three-and-a-half years ago, it relocated to an $85 million building in the Bronx because the city wanted the Manhattan real estate. “The facility here is 10 times better,” raved Minio. “It’s refrigerated and not out on the street, but we have to give this place a personality.” That’s what the president is working on these days. Plans are for a wholesale retail operation with a cooking school and a restaurant. “The old market was dirty but it was friendly,” he said. “You had bars if you wanted to drink or restaurants if you wanted to eat. People would hang out there, but here, they come in and they buy and leave. It puts pressure on us to be faster.” Most of Minio’s morning is spent selling, but he also attends meetings and even makes his own deliveries. Smitty’s Fillet House has more than 400 customers in North Jersey, Connecticut, Westchester, Manhattan and Staten Island. They’re mostly supermarkets but Minio will also sell to individuals off the street who just want 10 pounds of fish. His only two Clifton clients are Corrado’s and the Tick Tock Diner, which has been with him since it was on John St. 20 years ago. “I don’t want them to think I’m mixing business with pleasure,” explained Minio about why he

Frank and Mary Minio on their wedding day, Oct. 28, 1992.

doesn’t service more locations near where he lives. “I go to Buco’s a lot but I never ask there because I don’t what there to be a feeling of obligation.” The Market president moved to Clifton 12 years ago after his wife’s father died. Mary Minio, a certified public accountant who graduated CHS in 1973, wanted to be near her surviving mother who lives on Martin St. Mary majored in education and accounting at Montclair State. The couple met when she became Frank’s accountant. “She married me even after she knew my books,” he joked.

The Minios have a 13-year-old daughter named Leah Rose who attends St. Philip’s on Valley Rd. Minio ends his 13-hour work day around 2 pm so he can get home to pick her up from school. He then helps her with her homework or takes her to rock climbing or drum lessons. “I like spending time with my daughter during the day,” said Minio, who has directed plays at Leah’s schools. But around 7 or 8 pm, the Market president calls it a night, grabbing about four or five hours of sleep before waking up and doing it all over again.

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Do It Yourself, With Help Able Hardware celebrates 50 years of business Story by Joe Hawrylko It’s been happening all over America for the last few decades: Big box retailers like Home Depot and Lowes sprout up and smother locally owned competitors. Here in Clifton, iconic stores like Dad’s Hardware and Allwood Hardware have closed their doors for good. However, not every business has folded. Able Hardware, the last vestige of Clifton mom and pop, do-ityourself shops, will mark 50 years in business this fall. From the outside, there’s no inclination as to why this corner store at Van Houten and Samuel Aves. has been so successful over the years. It’s not a large, eyecatching storefront, and, besides Clifton residents, few people would recognize the name. But the secret to the trade can be found inside. It’s the people behind the counter, who make the shopping experience so pleasant. “It’s a family business,” explained owner Stanley ‘Stash’

John Mieczkowski poses for a picture with Eugene Paradiso. The Washington Ave. resident has been a customer at Able Hardware for more than 30 years.

Jakubczyk. “A lot of regular customers come in to try to support us, and we help them out in return. “It’s a people personal service. We wait on all of our customers and have a lot of products,” he continued. “It’s just a way of doing business.” Entering customers are always welcomed with a warm smile, regulars get a personal greeting.

Come here enough, and they’ll recognize you. Amongst all the goods adorning the walls, you can find evidence of the importance of this store to the community. There’s photos of Central and Southern Midget League baseball teams that have been sponsored since 1964. Many of those kids are now loyal customers.

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April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

On the same wall, there’s a letter from an eagle scout, who had his project completed with the assistance of Able Hardware, which supplies goods for the cause. Behind the counter, you can find some family photos, and even art work from some the children of some of the employees, who will likely be the next generation of workers at Able. Without a doubt, this little store has character—the kind of stuff those big, cookie cutter Home Depots don’t have. It’s one of the reasons that customers keep coming back over the years. “They carry a lot of stuff that you can’t get anywhere else, that’s why we come here,” said Dominick Azzinnari, who works with the Nutley Parks Dept., which has been coming to Able for the past four years. His employer started doing business with the hardware

Richfield resident June Sudol has been shopping at Able Hardware since she first moved to Clifton in 1974.

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store after Azzinnari went to Able for repairs to his own home. “I happened to be looking for a seat for a sink and found it here,” he explained. “A lot of other towns come here too, so I know we’re not the only one.” The combination of quality products and excellent service is a winning model for a business. Founders Stanley and Wanda Jakubczyk started that tradition and passed it down to their son, Stash, who has instilled those values in each of his family members that work at the store. “People like the service—we like to joke around a bit,” said John Augustino, who has worked at Able for more than 20 years. “Unless someone is really upset that they blew up a sink or something like that.” “I’ve been coming here for almost 30 years now. They’re old friends more than anything,” said Eugene Paradiso, who first learned


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

of Able when he moved to Clifton in the ’70s. “They’re good people. I always recommend everyone here if they need something.”

Paradiso isn’t the only one who has been shopping at this iconic store for that long. June Sudol, a Richfield resident, also started

Able Hardware in 1975. Mr. and Mrs. Jakubczyk with their son Stanley between them and son-in-law John Mieczkowski on the right.

shopping at Able when she first moved here 35 years ago, and has been coming back ever since. “We just bought a new house, and needed things to clean it. Then we needed things to fix it, and then to get keys,” she explained. “I mean, look around, this store has everything. “If you’re a woman, you come into a store like Home Depot and wander around,” she added. “Here, they’ll come and get it for you, or show you where it is.” Stash and his family have been here for over 50 years now. His parents, Stanley and Wanda, founded Able, and just like his parents, he will inevitably keep the business in the family. And as long as it stays that way, Able will continue to serve Clifton. Able Hardware has endured it all: a devastating fire in 1974 that forced the business to relocate and intense competition from other stores.

Employee John Pelle blends different Benjamin Moore paints to produce a custom color for a customer, one of the many services available at Able Hardware.

Yet, after 50 years, it remains the heart of the Athenia community and an integral part of Clifton’s economy. Even in the face of a recession, it’s business as usual. Everyone needs to visit a hardware store sometime, and if you ask customers, there isn’t a better place in the area.

“You can’t beat their personal service. It’s rare in today’s day and age. Stores that are too big are too complicated,” said Sudol. “Able is one of your local neighborhood stores that should never leave.” A little friendly service goes a long way.

Stefan & Sons Meat Store 246 Dayton Ave., Botany Village • Clifton Monday - Thursday 7 am - 6pm • Fridays 7 am - 8 pm • Saturdays 7 am - 6 pm • 9 7 3 - 5 4 6 - 3 2 8 8

Easter Ham, Roast & Lamb Our food is blended, cooked or Smoked Naturally in our Botany Village store, in our old-fashioned Smokehouse, a taste that cannot be duplicated anywhere.




w/ purchase of $25 or more. Limit 1 Coupon/ Customer. Cannot be combined w/ other offers

• Kielbasy • Horseradish • Easter Cheese • Home-made Cold Cuts • All Kinds of Steaks • Baby Back Ribs

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Voters head to the polls on April 21 to elect three candidates to threeyear terms on the Clifton Board of Education and to approve or reject a proposed school budget. On these two pages, you will find a brief summary of last month’s interviews with the seven candidates.

Jim Daley would like an outside firm to conduct a study to determine if the school district is indeed overcrowded. He’d also like to eliminate wasteful spending.


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Board of Education Election on April 21 Seven candidates vie for three open seats Polls open 1:30 to 9 pm

Commissioner Michael Paitchell was elected in 2006 after campaigning to put a school on Latteri Park. He later reversed course after seeing “real enrollment figures.”

Joe Yeamans is a 28-year Clifton resident who wants to bring a business and managerial mindset to the Board of Education. He failed in a 2004 run for the BOE.

President Michael Urciuoli (left) was first elected in 2006. Since then, the BOE has begun a K-8 writers’ workshop and installed fiber optic wiring, but has also encountered a great deal of criticism. Vice President Lizz Gagnon (right) is now the longest tenured commissioner on the nine-member board with 10 years of service. She called the completed CHS walkway project her “baby.” Jack Houston (left) said he’s the candidate who can best mend the fractured relationship between elected officials and citizens. The Fordham University assistant dean failed in his 2007 run for the BOE. Carlo Santelli (right) is just 21 years old but he feels his youth better connects him with what current students are going through. After graduating CHS in 2006, he went on a two-year missionary trip to the Southwest.

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


From Easter Hams to Poppyseeds, Walnuts, Lekvar & more, we have it all.

Pork - Beef & Meat Products Home Styled Smoked Sausage • Salami & All Kinds of Cold Cuts • Holiday Hams& Traditional Foods • Hungarian Delicacies • Spices & European Sweets • •

Members of Clifton Firefighters Local 21 are delivering more than 500 signs to residents and business owners who wish to show their support for the re-opening of Clifton Fire Station No. 2. The signs, which read, “Council- I Vote To ReOpen Engine 2,” refer to the fire station that was closed by the City Council on March 7. It is located at 7 Dumont Ave. in Albion. The closure also resulted in the layoff of 12 firefighters. The cuts came due to limitations on city spending because of the state’s four percent tax increase cap. Under the law, the city can only raise its expenses by $3.7 million in the 2009 budget, but that figure was closer to $7 million at the end of 2008. Local 21 invites the public to join them in seeking the re-opening of the station at the next Council meeting on April 7 at 8 pm. Residents or business owners who wish to receive a sign may contact the Clifton Firefighters online at or by leaving a name, address and telephone number at 973-684-2815.

Benjamin Moore Paints and much more...

Able Hardware 745 Van Houten Ave.

973.773.4997 Mon.-Fri. till 7pm Sat. till 5pm



April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Top left, Clifton firefighter and former councilman Tony Latona holding a sign at the ceremony held for the closing of Fire Company No. 2 on March 7. Bottom left, is another one of the signs. Above, Clifton Local 21 member Robert Hoogmoed with city resident Marilyn Strus who received a sign for her front lawn.

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant



April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

send Clifton business news to

In these difficult economic times, Clifton can ill-afford to lose more ratables from its highest paying taxpayer, but that’s exactly what’s happening as Hoffmann-La Roche continues to consolidate activities. “We have knocked down older buildings that were no longer needed,” said Darien Wilson, a spokeswoman for the pharmaceutical company located on Rt. 3 near the Nutley border. City tax assessor Jack Whiting said the Roche property was assessed at $177 million in 1994, the highest total since the company came to the area 80 years ago. But since then, the assessment dropped to $169 million in 1999 and currently stands at just $125 million.

Roche paid the city $5.4 million in taxes last year, which is nearly $2 million less than it paid a decade ago. Now the Swiss drugmaker plans to cut more than 1,500 jobs in New Jersey and move major operations to the west coast as part of a $46.8 billion deal to take over biotech giant Genentech. “This will still be a research and development site but other personnel for support is still to be determined,” said Wilson. The Clifton/Nutley site employs 3,000 people, about 1,600 of which are scientists and researchers which should be kept on. But with manufacturing scheduled to close by the middle of 2010, Wilson said as many as 400 workers in that department could be affected.

Hoffman-La Roche’s consolidation plan could cost 400 people their jobs at the Clifton/Nutley facility, seen here.

Dr. Cecily Lesko has been named to the New Jersey Academy of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Cecily Lesko of North Jersey Eye Associates on Clifton Ave. has been named to the Board of Governors of the NJ Academy of Ophthalmology. The organization promotes eye health through education and government action. “I’m honored to be selected by my peers,” said the Franklin Lakes resident. “It’s a good organization that really helps protect patients’ rights and works with insurance companies and furthers continuing education in ophthalmology.” Dr. Lesko, 45, has been working at her father’s practice for 15 years. Dr. William Lesko has been in Clifton for more than four decades. His daughter teaches at the Mount Sinai Medical School, where she studied, and is an attending physician at area hospitals. Dr. Lesko is a long standing member of the American College of Surgeons and serves on their candidate review board. Crystal Optics is the store that gives back. Owner John Hessell says any house of worship that signs up with the new eyeglass store in Styertowne will receive a 10 percent tithe on any purchase made by one of their members. Hessell got the idea from a customer who works for a cancer foundation. Call 973-594-0020. April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


No one knows when construction will begin again at Royal Club at Winthrop Court, a 55-and-older condo complex next to the Cambridge Crossing development. Developer Stratland Homes suspended construction last summer with only four of the proposed nine buildings finished. Two buildings were left somewhat completed, while two more are nearly done but close to completely vacant. “Construction has been halted as a result of no sales,” said the builder’s attorney, Thomas DiBiasi of Nutley. “The market suddenly dried up in this economic downturn.” Capital One has filed a foreclosure action to collect the portion of the $33.2 million mortgage that has not been paid. “The Winthrop is not contesting it and is cooperating with Capital One,” said DiBiasi, who added that Stratland is also cooperating with Boiling Springs Bank of Rutherford, which is looking to recoup about $11 million. The developer has also failed to pay city property taxes on more than 100 vacant units since 2007, which comes out to about $300,000. The developer is part of a group of firms associated with builder James Bovino. The companies include Town & Country, which redeveloped the old Shulton property into Cambridge Crossing. Construction on that section of the project is completed and is a separate company from the 55-and-older condo complex.


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Above, an unfinished building stands across the street from a completed structure at the Winthrop Court condominium complex, located on the former Shulton Plant on Colfax Ave.

Wine Values Altana Di Vico 1.5 L’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$9.99 Ca’Lunghetta 1.5 L’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$10.99 Colle Del Falco 1.5 L’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$11.99 Beringer White Zinfandel 1.5 L’s . . . . . . . .$8.49 Sutter Home White Zinfandel 1.5 L’s . . . .$6.69 Cavit Pinot Grigio 1.5 L’s . . . . . . . . . . . . .$12.01 Bohemian Highway All Types 1.5 L’s . . . .$9.33 Chat. De Macard 750ml . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$10.95 Chateau German 750ml . . . . . . . . . . . . .$10.95 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml . .$8.00 R. H. Phillips Toasted Head P. N. 750ml . . . . .$14.09 Clayhouse Vineyards Adobe Red 750ml . . . .$11.99 Aurum Alps Pinot Grigio 750ml . . . . . . . . . . . .$11.95 Rockwood Merlot 750ml . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$12.95 Kris Pinot Grigio 2007 750ml . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$9.99 Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre 2005 750ml . . .$15.99 Farnatella Chianti Colli Senesi 2006 750ml . . .$11.99 Antinori Peppoli 2006 750ml . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$19.99 Zaccagnini Montepulciano 2005 750ml . . . .$11.99 Girard Sauvignon Blanc 2007 750ml . . . . . . .$14.99 Olivier Leflaive Bourg Blanc 2006 750ml . . .$16.99

Clos De La Fine Muscadet 2007 750ml . . . . . .$9.99 Thomas Fogarty Chard Santa Cruz 750ml . .$12.99 Von Buhl Armand Riesling 2007 750ml . . . . .$17.99 Rosenblum Zinfandel Cuvee XXX 750ml . .$9.09 Pacific Coast Zinfandel 750ml . . . . . . . .$10.95 Blackstone Merlot 750ml . . . . . . . . . . . . .$8.39 Estancia Chardonnay 750ml . . . . . . . . . . .$8.49 Pacific Coast Riesling 750ml . . . . . . . . . .$9.99 Mondavi Napa Cab. Sauv. 2006 750ml .$18.49 J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay 750ml . . .$9.69 Coral Peak Chardonnay 750ml . . . . . . . .$14.95 Marques De Riscal Red 2004 750ml . . .$15.09 Estancia Cab. Sauv. 2006 750ml . . . . . .$10.69 Kendall Jackson Chard 2007 750ml . . .$11.49 Santa Margherita P. G. 2007 750ml . . . .$19.01 Prices effective through April 28. Good only at Shoppers Vineyard in Clifton. We reserve the right to limit quantities. Prices do not include sales tax. Not responsible for typographical errors. No rainchecks. Limited to store inventory.

Liquor Values Absolut Vodka 80 proof 1.75 L’s . . . . . . .$33.09 Smirnoff Vodka 80 proof 1.75 L’s . . . . . .$20.00 Johnnie Walker Red Scotch 1.75 L’s . . .$30.00 Johnnie Walker Black Scotch 1.75 L’s . .$58.09 Beefeater Gin 1.75 L’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$31.09 Dewars White Label 1.75 L’s . . . . . . . . .$30.09 Ketel One Vodka 80 Proof 1.75 L’s . . . . .$37.09 Bacardi Rum Lt, Dark, Select 1.75 L’s . .$20.09 Jose Cuervo Tequila 1.75 L’s . . . . . . . . .$35.09 Captain Morgan Spiced Rum 1.75 L’s . .$26.09

Beer Values Corona Extra or Light 24 12oz Bottles . . . . . . .$23.49 Heineken Reg. or Light 24 12oz Bottles . . . . . .$24.49 Bud or Bud Light 24 12oz Cans . . . . . . . . . . . .$14.99 Coors or Coors Light 30 12oz Cans . . . . . . . . .$19.49 Yuengling Lager 24 12oz (Loose) Bottles . . . . .$15.99

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Peter’s Service Center 89 Ackerman Ave • 973-340-0322

Djerdan Burek Four 223 Parker Ave • 973-513-9050

Quiznos Subs Botany Plaza 83 Ackerman Ave • 973-772-0406

Stefan & Sons 246 Dayton Ave • 973-546-3288

The Filipino Cuisine 239 Parker Ave • 973-546-6000

Parker St. Barbecue Restaurant 224 Parker Ave • 973-772-0900

All are invited to our annual district meeting on Wed., April 8 at 7:30pm at Johnny’s Tavern


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Paulison Ave. ShopRite employees Harriet Green, Luisa Mejia and Kevin Fragale are among the company associates honored on 125,000 limited-edition Cheerios boxes for their store’s commitment to fighting hunger in their local community through the ShopRite Partners In Caring program. The three were chosen to appear on the box after the store took a top spot out of 30 winning ShopRites in a contest in support of National Hunger Action Month in September. Cuellar Family Markets owners, managers and employees undertook a number of fund raising projects to achieve the top spot. Chain-wide, ShopRite associates raised more than $290,000 with $1 donation cards at checkout, constructing displays to bring awareness to the issue of hunger, and holding in-store events.

The photos of Paulison Ave. ShopRite employees (from left) Kevin Fragale, Luisa Mejia and Harriet Green are featured on boxes of Cherrios honoring them and other associates of the store in their support of ShopRite’s Partners in Caring promotion.

Allstate Agent Timothy K. Brown is in the process of relocating his insurance agency from Verona to his hometown of Clifton. The office will be located in the Clifton Plaza Shopping Center, near Bruno’s Pizza and Valley National Bank. Brown, a longtime Clifton resident who lives on Vreeland Ave., said he expects to open in mid-April. Mike D’Angelo (at left) and Rich Mastriani of Bruno’s Pizza and Restaurant welcome Allstate Agent Timothy Brown (center) to Clifton Plaza on Route 46 West and Van Houten Ave.

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Earth Day is April 22 Car-Ban Day is just one of the ways Clifton is doing its part Maybe Brian Kopitar came up with the name Car-Ban Day while skateboarding to school one morning. The Clifton High student and classmate Yohelin Meza are credited with creating the title of the April 22 event. The CHS Conservation Club is asking students and faculty to reduce the carbon footprint on the world by using mass transit or walking, biking or carpooling to school—anything that will decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere caused by vehicular emissions. Al DuBois, Clifton’s recycling coordinator, recently spoke to Marietta Steransak’s environmental science classes and inspired the students to promote an Earth Day event. Steransak and biology teacher Irene Dutch are Conservation Club advisors, but they credit their students with doing most of the work.

CHS Conservation Club members are preparing for Car-Ban Day on April 22. In front, from left, Genesis Mesa, Yohelin Meza, Brian Kopitar and Christine Velardi. Back row: Mayank Desai and Kristen Sabestinas.

Christina Filewiecz and Shaina Cafone designed t-shirts to be worn on April 22 and they are being painted the colors of the earth. The

Clifton has been named a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to community forestry. It is the 12th year the city has received this national recognition. Clifton is also the recipient of a Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating progress in its community forestry program in the following activity areas: education and public relations, community-wide tree event, publicity, youth education, tree planting and maintenance, special tree planting project and recycling. The prestigious Growth Award recognizes environmental improvement and higher levels of tree care in Tree City USA communities. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. Clifton has met the four standards to become a Tree City USA community, having a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program and an Arbory Day observance. For more information, visit 30

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

two girls also designed three-inch buttons to be worn that day. Katie Nugent has been filming the shirt decorations and will be putting together a promotional video for CarBan Day that will air on the school’s news channel. On Earth Day, videotaping with continue to capture the arrival of the students and staff. Data will be gathered to determine the amount of greenhouse gas reduction. For info, call 973-470-2296. “It is our hope that this activity will encourage people to choose alternative means of transportation,” said Steransak. Car-Ban Day is being funded by a $500 grant the city received from the Earth Day Network to educate residents about reducing carbon footprints and combat global warming through simple means.

At left, Cara Cholewczynski and Megan Termyna. At right, students Shaina Cafone (far left) and Christina Filewiecz designed the t-shirts behind them. In between the girls are Conservation Club advisors Marietta Steransak (inside left) and Irene Dutch.

Walking or biking instead of driving, reducing your air conditioner use or hanging your clothes out to dry can have a two-fold effect: the environment benefits and so does your wallet. By air drying clothing, residents can save as much as 25 percent on their electric bills.

There are plenty of ways to clean up your community and help keep the city green this Earth Day. The Great American Clean Up, which runs through May 31, is still in need of volunteers. Last year, more than 2.8 million people joined the cause, helping

beautify parks and recreational areas, cleaning shorelines and waterways, litter pick ups, tree plantings and more. Clifton will also be get getting some new free trees, thanks to the NJDEP’s Community Forestry Cool Cities Initiative.

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Shade trees help cool large cities like Clifton, which can become as much as 12 degrees hotter than the surrounding areas in the summer. According to the U.S. Forest Service, one mature shade has the cooling power of 10 air conditioners running all day. In addition, these trees absorb as much as eight pounds of heat-trapping pollution per year. A total of 17 towns are participating in the event, which has planted over 24,000 trees—an expected savings of $25 million in electricity. For Theresa Evans, thinking green is an everyday thing. The CCMS teacher received the Clean Communities Award on March 12.

From left, CCMS staff members Dominick D’Andrea, Bede Klein, Theresa Evans and Ted Melnick helped beautify the outside of the school, seen in the center of the page. At the bottom of the page is the CCMS Garden Club which also took part.

Another tree was planted, and a bench was also added. Several local businesses contributed to the cause. They are Terre Company, Athenia Mason Supply, Mikula Contracting, Ploch’s Farm, Richfield Farms and Home Depot (all in Clifton), as well as Structural Stone in Fairfield, Central Supply in Passaic, Home Depot in Parsippany and Gro-Rite in Lincoln Park. The Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program also helped out. Evans is also the recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from the U.S. Dept. of the Interior’s Take Pride in America Program. Her work in the community began three years ago with the beautification of a nearby traffic island. From there, Evans expanded her project to cover the entire campus. The crowning achievement was the Diversity Garden, which is adjacent to the cafeteria entrance near the stadium. The once-spotty lawn has been made over, replaced with neatly trimmed shrubs and mulch. 32

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Natalie Warchola first learned how to ‘write’ Pysanky as a young girl at the Ukrainian Cultural Center on Hope Ave. in Passaic and today, she is a master of the art. This traditional folk art started well over 2,000 years ago to praise pagan gods. The word comes from the verb pysaty, ‘to write’, as the designs are not painted on the egg, but written with beeswax. This batik method is done by applying hot wax on the egg and dipping it in a succession of dye baths after each layer of wax is applied to the design of the egg. It was adopted by Ukrainian Christians in 988 AD to celebrate Easter and Christ’s resurrection and passed from generation to generation. To share the craft and to raise funds for her church’s 100th anniversary in 2010, she is hosting classes on the art of Pysanky at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, 223 President St., Passaic on April 4 and 5 from 1 to 3:30 pm. Class fee is $50 and includes dyes, kistkas or writing tools, bee’s wax and a booklet. For info, call 973-473-7197 or email


After-School Pick-Up @

Clifton Schools 2 & 5


Register for SUMMER CAMP! (to age 12)

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• Infant & Toddler Program Returning in Sept: • Precious ’s Full Day • Pre School & Pre K Program Kindergarten • Open am to pm Register Now! • Weekly Chapel • When public schools are closed we’re open!

Melissa Jaycox, Director • First Presbyterian Church 303 Maplewood Ave. Clifton • 973.523.7704 April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Joseph Schreck, Jr. of Clifton has been named president of the newly formed NNJ Arts Board of Directors. The group of North Jersey community theater companies includes Blue State Productions of Clifton. The mission of NNJ Arts is to encourage and nurture the fellowship and talent of the performing arts through recognition of achievements. Call 201-280-7068. July 8 & 10 Summer Sunset Blues Cruise Sails: St. Peter’s Haven for Homeless Families in Need of Clifton is the beneficiary of this fundraiser. The Chaz DePaolo Band performs on July 8. Blues harmonica legend Big Nancy Swarbrick performs on July 10 with the Supreme Court Band and vocalist Yolanda Briggs. Tickets are $50 for the two and a half hour cruise aboard the A.J. Meerwald, which casts off from Liberty State Park, Jersey City, at 6 pm. Call 973-546-3406 or write

The Clifton Arts Center will present a Tea and Conversation Series on April 4 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm. The public is invited to come and experience art, literature and tea. The $10 registration fee includes a brief lecture by local author, Philip M. Read, a taste of desserts and teas and viewing of springtime garden related artwork by the Clifton Association of Artists. Call 973-472-5499. Welcome to Our Garden, an exhibit by the Clifton Association of Artists, will be on display at the Clifton Arts Center through April 18. Admission is $3. CAA meetings are the first Monday of the month at 7 pm during Feb. thru May and Oct. thru Nov. at the Clifton Senior Barn Center. Call 973-472-5499. Hearing impaired? Passaic County theaters offering captioned movies include the AMC Clifton Commons, Rt. 3 East, Clifton, 973-614-0966 and Loews Wayne 14, Willowbrook Blvd, Wayne, 973-890-0509.

nder of e are the sons of the fou , a family R.F. Knapp Construction ed in Clifton owned business found the beginning, nearly 50 years ago. Since Siding prodwe have been using Alcoa ens-Corning. ucts as well as GAF and Ow ing, gutters, We specialize in roofing, sid a call and us e leaders and windows. Giv int appo ment to we will gladly set-up an and go over a discuss your job needs . complete written estimate

CHS Hypnotic Comedy Night is April 3 at Holy Assumption Orthodox Church, corner of Huron and Orange Aves. Doors open at 7 pm and the show starts at 8 pm. Must be 18 years old to enter. Tickets are $15. Call Judi Bassford at 973-278-6496 or Maryanna Cornett at 973-779-5678. The Clifton Spring 2009 Stamp, Postcard and Cover Show is April 25-26 at the Clifton Rec Center, 1232 Main Ave. Dealers will be on hand with their wares for review and purchase. Since being established in 1985, the Clifton Stamp Society is the only regularly scheduled show of its kind that covers Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris Counties. Door prizes will be given out on each day. Admission and parking are free. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, and until 4 pm on Sunday. For info about the show or the Society, call 973-470-5956 or visit



April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Brothers Don and Rich Knapp

Saving Hinchliffe Stadium Brian LoPinto fights to preserve the Paterson landmark Story by Jordan Schwartz One of Brian LoPinto’s earliest memories was climbing the back fence at Hinchliffe Stadium to sneak a peak of an Eastside football game. Born and raised in the shadow of the Paterson landmark, the 30-yearold has a special place in his heart for the massive concrete oval near the Great Falls. Even after he moved to Clifton in 1992, LoPinto continued to be drawn to Hinchliffe. His first hit as a varsity baseball player came when the Mustangs played Kennedy at the stadium during his junior year. LoPinto still has the ball. So it should come as no surprise to learn that in 2002, he co-founded the Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium, a volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and revitalizing the structure ( “I’d like to see it restored and refurbished and brought back to its glory,” said LoPinto. Completed in 1932, the 10,000seat facility hosted various sporting events, from football and boxing to car racing and track and field. But the last significant draw was a Duke Ellington concert in 1972. A lack of up-keep led to the stadium’s closure in 1997—two years after LoPinto singled down the third base line. Since then, Hinchliffe has deteriorated even more with graffiti on the walls and a large portion of the track surface rotting away. In 2004, the ’96 CHS grad, along with fellow Steering Committee members Flavia Alaya and

Cliftonite Brian LoPinto stands in the bleachers of the dilapidated Hinchliffe Stadium, a Paterson landmark he is working to preserve.

Christopher Coke, got Hinchliffe placed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. But the stadium’s fate lies in the fighting hands of the Paterson Board of Education, which owns the property, and the City Council. On March 10, the Council approved Mayor Joey Torres’ plan to put a question on the November ballot asking voters whether or not they would approve of the city spending $15 million in a state-backed, 30year bond to renovate Hinchliffe. Residents approved a similar $10 million proposal in 2005, but the plan was stymied because the BOE rejected Torres’ redevelopment plan. The district wants classroom space or possibly a sports business academy to be included in the plan, but Torres wants Hinchliffe to be used only for athletics and recreation.

Caught in the middle are people such as LoPinto who would just like some sort of resolution. The Cliftonite has produced two short films about the stadium. “Field of Tears” (2002) is a musiconly video set to black and white images of Hinchliffe with Frank Sinatra’s “There Used to be a Ballpark” playing in the background. He also made a one-minute documentary in 2006 with interviews about the importance of the stadium on both a local and national level. One of LoPinto’s colleagues from Friends of Hinchliffe showed both of the films during a recent speech at the Brownstone in Paterson that Passaic County Economic Development Director Deborah Hoffman happened to attend. April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Hinchliffe Stadium, located near Paterson’s Great Falls (pictured circa 1932) was once home to football, boxing and auto racing.

On display at the Paterson Museum, 2 Market St. in the Great Falls Historic District, is an exhibit on John Philip Holland, who in 1878, built and successfully tested in the Passaic River his first submersible, Boat I, currently on loan to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum. The exhibit chronicles his life with emphasis on the development of his six submarines, culminating with the Navy purchasing the Holland VI in 1900. The multi-media exhibit includes photographs, memorabilia, documents and video. Right up the hill is the landmark 77-foot Great Falls. Museum hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 am-4 pm and weekends, 12:30-4:30 pm. Call the Paterson Museum at 973321-1260 or visit 36

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (pictured in 1992 when he was the Mayor of Paterson) has worked for years to get the Paterson Great Falls designated a National Historic Park. His dream was realized when President Obama signed a legislative package on March 30 that included the distinction.

She suggested they be submitted to the county’s fifth annual Film Festival which will be held at 10 am on April 18 at PCCC. “I had no intention of really sub-

mitting these,” said LoPinto. “The purpose was just for the Friends of Hinchliffe.” The Styertowne apartments resident has plenty of experience behind

a camera. During his time as a communications major at William Paterson University, he interned for three seasons as a videographer with the New York Giants.

OFF OneonlySingle Item! one per customer 1065 Bloomfield Ave • Styertowne Shopping Center, Clifton • 973-614-1111 With this coupon. Not valid with other offers or prior purchases. Offer expires 4-22-09

OFF Any Purchase any purchase of $30 or more only one per customer 1065 Bloomfield Ave • Styertowne Shopping Center, Clifton • 973-614-1111 With this coupon. Not valid with other offers or prior purchases. Offer expires 4-22-09 April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Styertowne S H O P P I N G


Use This Directory of Stores When Shopping ACME 973-594-0590

GNC 973-779-1500

AC Moore 973-470-8885 Antonio’s Hair Stylist 973-472-1011

Kid City 973-614-1111 Kim’s Nail Salon 973-471-8118

Atlanta Bread Company 973-777-2211

Largo House Nail & Spa 973-777-9784

Avant Garde Salon 973-778-0557 Bertelli’s Liquors 973-779-0199

The Men’s Gallery 973-777-4700 Modells 973-779-5253

Chiropractic Center at Styertowne 973-777-6995

Optimized Solution 973-773-1009

Cleaners 2000 973-614-1400

Pet Stuff 973-778-1617

F.Y.E. 973-778-8759

The Season’s Fine Chinese Cuisine 973-777-8073

Corbo Jewelers 973-777-1635 Crystal Optics 973-594-0020

Shereeds Ladies & Mens Clothing 973-773-1673

Dollar Tree 973-249-7530

The Shoe Gallery 973-777-4700

Dress Barn 973-249-0322

Styertowne Bakery 973-777-6193

Dunkin Donuts & Baskin Robbins 973-473-9631

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April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

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LoPinto’s final game was the 2001 NFC championship game when New York slaughtered the visiting Minnesota Vikings 41-0. “It was great being there and shooting the game action,” he remembered. “When I saw it was 14-0, I said, ‘I think the Giants are going to the Super Bowl.’” They did but Brian didn’t. The team could only take a limited number of cameramen. Still, he called the job an amazing experience. “It was an opportunity to really get my foot in the door trying to work in sports, which was something I was certainly interested in,” said LoPinto. After college, the WPU grad got a part-time position in the public relations department at the XFL. Before long, he was hired to work operations for the league’s New York franchise, the Hitmen.

LoPinto scheduled road trips for 40 players, booked hotels and distributed per diems. “There were a lot of logistics involved,” he said. “It was certainly something I really enjoyed.” After the XFL folded, the Clifton boy worked for the Arena Football League and Major League Soccer, but his big break came when he got a call from Major League Baseball Productions. From 2003 to 2006, he shot game action and interviews that aired on ESPN, Fox and Spike. At the same time, LoPinto was also working for the NFL, and in 2006 the league offered him a fulltime job in the Officiating Department. He keeps a log of penalties, produces training films, works as a communicator in the Instant Replay booth and is a videographer for the NFL Network’s “Official Review” segment.

A July 8, 1932 program from the first event ever held at Hinchliffe Stadium.

LoPinto has worked at Giants Stadium, Invesco Field in Denver, Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati and Lambeau Field in Green Bay, but Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson will always be home.

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You Won’t find These Prices or Digital Progressive Lenses in the Mall! April 2009 • Clifton Merchant



Spring Preview & Photos by Jordan Schwartz

The Lady Mustangs will try to return to the glory of their 2007 State title this year. Back row, from left, Bryana Arlington, Brianna Turba, Kristine Dehais, Nichole Martinez and Felicia Barbosa. Middle: Jayme Hanrahan, Brianna Stemmler, Monica Barhorst, Nicole Santosuosso and Rebecca Dechellis. Front: Kelly LaForgia, Jen Martin, Michelle Ferrara and Megan Ferrara.

With seven girls gone from last year’s 18-10 team, the Lady Mustangs field a relatively inexperienced squad made up of four seniors, eight juniors and two sophomores. Twelfth-grader Monica Barhorst will toe the rubber this season after splitting pitching duties with Allie DiAngelo last year. 40

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

“Her job is to keep us in the game and take charge while she’s in the circle,” said fourth-year Coach Cara Boseski, who added that junior Brianna Stemmler will also pitch. Behind the plate, Clifton has two first-year varsity players: junior Felicia Barbosa and sophomore Kelly LaForgia. “Coming in as a rookie catcher, it’s a lot to take on because you are one of the main people

on the field,” said Boseski. “What I’m looking for them to do is focus every pitch.” On the infield, CHS has senior Jayme Hanrahan and junior Jen Martin splitting time at first base, sophomore Megan Ferrara at sec-


Softball Apr 01

at Holy Angels

Apr 03


4:00 pm

Apr 06


4:00 pm

Apr 08

at Kennedy

4:00 pm

Apr 09


4:00 pm

Apr 13

at Hackensack

4:00 pm

Apr 15


4:00 pm

Apr 17

at Hawthorne

4:00 pm

Apr 18

at Wood Ridge

11:00 am

Apr 20


4:00 pm

Apr 22

at Paramus Catholic

4:00 pm

Apr 25

Pope John

5:00 pm

Apr 25


7:00 pm

Apr 27

Bergen Tech

4:00 pm

Apr 29

at St. Mary’s

4:00 pm

Apr 30

at Rutherford

4:00 pm

May 02

at Wallkill Valley

May 04


May 06

at Belleville

May 09

at Rancocas Valley

May 11

at Nutley

4:00 pm

May 13

at Bloomfield

4:00 pm

May 18


4:00 pm

May 20

at Montclair

4:00 pm


4:00 pm

11:00 am 4:00 pm 4:00 pm 11:30 am

ond, junior Michelle Ferrara at short and senior Rebecca Dechellis at third. Right field is set with senior Brianna Turba, with the other outfield positions being filled by a combination of juniors Bryana Arlington, Kristine, Dehais, Nichole Martinez and Nicole Santosuosso. Boseski said the team has a nice solid middle of the lineup with Martin, Michelle Ferrara, Turba, Barhorst and Santosuosso. Providing speed on the basepaths will be leadoff hitter Megan Ferrara, as well as Martinez and Dehais. “Our strength will depend on the game,” said the coach. “When your defense is working, you don’t go to the plate thinking about mistakes in the field and vice versa. “If everyone just comes to do their job everyday, we’ll be in good shape this year.” The team went on its annual trip to Florida from March 20 to 25. There, they played eight scrimmages to prepare for the season. “The girls get to play in good weather, which is good because then you’re not worrying about the cold factor,” said Boseski. “They also get a chance to do team bonding stuff because if the girls don’t

Senior hurler Monica Barhorst appears on the cover of this magazine.

feel like they’re a part of the team, it becomes more individualized, so this helps bring them together.” Following a Group 4 State title in 2007, last year’s team became only the third Clifton squad since 1983 to lose 10 games. The Lady Mustangs really struggled in close games, going just 2-8 in contests decided by two runs or less. That’s something the girls will have to improve upon if they are to make another deep run in the playoffs.

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New head coach George Cowan said the boys lacrosse team is looking to make a run at its first State tournament appearance in more than 15 years.

“The team is looking pretty good,” he said. “We put in a lot of time in the offseason lifting and running and we even played in an indoor league.”

The Mustangs were just a twogoal loss to Wayne Valley and an overtime defeat at the hands of Morris Catholic away from making the States last year.

CHS Boys


The four key returning seniors on the Clifton High School boys lacrosse team are, from left, Craig Ferrara, Nelson Tejada, Steve Feliciano and John Muska.


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Apr 01 Apr 03 Apr 07 Apr 09 Apr 14 Apr 16 Apr 18 Apr 21 Apr 23 Apr 27 Apr 29 May 02 May 06 May 07 May 09 May 11 May 13 May 15

Glen Rock at Bergen Tech at Fair Lawn Morris Catholic at Old Tappan at Pope John Paul 23 Montvile Boonton at Governor Livingston Wayne Valley at Paramus Catholic Blair at Saint Joseph Reg. Old Tappan DePaul Nutley Sparta Jefferson

4:15 pm 4:15 pm 4:30 pm 4:00 pm 5:30 pm 4:35 pm 11:00 am 4:00 pm 4:00 pm 7:00 pm 4:00 pm 3:00 pm 4:00 pm 4:00 pm 10:00 am 4:00 pm 4:00 pm 4:00 pm

Coming off a league title and a 6-9 season, which was their best record in a decade, the Mustangs return four key seniors: defenseman Nelson Tejada and midfielders Craig Ferrara, Steven Feliciano (17 goals, 16 assists in 2008) and John Muska. “Craig is a four-year player who is a solid midfielder and face-off guy,” said Cowan. “His leadership skills and hard work seem to carry over to the younger guys trying to follow his example.” Feliciano and Muska join Ferrara on the first midfield line. “All three seniors have played together and have grown over the years into an excellent offensive unit,” said the coach. Junior Mike Zawicki is back in goal this spring after stopping more than 200 shots last year as a sophomore. “Mike is everything you could ask from a goalie and more,” said Cowan. “He is enthusiastic, vocal and brings a spirit to the team that really rallies his teammates around him.” Helping him out on the defensive end will be a young group of athletes. Along with Tejada and junior Robert Mele, three sophomore long poles will be battling for starting spots. They are Michael Phillips, Dylan Wong and Nicholas Jacobus. Back-up goalie Matthew Zail will also contribute on defense. They’ll have to fill the shoes of graduated All-League players Cody Bleaken (36 caused turnovers, 67 ground balls) and Vincent Sacoto (29 caused turnovers, 53 ground balls). Also gone are midfielders Josh Killian and Damien Pasquale, as well as attackman Wayne Wende.

Taking their spots on the offensive end will be junior Mike Chiavetta, who returns after scoring 21 times and assisting on 11 other goals last year. “He’s got speed like no other,” said Cowan, who is taking over for former coach Brian Armstrong, who left to take a position at Montclair State University. Juniors Kevin Lyons and Daniel Bartlett will add depth to the midfield and classmates Jake Gebbia and Kevin Meade are expected to produce at attack.

The lacrosse team returns to the field at CHS this year after playing the last three seasons at Latteri Park. “I think we’ll get more fans there and it makes it easier for us with the trainer being right there at the school,” said Cowan, a 2000 CHS grad who coached the junior varisty for the past four years. The Mustangs will also play a night game at Clifton Stadium on April 27. The team hosts Wayne Valley at 7 pm and Cowan said the guys are excited to play under the lights.

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant



April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

CHS Boys


The boys tennis team will be led by, from left, Jordan Biason, Kelvin Knudtamarn, Brijesh Patel, Tanuj Chokshi, Anuj Patel and Jigesh Mehta.

The boys tennis team lost nearly all of its starters to graduation last year, so all seven positions are up for grabs heading into this season. Junior Tanuj Chokshi has the inside track to the first singles spot, having played third singles and second doubles in 2008. Then, there is a mixture of guys that will fill the remaining spots. They are seniors Jordan Biason, Kelvin Knudtamarn, Jigesh Mehta and Anuj Patel, as well as juniors Jeffrey Lao and Andres Brand. Coach Andrea Bobby, now in her 19th year, said the team’s success this season may depend on doubles.

“I don’t think that we have enough strength to really compete with the good teams,” she said. “If I can put the doubles combinations together and they can surprise me, we can have a shot. Having a .500 record would be a reasonable expectation.” Bobby said she doesn’t just take the next best singles players to form her doubles teams. “I need someone with an excellent return and good net play,” she said. “I look for partners that are compatible.” The coach said she was encouraged by the fact that 10 freshmen tried out for the team this year.

Apr 01 Apr 03 Apr 06 Apr 08 Apr 09 Apr 13 Apr 15 Apr 17 Apr 21 Apr 23 Apr 28 Apr 30 May 05 May 07 May 12 May 19

Saint Joseph Reg. at Bergen Catholic at Eastside Kennedy Paramus Hackensack at Teaneck at Ridgewood Paramus Catholic at Bergen Tech Don Bosco Prep at Passaic Belleville at Nutley Bloomfield Montclair

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That’s the largest number of ninth graders she’s ever seen at practice and Bobby hopes to keep them interested with freshman matches scheduled against Bergen Catholic and Ridgewood. Nearly all of the teams Clifton plays, except for Eastside and Kennedy, have junior varsity squads as well, so everyone has a reason to show up for matches. “I run the team so that everyone feels like they are a part of it,” said Bobby. “Seniors help freshmen so that the younger kids can see what it will look like to play when they get older.”

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The girls lacrosse team is looking to win its first State playoff game this season. Front row, from left, Adriana Daley, Maura Houston, Eryka Baez and Stephanie Cantillo. Back row: Dana Lyons, Donna Bataglos, Michelle Lima and Deanna Cristantiello.

With three of their four leading scorers back from last year’s 11-8 team, the Lady Mustangs are primed for their best season yet. Gone is captain Alex Scerbak who led the team with 33 tallies last season, but seniors Dana Lyons (27 goals, 16 assists), Deanna Cristantiello (27g, 16a) and Stephanie Cantillo (28g, 25a) all return after combining to score more than half of the girls lacrosse team’s goals in 2008. “Stephanie is a defensive mid who reads the game really well,” said first year coach Amanda Gryzskin, who took over for Dan Chilowicz after three years leading the junior varsity. “She can play two people at once and I expect her to step up and get some goals and assists for us too.”


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Cristantiello’s main objective will be to score. The forward has improved her stick handling skills and lefthanded shot. Lyons, a center, has one of the hardest shots on the team and if she can get them on net, she’ll have a high goal count this season. Helping out in the offensive midfield will be sophomore soccer goalie Erica Baez and junior swimmer Christina Habrahamshon. Defensively, junior Kathy Woloszyn (1g, 2a), sophomore Michelle Lima and seniors Donna Dalagtas, Maura Houston and Lea Dziuba will attempt to keep the ball away from All-County goalie Adrianna Daley.

The senior made 215 saves last season and should return from an ACL injury during the first week of April.“If we work together up front, I think our strength is our offense and our goalie,” said Gryzskin, who never played lacrosse at DePaul but joined the Clifton program when it began in 2006. The Lady Mustangs took their first spring training trip down to Florida last month. “I thought it was great and I’d go back next year,” said the coach. “Just to play other schools and to see how they play across the country was a great learning experience for the girls.” The team has only 13 regular season games scheduled right now after playing a record 19 contests in 2008. Chilowicz said last year that the high amount of games took its toll on the girls who appeared to be fatigued toward the end of the year. That’s when 10th seeded Clifton lost 19-6 to No. 7 Old Bridge in the

first round of the State tournament. The girls lost in the first round of the ’07 tournament as well, but that was a huge improvement over their 0-14 inaugural campaign in ’06. But with seven seniors on the team this year, the goal has to be the program’s first State tournament victory. “It will take a lot of hard work and dedication to reach the level where we want to be,” said Gryzskin. “The girls had a tremendous experience in Florida. After the trip, I already see the determination of the girls wanting to have a successful year. The program has come a long way and will continue to grow to reach high levels.”

CHS Girls

Lacrosse Apr 07

Fair Lawn

4:00 pm

Apr 09

Delaware Valley Reg.

4:00 pm

Apr 13

at Jefferson

4:00 pm

Apr 18

Indian Hills

11:00 am

Apr 23


4:00 pm

Apr 27


4:00 pm

Apr 30

at Bergen Tech

4:00 pm

May 02 at Morris Hills

3:00 pm

May 07 at Old Tappan

4:00 pm

May 09 at Delaware Valley Reg. 10:30 am May 11 at Pascack Valley May 16 Old Tappan May 19 North Warren

4:30 pm 11:00 am 4:00 pm

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The Clifton High School baseball team will try to overcome the loss of 11 seniors. Back row, from left, Coach Joe Rivera, Magic Hidalgo, Brandon Ramos, Emilio Polanco, Guido Cullinerra, Justin Martinez. Mark Korzinsky, Kevin Ferreras and Coach Ralph Cinque. Front row: Ray Cramer, Brian Inoa, Joey Tahan, Brandon Lonison, Will Rivera and Alex Lesch.

The baseball team lost 11 seniors to graduation last year, so this should be a rebuilding season for a young Mustangs squad. Only pitchers Alex Lesch and Justin Martinez saw varsity time in 2008 and so a lot will be expected from them. “They both throw very hard and they have a good change-up and curve,” said new coach Joe Rivera. “They have good location and


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

don’t walk too many kids, so that’s typically what a coach looks for in a pitcher.” Lesch will be the ace of the staff after going 4-3 with a 3.62 ERA as a sophomore. Martinez, a senior, will be the No. 2. The rest of the team moves up from JV, which should ease the transition for Rivera, who spent the past three years leading the younger kids.

“The first day of tryouts, everyone already knew me which is such a plus,” he said. Rivera and assistant coach Ralph Cinque were seniors on the ’93 CHS team that won back-to-back County and State titles. “It’s great to come back and be a part of the program,” said Rivera, who took over for Angelo Intile when the former coach left for Montclair High School.

Rounding out the starting rotation this year will be junior southpaw Brandon Ramos. “He’s a typical lefty,” said Rivera. “He throws hard for a lefty but has a very good curve that he uses to keep batters off balance.” Fellow eleventh-grader Ray Cramer will bring his good changeup out of the bullpen. They’ll be caught by senior Joey Scotto, who has experience working with them at the junior varsity level. Scotto’s backup is Magic Hidalgo, who will also see time at designated hitter. Sophomore Omar Korzinsky will play first base until junior John Folk returns from an ankle injury. Classmate Emilio Polanco is at second and Lesch will play third when he’s not on the hill. Martinez will play shortstop with junior Seton Hall Prep transfer Joe Tahan taking his place when he pitches. Tahan will also see time in the outfield, along with centerfield-

er Brandon Lonison (junior) and utility players Brian Inoa (junior) and Kevin Ferreras (senior). Tahan and Lonison will provide speed at the top of the Mustangs’ lineup and Lesch, Martinez and Polanco will supply the power in the middle. “Alex and Justin are the overall best hitters on the team so I have them batting three and four,” said Rivera. “They both lead by example but Justin is more vocal. “Tahan is a very good line drive hitter and he gets on base so he’s a good leadoff guy,” he continued. “He has a lot of speed on the bases and he’s another one that leads by example.” Rivera said Clifton will be a scrappy team this year that will play a lot of small ball. Like the softball team, they’ll have to improve their play in close games. Last year, the Mustangs were just 3-9 in contests decided by two runs or less.


Baseball Apr 01 Apr 03 Apr 06 Apr 08 Apr 09 Apr 13 Apr 15 Apr 17 Apr 19 Apr 20 Apr 22 Apr 24 Apr 26 Apr 27 Apr 29 May 04 May 06 May 07 May 09 May 11 May 13 May 14 May 18 May 20

Saint Joseph Reg. at Bergen Catholic at Eastside Kennedy at Paramus Hackensack at Teaneck Teaneck at Montclair at Ridgewood Paramus Catholic Wayne Valley at Passaic Valley at Bergen Tech Don Bosco Prep at Passaic Belleville West Milford Passaic County Tourn. at Nutley Bloomfield at Montville at Barringer Montclair

4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00

pm pm pm pm pm pm pm pm TBA 4:00 pm 4:00 pm 4:00 pm TBA 4:00 pm 4:00 pm 4:00 pm 4:00 pm 4:00 pm TBA 4:00 pm 4:00 pm 4:00 pm 4:00 pm 4:00 pm

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


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April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

eight members as of mid-March. “I didn’t have a lot of kids coming out,” said Cole. “Normally, I have to make cuts because I’m allowed to keep 11. I’m trying to get some more. It’s a great opportunity to learn how to play for free at some awesome courses.”



The golf team, from left, is Derek Leeshock, Coach Chad Cole, Nathaniel Platkin, Greg Nowicki, Sarah Scrudato and Kevin Varvaro. Not pictured is Barry Tsouhnikas.

Coach Chad Cole returns two starters from last year’s 15-13 squad. Senior Barry Tsouhnikas will once again be the No. 1, while classmate George Porter moves up from No. 3 to No. 2. “After that, I have some kids that played JV,” said Cole.

Senior Dan Faller and junior Kevin Varvaro should be third and fourth on the team followed by Nate Platkin and Greg Nowicki. Freshmen Derek Leeshock and Sarah Scrudato, the first girl on the co-ed team in four years, will also travel with the squad, which only had

Apr 01 Apr 02 Apr 06 Apr 08 Apr 13 Apr 15 Apr 20 Apr 22 Apr 29 May 04 May 06 May 11 May 13 May 18 May 20 May 21

Saint Joseph Reg. at Bergen Catholic at Eastside Kennedy at Paramus Hackensack at Teaneck at Ridgewood at Bergen Tech Don Bosco Prep at Passaic Belleville at Nutley Bloomfield at Barringer Montclair

4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

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Half of the track team. Front row, from left, Kareem Najjar, Richard Klett, Mark Leszczyszak and Franklin Duran. Middle row: David Vallejo, Nathaniel Howard, Ryan Dunn, Andrew Kopko, Dorothy Alburo and Gracie Arias. Back row: Mariah Cruz, Brenda Slazyk, Haneen Alfawair, Pearla Esquival and Brenna Heisterman.

The girls track team will have difficulty repeating last year’s success when the Lady Mustangs captured their first ever sectional championship along with only their second County title in the past 34 years. Gone are stars Susan Martinez, Kristen Venning and Michelle Telofski, but Clifton has reloaded with a slew of cross country and indoor track stand-outs. “Sue was a real blue chip athlete, but I think Eloisa Paredes and Kayla Santiago can step up,” said Coach Flo Calise, who switches roles this season with assistant Andy Piotrowski. Paredes, a senior, will compete in the 400 hurdles and distance races like the 800 meter, the event in which she placed eighth at the 2008 Meet of Champions. Santiago, a first team All-County indoor track star this winter, will again run distance this spring. 52

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Junior Emily Urciuoli will do the hurdles, pole vault and high jump. She set the county record last year with an 11-foot, 6.5-inch pole vault and finished seventh out of 54 of the best vaulters in the state. She will be backed up by junior pole vaulter Colleen Reynolds. Junior Kerry Sorenson is a strong distance runner and classmate Andrea Villanova will take part in the throwing events. Sophomore Aleah Elam will be one of the Lady Mustangs’ sprinters along with classmate Nia Jackson, who will also compete in jumping events. Clifton also has a number of freshmen who are showing some potential. “I think we’re a pretty balanced team, so we’re hoping to do well,” said Calise. She added that it helps greatly to have girls who have already competed in cross county and winter track this school year.


Track Apr Apr Apr Apr

07 14 21 28

Apr Apr Apr Apr

07 14 21 28

Boys at BC and Bergen Tech Kennedy and Barringer Passaic and Don Bosco at Eastside & Montclair Girls at IHA & Bergen Tech Kennedy and Barringer Passaic at Eastside & Montclair

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“They know what to expect,” she said. “They did real well during those seasons and they know one another; they’re a real family.” Meanwhile, the boys team is working toward a better season than last year’s fourth place finish in the league. “We should contend with Montclair and Kennedy to try to earn a league title,” said Coach John Pontes. “This will be significant as it is the last year of the NNJIL, the oldest league in the state.”

Some of the top returners on the team are seniors Nathan Howard (400 hurdles and sprints), his twin Nathaniel Howard (sprints) and Hanni Abukhater (sprints), as well as junior Jahee Allen (jumps). Seniors Andrew Kopko, Ivan Enriquez, Jose Bazan and Gary Feig will join junior James Sahanas and sophomore Dan Green in the distance events. Senior Victor Almonte will compete in the 400

hurdles and long and triple jumps. Classmates Dante Glenn and Kareem Najjar will take part in the throws. Junior John Sunday is a newcomer who shows promise in the discuss and seniors Alexander Carter and Jairo Parra make up a solid pole vault/hurdle combination. “We have fairly talented athletes at almost every event, and depth behind them, so things could be

good, if the weather, health and the distractions of a high school springtime season don’t cause us to squander an opportunity,” said Pontes. “Our team has dedicated coaches to guide them, as I am helped by Lori McCoy in the throws, Kareem West in the jumps, as well as the girls staff, Coach Calise, Piotrowski in hurdles and pole vault, and Dan Telofski in the hurdles.”

The other half of this spring’s track athletes. Front from left, Eloisa Paredes, Raymond Mendoza, Tim Peiris, Alexander Carter and Kayla Santiago. Middle row: Dante Glenn, Nathan Howard, Gary Feig, Jose Bazan, Ivan Enriquez, Sammy Mowaswes and Stephanie Chavez. Back row: Victor Almonte, Jairo Parra, Jorge Machado, Hanni Abukhater and Morrison Deip.

View The Giblin Report Wednesdays at 7:30 pm, Channel 76

Proud to Represent Clifton Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin 1333 Broad St., Clifton, NJ 07013 office: 973-779-3125


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Back row, from left, Greg Hasaj, Moe Grudic, Dan Pawlik, Adam Szperlak, Doug DiFalco, Nick Lavender, Dennis Skettini, Anthony Nerio, Corey Meyer and Mayank Desai. Front: Patryk Kornecki, Nick Cordi, Frank Merino and Luis Velez.

The boys volleyball team looks to extend its consecutive 20-win seasons streak to 11 in 2009. Over that time, the Mustangs are 270-52, but Coach Mike Doktor said the squad doesn’t feel any pressure to keep that success going. “Not at all. We just play the game in front of us and try to win that one, then move on to the next,” he said. “We walk into this season with the same goals and expectations that we do every year: win the league, Counties and States. Anything less is a disappointment.” Doktor returns five key players from last season’s 25-6 team that captured Clifton’s eighth league title in the past decade and were runner-ups in Passaic County. They are seniors Dennis Skettini (outside hitter), Doug DiFalco (outside hitter) and Luis Velez (libero), as well as juniors Corey Meyer (middle hitter) and Nick Lavender (setter). Skettini has been a member of the team for four years and a varsity player for three. 54

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

CHS Boys

Volleyball Apr 01 Apr 02 Apr 03 Apr 06 Apr 08 Apr 09 Apr 13 Apr 15 Apr 16 Apr 17 Apr 20 Apr 23 Apr 24 Apr 27 Apr 29 Apr 30 May 04 May 06 May 07 May 11 May 13 May 14 May 18 May 21

Barringer Belleville at Teaneck at Passaic Kennedy at Hackensack at Don Bosco Prep Bloomfield Bergen Catholic at Bergen Tech Montclair at Eastside at Barringer at Belleville Teaneck Passaic at Kennedy Hackensack Don Bosco Prep at Bloomfield at Bergen Catholic Bergen Tech at Montclair Eastside

4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 5:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00 4:00

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“He brings a wealth of court knowledge which he has gained from high school and club volleyball,” said Doktor. DiFalco is being given a lot more responsibility this year being put into a prime role as outside hitter while having to contribute on the defensive side as well. “Lavender has improved so much from last year and is ready to lead this team as one of our two setters,” said the coach. “His court vision improves everyday and his ability to get nearly any ball is a great asset as a setter. “Velez is a solid passer with a great deal of exuberance and heart,” Doktor continued. “Luis will need to harness that fire and use it to help him cover a large portion of the back row.” Doktor is confident they can fill the void left by graduated tri-captains Ed Colon, Anup Patel and Christian Hyra. Colon and Hyra

were named first team All-League and All-County, and were placed on the NJSCA Senior All-Star team. “We have a terrific team this year with real leadership and team mentality,” he said. “We have all the tools to go very far this season.” New players expected to make an impact are sophomore middle hitter Elvis Daniele, junior opposite Greg Hasaj, senior Mayank Desai and junior setter Anthony Nerio. Also contributing will be seniors Dan Pawlik (opposite), Frank Merino (outside hitter/defensive specialist) and Bilal Oz (opposite). Juniors Patryk Kornecki (defensive specialist) and Adam Szerplak (setter), as well as sophomores Nick Cordi (defensive specialist) and Mohammed Grudic (outside hitter) will also play a role on this year’s team.

Integrity • Vision • Leadership

Vote #3 Jack Houston Board of Education Tuesday, April 21, 2009 With Jack and his wife Anne are Rory, a 6th grader at WWMS and Maura, 18, a CHS Senior.

Let’s work together with calm, reasonable voices & fair leadership

We Have A Future In Our Schools PAID



April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Winter Sports by Jordan Schwartz

Wrestling Mustang grapplers captured their first league title in a decade, with a 14-8 record that also qualified the team for the State sectionals. Six wrestlers made regionals, including senior James DeLillo (135 lbs), who advanced all the way to the State tournament. “He was a great captain,” said third-year coach Dan Galeta. “He led by example and will be greatly missed.” DeLillo went 30-8 this season and accumulated nearly 100 wins during his high school career. Senior Jon Rideg (285 lbs) won districts and finished fourth at regionals, one spot away from qualifying for States. He was 19-4 this season and 61-33 during his time at CHS. Sophomore Elliot Garcia (140 lbs) also narrowly missed the State tournament and ended up with a record of 21-9. Senior Chris Harsaghy (103 lbs) was 18-13 and qualified for regionals with a third place finish at the district tournament. He finished with 50 victories in his career. Junior Brad Hornstra (12-9 at 152 lbs) and senior Mohammed Bekheet (18-11 at 171 lbs) also made it to regionals. Freshman Anthony Depasque (16-14 at 112 lbs) and senior John Rocabado (14-10 at 145 lbs) nearly made regionals as well, finishing fourth at the district event. And while Mohammed Bidas (130-140 lbs), a senior transfer from Kennedy High School in Paterson, 56

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Some of the top athletes from CHS’s winter sports season. From left, Michelle Ferrara (basketball), Jovany Avendano (swimming), Charlene Gustafson (swimming), Mike Cadmus (basketball), Sonja Shirak (bowling) and Mike Bierach (bowling).

didn’t wrestle at districts, he also helped the team make States. “He made our lineup much deeper and allowed everyone else to move around and match-up against other teams,” said Galeta.

Bowling A 10th consecutive Passaic County championship was the highlight of the girls bowling season. Led by All-County sophomore Sonja Shirak, the Lady Mustangs also finished second in the division. Shirak, who improved her average from 179 as a freshman to a leaguebest 208 this season, finished 15th at the individual State competition. “I’m overjoyed to have her two more years,” said All-County coach Brian Small. Shirak was joined by second team All-County junior Elena Mauro (140 average) and senior Natasha Casado

(149), as well as honorable mention recipients freshman Ashley Brandecker (128) and sophomore Kortney Casperino (120). The boys finished fourth in the division behind excellent efforts by first team All-League senior Mike Bierach (190), senior Jonathan Rodriguez (166), honorable mention All-County sophomore Kenny Bucaro (185) and seniors Justin Martinez (191) and Florentino Apostadero (170). Once again, Small will face the difficult task of replacing four seniors next year.

Swimming The swim team had an excellent showing at the Meet of Champions in Sewell on March 7 and 8. Five girls and one guy qualified for the event, but no one fared better than All-County senior Erica

Pangilinan. She finished eighth in the entire state in the 100 and 200 meter freestyle races. Pangilinan also anchored the 200 free relay team that broke the school record with a 21st place finish. She was joined on the squad by juniors Charlene Gustafson and Christina Habrahamshon, as well as senior Brenda Slazyk. Pangilinan, Gustafson and Habrahamshon teamed up with junior Daphne Bienkiewicz to finish 21st in the 400 free relay. While she didn’t make the Meet of Champions, sophomore Sarah Melnik won the County championship in the 100 breast stroke, took the silver medal at the Sectionals and third in the league. Senior Donna Balagtas made second team All-County in the 100 back stroke, while Candace Mariso and Elise Burnett earned honorable mention. Sophomore Jovany Avendano was the only boy to make the Meet

of Champions. He didn’t qualify for the finals in the 200 IM, but he placed 10th in the 100 backstroke. Senior Greg Nowicki finished second in both the 100 backstroke at the County meet and the 100 freestyle at the North Jersey Sectional Invitational in Bayonne. Sophomore Sergio Rojas made the All-County second team in the 200 freestyle, while Ryan Santiago and Joe Cornett earned honorable mention. Both the guys and girls teams finished 8-4 on the season. The ladies won their first county title, placed second in the section and third in the league. The boys, meanwhile, finished fifth in the county, league and sectional events. Andrea Bobby was named Passaic County Coach of the Year.

Hockey The Mustangs (14-8-3) won five more games than they did last winter and qualified for the State tour-

nament for the first time in three years. Their run ended with a 3-2 loss to eighth-seeded West Windsor North in the second round, but 22year coach Tom Danko still considered the season a success. “We really came on like gangbusters down the stretch,” he said. “Our power play really picked up, our defense was solid and our goaltenders became very consistent.” Mike Ferenc played 18 games in net with a goals against average of 3.19, while Dan Faller participated in 10 contests and had a GAA of 2.65. Also helping out in Clifton’s zone was second team All-County defenseman Sean Russell. Offensively, junior left wing Matt Whitford led all scorers with 20 goals and 15 assists. Tying for second in points with 22 were centers Anthony Smeriglio (sophomore) and Dom D’Anna (senior). The Mustangs lose seven seniors to graduation including Kyle Fitzpatrick (5g, 7a),

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Darius Podkanowicz (3g, 6a) and defenseman Geoff Philhower (4a). But there is still a good group of players set to return next year such as sophomore Brian Yip (9g, 12a) and juniors Marcin Konefal (2g, 3a), Mike Zawicki (3g, 1a) and Alec DeGraaf (3a).

Track Both the boys and girls teams captured league championships, with the girls also taking home their third straight county title and a second place finish at the State sectionals. First team All-County selections were Emily Urciouli, Eloisa Paredes, Kerry Sorenson and Kayla Santiago. Nathan Howard, Hanni Abukhater, Nathaniel Howard, Victor Almonte, Colleen Reynolds and Monika Miazga made second team, while honorable mention went to Karina Carmichael, Josie Redwing, Daniel Green and James Sahanas. The squad also had its largest group of All-League athletes. In addition to the county picks,


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Nathan Howard and Eloisa Paredes earned first team All-League honors for track.

Danielle Camacho, E. Rana, Jillian Swisher and Brenna Heisterman each made the first team. Second team selections were Amad Walojahi, Giancarlo Enriquez, Ivan Enriquez, Dante Glenn, Alonzo Thomas and Alexander Carter.

Honorable mention went to JaHee Allen and Nia Jackson. Girls coach John Pontes was named county Coach of the Year, but he credits a lot of the team’s success to assistants Andy Piotrowski, Kareem West and Lori McCoy.

Girls Basketball After graduating four seniors from the 2007-2008 team that went 7-14, few expected this season’s young squad to improve on that disappointing record. But they did. The 2008-2009 Lady Mustangs, with two sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup, went 1014, finishing the season with eight wins in 12 games. “I was really happy with how we came together at the end,” said fifthyear coach Tim Nellegar, who credited the midseason turnaround to a more favorable schedule and the fact that the girls were more comfortable playing with one another. Junior forward Michelle Ferrara (9 ppg, 7 rpg) led the way garnering first team All-League honors. She scored a team-high 15 points in the Lady Mustangs’ 55-30 first round loss to Passaic County Tech in the county tournament on Feb. 7. Her younger sister, sophomore point guard Megan Ferrara (7 ppg, 3 rpg), made second team and freshman Kim Douglas (6 ppg, 3 rpg) received honorable mention. “Kim started all 24 games for us and had some really solid stats for the year,” said Nellegar. “Megan did a great job for us in her first year.”

The coach also credited freshman Imani Dye for providing some valuable minutes off the bench. Felicia Castillo also contributed late in the season, including a nine point, 10 rebound, six assist effort against Newark East Side on Feb. 21. But two seniors made an impact as well. “Kristina Cordova was an excellent six man and starting guard Majdal Zaineh provided great leadership for us on and off the court,” said Nellegar. “She’ll be especially difficult to replace from an intangible standpoint.” Despite their departure, the coach is very excited to bring back four of five starters for next season. “We’ve built a real strong nucleus,” he said.

Boys Basketball Despite a 4-19 record, new coach Tommie Patterson was pleasantly surprised with the effort put forth by his players. “When I was at Paterson Catholic and Eastside, the kids would quit after losing two games, but these guys kept working hard and came to practice on time every day,” he said. But the consistency during games just wasn’t there as the Mustangs turned the ball over way too often.

“I think a lot of that had to do with the kids being afraid, just not knowing how to play the game due to a lack of experience,” said Patterson, who has been coaching for the past 17 years. Senior Mike Cadmus was a bright spot, however. The second team All-League forward scored a season-high 21 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in Clifton’s 6760 first round loss to Passaic in the county tournament. Fellow swingman and All-League honorable mention recipient Doug DiFalco came on late in the season and junior guard Nick Lavender was among the squad’s leading scorers. Contributions also came from Emilio Polanco, Lamont McCrae, Ryan Gunn, Chris Oliver, Angel Cepeda and Mohammed Niwash. Patterson’s goals for the offseason include getting all of his returning athletes into the weight room.


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April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Busting Up Gangland Drugs. Gangs. Guns. Prostitutes. A team of just seven officers covering 11.4 square miles, trying to protect over 80,000 people. It’s rather astonishing that the Clifton Police Gang Related Task Force covers that much ground with so little man power. And it’s down right impressive to learn how successful they are at their job despite being undermanned. According to Detective Steve Berge, Clifton only makes up about five percent of the gang population in Passaic County, despite being the third largest municipality. These officers manage to keep Clifton’s streets safe, despite the municipality bordering the crimestricken cities of Passaic and Paterson. For that reason, the Gang Related Task Force is this year’s recipient of the Judge Joseph Salerno Respect for Law Award. “It’s very nice that someone recognizes the stuff that you’re 60

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

doing,” said Berge. “Obviously, it’s the whole group that gets the award. We try hard to keep things under wraps around here.” The Task Force, headed by Sgt. Bill Gibson, includes Berge, Randy Colondres, John Kavakich, Steve Farrell, Rocco Locantore and Wayne Stine. It was created in 2005 as a branch of the nowdefunct Community Police division, in response to the urban evolution of Clifton. “Gangs are always going to be here,” said Berge. “We definitely see more on the east side of town than the west side of town. And in Clifton Commons, they come from Essex County and come to recruit.” The detectives keep an eye on the streets, but never let the criminals spot them. That is, unless the cops want to make their presence known. Without seeing a glimmer off of the handcuffs or hearing the crackle of a radio, there’s no indication

Story by Joe Hawrylko

that the man next to you is a cop. These burly, plain-clothed officers must think like criminals, but act like the police. There’s long hours, stake outs and lots of ugly work that receives little recognition, until a bust is finally made. This outside observation allows the detectives to monitor movements and strategize. Over the years, gangs have evolved, and ethnic lines have been crossed, all to increase membership numbers. “The face is no longer segregated. You can be an Albanian Latin King, for example,” said Berge. “It has changed pretty dramatically in the last five or 10 years. They’re just looking for numbers. I recently saw a Polish kid—who speaks Polish—and he was a Blood.” The business endeavors of these groups have changed as well. Gangs have traditionally been tied to drugs and prostitution, hence the doubling of the Task Force as a narcotics

Optimist Club Awards May 17, 4 pm • Boys & Girls Club Detective Steve Berge (at center) with some of the other members of the Clifton Gang Related Task Force.

agency. However, there is now more ways to push a product or service. “Gangs are in the computer age,” said Berge. “A good portion of the prostitutes on Craigslist have some kind of gang affiliation.” The crime element in the city isn’t really centered around gangs with a national influence, such as the Bloods, Crips or Latin Kings. Rather, it’s small groups of mostly high schoolers that are limited to neighborhoods and dabble in petty crime. “It varies. It goes from little cliques, which generally result in a lot of little fights in or out of the high school,” Berge said. “Or, you could be dealing with a guy who is a five star general Blood. We had that, but he’s in prison now for homicide.” The detective said that his anecdote about the high ranking Blood member is a rare instance. Most kids don’t stick with their crew for long once they realize just how dangerous it is. “Maybe one or two of every 10 involved continues the crime activity,” Berge said. “But you never want to use the term ‘wanna-be’ because they’re as real as anyone, and maybe want to prove themselves.” Knowing that some of the kids are just looking for respect, Berge said that his personal strategy is to establish his presence and just talk to kids as a way to diffuse situations before they get out of control. “I try to find out who is running the show and then go right to the top and say, ‘If I see this, I’m coming to you,’” he explained. “We stay on top of them until it’s almost annoying, and they either conduct

their business away from here or we shut them down.” While this method is successful in quelling problems and locking up criminals, it sometimes produces another result: rehabilitation. Berge said that many gang members join because of the environment around them. Many are just people who made poor decisions. “A lot are likeable kids, and you hope the best for them,” he said.

“Is it a phase? Some kids stick with it, but I’ve seen some become decent people and go to college.” That’s the best result for everyone: the streets are safe and lives are saved. And, despite the hands on approach by the Task Force, much credit goes to the uniformed officers. “Without the information we get from our patrol division, we can’t produce,” said Berge. “It’s a departmental award as far as I’m concerned.”

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Nikischer Family’s Community Service Award Story by Joe Hawrylko You can’t go into Botany Village without running into one of the Nikischers. Their presence is everywhere: on the board of Clifton’s Historic Botany District, the neighborhood’s annual Labor Day festival, at J. Michael’s Florist or at the True Colors Winter Guard events. The family has left their stamp on Botany Village and Clifton with their tireless volunteer efforts, which is why they are sharing this year’s Stanley Zwier Community Service Award.


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

At the helm of the family is ‘Big Joe’ Nikischer and his wife, Arlene, who have been together for 51 years. The community spirit in the family started with the couple in the ’70s, when they started working with the Garfield Cadets feeder program, the Plebes. Their dedication allowed the Cadets to thrive. They were also part of a group, dubbed the Dirty Dozen, that helped rescue the Cadets from bankruptcy through fundraisers. Their love for this performance passed on to their son, Joe, who now heads the True Colors Winter Guard

Optimist Club Awards May 17, 4 pm • Boys & Girls Club The third generation of Nikischers (far left) takes part in the True Colors Winter Guard, which was founded by her uncle Joe. They practice at School 3 on Washington Ave.

in Clifton. He started performing when he was just seven, and took over as director of the Plebes in 1979. After they disbanded, he went on to numerous other groups and served as a judge for the Metropolitan Association of Adjudicators. In 2005, he set his eyes on Clifton for a city color guard, and in 2006, the Winter Guard was born. Starting with just five members, the group won the NEIA Junior Division championship in just its first year. Over time, True Colors expanded to 24 members and two units. It’s truly a family affair, with Joe’s brother, Jon and his wife, Jennifer, also pitching in to help. Jennifer serves as the associate director and instructor, while Jon handles the rifle drills. Joe Sr. and Arlene still serve as advisors to the Winter Guard, which is sponsored by the Recreation Department. In addition to the True Colors, the Nikischers find other ways to improve the community around them. With their involvement on the CHBD and the Botany Village Merchants Association, Botany has become a

cleaner, safer and more vibrant neighborhood. They’ve helped coordinate the Blues Crawl, the Botany tree lighting and the annual Labor Day festival, which all draw walk-in shoppers from other areas. There are the little things, too. Joe Jr. maintains the district’s simple and easy to navigate website, Jon and Jennifer play the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Claus during Christmas season. No task is too big or too small. Three generations of Nikischers have been helping Botany Village and the community at large. If you need a hand, count on a Nikischer.

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Four Decades of Service In this age of upward mobility and workplace turnaround, it is difficult to find individuals who have worked for the same company for more than a few years. How remarkable, then, to find an individual who has worked at the same facility for 38 years. It is even more remarkable when one considers that the work has been performed as a volunteer. Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute (DMC), however, has inspired that depth of loyalty in Helen Sanders, who was honored by the Daughters of Miriam Auxiliary as “Woman of the Year” and the Center’s volunteer department as “Volunteer of the Year” in 2004. And now, Sanders can add to her mantle the Stanley Zwier Community Service Award.

Helen Sanders is receiving the Optimist’s Stanley Zwier Community Service Award.

Ms. Helen, as she is affectionately known, began her career at DMC in 1966 driving other volunteers to and from the Center. Their enthusiasm drew her in and she thought there might be a place for

her as a volunteer. The rest, as they say, is history. She began by wheeling residents to the physical therapy gym or into the dining room at mealtimes. After a short while, a resident

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April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


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Optimist Club Awards May 17, 4 pm • Boys & Girls Club Many remember the late Joseph James Salerno, at left, as the honorable Passaic County Superior Court Judge, a position held until his death in 1992. But to Cliftonites, Judge Salerno, a longtime Optimist, was also respected for his contributions to his hometown. To commemorate his association with Clifton, Judge Salerno’s name will forever be associated with the Clifton Optimist Club’s Respect For Law Award. The Clifton Optimist Club’s Community Service Award is a fitting tribute to the late Clifton Mayor and longtime Optimist Stanley Zwier, at right, because Zwier was involved in many community events, even up until his death in 1999.

whom Helen had befriended, told her how much she missed reading since her eyesight had deteriorated. Helen went to her local library, checked out large print books, and brought them along with her. As happens so often with Helen, that one simple act grew until a reading club was formed. As a volunteer, Helen took on many responsibilities; however, it was when the director of volunteer services asked Helen to help out with a flea market that she truly found her niche. She worked alongside fellow auxiliary members as they raised $1,800 for Center programs in one weekend in 1979. Subsequently, the flea market became an annual event and Helen became its chairwoman. She ran successful sales for years before deciding that a year-round thrift shop could raise even more funds. With the help of fellow auxilian Adele Rebell, Helen raised the money to transform a vacant space at the Center into the thrift shop. Opened in 1999, the shop was later renamed the Helen Sanders Thrift Shop in her honor. The Thrift Shop has since expanded raising over $40,000 annually for the Center. Open Mon.,

The Annual Friend of Youth Beefsteak is on May 17 at 4 pm at the Boys & Girls Club on Colfax Ave. Sponsored by the Clifton Optimist Club, those being honored include Jennifer Miller, Mary Fisher, Tom Corradino Sr and Jr, Joe Jeffers, Mike Spearing, Helen Sanders, the Nikischer family and the Gang Related Task Force of the CPD and Sheriff’s Dept. Tickets are $40. Call club president Mike Gimon at 973-779-5810 or members Joe Bionci at 973-472-1707 or Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400 or go to Bringing Out the Best in Kids is the theme of Optimist Clubs worldwide. The Clifton Chapter, while small in number, is involved in positive service projects aimed at providing a helping hand and being a Friend of Youth. By believing in young people and empowering them to be the best they can, Optimist volunteers make this world a better place to live.

Wed. and Fri. from 10 am to 3 pm, the Thrift Shop is a labor of love for Helen, who lives in Fair Lawn. Last year she spent 1,122 hours working in the Shop, a total which earned her the Volunteer of the Year award. In her years volunteering, Helen has donated over 25,000 hours of her time in service to the elderly at Daughters of Miriam Center. The Daughters of Miriam Auxiliary also benefits from Helen’s boundless spirit. While most who hold her title—president emeritus—are content to rest on their laurels, that is not true with Helen. Her boundless energy at 90 years old keeps her in the thick of

things, planning programs and recruiting new members. In 1982 she was also appointed to the Center’s Board of Trustees and serves as a member of the Executive Committee. Recognized by other organizations as well, Helen was awarded the Frances Black Award by Friends Health Connection in 2001 and, in 1991, was named “Volunteer of the Year” by the Volunteer Action Center of Passaic County. At the volunteer luncheon, Director of Volunteer and Student Services Carole Samuel said, “No matter what her job, Helen devotes herself heart and soul. We are truly fortunate to have her as a volunteer.” April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


April 18 CHS Back to the ’80s Reunion: The Classes of ’82, ’83 and ’84 are holding a reunion on April 18 at Mario’s on Van Houten Ave. Call 973-777-1559. The CHS Marching Band is holding a bakeless bake sale to benefit the band’s scholarship fund. Save the money you were going to spend on cakes and cookies and instead help the band by making a check out to the CHS PTSA Band Parents Assoc. Mail them to MaryEllen Wiles, P.O. Box 642, Clifton, NJ 07012. The band is also holding a buffet breakfast from 8:30 to 11:30 am on April 26 at the Moose Lodge #657, 1268 Main Ave. A $6 donation includes a full meal and all proceeds benefit the scholarship fund. Send advanced ticket requests to the address above. WWMS will be holding its annual Tricky Tray on April 24 at the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton. Ticket are $10. Table sections will be reserved for parties of 10 or more. Tickets

The kids who participate in the Boys & Girls Club After School Program, which is underwritten by JCPenney, along with Club Executive Director Bob Foster (left) and JCPenney of Willowbrook Store Manager Joseph Bruno. Foster said support from the business community is always welcome. To find out how you, your company, or a civic group can contribute to the Club, call 973-773-0966.

must be purchased in advance and will not be sold the day of the event. Doors open at 6:30 pm. There will be hundreds of great prizes as well

as a 50/50 raffle. For tickets, call 973-546-5111 or 973-546-0758 write to or

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April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Julia Young, the 15-year-old daughter of Young Brothers chef and CHS 1981 grad Jerry Young, suffered burns over 80 percent of her body following a camping accident in Harriman, NY last month. She will need successive surgeries, emotional counseling and home schooling for up to four years and the cost of treatment is not something the Youngs can afford. Fundraising events are being planned; Cliftonites looking to help should call Young Brothers Deli on Van Houten Ave. at 973-777-6644.

Join the St. Peter’s Pacers as they walk in the 15th Annual Parkinson’s Unity Walk in Central Park on April 25. A bus will transport participants from St. Peter’s Church on Clifton Ave. to New York City. For details, call 973546-5020 or visit The Bunny Bash, sponsored by the Clifton Rec Dept., will be held April 11 at 9:30 am at Nash Park for children 3 to 12 and dogs. There will be a variety of activities including an Easter egg hunt. Before the Bash begins, join the

Easter Bunny for breakfast at the Hot Grill at 7:30 am. For more information, call 973-470-5956. The 4th annual CCMS cutathon for Locks of Love is on June 1 at Christoper Columbus Middle School. Participants get their hair cut by stylists from Salon Ilona on Clifton Ave. The sheared locks are used to make real wigs for kids who have lost their hair due to illness. Visit or contact sixth grade teacher Kim Dreher at or call her at 973-769-0500.

A Tricky Tray sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton will be held on May 8 at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $15 and include one bidding sheet, dessert and coffee. Must be 18 to enter. Call 973-773-2697 x52. The Coalition for Brain Injury Research’s “Italian Night at the Brownstone” dinner is on May 7 at the Brownstone. Tickets are $50 and include beer, wine and soda, the comedy of Uncle Floyd and music by DJ Express. Proceeds benefit the search for a brain injury cure. Call Dennis Benigno at 973-632-2066. The CHS Lacrosse Booster Club’s beefsteak tricky tray is on April 17 at 6:30 pm the Boys & Girls Club. Tickets are $30; call 973-772-6288. The St. Philips Knights of Columbus recently presented a $5,000 check to Several Sources Shelters. The funds were raised through the Baby Bottle Boomerang program. The Knights are also sponsoring a communion breakfast at the church on April 19 at 9 am. Tickets are $10 per person or $25 per family. Call 973-473-4530. Angels of Animals Spring Kitten Shower & Breakfast is May 2 at 11 am at the Mountainside Inn on Hazel St. Tickets are $35; 973-518-3025. April 2009 • Clifton Merchant



April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Remembering James Amoruso: Join the celebration of the short, but wonderful life of James Amoruso at the second annual Beers Not Tears—James Amoruso Memorial Scholarship Benefit at the Shannon Rose in Clifton Commons on April 18 at 9 pm. A minimum donation of $10 will be collected at the door. Last year, more than $9,000 was raised and two $2,500 scholarships were given to a male and female Clifton High School student. Amoruso, 25, died in a car accident on April 15, 2007. The 2000 CHS grad worked as a juvenile probation officer in Dover, Delaware and was attending classes to receive his master’s. A Good Friday Cross Walk will be held on April 10. Those taking part will meet at Athenia Reformed Church on Clifton Ave. at 1 pm and

The second annual Beers Not Tears—James Amoruso Memorial Scholarship Benefit will be held at the Shannon Rose in Clifton Commons on April 18 at 9 pm.

walk to City Hall. Along the way, participants will pray the Biblical Stations of the Cross, sing hymns and carry a cross. For more information, call the 1st Presbyterian Church on Maplewood Ave. at 973-523-1272.

First Presbyterian Church of Clifton pastor Rev. Cheryl Kincaid and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Rev. Peter De Franco, along with United Reformed Church of Clifton and Passaic Rev. Michael Weber, Hope Reformed Church Rev. Steve Wolter, First Lutheran Church Rev. Jeff Miller and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Deacon Lorraine Dughi invite Cliftonites to participate in a Good Friday Cross Walk at 1 pm.

Clifton Democratic Club Chair John D. Pogorelec, Jr., Esq., will host a school board candidates night at 7 pm on April 14 at City Hall. The forum will provide an opportunity for all residents to meet the candidates and assess their positions on various public policy issues concerning the BOE. For info, call 973-778-1604. Senior Freeze tax rebate: Due to an overwhelming demand for applications for the Senior Freeze tax rebate program, Assemblyman Tom Giblin has posted the application and instructions for the refund to his website at Both documents can be printed directly from that location. Any questions, call 973-779-3125. April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Find a Cure: Relay for Life According to the American Cancer Society, one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life. In this country, there are over 10 million survivors alone. And on May 16, there’s an opportunity to help find a cure. The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is an overnight walka-thon designed to raise funds to find a cure for cancer and its many variants. In the city, the event will be held at Clifton Stadium, starting at 2 pm on Saturday and ending the following day at 6 am. For some participants, walking isn’t just to find a cure, it’s a celebration of life. Chris Liszner is a survivor of Hodgkins Disease, which has been in remission for 10 years now. Liszner will be walking with the Red Hat Angels, one of 16 teams participating in the event. Currently, more than 80 people are signed up, and over $13,000 has been raised. The RedHat Angels currently rank third on the website

Pictured here are some of the participants in the Relay for Life. In the front row, from left, is Barbara Mack, Janet Wells, Christine Nydam, Arleen Bador and Jamie Flynn. In the back is Joann Mack, Relay Co-Chair Melissa DeMolli, Johannah Purdon, Mary Ann Hageneder and Nicole O'Connell. with $2,590 raised. Liszner has contributed $855. Prior to the relay event, several teams will be holding fundraising events at local restaurants. The RedHat Angels will collect 20 percent off of a pretax check from all orders at Pennella’s, 510 Van Houten Ave., on April 27 and 28, between 11 am and 9 pm.

The Red Hat Society celebrates its 11th anniversary on April 25. Some of the members, from left, Janet Mozolewski, MaryAnn Hageneder, Chris Liszner, Betsy Klos, Jane Beck, Joann Mack and Marianne Kassel. 70

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Money Raised by Red Hat Angels Chris Liszner Mary Ann Hageneder Janet Wells Joann Mack Arleen Bador Todd Liszner Jennifer Pearson

$855 $545 $525 $225 $200 $120 $120


If you’d like to join or support the Red Hat Angels, contact Liszner at 973-777-7797. For more on the event, call Mike Rossi at 973-772-5500 or e-mail him at The Dizzy Dames of Unknown Fame, Clifton Red Hat Chapter will be celebrating the 11th anniversary of the Red Hat Society on April 25. The day will be marked with a proclamation signing with Mayor James Anzaldi. The Dames have 58 members and have been a chapter for six years. Interested women over 50 should visit

Theater League of Clifton Presents:

Lend Me a Tenor Mark Peterson

Pat Woodward

Lend me a Tenor, the Tony Award winning play by Ken Ludwig, will be staged by The Theater League of Clifton on April 17-19 and 24-26 at CHS. Set in 1934, the farce revolves around renowned tenor Tito Merelli, known to his fans as “Il Stupendo,” who is scheduled to sing the lead in Ohello, produced as a gala fundraiser for the Cleveland Opera Company. Unfortunately, even before the star leaves his hotel room, everything begins to unravel. Chaos ensues when Merelli’s wife, who has mistaken an autograph-seeker hidden in his closet for a secret lover, leaves him a “Dear John” letter. The distraught Merelli accidentally is given a double dose of tranquilizers to calm him and passes out. Saunders, the company’s General Manager, is determined the show must go on (for his own financial sake), so he asks his assistant Max to impersonate the opera star. Max puts on the blackface makeup required for the role of Otello, and his disguise succeeds admirably—until Merelli, also in blackface, wakes up and heads for the stage. What follows is a chain-reaction of mistaken identity, plot twists, double entendres, innuendoes, and constant entrances and exits through many doors. Call 973-458-9579 or visit Pictured here are some of the cast and crew.

Frank Salensky

Stephanie Smith

Colin Van Horn

Leo Hatem

John Bertrand

Denise Dickens

Sarah Fusco

Sandy Robertson

Barbara Liebgott

Theresa Lyons

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April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


Seton Hall University’s Center for Global Education keeps Clifton and Ukraine connected. A longtime connection between various cities in Ukraine and our city got stronger thanks to Hot Bagels Abroad owner Anthony DiMarco and his wife Maribel Roman, CoDirector of the Center for Global Education at SHU. On March 26, five Ukrainian teachers met with Clifton Mayor Jim Anzaldi and other officials as part of an exchange program funded by the Constitution Rights Foundation as part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. From March 22 to 29, the group visited the college, New York City, schools in northern New Jersey and other sites of interest. During their luncheon in Clifton, they were also greeted by Peter Rybchuk, an emigre from Ukraine who is the founding editor and publisher of the Ukrainian language paper Zakordonna Gazette.

Clifton Neighborhood Crime Watch: ACTION Clifton and the City Council are re-establishing a crime watch. The city will be divided up into sections and each area will have a minimum of two

Back row, standing from left, James Daly, Co-Director of the Center for Global Education at Seton Hall University; Ukrainian teachers Tatiana Kravchuk and Elena Burda, Tom Siso, Sr. who helped with arrangements, and Anthony DiMarco, owner of Hot Bagels Abroad. Sitting from left, Ihor Sushchenko; Ukraine Site Coordinator Peter Rybchuk, Ukrainian teachers Grigori Freiman and Roman Kozich with Maribel Roman, Co-Director Center for Global Education at SHU.

St. John’s Church

Anglican + Episcopal

Lafayette & Passaic Avenues Passaic • 973-779-0966 Father William Thiele, Rector

All are Welcome

Palm Sunday - April 5 8 am Blessing and Distribution of Palms and Low Mass 10:30 am Blessing and Distribution of Palms, Procession and Sung Mass Mon., Tues, and Wed. in Holy Week - April 6, 7 and 8 7:30 pm Low Mass Maundy Thursday - April 9 7:30 pm Sung Mass, Procession and Vigil Good Friday - April 10 10 am Morning Prayer & Vigil before the Blessed Sacrament 12 noon The Good Friday Liturgy 7:30 pm Evening Prayer and Stations of the Cross Holy Saturday - April 11 7:30 pm Great Vigil of Easter; Sung Mass with Baptisms Easter Sunday - April 12 8 am Low Mass 10:30 am Procession and Sung Mass 72

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

“Captains” who must have an active e-mail account. The goal is for each city block to have a “Captain” as well. Those interested should e-mail Pat Blair at

1970s. 1980s. 1990s. Today. Genworth Life Insurance Company has been a leader in long term care insurance for a long time. You may not know Genworth Life by name. But, chances are, you know someone who benefits from their strength and stability. For over 30 years, their Long Term Care Insurance Division has been an industry leader. Today Genworth Life has nearly one million policyholders* and has paid out over $2.3 billion in long term care claims.* For further details on the costs, benefits, limitations and exclusions of a Genworth Life Long Term Care Insurance policy, contact:

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The Police Unity Tour Spaghetti Dinner held on March 29 at the Boys & Girls Club was a great success, thanks to family and friends. Funds raised will help support officers from Clifton, Passaic and William Paterson University (some are pictured above) to bike to Washington D.C. (see next page for details). Many thanks to those who donated goods and services, including: Neil’s Pizza & Restaurant of Harding Ave. for homemade marinara sauce, musical entertainment by Brookwood, Larry Torres of Barilla for providing the pasta, Bloomfield resident Louis Sasso for donating 50 pounds of pasta and 16 pounds of sauce, and Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and Armando’s Bakery for supplying the desserts. Turn the page for more ways you can support the effort.

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant



provided by Allwood Bicycles A Clifton team of 10 will participate in the 2009 Police Unity Tour. This annual 300 mile bicycle ride leaves NJ on May 9 in an effort to raise awareness of police officers who have died in the line of duty. The second goal is to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Details at Participants include Randy Colondres, Derek Fogg, Brian Fopma, John Kavakich, Robert Bais, William Bais, Stephen Berge, Gary Giardina, Michael McLaughlin and Tom Hawrylko. The group must raise $17,000 and asks the community to support the effort by purchasing tickets to these fundraisers. For info, see any Clifton Police Officer or call Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400.

120 Market St. Clifton • 973-574-9001

1 in 250 Chance of Winning This Trek 7.2 FX is worth over $500 and only 250 tickets will be sold at $20 each. Checks should be made payable to Clifton PBA. Proceeds benefit the Police Unity Tour. The drawing is at 8 pm on April 30 at TGI Fridays, Route 3, Clifton. No monetary value. Winner has option of male or female bicycle.

0 9 r o t p a R a h a ‘09 Yam

vehicle supplied by Motorcycle Mall, Belleville

Raptor has a This 2009 90cc Yamaha ly 200 tickets MSRP of $2500 and on ch. Checks will be sold at $25 ea to Clifton should be made payable the Police PBA. Proceeds benefit is at 8 pm on Unity Tour. The drawing ys, Route 3, April 30 at TGI Frida lue. Clifton. No monetary va


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

g in n in W f o e c n a h C 0 1 in 20

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Bygone News provides a glimpse into the events occurring in Acquackanonk (now Clifton) 100 and 50 years ago. While topics illustrate the evolution of a rural Acquackanonk Township into the Clifton of today, no doubt readers will also notice how some issues seem timeless.

April 1909 High winds turned “a two-story frame house, nearing completion on the Yereance tract in Clifton, half way about.” Construction on new buildings in Madison Ave stopped when “several scaffolds were blown away and pedestrians had narrow escape from injury by the flying timbers.” Delawanna reported “considerable damage about town, numberless chicken coops and outhouses being blown over and in several instances small buildings were carried a number of feet from their original position.” Temperature fluctuations had “a half dozen boys swimming in Weasel Brook, not far distant from Lexington Ave., reminding one of ‘good old Summer time’ and a few days later the same boys were wearing ear muffs.” Delawanna’s Taxpayer’s Association held its annual election of officers for the coming year. “A. J. Van Brunt was unanimously

Bygone News As collected & edited by Clifton Historian Don Lotz chosen to succeed himself as president, as was Allen N. Conover as vice-president. N. P. Van Brunt was unanimously chosen as secretary to succeed F. E. Lilienthal who declined the nomination and L. L. Walters was again chosen to fill the position of treasurer. “The association is now one year old and has accomplished great things and plans are being formulated for a number of reforms and improvements which will be undertaken in the near future.” Assemblyman Edward Thomas Moore “tried to arrange a hearing (April 7, 1909) for the citizens of Delawanna who want annexation to Passaic, but could not.” The Clifton annexation bill, introduced by “Mr. Moore, excludes Delawanna. Mr. Moore has a numerously signed petition for the annexation of Delawanna to Passaic, as follows: “We, the undersigned, residents and taxpayers of Delawanna, are heartily in favor of annexing our district to Passaic, feeling that such a move would be a benefit to all concerned and knowing the

great expense we would be put to as a self-governed borough.” The petition was signed by 53 individuals and 2 companies. The Acquackanonk Township Committee held its regular monthly meeting April 6, 1909 and all members were present. “The treasurer reported a cash balance of $4,111.24, the poor-master reported disbursements of $121.04, and the clerk reported $36.50 received for licenses and wagon plates.” The committee awarded the contract for heating their meeting room in CHS to John Foley whose bid was $90. “On motion of George Schmidt the committee made arrangements to install radiators, lighting fixtures and cover the floor in linoleum.” Clifton Firemen held a threeday fair and “left no stone unturned to offer the highest grade of entertainment. The Arion Society and Quartet, Botany Singing Society, and Passaic Maennerchor sang on different evenings. The Passaic Mandolin Club performed and Professors Jahn and Felsman

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April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Dorando Pietri outran Matt Maloney at Clifton Stadium April 25, 1909 in their 15 mile match race. The same two competed April 3 at the Polo Grounds, pictured above, when Henri St. Yves won. St. Yves won another 15 mile race at Clifton Race Track on April 18. Pietri was the world famous marathoner that finished first at the London 1908 Olympic marathon, but was disqualified because race officials assisted him four times, after collapsing, on his way to the finish line.

rendered flute solos. Dancing was indulged in each night under the leadership of Prof. Van Hassel. ” The contest for most popular fireman in Acquackanonk was

won by Joseph C. Muller, chief of Albion Place Fire Company No. 1. “Rose Keys was voted the most popular teacher… The fair was a great success financially and a surplus large enough to provide

Fire Company No. Three with the necessary apparatus is assured.” The Acquackanonk Firemen also participated in a parade sponsored by the Lakeview Company. “The companies taking part

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April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


“The new baseball grounds will be located this season in the vacant lots near Main Ave., between Clinton and Hadley Ave. Before the end of the week (April 7, 1909). were the Lakeview, the Clifton with 32 members and their truck, the West Clifton with 42 members and their new hose carriage, and the Albion Place Company with 20 members and their chemical engine.” “The Passaic County Driving Club held its first matinee race meet of the season on the Clifton Race Track [Monday April 12]… The meet was a decided success


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

and a big crowd of lovers of harness racing saw four heats, but the crowding of the spectators on the track created an obstacle course for the drivers. There was no admission charged and this had to do with bringing out a lot of youngsters who kept the drivers in terror of running over them, as they would dash across the track.” Driver Fred Gardener was knocked unconscious at the April

24 trotting races at the Clifton Driving Park. Driving William Shorter’s horse Fred S., Gardener was neck and neck with John Gyles’s horse Goggendyck at the quarter pole when they came upon another rig practicing. “There was no time to turn out and Gardener’s wheel struck the other rig. Gardener was thrown about ten feet into the air and landed on his head and right side. Dr. E. Meloney, of Clifton, was sent for and took care of the injured man, who was removed to his home at the Clifton Hotel.” Baseball season opened April 11 in Delawanna with the “Delawanna A. C. defeating the Bergen Star A. C. on the Delawanna grounds by a score of 11 to 8, in a game notable for its good, steady work, especially by the Delawanna boys, who certainly have a strong team.” Clifton’s baseball outlook also looked promising for 1909. “The new baseball grounds will be located this season in the vacant lots near Main Ave., between Clinton and Hadley Ave. Before the end of the week (April 7, 1909), the grounds will be put in good shape, when the season will be opened and practice will commence in earnest. Clifton will be well represented this season.” Clifton’s Civic League met and discussed how “street lights, garbage collection, and improved train, postal, and telegraph service” would benefit the residents in the community. The Erie station agent advised that if residents bought “their tickets at the Clifton Station, the chances of better service would be much greater.”

Postmaster Duffus said “the town had grown so that it was now impossible to make two deliveries daily in all sections.” Receipts were down so more help would not ensue, Postmaster Duffus urged residents to buy their stamps at the Clifton post office to increase receipts. “All present agreed hereafter to buy their stamps in Clifton… and for the present it was decided to drop the question of telegraph service.” H. G. Scheel, & Co., real estate, next to Clifton post office advertised homes for sale ranging from $1,950 for 5 rooms to $4,300 for a 7 room “Montclair style” house. Annexation of Clifton to Passaic being the selling point: “Everybody is talking about Clifton, what a pretty place it is and what bright prospects it has for the future and that it is only a question of time when it will be a ward of the city of Passaic and

receive the benefits of all city improvements. When that time arrives you will regret that you didn’t purchase a house while property was cheap.”

April 1959 Clifton’s Civil Defense Council met and “voted to purchase 5 General Electric LoudspeakerSiren Combination Sets for use in the Police Department’s Radio Squad Cars.” Walkie-talkie sets were also bought under the Federal Government’s FC-DA Matching Fund Program. “After a lengthy discussion, Richard Hornsby, Executive Secretary was ordered to investigate the possibility of Clifton’s obtaining a hospital unit through the Federal Government Personal Property Surplus Program.” The modifications of the plans for the new Senior High School continued with the Citizen’s Committee cutting 43,000 sq ft to

reduce the cost by almost $1,000,000. The BOE voted 7 to 1 for tentative approval of the Citizen’s Committee changes “and authorized Architect Arthur Rigolo to seek approval in Trenton of these preliminary plans.” The next week the State BOE gave “tentative approval to the preliminary plans for the new high school.” An additional meeting will be held to review the 33 seat classroom configurations, before “giving Architect Rigolo the green light to go ahead with final plans.” The BOE “gag action” was extended to “ban the traditional distribution of minutes of the meeting to principals, PTAs, and others outside of the board.” The original “gag” stated that all school personnel “could not approach any member of the board or the full board on any please turn to page 82

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


New arrivals, from left, Louis & Nicole Magliarditi’s daughter Gianna Marie on Nov. 24; Tom & Lindsay Moore’s son Jack Robert on Feb. 25; and Margaret & Gregory Nysk’s daughter Olivia Margaret on Nov. 4. At right, Damian Robert Calvo turns three on April 13.

Birthdays & Celebrations! send dates & names...

Filomena ‘Minnie’ Mayo celebrates 80 years on April 18.

Joe Hawrylko (left) turns 24 on April 27, his brother Tom Jr. is 22 on April 16 & their pal, Bob Marley is 35 on April 4. Karen Goldey . . . Timothy Hayes . . Hetal Patel . . . . . . Raymond DeDios Carl DiGisi . . . . . . . Eric Homsany . . . . Kevin John Lord . . Markian Ivan Tytla Joey Scotto . . . . . Bo Franko . . . . . . . Sabrina Greco . . .

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‘The Terror of the Philippines,’ Rudy Zajak, (left) is 95 on April 17.

Wafa Othman . . . . . . . . . Mark Peterson . . . . . . . . . Bob Tanis . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joe Franek . . . . . . . . . . . . Sharon Koribanics . . . . . . Jessica Mondelli . . . . . . . Luke Kulesa . . . . . . . . . . . Donna Mangone . . . . . . Patricia Colman . . . . . . . Sheryll Franko . . . . . . . . . . Jackie Henderson . . . . . . Jeff Murcko . . . . . . . . . . . Emma Gretina . . . . . . . . . Brian Firstmeyer . . . . . . . . Leila Gasior . . . . . . . . . . . Corky Holms . . . . . . . . . . . Felipe Rivera . . . . . . . . . . Erin Smith . . . . . . . . . . . . . Debbie Tucker . . . . . . . . . Doreen Delancy-Williams Josh Ontell . . . . . . . . . . . . Lisa Kulesa . . . . . . . . . . . . Adam Pienciak . . . . . . . . Robert Monzo . . . . . . . . . Linda Humphrey . . . . . . .

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Anniversaries... Joe & Darlene Franek, 4/6 • Peter & Eileen Fierro, 4/18 • Charlie & Frances Stek, 4/28 80

April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

Carlos & Dayana Sotamba cut the cake on Dec. 6, 2008. Joseph P. Koribanics Peter Fierro . . . . . . . . Jason Dubnoff . . . . . Bryan Rodriguez . . . John Anderson . . . . Jeff Camp . . . . . . . . Alicia Rose Aste . . . . Lori Hart . . . . . . . . . . Alyssa Tucker . . . . . . Mike Tresca . . . . . . . Danny Gorun . . . . . . John Pogorelec, Jr. . Marc Scancarella . . Katie Michelotti . . . . Brianna A. Pastore . Buddy Czyzewski . . . Stephanie Magaster Jillian Mangone . . . . Daniel Ricca . . . . . . Elise Termyna . . . . . . Mike Grimaldi . . . . . Michael Press . . . . . . April Graham . . . . . . Stephen Camp, Jr. . Paul Colman . . . . . . Heather Halasz . . . . Christine Klein . . . . .

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John & Donna Hawrylko mark their 30th anniversary on April 28.


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant


In an April, 1959 City Council meeting, FMBA counsel Mervyn Montgomery also recommended the Council “reduce the firemen’s week from 63 to 56 hours…” matter without first securing the permission of the superintendent of schools. The tightening of the iron curtain around BOE affairs had veteran observers wondering just what the next step will be.” The Passaic Valley Citizen’s Planning Association “developed a proposed plan to establish a oneway traffic loop between Clifton and Paterson by converting Main Ave. into a southbound highway


April 2009 • Clifton Merchant

and Getty Ave. into a northbound road” for the Clifton Planning Board. The planning board will next meet with the Passaic County Engineer and “the City Council has already tentatively approved further exploration of the plan.” Mayor Stanley Zwier proclaimed “the week beginning May 3 as National Youth Fitness Week and I urge parents, young people, and interested local organizations, to use all appropriate

means during that week to promote programs and activities demonstrating the importance of youth fitness to the end that we may assure the continuing strength and well-being of our people.” The City Council approved the addition of 8 firemen, increasing the force to 108, comprised of 1 chief, 4 deputy chiefs, 16 lieutenants, and 87 firemen. FMBA counsel Mervyn Montgomery also recommended the Council “reduce the firemen’s week from 63 to 56 hours…” The newspaper report continued: “Montgomery also said the 3 platoon, 56 hour week would bring Clifton up to a level with other large cities, boost morale, and would result in a better regulated, coordinated and better drilled department… “The FMBA’s plan was called a good one by La Corte and he urged his colleagues to go along with it. Councilman William Brogan suggested a compromise and asked if a 60-hour week was possible. Holster said it was but the force of 108 men would be needed… There were no objections and a vote wasn’t necessary.” The 60 hour compromise firemen’s work week was approved by the Council after breaking an initial tie for the FMBA proposal. The major holding point of any reduction in hours was the minimum of “at least four men ‘riding’ each apparatus to a fire. Holster said stats show that an average of 4 men has not been maintained. The new plan calls for the 60 hour week to be operated on a 10-on, 14-off basis, rather than a 24-on, 24-off schedule.”

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