Clifton Merchant Magazine - April 2013

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Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Table of Contents

What’s Inside? 7

The Power of Silence Chris de Vinck Essay

12 The Day Annie Died Joe Torelli’s Unforgettable Gram

75 16 Bobby Castronovo Jr. Managing a NYC Landmark

24 Copperman Dave Cafone Making Magic with Metal

30 Learning to be a Horseman Clifton Cowboy Derek Drobenak

36 Diagnosed with ALS Business Owner Mike Najda


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Editor & Publisher Tom Hawrylko Business Manager Cheryl Hawrylko Graphic Designer Ken Peterson Staff Writer Joe Hawrylko Contributing Writers Tania Jachens, Carol Leonard, Rich DeLotto, Don Lotz, Jack DeVries

47 PaceMaster 600 Treadmill Invented in Clifton

52 Mustang Sports CHS Spring Sports Preview

70 Events & Briefs Church Events, Political Skirmishes

77 Student of the Month Chrissy Gustafson Dives Ahead

78 Passaic County Film Festival Reel Cliftonites in the Loop

80 Birthdays & Celebrations Neighbors & Friends party...

Police Unity Tour Page 74

Where are these Mustangs now? In July, we’ll be writing about Mustangs celebrating their 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and even 60 year reunion. Write to us and let us know where you are at...

Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Affordable for Life!

Jerry Zecker is pictured with his grandkids, Colin and Henry Nash, in front of their parent’s home at 105 McCosh Rd. Affordable had done work on Zecker's home at 55 McCosh. Jerry and his wife Arlene were so pleased by the service, they recommended the Federle family to do roofing, siding, gutters and leaders on the Nash home. Aviles 183 E 6th St. Roofing 2010 repeat customer

Derelitto 18 Arlington Ave. Kitchen 2008 Bathroom 2011 repeat customer

Ask any of these previous customers about the Federle Family & Affordable Home Services...

Wiles 73 Green Tree Rd. Windows 2012, Roofing 2013 repeat customer

Quinlan 14 Dalewood Rd. Porch Enc. 2003 Windows 2013 repeat customer

Studwell 229 E First St. Roofing 2013 Palumbo 34 Orchard Dr. Siding 2006 Roofing 2011 repeat customer

The Federle Family

Tenney 47 New Brier Lane Windows 2001 Siding & Roofing 2013 repeat customer

Fierro 385 Hazel St. Siding 2009 Roofing 2013

John, Ron, Jim & James repeat customer

140 Arlington Ave. • Clifton • 9 7 3 . 4 7 3 . 4 8 3 0 6 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Moments of Grace

The Power of Silence Essay by Chris de Vinck


o we covet silence these days? The New York City Department of Transportation has decided to take down the “no honking” signs. Car companies are being encouraged to create fake noise in their electric cars, yes to protect inattentive pedestrians, but also to maintain the din we have created in our mechanized, chugging, noise-filled world. I remember when my brother-in-law spent his first days at our small, family cabin in Ontario, Canada. “I couldn’t sleep,” John said with a chuckle. “It was too quiet.” If we choose to live, at times, a contemplative life, how do we mask the intruding sounds that surround us? Trappist monks, while not engaged in the popular notion of vows of silence, speak when necessary as they try to refrain from idle talk. At meals they do not speak but, in their tradition, listen as a fellow monk reads aloud perhaps from a contemporary work of literature, perhaps from ancient poetry, or from a book of philosophy. On June 6, 2002, beloved children’s television host, Fred Rogers, gave the commencement address at Dartmouth College. There he told the young men and

women, “I’d like to give you all an invisible gift. A gift of a silent minute to think about those who have helped you become who you are today.” And hundreds of college graduates sat in silence with Mr. Rogers. We yearn for silence when we are about to sleep. We enjoy the quiet time in our churches, mosques, temples and synagogues. Three years ago I was sitting on the couch reading when I became annoyed with my neighbor. What was he doing? I heard this low ringing in the distance that was distracting me from my book. I stood up, walked outside to our small deck, and looked around. No power saws. No lawn mowers. No one was outside, and yet I kept hearing this subtle, annoying constant ringing. I thought nothing of it until a few weeks later, the ringing increased and then I realized the noise was not coming from the neighborhood but from inside my head. After much cajoling from my wife, I visited an audiologist, and he said that I have what is called tinnitus and I had lost enough of my hearing to warrant hearing aids. continued on pg. 10

Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Weichert Ambassador’s Club

Alma Billings NJAR® Circle of Excellence Sales Award® 2012 - Silver Weichert Sales Club, Marketed Club

Weichert Director’s Club

Daniel Brozyna NJAR® Circle of Excellence Sales Award® 2012 - Bronze

Carlito Chi Weichert Sales Club

Lilla Langford Weichert Sales Club Marketed Club

Kathleen Perow Weichert Marketed Club

Hilda Ferro NJAR® Circle of Excellence Sales Award® 2012- Bronze

Elena Schwartz NJAR® Circle of Excellence Sales Award® 2012 - Bronze

Tania Hernandez Faria NJAR® Circle of Excellence Sales Award® 2012- Bronze

James Steccato NJAR® Circle of Excellence Sales Award® 2012 - Bronze

Weichert Executive’s Club Marianna Gozdz NJAR® Circle of Excellence Sales Award® 2012 - Bronze Weichert Sales Club Gregorio “Greg” Manalo NJAR® Circle of Excellence Sales Award® 2012 - Bronze Weichert Sales Club Lesia Wirstiuk NJAR® Circle of Excellence Sales Award® 2012 - Bronze Weichert Sales Club, Marketed Club

Valdemar Studzinski NJAR® Circle of Excellence Sales Award® 2012 - Bronze

Jayne Urgo Weichert Sales Club, Marketed Club

Weichert Million Dollar Club

Ruel Cabanilla Weichert Sales Club

Frank Gorga

Mary Jean Cetinich

Donna Freeswick Weichert Sales Club

Mary Pat Holt Weichert Sales Club

William “Bill” McKeever

Jerry Sanders

8 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Ellen Weiner Weichert Sales Club

Vivian Garcia Weichert Sales Club

Arthur “Artie” Rubin Weichert Sales Club, Marketed Club

January 2013 Award Winners

Carlito Chi

Top Lister

Alma Billings

Carlito Chi

Top Producer

Top Sales

Lesia Wirstiuk

Agent of the Month

Jeannette Castro

Weichert Pride

February 2013 Award Winners



Gregorio ‘Greg’ Manalo

Top Lister

Alma Billings

Lesia Wirstiuk

Top Producer

Top Sales

Kevin Carpenter

Agent of the Month

Ryan Carbone

Weichert Pride

More great Clifton homes to see...


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Moments of Grace “The ringing in your ears,” the doctor explained, “is a mechanism trying to compensate for that loss. The ringing will never go away, and might even increase.” What about silence, I wanted to ask the doctor. What about closing my eyes and hearing the voice of my grandmother? What about those hours in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep and I want to imagine ice skating as a child again with my sister as I try and hear the clicking of our skates on the smooth ice? The doctor said that I could mask the ringing with a “white noise” machine that mimics wind, or waterfalls. “This will mask the symptoms of tinnitus.” But I want the ability to lean back into complete silence. I do trick myself often as I imagine the ringing sounds a bit like crickets in August which do soothe me to sleep easily, but crickets, waterfall, wind sounds, this is not silence, and this is not stillness. The doctor shrugged: “At least you are not Beethoven. He became completely deaf. Yes, he had complete silence, but think how horrible that must have been for the man who created the 9th Symphony.”

10 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

“Will I become deaf?” “Perhaps,” said the doctor. “Age advances.” We all have an inner voice, our mother’s perhaps, God perhaps, Mr. Rogers even, and when we need to listen to these voices, we need a time of contemplation, a place of silence to sort things out. While I will forever be denied complete silence, while the constant sound in my ears is the distant ringing knell of my own eventual death, I still feel alive in the companion of sound that does echo inside of my own heart as I listen to the imagined crickets in the middle of a North American winter. Christopher de Vinck is the Language Arts Supervisor at CHS and the author of 13 books. His best known work is The Power of the Powerless a frank reflection on the struggles and joys of loving his severely disabled brother. To order his most recent work, Moments of Grace, call 1-800-218-1903 or look for it in bookstores or online.


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Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Unforgettable People

The Day Annie Died Sunday Breakfasts and Memories of Family By Joseph R. Torelli

here we sat, just the two of us, heads bowed over bowls of steaming oatmeal, while Johnny Ray’s Cry spilled soulfully from the Philco in the corner.


A fragrant whiff of nutmeg blended with the balmy scent of liniment as a pot of lentil soup simmered on the stove. It was a typical Sunday morning for me in the summer of 1959—newspapers delivered, money collected, and a stop at my grandmother’s house on the walk home from my route. She raised a cup of coffee to her cracked and faded lips. The fingers on the once strong widow’s hands that reared a brood of four amid The Great Depression, now quivered like the tails of tadpoles swimming to adulthood. No longer could they guide the hypodermic needle into the tiny vial of insulin that twice each day fortified her body against the ravages of diabetes. A nearby aunt now performed that task for her thirteen times each week, but it was my privilege to perform it on Sunday mornings. “Annie Eaton died this morning,” she said without emotion, as she lowered the empty cup onto her lap. “She was eighty-one on Tuesday. I brought her flowers from the garden.” I whispered my regrets and joined her in a prayer for Annie’s soul. “I’ll be seventy-four in November,” she suddenly reminded me in the middle of her prayer, as if the passing of her friend lent new meaning to the date. “I know,” I said, as I got up from my chair and kissed her dampened cheek. She smiled and looked away. As summer turned to fall, she caught an early autumn virus that morphed into pneumonia. The coughing and the wheezing quickly took their toll and November never came. As they placed her in the ground, I remembered all those Sunday mornings and the aromas in her kitchen I heard her gentle voice again dispensing wisdom and encouragement as tarnished silver spoons scraped the oatmeal from our bowls. 12 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

I thought back to all those special mornings filled with laughter and her warmth and I realized, even at so young an age, just how lucky I had been to have shared them with my “Gram.” We two grew very close during those early Sunday breakfasts, but I was never closer to her than on the day that Annie died. Editor’s Note: Do you have an unforgettable person in your life? They can be living or deceased. Let us know in a short essay and perhaps we’ll use your story. Be sure to include your phone number. E-mail Tom at

h g m

y y

Since 1960

NJ License 13VH00726700

When Richard F. Knapp started his roofing business in 1960, he wasn’t only constructing an umbrella of protection that would ensure the people of Clifton a solid home environment, he was laying a foundation of trust and honesty that has lasted until today, in his passing. “Richard was honest with the people,” said Dorothy Knapp, Richard’s widow. The couple would have celebrated their 53rd anniversary on Feb. 27. “We always stand behind our work. That’s the way Richard started it and now my sons are doing it. We’re keeping up the honesty.” Richard Knapp passed away in 1991. That’s when the Knapp boys, Richard and Donald, took the reins of the business. They had been working with their father since their teens and knew the job. Mrs. Knapp said people who had work done by Knapp Roofing decades ago are calling again on for work on either the same homes or new homes. That’s how a strong tradition of dependability is built. What better testament to the honesty of a business whose first priority was and still is the best interests of the customers?

“There was an older gentleman whose roof needed some repairs,” recalled Mrs. Knapp. “His wife was bed-ridden. Richard didn’t charge him. He told him to buy his wife some flowers. That’s the kind of things he did. He was well-liked. If a roof didn’t need to be done he’d tell them. He didn’t push anyone into unnecessary work.” R. F. Knapp Roofing is fully insured and licensed by the State of New Jersey. More importantly, generations of residents have had work done by the Knapp family and stand as references. To schedule a free estimate of your job, call Mrs. Knapp at 973-777-1699. It’s interesting to note that the Knapp’s usually do not take deposits, Mrs. Knapp said her husband didn’t believe in deposits. His sons carry on another of his honorable traditions. “When the job is done and the people are satisfied,” said Mrs. Knapp, “then we’ll get paid. “We are a family business, started and still run by the same family. We are committed to continue the reputation of my husband’s work,” said Mrs. Knapp. “Richie and Donny carry on that tradition. They are kind and respectable and all of us appreciate our customers.” Clifton Merchant • April 2013



Visitors to the Hot Grill are often amazed at how the guys at the counter take and bellow your order two all the way, two! In minutes you’re paid up and biting a Hot Texas Weiner. For decades, counter work there was a man’s job but much has changed. Take Yanina Rios, at right. She mastered the art of barking orders at the Hot Grill. For three years, the 21-year-old Cliftonite works Monday through Friday at the iconic hot dog joint while attending night classes for Nursing at Passaic County Community College. “In the beginning it was hard,” she said. “You have to pay attention and focus. I was scared that I was the only girl. But now it’s great. I’m a pro.” In this edition you’ll meet others who have great jobs. You’ll also read an inspiring story about Mike Najda. He faces some challenges at work, home and in life and he does it with humor and bravery. For future edition, I’d like to hear of other Cliftonites who have unique jobs. If you know of someone, drop me a line.... Tom Hawrylko

Speaking of interesting jobs, new faces on the Mustang sidelines, from left, Softball Coach Ron Shekitka, Track Coach Kareem West and Volleyball Coach Nick Romanak. Our Sports section starts on page 52.

14 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

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Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Great Jobs

By Joe Hawrylko

From his New York City office on upper Broadway in Manhattan, Robert Castronovo is the man in charge of one of the most popular and illustrious venues in all of the Big Apple, the Beacon Theatre. For over 180 nights a year, the theater stage is lit, playing host to a wide variety of shows and performances. Castronovo, the director of event production and building operations, is the maestro that coordinates the entire production. He was at the helm for the Allman Brother’s 200th show at the Beacon, the Tony Awards and countless other high profile shows. It’s a demanding job, one that has him working six, sometimes seven days a week. Twelve hour days are the norm in this industry. But Castronovo makes it all happen and loves what he does. “I just couldn’t see myself doing a 9 to 5 desk job,” explained the 31-year-old, who graduated from Clifton High in 2000. “If you don’t want to be here, if you are the kind of person that wants to go out on Friday or Saturday night, you’re not going to survive.” 16 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

The modest Cliftonite is on a first name basis with rock ‘n roll legends but he is no name-dropper. His nose to the stage floor work ethic enabled him to rise up the ranks in similar jobs in Atlantic City and Radio City Hall. He became interested in the industry because of his father, Robert Sr., who many recall as a CHS history teacher. The elder left the safety of the school system and worked for 20 years at Giants Stadium and Continental Airlines Arena, retiring as Chief Operating Officer. As a boy, Castronovo would visit his dad at work and was awed at the immense work that the arena crew would go through in transforming the facility for Devils and Nets games, not to mention concerts and more. “To see that, you realize that people had no idea what just happened in the past six hours,” he said. Castronovo’s background in playing sports—back in 2000, he set the Mustang basketball record for points in a single game with 45 and most three pointers in a season—motivated him to pursue sports management at Rutgers, where he graduated in 2004.

C. GENARDI CONTRACTING, INC. Roofing, Siding, Gutters • 973.772.8451

SPRING MEANS CHECK GUTTERS & ROOF With Spring and the rainy season here, Corey Genardi of C. Genardi Contracting Inc. said homeowners often overlook rain gutters because they often function on their own. “It makes it easy to forget that they need to stay in tip top shape,” he said. “A home without a good gutter system will have water running down the side of the house or it will cause water to run underneath the shingles. Without gutters, waters will collect around your home and seep into your basement.” Genardi installs seamless gutters which eliminates the possibility of leaks, protects the beauty of your home and landscaping and will be formed at your home for exact measurements. “We complete our jobs in a day and offer most any color to choose from,” he said. “Seamless gutters will complement your home.” Genardi also installs Weather Watch Leak Barriers which create a watertight seal to keep water from the vulnerable areas of the home—eaves and rakes, around chimney and in valleys. “It prevents water damming in your gutters from wind driven rain or where ice collects,” he concluded.

Seamless Gutters are stronger... adding roof flashing will keep water flowing into the gutters where it belongs. Based in Clifton, the family-run and owned business was started in the late 1960’s by Corey’s father Ronald. “I was pretty much born into it,” said Genardi. “And I have installed most every type of roof there is.” Genardi uses superior products such as GAF and offers a variety of roofs for every type of home and at every price—choices range from asphalt shingles to wood shakes and modified rubber systems for flat roofs. Asphalt shingles, the most affordable, are available in a dozen or so different colors both solid and blended. Using GAF products, Genardi said the roofs he installs are guaranteed for 20, or in some cases 30 years, making them an excellent value. Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Great Jobs Prior to graduating from the New Brunswick camseeing the operations department of the entire arena. pus, he was an intern for the Giants, and then the Nets. “They play AC/DC’s Thunderstruck when Gatti would “Through my contacts come in the ring and the on those teams, I was able place would go crazy.” to get there and then used In July of 2007, that to get into Atlantic Castronovo left SMG to City,” he explained. take a job as a event proCastronovo headed duction manager for south and worked for Radio City Music Hall in SMG at Atlantic City NYC. While his work in Boardwalk Hall, a 13,000 Atlantic City provided seat arena that hosts a him with valuable experivariety of sporting and ence, working in the Big entertainment events. Apple was far greater Boxing was one of the than anything that could main draws for AC during be offered in AC. his two year tenure and The move was about Castronovo attended growth. “I was learning many of the late Arturo something every day,” he Gatti’s famous fights. said. At Radio City, Bobby, his sister Laura and parents Bob and Nancy. “I was there for his last Castronovo worked the six or seven fights,” he said. While at SMG, NFL Draft, the Tony Awards, the MTV Video Music Castronovo rose from event coordinator to event manAwards, Fashion Rocks and the Radio City Christmas ager and finally operations manager, essentially overSpectacular during his three years at the venue.

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18 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

3 Issues Resolved in 1 Convenient Surgery



There are about 12,000 podiatrists in the United States, according to the Department of Labor, and Clifton podiatrist Thomas Graziano is one of only six who hold both a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) and a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree.

Dr. Thomas Graziano recently explained how three painful issues were addressed in one operation. “This patient presented with a bunion, crossover toe and hammertoes. These conditions were repaired with one operation and the patient was able to walk the same day of the surgery.”

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Great Jobs When he heard about an opening for director at the Beacon in early 2011, Castronovo applied. The youthful looking kid from Clifton was hired. For the first time in his young career, he was at the helm, in charge of everything. The organization is lean in management. He reports to his general manager, and Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan. But with that new position came added responsibility and many new challenges. “Radio City was in a commercial area. It’s residential here, so that’s a big change,” he said. Since the neighborhood is home to many powerful celebrities and captains of industry, it is important to make sure that they’re not disturbed by a truck unloading at 5 am. The other major difference from Radio City was the number of people in management.

20 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

As a Mustang in 2000.

“We have six full time people in management as opposed to over 50 in Radio City,” he explained. Castronovo has more than 250 part time employees reporting to him, including stage hands, Teamsters, food and beverage types and most anyone at the Beacon. With so many people looking to him for an “OK”, a check or an approval, Castronovo average days clocks in at around 12 hours. “I’ve slept on this couch way too many times,” he laughed, as he pointed to his office couch. “Yesterday was my first day off in two and a half weeks.” A typical day starts at 7 am, with truck unloading at 8. Sound checks, lighting and other details to staging take goes on day long. Castronovo patrols the facility, coordinating with staff and stars to ensure that everything is going smoothly.

W D p k


ting 20 Y ears

So much Surgi cal Exper tise from our Staff, to our Physicians When we opened one of the region’s first Same Day Surgery Center back in 1993, the founding physicians and staff of Clifton Surgery Center knew we were on the cusp of change. Two decades later, as we mark our anniversary, our surgeons and staff continue to innovate and evolve.

Over those 20 years, our mission remains true: to deliver superior surgical service more efficiently and cost effectively than area hospitals. We continue to invest and improve our facilities, not only our operating suites but also to our landmark building. We are proud of our service and look forward to many more decades of providing quality healthcare.

Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Great Jobs Before the curtain rises, there may be small items to attend to. Perhaps it is a union issue. Or the star needs something in the dressing room. Castronovo is the goto guy. He’ll solve the problem. After the performance, the box office has to be accounted for and settlement has to happen with the act’s managers. Load out concludes around 1 or 2 am. His schedule varies depending on the event, but even on days when the stage is dark, there are plenty of dayto-day activities that require his presence. “This summer we’re doing a new roof,” he said. The Beacon was built in the 1920s, and is one of the last theaters of its age in New York. That means that regular maintenance must be a priority for Castronovo. “I like to be proactive rather than reactive,” he said. “At the Garden, they’ve got guys who have been doing this for 30 or 40 years. I take good advantage of that.” “I got to admit that with this job, I don’t know everything about everything,” continued Castronovo. “But I do have to know a little bit about everything.” Castronovo is at the helm of this landmark and it is his job to have good people around him to help solve problems. But even with those seasoned workers on call, the unexpected will happen.

“During the Tony Awards there was a water tank leak on top of the building,” he recalled. “Sometimes you just gotta roll up your sleeves and get in there. There was six floors of damage. About $35,000 worth of damage. And we had a show the next night.” Fortunately, none of the water reached the theater, and the show was able to go on. Shortly after that incident, Castronovo called in experts to analyse what went wrong and then hired a company to put a float with a water level sensor in the tank. Just a few short weeks later, that early warning system prevented another disaster. “Something I learned early on was that people have short memories and long fingers in this industry,” he said. But as difficult as his job can be at times, Castronovo still gets a thrill out of seeing a happy crowd captivated by the show on stage. “As hard as you work through the week, that’s the pay off. That’s what makes it worth it” he said. “Even when we had Scooby Doo Live here, seeing the faces on the kids, that’s the payoff.” “This business is stressful and demanding,” he continued. “But you’re not going to get this type of education anywhere else.”

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22 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Great Jobs

Dave Cafone Makes Magic By Joe Hawrylko

On a quiet cul-de-sac off of Grove St. in Montclair Heights, Dave Cafone works magic with copper in his garage studio. For nearly 30 years, the Nutley native has been hammering, bending and shaping this malleable metal for a wide variety of uses: roofing, gutters, chimney flashings, hoods for bay windows and much more. Now 52, Cafone, estimated that he has been working with copper and other metals since he was about eight years old, helping his father, John, who was a sheet metal worker. “Right out of high school I started my sheet metal career, doing duct work and central air. On the weekends, I would go do sheet metal and copper on the weekends with him,” recalled Cafone. “He did everything by hand. I’ve taken it to the next step.” “I really liked being around my father,” he added. “He had a passion for fishing, and I have a passion for fishing. My father was a sheet metal worker and I’m the only one of seven kids who is a sheet metal worker.” Cafone, who is known within the industry as Copper Dave, has been plying 24 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

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Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Great Jobs his craft full time since 1985. Since then, the industry has changed greatly. Today, copper roofing is typically a luxury item, and most of Cafone’s work takes place on large estates and wealthy mansions in the Tri-state region. His work appears on eye-catching buildings like the Stronghold Landmark in Bernardsville, where he spent several months creating and then installing a custom made zinc roof. “I always used to drive past that and think, ‘One day, I’m going to do that roof,” he laughed. Cafone has also done work for the owner of the West Orange Manor, the National Park Service and on a number of estates in the affluent town of Rumson. Occasionally, he will field work at smaller homes from contractors like Corey Genardi.

26 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

But in addition to that day job that pays the bills, Cafone is a budding artist, creating intricate copper fish and other sea life, which he turns into wall mounts or weathervanes in his garage studio. “It was right around 1996, when we were having those bad winters. That’s when I started to get all creative,” recalled Cafone. “I wasted a lot of metal then trying to get the designs right.” But after many drafts and revisions, the Cliftonite has become quite the sculptor in his spare time and sells his wares at flea markets. “Whatever I make is what I put for sale. No one has ever called me and said ‘make this’ yet,” he said. “When I am really into it, when I really feel it, that’s when I do it. Sometimes I am too tired from work and don’t go into the garage for a month.”

Each piece is unique; outside of the stencil he uses for the base shape, Cafone does the rest of the work by eye. “For a fish that would go on the wall, it takes maybe a full day,” he said. Cafone has sold those for $750 in the past. Weathervanes require much more work, since it must be double sided and symmetrical, and cost about $3,000. “Those take about two full days to complete.” The Cliftonite’s main art inspirations are Guy Harvey, who is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on marine wildlife art, and the late Travis Tuck, who is famous for his weathervanes in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. “I had a stripper of mine on display at Guy’s gallery in Florida,” he said. “It was amazing that he even acknowledged me.” Initially, breaking into the art field was difficult, and he would sometimes return home without selling anything. Cafone’s break came when he befriended a doctor who purchased all of the Cliftonite’s merchandise at an art sale in 2004. Eventually, Cafone ended up doing many jobs for the doctor, including spending six months in Florida repairing properties following a hurricane. Currently, Cafone mostly attends art shows and flea markets on the Jersey Shore, but said he would like to expand into Long Island as well. His main goal is to one day get off of the roof and into the studio full time. “Some day, I will live on a beach and hammer copper on the beach front,” he laughed. “Maybe 100 years from now I will be looked back on as a marine folk artist.”

Come to our CATERING EXPO April 6 & 7 11 am - 7 pm • Free Samples! Special Pricing on Catering Orders Placed on Those Days.

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Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Plumbing • Heating • Drain Cleaning • Bathroom Renovations US Army Staff Sergeant Oscar Buonafina finished his most recent 9-month deployment to Afghanistan on November 3. By the following Monday, he was back at work in Clifton. Like many returning veterans, life and business obligations ‘back home’ were put on hold while he was deployed to the front lines. In Afghanistan, the Lakeview resident enlisted his construction expertise with a section of US Army engineers under the 310th Military Police Battalion working in an Afghan Detention Facility in Bagram. But on Monday, November 5, the owner of Clifton’s Buonafina Plumbing, Heating and Home Improvements was back at his Lakeview Ave. office being a small business owner. For about the last year, his plumbing and heating business was essentially leaderless and now it needed to be kick started. Former vendors and clients were contacted to let them know that Oscar’s boots were on the ground again—right here in Clifton.

Out of the Humvee, back to being...

Clifton’s Hometown Plumber The self-employed father of four said coming back to his business after almost a year away had challenges. While he was deployed, a partner in his home improvement business, Juan C. Martinez, kept things moving. But Buonafina, a Licensed Master Plumber, said the heating and plumbing side of the business needed his leadership and skill set. “We maintained out existing customers,” said Buonafina, who founded the company in 2006 and has been a US Army Reservist since 2007. “But being in business is about growing and that’s my mission now. My phone is answered around the clock. We do emergency calls at a fair price. I most enjoy doing jobs like this one pictured here—a multi-family house that needed systems run clean and separate,” he said. “Honestly, no job is too small or too big.” 28 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant


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Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Great Jobs

Learning to be a modern-day

Horseman 13 Miles from Clifton, Derek Drobenak works as a ranch hand and riding instructor at the North Jersey Equestrian Center. By Joe Hawrylko

At 22 years of age, Derek Drobenak leads what seems to be a quiet, typical suburban life. He lives at home off of Valley Rd. with his parents, enjoys going to the gym five days a week, and has a girlfriend. But Drobenak’s job is a little different than your average young suburban adult would hold. While others are heading off to a cozy office for a 9 to 5, this Cliftonite throws on some well worn jeans and work boots for a long day at the North Jersey Equestrian Center in Pompton Plains on Rt. 23. At the NJEC, Drobenak is a man of many hats. His duties include breaking young steeds, caring for the more than 150 horses kept at the NJEC, and training riders and horses alike. Drobenak also travels to industry shows around the country for up to 100 days a year with the NJEC and his boss, Karl Bauer. In Northern New Jersey, this is about as close as you get to being a cowboy, and Drobenak enjoys every second of it. 30 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Drobenak’s love of horses stretches back to 1994, when his family visited a resort in upstate New York. His mother, Debra, rode when she was younger, and wanted her son to saddle up. “I ended up falling in love right away,” he recalled. “It was a big resort with a lot to do, but I just wanted to ride horses all week.” About five years later, his parents took him to visit Echo Lake Stable in Newfoundland, which offered a week long summer camp, where participants would ride and learn how to groom and care for horses. For the next three years, Drobenak would end each day waiting for his mom by watching the ranch hands wrangle the herd. Eventually, the owner invited him to help out. “I was head over heels. I told them I’d do anything,” recalled Drobenak. “The next summer in 2004 they asked me to come work for them. It was like the lights came down from heaven.” At the end of the summer, he was invited to work at Echo Lake full time, and moved up from cleaning the stables to eventually taking groups out on trail rides. Drobenak, who graduated from DePaul Catholic High School in Wayne in 2009, continued to work and live the dream at Echo Lake until 2011.

“I decided to take a break from horses for a bit and focus on school,” he recalled. “My parents told me they wanted me to get a degree, so I was going to Passaic County Community College for business.” But after two and a half years of school, Drobenak found that higher education wasn’t his called. “I just kept thinking, I need to be with horses. And if I want to go get where I wanted to go, I had to take a risk,” he said. After a lengthy discussion with his parents, Drobenak decided to withdraw from school and began pursuing his dream of working with horses. Though they wanted him to get a degree, Drobenak’s parents were supportive of his decision. “My dad always said to make sure you are taken care of in life. My mom was always more about doing what makes you happy. Each have helped me more than the other on certain things. It’s a ying and yang type of thing,” he said. “They support me every step of the way. They’re a huge reason that I am here doing what I really want to do.” In February of 2012, Drobenak’s mother learned about the NJEC, and he was able to go visit owner, Karl Bauer, to inquire about a job. Bauer, a champion horse rider and breeder who has been in the industry for

Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Great Jobs over 35 years, was initially skeptical about hiring Drobenak since the job duties at Echo Lake were completely different. But after watching Drobenak ride and speaking with him, Bauer decided to hire the Cliftonite. “He came in and he was very humble, polite, clean cut and patient. And he’s likable,” said Bauer. “Within the last year that he has been here, he’s improved a ton. He’s not even close to what he was when he first came. He’s done amazing things on his horses. Now I can put him on anything,” he continued. “He’s almost like my son. I have a lot of trust, He’s got a lot of responsibility here, and not just for a young guy. He is always early coming and always late leaving. And never a complaint.” Drobenak relishes the experience that he has at the NJEC, working alongside Bauer, who is a well respected name in the industry and a champion rider. “He’s a great mentor. I know I don’t know everything about this, especially horses. I still have a lot to learn,” he said. “But I feel I am really in a good place right now.” Drobenak’s responsibilities at the NJEC are wide ranging. He works six days a week, and cares for more than 150 horses between the company’s two locations. One of Drobenak’s favorite parts of his job is breaking young horses. Breaking is the process of getting a horse that has never been riden before used to having people around and on it. The length of this varies depending on each horse, but can be very repetitive. A horse can be very skittish, and has to get used to something as simple as seeing a person jump, a quick move or even a crazy noise from a cell phone. Breaking can also be extremely dangerous.

Derek with his boss Karl Bauer.

“You can get killed pretty easily doing this,” he admitted. “When I first broke a horse, I was pretty nervous, but it was something that I always wanted to do. But they can stand right up in the air, they can buck you off, they can spin and buck you.” Drobenak, who is currently breaking his fourth horse, recalled how one Mustang at NJRC would continually ride him into the walls in an effort to get him off, sending him home with bruises every day. Eventually, when a horse has been broken, Drobenak can move on to training. Much like breaking, train-

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Great Jobs ing time can vary depending on the personality of the horse, and what type of riding the owner wants to do. “I love to see the transformation. You start when they are babies, maybe a year and a half, two years,” he said. “It’s great when it is a horse you can’t even be near or touch.” And like any good cowboy, Drobenak has his own reliable steed. His goes by the name of

34 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Tomahawk. Drobenak acquired his horse by auction in 2010. “When I saw him, it was just a gut feeling. It wasn’t like ok, oh he moves well or he looks nice,” he explained. Drobenak selected Tomahawk despite the horse being malnourished. “I take a lot of extra time caring for him and he has repaid me. I want to provide for another horse like I did with mine.”

Tomahawk, who is 12, suffers from arthritis in his rear leg, which gives him a slight limp if he has been exerting himself. The arthritis also prevents Tomahawk from being able to ride for long or do strenuous activities. “People ask, what defines you? For me, it’s that horse,” said Drobenak. “People come and go. I’ve had girlfriends go. Friends go, I’ve had bad things happen. But that horse is the one consistent thing and part of the reason I am the person I am today.” Drobenak also occasionally does training with riders at the NJEC. “I want to show people what a horse can do for you,” he said. “Just like horses, I love to see that transformation. I love to motivate people. When I motivate them, it motivates me. I tell people, if you fall off, you have to get right back on,” added Drobenak. “Life is kind of like that too.” Another major responsibility that Drobenak has is traveling with Bauer to trade shows. For about 100 days a year, they are on the road, and can be out of the area for upwards of a week. Typically, they will live out of a Winnebago. “You’re sleeping on an air mattress for a week. Your back hurts, and you’re getting up at 5 am,” he said. “But I love doing it.” “The fact that I am happy here means that I am happy everywhere in my life—even when I am not here. It’s almost contagious,” he said. “You have people who go to school for four, five, six, seven or even eight years for something they don’t love, but they need the money. I don’t feel like I’m working. I don’t call it work. I call it riding.”

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Life Challenge

Mike Najda has a saying for the deadly disease he stares down at but we won’t print it in this community magazine.

Diagnosed with


Story by Joe Hawrylko

36 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Suffice it to say that anyone who knows the boisterous 49-year-old can get an idea of what the two word message imprinted on his red wrist band states. Najda’s battle against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gherig’s disease) may be robbing him of his motorskills, but his sense of humor is more raw and cynical as he faces an uncertain future. ALS gradually attacks the motor skills, eventually leaving patients unable to walk, talk or even swallow. From the time of diagnosis, patients typically live two to five years. But that’s not something you’d guess when you hear Najda describe his illness. “There’s about 30,000 people with ALS in the whole US. It’s a nice, private club,” laughed the Clifton resident and father of two. “One plus,” he added with a smile, “you get primo parking because of your wheelchair.” Once large and imposing, standing over six feet tall and topping the scales at 300 pounds, Najda’s size is diminished since being confined to a motorized chair. But he is just as loud as he was before the diagnosis, and his unique sense of humor remains unchanged. Laughing is what gets him through his daily battles against ALS.

Mike Najda with his wife of 28 years, Patricia.

And despite all of the physical, mental and emotional trials he has endured, Najda said he is totally at peace with his fate. His two main concerns going for-

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Life Challenge ward are making sure that his family is cared for after his passing, and that he creates some kind of lasting foundation to help others in the battle against this crippling disease. “I try to not think about it too much,” explained Najda. “Eventually, I’m going to end up with my mom and dad.” Though he was only diagnosed with ALS in September, Najda first began experiencing issues in March of 2011, with weakness in his right leg, around the knee area. His physician, David Testa of Clifton, sent him for MRIs later that month which turned up nothing and he continued on with life. Najda didn’t know it at the time, but that was the start of a slow and unexplained loss in motor skills. Over the next two years, he would endure countless tests as doctors struggled to identify what was ailing him. Part of the problem with diagnosing ALS is that there is no definitive test for it. “It’s a process of elimination,” explained Najda. But his mobility became a serious issue when he started falling in August of 2011. “I would just go down,” he said. “I thought it was the knee giving out, but really it was my muscles.” Najda visited orthopaedics, neurologists, and specialists of all kinds, traveling as far away as John Hopkins in

38 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Baltimore. Doctors initially thought multiple sclerosis, then tested him for a variety of blood disorders. For several months, doctors thought he had a rare genetic disorder called Adrenomyeloneuropathy, but that was proven to be incorrect when a doctor realized that his size caused a false positive on a test. “It was frustrating, not knowing what is going on,” he admitted. “My wife’s girlfriend is a doctor, and the advice she gave me was, ‘I know it is frustrating, but as long as they can’t diagnose it, it hasn’t progressed enough for it to be a concern.’ I walked with a cane for stability at that point (Summer of 2012), but I was fine otherwise. I was still able to drive. I mean, I drove a motor home to Florida just in August.” In the summer of 2012, doctors at the Neuromuscular & ALS Center at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School were beginning to narrow down their suspected illnesses. Ironically, the renown specialists did not think it was ALS. Even Dr. Jerry M. Belsch, the specialist from RWJ who diagnosed him, didn’t suspect ALS. “He said, ‘I’m 80 percent sure you don’t have ALS, but I have to give you an EMG to make sure,” Najda recalled. For an EMG test, doctors insert metal needles into muscles to stimulate them with electricity.

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Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Life Challenge Najda had another doctor perform one previously, but this one was over two hours long. “I cried. It was brutal,” laughed Najda. “It was nothing like the other guy gave me. This, he put electrodes all over the right side of my body. I walked in with a cane and left in a wheelchair. I cried from exit 9 all the way to Newark Airport.” “Two days later, he called and asked me to come to the office and that’s when I knew it wasn’t good,” he continued. While waiting in the office, Najda was reading some of the literature on the walls, and noticed a story about Dr. Belsch and his head nurse of the ALS At home in Clifton, Michael, Mike, Zachary and Patricia. unit. Shortly after, Dr. Belsch walked in “The first thing that ran though my mind is in two with that nurse. years—two years—what happens to my wife, my kids, “That’s when I knew,” added Najda. my family?” he said. The fact is, no one can tell him. That day was September 28, 2012. Once the reality of Every case of ALS is different. Patients may experithe situation began to sunk in, Najda said he accepted his ence symptoms in different parts of the body, and each fate and immediately turned his attention to figuring out disease progresses differently. a way to care for his loved ones.

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After diagnosis, the average lifespan is two to five years. However, there are plenty of instances of people living well beyond that—physicist Stephen Hawkings has lived 50 years with the disease. But Najda knows that such cases are rare, and even if he were that fortunate, he would still be handicapped. That’s why it was imperative for him to plan for the future of Counter Creations, the Hackensack-based business that he and his wife Patricia founded in 2001. With 10 employees, Counter Creations supplies custom countertops for residential and commercial buildings across the New Jersey and New York area. “I ran the whole business,” Najda said of his role as an entrepreneur. “Between her and my sister Mary, they take care of the back end stuff.” Despite his illness, which has recently confined him to a motorized wheelchair in the past month, Najda can still do most of his duties from his office, outside of visiting job sites. Currently, he is relying on help from his son, Mike, and some contractors to take care of that work. “When I have a kitchen to measure, one of my contractors, who is actually a customer, goes and does it for me,” he said. Najda estimated that his business is 70 percent contractors who give him return business, and 30 percent

walk ins from homeowners. “I actually have three or four guys like that.” But although he can still run the business efficiently despite his illness, Najda knows that will all change in the future. And it could happen fast. In January, Najda and his wife contemplated shuttering the business, but ultimately decided to have a conversation with their son, Mike, 24, about taking over. Mike has been working at Counter Creations since he was 16. His primary job was creating the CAD drawings used in counter design. Though they were apprehensive about asking, Najda and his wife soon realized that Mike was ready to accept the challenge to support his family. “I don’t think he had planned to do this for life. I think he wanted to do other things. But when this all hit, honestly, we debated closing. Eventually, I’m going to be at the point that I can’t move,” he said. “He jumped right at it. It’s easier now with him. I was bullheaded in the beginning, but he jumps right up to the plate. If he’s got to go to a customer’s house or learn something, he does it. He can do anything but pricing at this point.” While his son slowly transitions into his role at the head of Counter Creations, Najda is busy preparing

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Life Challenge for an uncertain future. Approximately two to three months ago, he began using a cane and a walker to get around. For the past month, he has been using a motorized wheelchair that a client, who is a volunteer EMT, had graciously donated. Though the progress of the disease is unpredictable and can change at any time, he is already starting to experience some weakness in his hands. Najda said he knows his time may be limited, and he is savoring every moment while he can, and tries laughing every bit along the way. “I always see the funny side in everything, even in this,” said Najda, as he explained his gallows humor. Najda said his motto—@#!$ ALS—has been a rallying point for family and friends. He’s even gone as far as getting several hundred red wristbands, with the motto in black, bold lettering, printed for his supporters. “If it weren’t for friends and family, I wouldn’t be able to do it,” said Najda. “Especially our church and school (St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Passaic). They’ve been very, very supportive.” The St. Nicholas community held a fundraiser for Najda. More than 300 people attended, raising thousands of dollars, to help pay for so many things insurance does not.

42 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Likewise, Najda wants charity to be his lasting legacy. For the past couple of months, he has been documenting his journey—complete with his humor—on facebook under Mike’s ALS Journey. He said he also plans on starting a website soon. “Really, the goal right now is awareness. Financially, this will cripple you,” he explained. “It takes about $200,000 a year to treat, and the government doesn’t do anything for you.” “Eventually, I want to set up my website up that you can donate and then we will be able to give grants to go directly to ALS patients,” Najda continued. “A lot of money goes towards research now, but not so much for individuals.” Beyond his website, Najda just plans to enjoy his life now, one day at a time. “It’s more preparing for the future,” he said. Najda and his wife also plan to visit the Netherlands one more time to see her family. “You don’t plan on going to Hawaii in five years. You plan on going to the Pocconos now. The longest term goal I have is to see my son Zach graduate high school in four years.” “I’m not gonna go buy a Ferrari and have a five year payment plan,” he added with a laugh. “My luck, I’ll live another 23 years.”

Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Made in Clifton


Next time you’re on most any airplane or train and toss a bit of debris into the plastic trash bags held by an attendant, chances are that four-by-three foot polyethylene item was Made in Clifton. Those bags and others customized bags for a variety of industries are made at the Champion Plastics Division of X-L Plastics Incorporated on Clifton Blvd. With over 100 factory employees, and more than 50 others in sales and support capacities, the company operates 24/7, with three shifts around the clock, producing over 250,000 pounds of finished product daily. A majority of the bags manufactured here will not be destined to line your household trash can. But like the trash bags for airlines and trains, consumers worldwide come in contact with Champion products from time to time. Items such as covers, films, sheeting, tubing and shrink packaging are purchased and used by leading companies in the food, drug and chemical industries. 44 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

While the sales force and support staff pictured above sell, distribute and keep the quality of the product up to client specifications, it’s the unionized guys on the factory floor that make the product. Noisy and busy, the plant floor is sprawling and teeming with activity. Teams of men operate the 18 large extruders, pumping out millions of bags daily, in a rainbow of colors and in various gauges. With the unique machinery found in the plant, they can design and produce bags from two to 200 inches. With all that manufacturing going on, workers are constantly sweeping up and collecting discarded sheets of plastic. That’s because Champion is also big into recycling and is really environmentally friendly. “We’ve been recycling before it was a buzzword, before it was the thing to do,” said Champion’s Chief Executive John Callaghan. “Literally all that stuff,” he said, pointing to a heap on the factory floor, “is collect-

ed and recycled right here. There is little or no waste in our process. In fact, we also buy post-industrial and post-consumer plastics and reprocess them for our materials that don’t need FDA compliancy.” Four massive silos, standing some four stories high, store more than 2,000 tons of resin. Between that raw material and the recycled, Champion can sell, manufacture and ship vast quantities of products quickly and cost effectively. While the company had its origins as X-L Plastics Inc. and was founded in Belleville in 1972, Callaghan said the firm has called Clifton home since 1977. “Back then, we had a manufacturing plant in Harrison—it was actually a Heinz 57 pickle factory—which is now a PATH station,” Callaghan recalled. “Our offices were over the A&P in the middle of Botany Village,” he continued. “Those were great times. Botany had great stores and all those little bars—they all had great lunch specials.” By 1979, Champion Plastics Corporation merged with X-L Plastics and in 1984, the firm’s new moniker became Champion Plastics/Division of X-L Plastics.

Above, a worker prepares product for shipping at Champion Plastics. On the facing page, at the center is Champion’s Chief Executive John Callaghan surrounded by Clifton residents Kelli Terrazzino, Christina Filewicz, Lesia Glodava, Rose Marie Zangara, Denise Zangara, Beverly Cholewczynski, Michelle Orsita-Kaplan, John Callaghan, Mike Kaplan and Alex Crow.

By then, Callaghan and his team had $2 million in sales, 45 factory employees and were manufacturing a growing product line on six extruders in Harrison. Owners of the firm also formed another name familiar to Cliftonites

who drive along Clifton Blvd.— Armel Trucking—to accommodate the shipping needs. Opportunity and fortune smiled on X-L Plastics in 1984 when it acquired what was then the vacant Tenneco Paper property on

Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Made in Clifton Clifton Blvd. and adjacent properties. The move was strategic for a number of reasons. First and foremost, cited Callaghan, it allowed the company to consolidate its manufacturing, sales and marketing divisions under one roof. “Flexibility is key in manufacturing today,” said Callaghan. “We can adjust quickly to market demands. It was like they had a crystal ball when they made that purchase,” he said of the owners. “Our move in 1984 set this company on the path for great growth.” The Clifton Blvd. property, which has a freight rail line running right through the property, is a big asset to the firm. Delivery of raw product and export of finished items are streamlined and cost efficient. In addition to the rail line, the eight loading docks along Clifton Blvd., with additional bays, docks and parking facilities in the rear makes getting product to customers easy and gave the company room to grow. With subsequent purchases of other adjacent properties on Clifton Blvd., Champion was able to add more extruders and expand manufacturing capacity. Clifton’s location as headquarters for a company that needs to transport product quickly is key. “We’re close to seaports, airports, major arteries and then there is our

people,” Callaghan said. “So yes, Clifton is a great town to do business in. Plus the workforce is diverse and talented.” While Callaghan is now an expert in the plastics industry, his career path did not begin in what was then a relatively new field. Trained as an architect, he graduated CCNY in 1974. He started out “peddling dry cleaning bags in 1976 and learned the ins and outs of the trade.” Nonetheless, his background as an architect does help him today. “There’s a lot of mathematics involved in the construction styles of these bags,” he said. What he seems to enjoy most about working at Champion—nearly four decades now—is that the privately-held company nurtures and retains employees. Many of the Cliftonites pictured on the previous page started out as part-timers or in entry-level jobs and have been given opportunities to grow into new positions as the company expanded. Likewise, there is a lot of seniority on the factory floor, men that know the machinery and how to keep the extruders producing plastic bags of all shapes and sizes. “My job is the bring out the best in our people and I still enjoy every day here,” said Callaghan.

Proudly Serving Assembly District 34... Clifton, Orange, East Orange & Montclair

It is a pleasure to read of the many Clifton manufacturing firms serving our community. Read about other products Made in New Jersey at

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46 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Clifton History

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In 1988 at their Colfax Ave. factory, Edward Staub with his two sons Jerry and Tom and a later version of the PaceMaster 600.


Story by Carol Leonard

Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Clifton History served as a personal doctor to President George W. Bush. As an increasing number of people heed the advice of Dr. Cooper introduced the concept of aerobic exercise to their doctors and other healthcare professionals to get help improve cardiovascular health. more exercise, many are taking to the gym or purchasing “The book said that if you could home equipment on which to work run a mile in eight minutes four or out. You may be among them. five times a week you would always But did you know that the first be in good shape and would be treadmill for use by the general healthy,” Staub’s son, Gerald, said. public was developed and produced “My dad figured that anyone can right here in Clifton by the late spare eight minutes a day.” Edward Staub. After reading the book, Staub A native of Philadelphia and challenged himself to build a personlongtime city resident until his al exercise treadmill, which Dr. death last July at the age of 96, Cooper had contended would always Staub was a mechanical engineer be too expensive to purchase for the by profession. He worked long home. hours at Besco Corp., a company “At the time, most treadmills he founded on Colfax Ave. to manWilliam & Dorothy Staub. were used for medical testing or ufacture aerospace components. rehabilitation,” Gerald explained. Along with his wife Dorothy, he “They weren’t widely used just for exercise, but my dad also helped raise seven children, four sons and three decided that this would be a great thing.” daughters. Initially, Staub developed the first treadmill for his According to his family, Staub was always very health own use, but then sent a prototype to Dr. Cooper in conscious. “He ate well and exercised, and he wasn’t a Texas, where he ran an aerobics center. He called his big drinker,” said his daughter, Dolores Colucci-Healey. invention the PaceMaster 600. Impressed with his inno“He never smoked. In fact, he said it was a filthy habit.” vation, Dr. Cooper got Staub his first customer, a fitness But when his brother died suddenly of a heart attack equipment dealer who thought it was a great product. in the 1960s, Staub became even more concerned about “The dealer bought five and then ordered more,” the importance of staying fit. Gerald said. “By word of mouth, other dealers heard In 1968 he read a book written by Dr. Kenneth about it and they bought it. They thought it was Cooper, a physician and health and fitness guru who had

48 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant


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Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Clifton History reliable and cost-effective.” According to Gerald, the first model of the PaceMaster 600 cost $295. In the beginning, Staub manufactured the treadmills at his Besco plant in Clifton, but as demand for the product grew, he moved the operation to a building in Little Falls and started a new business called Aerobics, Inc. The company later moved to an even larger facility in West Caldwell. Staub eventually phased out his work in aerospace to focus solely on the treadmill business. Gerald, who holds a degree in electrical engineering, joined his father in the new venture and the two would market the treadmills at tradeshows for fitness equipment dealers. When Staub decided to retire in the mid-1990s, he sold the company to his sons, Gerald and Thomas. Gerald took over as CEO and Thomas was vice president of sales and marketing. The two brothers have also since sold the business and retired. For his efforts in introducing the exercise treadmill to the public, Staub received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Health & Fitness magazine, and he was featured in a 2006 article in Runners World magazine entitled “Our Favorite Things: 40 Years of Running Gear Innovation.” The article credited Staub with eliminating inclement weather as an excuse for not exercising. His passing was acknowledged by TV news anchor Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly News. Williams said that Staub’s product “helped make people more fit all over the world.” Aside from his busy work schedule, Staub had many personal interests and activities over his lifetime, including building and flying radio-controlled airplanes and tinkering with amateur radio. He was also an avid bowler and once owned Colonial Lanes in Lawrenceville. He enjoyed both snow and water skiing, and in his 80s he even took up golf. “His mind was always going,” Gerald said. “In his late 80s and early 90s, he was drawing sketches of ideas for new golf clubs.”

Staub was also very involved in civic life around the area. Among his other activities, he was a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s Hospital. He and his wife offered an endowment to the former Pope Paul VI High School and contributed generously to St. Philips and St. Paul’s parishes. He was an avid supporter of the Clifton Boys & Girls Club, where his daughter, Dolores, was executive director for many years. “My parents were very good to the community,” Dolores said. Staub continued to stay active and exercised on his treadmill almost until the end of his life. “He was actually in very good health until he passed away,” Dolores said. After losing his wife of more than 70 years in 2007, Staub lived alone in his MacArthur Drive home and took care of himself until age 95, when his children insisted that he have a full-time caregiver to assist him. “We found him up on the roof one day trying to do a repair,” Dolores said. “That’s when we knew he needed someone to look out for him.” “He was always very independent and a do-it-yourselfer,” added Gerald. In addition to Dolores, Gerald, Thomas and their spouses, Staub also left behind sons William Jr. and Norman, and daughters Kathleen and Dorothy and their spouses, as well as 21 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He was also predeceased by his daughter, Patricia. Staub’s children are very proud of their father’s accomplishments as an inventor, businessman and entrepreneur, but they are even more grateful for all the love and guidance he gave them as a parent. “He was a wonderful father and a good man,” Dolores said. “He would leave for work early in the morning, but he would come home for lunch every day at noon. We had dinner together as a family every evening at 7. Sometimes he would have to go back to work, but he always took the time to help us with school projects and spent a lot of time with us.”

At the time, most treadmills were used for medical testing or rehabilitation. They weren’t widely used just for exercise, but my dad decided that this would be a great thing.

50 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Baseball • Softball • Track • Lacrosse • Volleyball • Tennis • Golf



Baseball Seniors on the diamond: Erick Ferrara, Chris Koblyarz, Nick Martin, Cory Pollina and Chris DiFalco. Front: Anthony Fusoni, Josh Handler, Roberto Mendoza, Tom Hanle, Jokeldy Hernandez and Dennis Pierson.

April 1 Passaic County Tech


April 5 Eastside Paterson


April 6 @ Elizabeth


he Mustangs improved slightly in their 2012 campaign, posting a 13-13 record. And although they graduated five seniors, Clifton was slated to enter the season with a number of returning starters, including the top three pitchers in the rotation. Unfortunately, head coach Joe Rivera will be without the services of Tyler Lavin after he broke his ankle in a scrimmage. Lavin was the third pitcher in the rotation, and played left field. Still, despite the injury, Rivera thinks his team will feature enough talent and depth to have a successful season. “Before we lost Tyler, I was 52 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

really confident,” he said. “We’re still definitely going to be really good. I’m pretty excited about this year.” Senior Tom Hanle returns as the Mustang ace. “He throws a lot of strikes and has a great curveball,” said Rivera. Hanle will be followed by Lou Ramos, a junior. “He’s got a great change up,” added coach. “He beat Don Bosco last year.” Replacing Lavin will be junior Jose Rosado. For relief pitching, Rivera will utilize several players, including senior Erick Ferrara, Jokeldy Hernandez, and sophomore Kevin Lord.


April 3 @ John F. Kennedy

April 8 @ Passaic

2pm 4:15pm

April 10 Bergen County Tech


April 12 @ DePaul Catholic


April 13 @ Belleville


April 15 Fair Lawn


April 16 @ Paramus Catholic


April 18 Teaneck April 19 @ Wayne Valley

4:15pm 4pm

April 20 @ Montclair


April 22 Wayne Hills


April 24 Passaic County Tech


April 26 John F. Kennedy April 27 Kearny April 29 @ Eastside Paterson May 1 Don Bosco Prep May 3 @ Bergen County Tech May 6 Passaic

4:30pm 11am 4:30pm 4pm 4pm 4:15pm

May 8 West Milford


May 10 @ Lakeland


May 13 @ Passaic Valley


May 15 @ Bloomfield


May 25 County Tourn(TBD)




MUSTANG SPORTS Baseball The infielders will be led by returning first basemen Chris DiFalco, who was one of Clifton’s top hitters during the 2012 campaign. “He bats third for us and has a big bat,” said Rivera. DiFalco has been out with mono for a few weeks, but is expected to return for the start of the season. Jokeldy Hernandez starts at second base, and will be one of the Mustang relief pitchers this coming season. Erick Ferrara, who is committed to play at Lackawanna College next spring, returns to start a third base and will bat clean up. “He’s the best hitter I’ve ever coached,” said Rivera. Junior Jose Rosado was the starting short stop by the end of 2012, and will return to the same position this year. “He’s a solid hitter and plays great defense,” said Rivera. Rosado will bat second in the order. Senior Cory Pollina will be the catcher, and will be backed up by senior Dennis Pierson. Clifton also features several utility players in the infield who will sub in. Junior Bailey Snyder plays first base and will be a relief pitcher.

“He’s a great bunter too,” added coach. When not pitching. sophomore Kevin Lord will also sub in at second or third as needed. Senior Josh Handler is another utility player in the infield for Rivera. The outfield will be led by right fielder Anthony Fusoni led the Mustangs in RBIs last year, and will bat fifth in the order in 2013. Senior Roberto Mendoza will start in the outfield and will bring speed to the bottom of the batting order. Senior Nick Martin will also start, and will be the team’s DH. Senior Chris Koblyarz, and junior Jimmy Sanzogni will be fighting for playing time in the outfield as well. “Jimmy hasn’t played in two years, but he has a ton of speed and is very athletic,” said Rivera. “Chris has a great arm in the outfield. With several returning players and a talented pitching staff, Rivera believes that his team can improve upon last year. Clifton beat Wayne Valley in the first round of the states, and lost to Wayne Hills in the county semi-finals. “We should be pretty good,” he said. “I’m confident about our team.”

Clifton Merchant • April 2013




Softball Front, from left: Megan Pasch, Jaclyn Scotto, Janine Giordano and Dylan Amico. Middle: Kayla Lord, Jaclyn Giordano, Heather Ranges, Jocelyn Cosme. Back: Jessica Schama, Jennifer Chupick, Amanda Marakovitz, Jessica D'Alessio and Christine Gustafson.

he Lady Mustangs will have a new face at the helm in 2013, as Ron Shekitka takes over a Clifton squad that posted a .500 record last year. Before taking the job, Ron Shekitka was a high school umpire in the North Jersey area. He was also previously the coach of the Passaic Indians baseball team. The new coach said that setting a starting line up has been a challenge thus far.. “Part of it for me was that I didn’t really get to see them play much


54 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

last year,” said Shekitka, who has lived in Clifton for 19 years. In Florida, the Lady Mustangs posted a 3-5 record. “We won our first game and then our last two games,” he said. “So We started off good and ended good. The middle was a little shaky.” Clifton’s top returner will be senior pitcher Amanda Marakovitz, who received All-County honors in 2012. “She’s not only a great pitcher, she’s a good hitter too,” said

April 1 at Passaic County Tech


April 3 John F. Kennedy


April 5 @ Eastside Paterson


April 9 Passaic


April 10 @ Bergen County Tech


April 13 @ Wanaque (tourny)


April 15 @ Fair Lawn


April 19 Wayne Valley


April 20 Clifton Classic (tourny)


April 22 @ Wayne Hills


April 24 Passaic County Tech


April 26 @ John F. Kennedy


April 29 Eastside Paterson


May 1 @ Immaculate Heart Acad. 4pm May 2 DePaul Catholic


May 3 Bergen County Tech


May 6 @ Passaic


May 8 West Milford


May 10 @ Lakeland


May 11 County Tournament


May 13 Passaic Valley


May 15 @ West Orange


MUSTANG SPORTS Softball Shekitka. Junior Dylan Amico will be the catcher. Going around the bases is Janine Giordano, Chriss Gustafson at first, Jacklyn Giordano at second, sophomore Kim D’Augusta at short stop and Janine Giordano at third. “Right now, we see a lot of good things. She just needs the experience,” Shekitka said about D’Augusta. “The ability is there. It is just a matter of getting the experience at the next level.” Senior captain Heather Ranges will anchor center field. Senior Jess D’Alessio returns in left field. Right field will be split between senior Jen Chupick and sophomore April D’Angelo. Backup pitchers will be Gustafson and D’Angelo. “From when we started til now, our hitting has really improved,” said Shekitka. Clifton won its first game against PCTI 15-1. “I think that kind of surprised a lot of people. It didn’t surprise me, but I think it surprised a lot of people.” Clifton’s lineup this year is Ranges, Janine Giordano, Marakovitz, Gustafson, Chupick, D’Alessio, Amico, Jacklyn Giordano and D’Augusta.

“Basically, we are going with nine right now,” he said. “That might change here or there, but everyone is doing a good job hitting the ball. No need to use up our dp or flex because everyone is doing our job.” “If we get big hits at the right time and make routine plays, I think we’ll have a good year,” he continued. “Amanda will keep us in games for the most part. I think we can do the little things behind her. I think we’ll have a good year. The attitude is great, the work ethic is great, the kids are working real hard and the coaches are working real hard. I hope to keep the tradition going.”

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Front left: Royce De Leon, Mohammad Shoghorui, Cristian Ramirez, Orville Maldonado. Center, Mendlessohn Philippe, Vishal Rana, Alejandro Gonzalez, Timothy Ojeda, Edgar Aguilar, Devin Gomez. Rear, Frantz Fontin, Abdel Solomin, Karol Oldziej, Michael Hardy, Jose Araya, Jessie Boria.


or the first time in over a quarter century, John Pontes will not be coaching the boys track program. Kareem West, a 30 year old Christopher Columbus Middle School gym teacher and Mustang harrier assistant since 2008, will pick up the baton. West has held a number of positions for the Mustangs, but primarily served as hurdles coach. Though he’s now the one in charge, West still looks to Pontes, who is now an assistant coach, for guidance. “My God, he’s amazing,” laughed West. “An amazing, amazing coach. There’s not anything he can’t do. If I didn’t have Coach Pontes and Coach Rodgers, I don’t know where I’d be. I am very grateful.” 56 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant


West will start off his career at the helm with a talented group of upperclassmen. Top returners are distance runners senior Jessie Boria and junior Justin Tanayan. Both received 2012 All-County honors. Other top distance harriers include senior Karol Oldziej and junior Jeremy Hernandez. Royce De Leon, a senior, is one of the more versatile Mustangs, and will compete in the hurdles, long jump, triple jump and relay. “He does whatever we ask him to do,” said West. Junior Timothy Bryant will participate in jumps and sprints. “He’s even learning throws for us,” he said. “He’s one of five or six guys who will score in multiple events.”

Track April 2 Bergen County Tech


April 8 John F. Kennedy


April 13 @ Passaic Valley April 16 @ Passaic Cnty Tech April 20 @ Morris Hills April 22 @ Passaic April 27 @ Randolph April 30 Eastside Paterson May 4 @ Indian Hills

10am 4:15pm 9am 4:15pm 9am 4:15pm 9am

May 8 @ Passaic Valley


May 9 @ Passaic Valley


May 13 @ Wayne Valley


May 14 @ Wayne Hills


May 15 @ Wayne Hills


May 25 @ Randolph


May 26 @ Randolph May 31 @ Egg Harbor Twp June 1 @ Egg Harbor Twp June 5 @ South Plainfield

10am 3:30pm 11am 3:00pm

Clifton Merchant • April 2013



Front from left: Jennifer Ocampo, Sadia Ahmed, Tiera Elam, Nicole Buttel, Yuria Yuasa. Rear from left: Allison Plishka, Simone Stilley, Gabby Gonzaga, Elizabeth Los, Vanessa Antivo.

West said the Mustang jumpers look paticularly strong, and will also include senior Mike Hardy (long jumps, sprints), and junior Ryan Downs (long, triple and sprints) Isdale Elo, a junior, will be the primary Mustang thrower. “We have 72 boys and they all contribute,” said West. “We hope to do better this season. In indoor, we were two points off the county championship, so I know the boys are hungry to prove themselves.” On the girls side, Mike Rogers enters his second season at the helm and finished last year as co-league champions, County relay champions and placed third in County individuals. Clifton also went 4-0 in dual meets. “We certainly exceeded our expectations,” he said. 58 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Senior Nicole Buttel will be the top returner, and she will compete in hurdles, pole vault, high jump and triple jump. “She’s our best all around athlete and probably the best all around athlete in North Jersey,” Rogers said Tiera Elam, a senior who received All-County honors in indoor, will be the top sprinter. “She really makes up for losing Monika Miazga,” said Rogers. “She’s by far our best sprinter.” Cassidy Cardone will compete in hurdles and long jump. Yuria Yuasa is a senior distance runner who has lettered since her freshman year. “She had a lingering injury the past year, but had a great comeback in indoor and looks phenomenal,” said Rogers. Senior Gabby Gonzaga is a regu-

lar face at the end of year AllLeague and All-County honors as a distance runner, and Rogers expects her to do the same this year. Sofiya Nedelcheva, a sophomore, will add to the depth in distance. “I am excited to have a sophomore of her caliber,” he said. “That’s been the secret here. We had a moderate group of proven competitors. Distance tends to be our mainstay.” Clifton also features talented underclassmen. Michelle Aplogan, a sophomore, who stars in the hurdles and jumps. Freshman thrower Monika Dlugosz was a surprise in indoor after medaling in the league, counties and state sectionals. “We haven’t had a thrower like that in some time,” said Rogers. “We’re very solid in the throws, and all around. I’m really excited.”



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Front, from left is Mark D’Agosta, Kevin Dziuba, Harry Litchfield and Brian Prada. Middle: Rj Rossi, Anthony Mbayed, Joe Cupoli, Mark Surgent and Mike Duesler. Back: Anggelo Rios, Austin Feliciano, Chris Rosado,Tom Cotroneo, Zachary Wohr and Matthew Melnik.


fter four straight years of playoffs, Clifton missed the cut for the state tournament in 2012 after going 1-14. But despite the record, there is optimism within the program. Injuries depleted the team’s depth. At times, Mustang midfielders would simply switch to attack rather than take a line change for a break. Clifton also played a much tougher schedule than they will face in 2013. “Four of the teams we played went to the state finals,” said head coach George Cowan. Clifton was sent down one division to the Kimberly League. “The numbers in the division are up a lot. The total program is now 75.” 60 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Cowan also has a number of returning starters that will help guide the new talent. Senior Mark Surgent is a four year starter at attack, and earned AllLeague and All-County honors in 2012. “He’s a really steady guy for us,” said Cowan. Senior Matt Melnick will also start up front. He is committed to play lacrosse at Fairleigh Dickenson University next spring. Zach Wohr, a senior, played midfield last year and will now start attack. Junior attacker George Balkjy got some time up front last year but could see much more action in 2013. The midfield will be anchored by senior Tommy Cotroneo. “He’s amazing,” said Cowan. Cotroneo

CHS Boys

Lacrosse April 1 Newark Eastside


April 4 @ Union City


April 6 @ Lakeland


April 8 Scotch Plains-Fanwood


April 11 @ Governor Livingston


April 15 @ Wayne Hills


April 18 Hanover Park


April 20 @ Oratory Prep


April 27 New Providence


April 29 @ Newark Academy


May 1 Verona


May 2 @ South Brunswick


May 4 @ Randolph


May 6 @ River Dell


May 9 Pascack Hills


May 13 @ DePaul Catholic May 16 Cranford May 18 Nutley

7pm 4:30pm 7pm

will be playing at Drew University in the spring. “He does faceoffs for us, and has played Varsity as a freshman and sophomore.” The senior will be flanked by classmate Austin Feliciano, a talented lefty shot, and senior Chris Rosado, who was a midfielder last year. The second line will be all sophomores with Billy Gibson taking draws along side of Steven Borthwick and Brett Ranges. Junior Michael Kommer will also take shifts with the midfield. Senior Michael Duesler, who will also play at FDU next year, will be a long stick middie on faceoffs and will play base defense. Classmate Kevin Dzuiba will also do the same. The defense will be a rotation of seniors Joe Cupoli, Robert Rossi and juniors Brenden Schreiber and Luis Lopez. Senior Harry Litchfield is the four year starter in the cage and he will be backed up by junior Eddie Myers. “We’re probably strongest up front. The kids can hold themselves and there’s more depth,” said Cowan. “This is a redemption year for us.”

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CHS Girls

Lacrosse From left on their home turf, the Mustang seniors Katie Brody, Michelle Shackil, Tatyana Castro, Jenn Koppers, Tatjana Petrovic and Nicole Roncancio.


lifton did not have a good outing in 2012, going 314 and missing the playoffs. And with only a few experienced players returning, head coach Amanda Gryszkin will have a number of new Varsity players starting in 2013. “We graduated a lot of good players: Jazmine Perdomo, Carly Padula, Gina LoBue and Marina Rodriguez,” said head coach Amanda Gryszkin. “We pretty much lost our whole midfield. That was a solid group for us that played a lot and had experience. But we have a lot of kids stepping up into new roles on the team.” Unfortunately, Clifton enters the 2013 slim on veteran players. 62 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

There are only six upperclassmen—three seniors and three juniors—and a lot of sophomores who played JV last year will be making the jump to Varsity. Some of the more experienced Lady Mustangs will play multiple positions over the course of the season. Senior Michelle Shackil returns and will see time both at forward and defense. “She can really play wherever we need her,” said Gryszkin. She will be flanked by returning starter Katie Brody, who will anchor the defense, and junior Jenn Koppers, who also earned a Varsity letter in 2012. Sophomores Kayla Ware and Yasmine Oviedo will also see plenty of action at defense

April 1 @ Bergen County Tech


April 3 @ Northern Valley


April 5 Wayne Valley


April 9 Dwight Englewood


April 11 @ Lakeland April 13 @ Waldwick

4pm 9:30pm

April 15 Mary Help Academy


April 17 Demarest


April 19 @ Pascack Hills


April 22 Holy Angels


April 23 DePaul Catholic


April 25 @ River Dell


April 29 Wayne Hills


May 1 @ Paramus


May 3 Fair Lawn


May 7 Cranford


May 8 County Tourn


May 13 @ Saddle River Day


in 2013. Senior Annie Duffy saw limited time on Varsity in 2012, but can play anywhere on the field, including defense. Junior goalkeeper Shannon

MUSTANG SPORTS Girls Lacrosse Christie earned the starting position in the latter half of the 2012 season, and will have the spot on lock this year. Junior Liz Austin will be a starting forward after spending last year on junior varsity. “Some of our sophomores have a chance of being good,” said Gryszkin. Tatyana Castro will be a starter this year at midfield. Classmate Tatjana Petrovic will play both midfield and attack. Sophomore Nicole Roncancio will play in the midfield, as well Gabby Garcia, who, as a freshman, earned some Varsity time at the end of the season. Sophomore Amy Philhower will also get time in the midfield and at attack. “Those sophomores are our primary players for the future,” said Gryszkin. Gryszkin has four freshman playing with the Varsity team: Brittany Morales, who plays midfield, Olivia DeMuro, forward/midfield, and Emily Ulczek, defense, and Tiffany Richards, midfield. “If I can get them working on some stuff early on this year, we should have a couple of good players on the team for the next couple of years,” said Gryszkin.

Clifton Merchant • April 2013


MUSTANG SPORTS Boys Volleyball

CHS Boys

Volleyball Rear from left: Conrad Jackson, Christian Patti, Pavlo Kravchuk, Dan Massa, Raj Desai, Avi Sojitra, Ismael Albilal, Richie Romaniak and Pavan Patel. Front: Nabil Jamhour, Lawrence Rodriguez, Adit Desai, Ankit Desai and Kamil Grabowski. Not Pictured: Ivan Aleksyeyenni

April 1 Passaic County Tech


April 3 @ John F. Kennedy


April 5 Eastside Paterson


April 8 @ Passaic


April 10 Bergen County Tech 4:15pm


he Mustangs have a new face at the helm in 2013, as Nicholas Romanak, who previously coached the girls volleyball team, takes over for Mike Doktor. The new coach inherits a team that went 12-13 last year, but features a number of upperclassmen, a couple of whom that are experienced Varsity players. “We have 12 seniors and two sophomores,” he recalled. “A lot of them are returning starters, but 64 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

there are a couple of new people there as well.” The top two Mustang returners will be setter Christian Patti and Avi Sojitra, the Mustang libero. Patti was an All-County selection in 2012, while Sojitra received AllLeague recognition and honorable mention for All-County. In addition to Patti and Sojitra, Clifton will also return middle hitter Adit Desai, as well as Lawrence Rodriguez, who started at

April 15 Fair Lawn


April 17 @ Hackensack


April 19 @ Wayne Valley


April 22 Wayne Hills


April 24 @ Passaic County Tech


April 26 John F. Kennedy


April 29 @ Eastside Paterson May 1 Don Bosco Prep

4:15pm 4pm

May 3 @ Bergen County Tech


May 6 Passaic


May 8 County Tourn


May 8 @ Teaneck


May 10 Lakeland


May 13 @ Passaic Valley


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MUSTANG SPORTS Boys Volleyball opposite hitter in 2012. “Lawrence is consistently an offensive weapon for us,” added Romanak. Those four Mustangs will be the most experienced players on the court for Clifton in the upcoming season, and their play will be one of the deciding factors in the team’s performance in 2013. “We have a few offensive weapons, but we have to improve our passing so we can get it to them,” explained Romanak “But we have been better as of late with that.” Clifton will also return a number of players who were reserves on Varsity in 2012, or are moving up from the JV team. Ankit Desai will slot in as middle hitter for Clifton. Raj Desai, Adit’s cousin, will also see time as outside hitter. “He (Raj Desai) has been our most consistent outside hitter,” said Romanak. Ivan Aleksyeyenkl and Pavan Patel will be vying for playing time at outside hitter, while Dan Massa will serve as the team’s defensive specialist. Conrad Jackson is a new comer to the sport who will find time at the middle hitter position.

66 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

While the team is dominated by seniors, Romanak will have two sophomores on the roster who will not be starters at the beginning of the season, but will get valuable playing time and experience in 2013. “We have two sophomores who might not get a lot of playing time this year, but I am excited to have them,” he said. “I am really optimistic about how they are going to develop.” Sophomore Nabil Jamhour was an outside hitter as a freshman, but will be playing opposite in 2013. Classmate Kamil Grabowski is in his first year of organized volleyball, but has already displayed talent. “Kamil a great athlete and a big guy,” explained Romanak. Overall, the coach thinks that his team has the experience and talent to have a successful season. “They’re used to playing with each other,” said Romanak. “A lot of them played club together in the off-season. A big part of the game is how well they know each other, how well they work together as a team. We’ve got some players, but we lost some good guys from last year as well. I hope to improve on the record from last year.”


On the courts behind CHS, from left: Giancarlo Osnato, Peter Chudolij, Mihai Solotchi. Back: Michard Rangga, Jefferson Rangga, Szymon Kutyla, Sebastian Luna and Tim Laux.


lifton’s boys tennis team had one of its best seasons ever last year, and might be headed for greater heights in 2013. “It’s the same team since they were freshman,” said coach Andrea Bobby. “This is the fourth year together for them and they’ve done pretty well. Clifton went 13-4 and won its league before falling to Bergen Tech in the second round of the playoffs. “They’re the best team in Northern New Jersey,” said Bobby, who added that it was the first time her teams have ever made it past the first round. The Mustangs might be poised to take another step forward in 2013 since they return all but one starter from last year. Junior Richard Rangga is once again the Mustang

number one. He collected AllLeague and All-County honors last year. Senior Peter Chudolij returns as the number two, and Richard’s older brother, Jefferson, will be the number three singles player. Senior Dzymon Kutyla will be part of the first doubles team. He will partner with either sophomore Sebastian Luna, a talented player from Peru who joined the team this year, or senior Mihai Solotchi played singles last year, but will be on one of the double teams. Senior Tim Laux will half of the second doubles team. “If we do well as a team this season and do well as individuals in the county tournament, that would be the icing on the cake,” said Bobby. “We have great guys. It’s enjoyable to watch them.”


Tennis April 1 Passaic County Tech


April 3 John F. Kennedy


April 5 @ Eastside Paterson


April 8 Passaic


April 9 @ Fair Lawn


April 10 @ Bergen County Tech


April 12 DePaul Catholic


April 19 @ Wayne Valley


April 22 @ Wayne Hills


April 24 County Tourn


April 24 @ Passaic County Tech


April 25 Bergen Catholic


April 26 @ John F. Kennedy


April 29 Eastside Paterson


May 1 @ Don Bosco Prep


May 3 Bergen County Tech


May 6 @ Passaic


May 8 West Milford


May 10 @ Lakeland


May 13 Passaic Valley


Clifton Merchant • April 2013



Mustang duffers from left Eric Lux, David Korty, Evan Dunn, Gabe Larkey, Dave Jackiewicz and Nick Flaherty.


lifton once again had a good year after posting a 12-9 record in 2012. Head coach Chad Cole is optimistic about his team this year since he only has to replace a couple of players. That means the Mustangs could once again be successful. “We really only lost our number one form last year and our number four,” he said. “And pretty much all of the team has improved. They’ve played a lot of over the summer.” The top returner for Clifton will be senior Erick Lux. “He played one or two last year at times. Erick will be moving up to play number one full time now,” said Cole. “He’s a real good player, and has gotten better since last year. I am expecting good things out of him.” 68 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

The number two will be senior David Jackiewicz. “He’s steady and has also improved quite a bit over the summer,” said Cole. “He’s a golfaholic. He loves the sport and loves improving. I expect him to continue to improve as the season progresses.” Juniors Gabe Larkey and David Korty will be the next two duffers in the order. All four players received Second Team All-league honors. After that, playing time will be split between senior Evan Dunn and juniors Derrick Rodriguez and Nick Flaherty. Clifton started the season slowly with a loss to PCTI, but the coach thinks it was just a slow start to the year. “We did pretty good last year,” said Cole. “I am hoping to at least do the equivalent this year.”


Golf April 1 Passaic County Tech


April 8 @ Nutley


April 9 @ River Dell


April 10 @ Paramus


April 22 Wayne Valley/Bergen County Tech


April 23 Passaic/Passaic Valley/ 4pm April 24 Wayne Valley


April 26 Fort Lee


April 29 @ West Milford


May 1 Passaic Valley


May 2 Wayne Hills


May 6 Big North Championship


May 7 Wayne Hills/Passaic County Tech May 9 Big North Tourn

4pm TBD

May 13 DePaul Catholic/Hawthorne/ Eastside Paterson


May 14 Lakeland


May 15 County Tourn



Registration Now Ongoing! Give Us A Call Today!

Accepting Children from Birth to Age 12

0 1 S





• Open 7 am to 6 pm • When public schools are • Weekly Chapel closed, we’re open! • 16 Teachers & Aides — Many here over 20 years!

Jennifer Henkel, Director • First Presbyterian Church 303 Maplewood Avenue, Clifton • 973.523.7704 Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Events & Briefs

The Hamilton House Crafters, John E. Biegel Jr. and Nancy and Roy Garretson will be honored by St. Andrew’s.

St. Andrew’s RC School and Church will conclude its 60th year celebration with the 3rd Annual Gala at the Brownstone on May 2. Honorees include Roy and Nancy Garretson, owners of Shook Funeral Home who will receive the Family Faith Award. The Mayor Anzaldi Community Service Award goes to John E. Biegel, Jr. The Hamilton House Crafters will receive the Gloria Kolodziej Community Enhancement Award. The affair begins at 6:30 pm and tickets are $60. To purchase, call 973-473-3711 or 973-779-6873.

Pirogies Are Even More Delicious After Lent!!! Come to The Famous & Original (from Lexington Ave)...


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Cheryl Bender’s second grade class from the 1992-1993. Front row, from left: Sean McNally, Heather Amiano, Alex Lesaski, Hetal Patel, Jason Bulaklac, Diane Canavan and Steven Hrina. Middle: Michelle SMolt, Nora Abbasi, Kaitlin Vinciguerra, Ricky McGuire, Lisa Paitchell, Julio Ambrosio, Caroline Ryznar and Gina Olivia. Back: Joseph Hawrylko, Stephen Kovalcik, Kelly Chartofillis, Matthew Chavonne, Nicholas Grippo, Steven Walkley and Paul Ogden. Bender is still teacheing at the school and is now in her 26th year at the Valley Rd. facility.

School 5 stands as a welcoming beacon on Valley Rd. This year, the community will celebrate its 100th anniversary and students, staff and alumni alike will celebrate with an event on April 9 at 6:30 pm. Guests will take tours of the school and view a historical presentation about the School by the Mountainside. Alumni are encouraged to bring along their old School 5 memorabilia and photos to relieve memories with classmates and teachers. Those under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult. For info, call coordinator John Silva at 973-800-3438, or email him at

The Red Hat Angels, a team walking in the June 8 Relay For Life at Clifton Stadium, will host a fundraiser on May 1 and May 15 at Bruno’s Restaurant, Clifton Plaza. Mention Relay for Life when dining in or ordering out and Bruno’s will donate 20 percent of all checks. Details at The Richfield Christian Reformed Church hosts a free open faith forum every Saturday at 10:30 am. It is a casual meeting in which people discuss faith, spirituality and current events. Meetings are in the parsonage at 267 Pershing Rd. For info, call 973-632-1305.

Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Events & Briefs

North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted the 13th annual Savor, a networking, food and wine festival on March 4 at Preakness Hills Country Club. Vendors presented their wares, including Clifton’s Mr. Cupcakes, Johnny Manganiotis and his dad John, as well as Kim West (with her son Ralph) of Uno Chicago Grill. Above right are Tony Rose and Brian Murphy from Columbia Bank, the title sponsor of the event. Murphy is also the new Chair of the NJRCC.

The Coalition for Brain Injury Research hosts a beefsteak on June 7, 6:30 pm at the Clifton Boys & Girls Club. With entertainment by Uncle Floyd, silent auctions and 50/50 raffles, tickets are $50. Proceeds benefit the search for a brain injury cure. Info, call Dennis Benigno at 973-632-2066 or Main Memorial Library, 292 Piaget Ave. and SCORE, a volunteer organization that provides free counseling to entrepreneurs and business owners, offers a discussion on internet marketing and social media by Dan Beldowicz on April 29 at 7 pm. Info at, or call 973-772-5500 ext. 3009.


Luxury Vinyl Tiles

Dutch educators visited Woodrow Wilson Middle School on March 12 in an exchange hosted by William Paterson University. Pictured with WW’s Admin Intern Christine Garibell Bertollo (seated left) are Tineke Vermeulen, Joyce Scheltens, Arnoud Bolt, Benjan van Brugger, Maria van der Bent and Marjanne Timmerman. They observed special ed and inclusion classes.




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72 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Since 1927

The 34th Legislative district, which Clifton is part of, will see a June 4 Primary Election battle on the Democratic side between (from left) Senator Nia Gil and Mark Alexander. Also up for election this year in the Nov. 4 General Election are Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Assemblyman Tom Giblin. Republican candidates include Joe Cupoli, for NJ Senate, and Mike Urciuoli and Rev. David Rios for the NJ Assembly seats occupied by Giblin and Oliver.

34th District State Senator Nia Gil is facing an opponent in the June 4 primary. Montclair resident and former senior advisor to President Obama, Mark Alexander filed over 1,000 signed petitions on March 26. “Alexander is building a campaign operation to take on the political machine in Essex County and empower normal folks in all four towns, and not just the politically connected,” stated a campaign e-mail. He was endorsed by former US Senator Bill Bradley. Gil has been serving the district since 2002. She ran unsuccessfully in the June 2012 primary election to fill the seat in Congress left vacant by the death of Donald M. Payne, the former U.S. Representative for NJ’s 10th Congressional district. Former Clifton Councilman Joe Cupoli heads the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization’s 34th Legislative ticket as a candidate for State Senator in the November election. GOP candidates for the Assembly seats are former Clifton BOE Commissioner Michael C. Urciuoli, and Rev. Dr. David Rios pastor and founder of La Iglesia del Pueblo in Clifton. Cupoli is president and CEO of P&A Auto Parts, supervising 130 employees in a $24 million a year company. Urciuoli is a lawyer who manages a law office that specializes in insurance issues. The Clifton Democratic Club’s meeting is at 7 pm on April 8 at the Allwood Library. Guest speaker is Assemblyman Tom Giblin who represents the 34th district, which includes Clifton, Montclair, East Orange and Orange. Giblin was elected to the Assembly in 2005, filling the seat of fellow Democrat Peter C. Eagler, who served in the Assembly since 2002, and was knocked off the legislative slate. To attend, call Club President John Pogorelec, Jr, at 973-778-1604.

Officers of the Clifton Master Plumbers include Sal Maffettone (Vice President), Ralph Wetzel (State Representative), Andy Samsel (Sargent-At-Arms), Kevin McNamee (Treasurer), Paul Peskosky (President) and Mark Zecchino ( Financial Secretary). There are some 32 members of the Clifton group which is a sub-chapter of the NJ League of Master Plumbers. The mission is promote the trade, protect the health of citizens and be an advocate for plumbing standards Alan Jordan Jr. from St. Philip the Apostle Boy Scout Troop 21 became an Eagle Scout on March 22. He is the 74th Scout to achieve the highest award in scouting from the parish, which has scouting history dating back to 1951. His project was to redesign, enlarge and renovate the St. Anthony shrine behind the church. Longtime Scouter Robert Shaker was honored with the Bronze Pelican Award by Bishop Arthur Serratelli at its annual Scout Sunday Mass. Shaker (inset) has been affiliated with St. Philip the Apostle Troop 21, Clifton for over 20 years and has served as Scoutmaster, Asst. Scoutmaster, Committee Chair and currently Advancement Chair. Shaker is also a 3rd degree Knight of Columbus and is the current Chancellor of K of C Council 11671. The Bronze Pelican Award is given to adult Boy Scout leaders who have shown exemplary service to the Scouts and to their respective religious organizations. Shaker is the third recipient in Troop 21’s history. Clifton Merchant • April 2013 73

Events & Briefs Clifton PBA members depart North Jersey on May 9 in the Police Unity Tour for Washington DC. Before the 300 mile bicycle trek to Washington D.C. begins, the group must raise more than $18,000. The funds help build a monument and maintain a museum in the nation’s Capitol. The Police Unity Tour is an annual bicycle ride to Washington D.C. in memory of fallen officers. Nearly 19,000 cops have given their lives in the line of duty, and their names are etched on the National Law Enforcement Officers Monument and Memorial in Washington D.C. Each name represents a sad story of an officer from across the U.S. killed in the line of duty, including Clifton Police Officer John Samra, who died in the line of duty on Nov. 21, 2003. To support the PUT,

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New Management 74 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

2013 members of Clifton’s Police Unity Tour invite the community to a send off party at Club Bliss on May 3 at 5 pm. Call 973-253-4400 for details.

make a check to Clifton PBA 36 and mail to 1288 Main Ave., Clifton NJ 07011. This year’s members are bicycle riders Robert Bais, Randy Colondres, Tom Hawrylko and

Daniel Ishak. Motorcyclists are Mike Adamo, Robert Bielstein, Derek Fogg, Brian Fopma and Gary Giardina with support by Mark Centurione, Stacy Costa and Michael McLaughlin.

Manicure + 15 min. chair massage ............... $12 Color gel manicure ...................................... $22 Color gel manicure + pedicure +15 min chair massage ............................... $50 Spa 1 pedicure: Hot stone leg massage Callus Treatment 15 min chair massage ................................. $35 New customers only Mon-Thurs Free Manicure Fri and sat Free eyebrow, lip or chin Manicure and pedicure ............................... $15 UV New Set ............................................. $40 No double dips • Disposable File and buffer • Sanitized Tool use only

Darwin Dena and Daimelry Lara, pictured rear left, of the Paulison Avenue ShopRite, will be featured on Cheerio boxes for their efforts in a ShopRite Partners In Caring Contest. The two employees, the various managers pictured here and staff from other ShopRites in the region, raised $1.25 million which was given to food banks in our area to fight hunger.

Passaic County Community College offers shortterm, no-cost training for qualifying applicants to become a Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Training is offered through the federally-funded Health Profession Opportunity Grant at PCCC. Applicants

must have US citizenship and meet other criteria. Classes are at the PCCC Public Safety Academy, 300 Oldham Road, Wayne. Daytime training classes start May 11. Evening classes start June 1. For details, call 973-684-5541 or e-mail St Paul’s Leisure Club meets in the church basement on the second and fourth Wednesdays. Upcoming events include trips to Camp Hope on May 1 and June 5. There will also be a trip to Villa Roma on April 16 and to Mt. Airy Casino on May 29. Call 973-546-7690. The Young At Heart Senior Club meets monthly the first and third Tuesday at 12:30 pm at the hall of the First Presbyterian Church on Maplewood Ave. A variety of trips and events are planned. Call 973-779-5581. Dr. Adriana Ros pictured with her parents, Joe and Helen, hosted the opening of the Dermatology Institute & Laser Center at 1100 Clifton Ave. on March 21. For more on the medical and cosmetic center services, go to

Clifton Merchant • April 2013


In Our Schools

Robert Jones, a St. Mary HS senior from Clifton and 1st team all Bergen County football player, has been accepted to Rose-Hulmann Institute of Technology, the top ranked undergrad engineering school in the country. He has also been accepted to the University of Alabama School of Engineering with a full academic scholarship. “At this point I’m waiting to see the financial package Rose-Hulmann will be offering before I make a decision on the two schools.”

76 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Students in Carol Peterson’s third grade class at School 9 on Brighton Rd. are pictured on March 4, Dr. Seuss Day. Clifton Merchant Magazine’s Editor & Publisher Tom Hawrylko visited them and read The Lorax to the class.

Which ever school he chooses, Jones (above left) plans on studying Civil or Mechanical Engineering. “Although football has been a big part of my life academics and engineering in particular has always come first,” said the Delawanna resident, who also attended School 8. “My grandfather impressed that philosophy on my dad and my dad certainly impressed it upon me.”

His dad, also Robert, was a linebacker for the NY Giants for four years and attended the Alabama School of Engineering. The 6’5” son said he choose St. Mary HS in Rutherford due to small class size and personal academic support. “My junior English teacher challenged me and held me accountable when I was not working to my potential,” he said. “She called my parents and I was placed in one-on-one tutoring with that teacher until my grade was a B.” Jones’ football career at St. Mary, which has a reputation in the classroom and on the gridiron, was also well above average. Starting for two years at offensive tackle and defensive end, Robert played in three State Finals with the St. Mary Gaels finishing 11-1 in 2012. “I’m not sure if I will play college football,” he said. “But one thing I am sure is that my engineering degree will always come first.”

Student of the Month

In the Swim to Her Goal By Joe Hawrylko When she graduates in June, Chrissy Gustafson will leave CHS as one of the more decorated female swimmers in some time. The Student of the Month plans to continue her illustrious career this fall at Rowan University, where she will be joining her sister, Charlene, a 2010 grad. For Gustafson, sports have always been a major part of her life. “I was a tomboy growing up,” she laughed. “I had played softball and t-ball since I was about seven. I play third and pitch. I just really love the game, whether it’s batting or just fielding the ball.” This Spring marks the first time that she will play for the Lady Mustangs Varsity team, and she will be making her first trip to Florida for Spring Training. But her true love has always been swimming. “We have a pool in my backyard, so I was always in the pool no matter what,” she said. Gustafson first started swimming competitively with the Seahawks of the Boys & Girls Club at five years old. “I used to go to the kindercare program there (the B&GC). I’ve always been active in the Club,” she said. One of the teachers at the Club asked if Gustafson wanted to participate in a meet. Gustafson was just five at the time. “I got first in my first heat and I’ve been doing it ever since.” With the Seahawks, Gustafson has competed for a number of years, and even traveled to Florida for Nationals. Once she arrived at CHS, the student of the month immediately became a standout swimmer. A four year Varsity swimmer, the Student of the Month dominated in the pool and owns the school record in the 100 fly. Gustafson also has three County plaques

for her performances in her junior year, which she said was her best year to date. “I took first in the 200 and 400 relay, and first in the butterfly,” she said. Typically, Gustafson competes in the 200 medley relay, 100 backstroke, 100 fly and 400 free. In addition to competition, Gustafson’s talents in the water are used at her summer job as a life guard for Ocean County beaches, where she has worked for the past two years. “Once I had to save a little boy who got out of the flags,” she recalled. Gustafson said her most tense moment on the job was when a code red was called, meaning that a missing person report was filed for someone who was last seen by the water. “We got everyone out of the water and all the guards went in with goggles and fins and started searching,” she recalled. Fortunately, the missing person, a mentally disabled boy, was found walking around. “The crowd applauded us though. It was a great feeling.” Gustafson will continue to life guard and swim competitively this fall when she starts classes at Rowan University. The Student of the Month selected the school because her sister, Charlene, swims there, and because of the university’s athletic training program. Ranked in the top five percent of the Class of 2013, Gustafson has been preparing for college by interning at the school trainer’s office. As a junior, she joined the athletic trainer’s club and realized that it was something that she wanted to study in school. “They teach us a lot. They explain what the injury is and what to do,” she said. “Overall it is a really great learning experience.” Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Filmed in Passaic

Among the films created for the 9th annual Passaic County Film Festival was Shift, directed by Clifton High School senior Michelle Martinez (in white) with Katherine Hernandez (in pink) in the lead role. Others featured in the film include Mervin Reyes, Olivia Perez, Damian Miranda, Darlene Pasco, Georgina Hernandez and Katherine Hernandez.

Photo and Story by Tom Hawrylko Now in its ninth year, the Passaic County Film Festival has attracted nearly 90 entries. Produced by independent filmmakers, college students and high schoolers who live, attend school, or work in Passaic County, the 18 top winners will be announced on April 20 in a screening at the Fabian 8 Cinema, Center City Mall, in historic downtown Paterson. All 86 entries were reviewed in mid-March by members of the Passaic County Film Commission. All films were 10 or less minutes in length and are rated ‘G’. The selection of first, second and third place winners in six different categories was made and those are the films which will be screened on April 20. From among those films, one will be selected as Best in Show and announced that day. Admission and parking on that day are free. 78 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Since the call for entries begins the year prior, a number of Clifton filmmakers wrote and produced their original works for the competition. Among them was Brian LoPinto’s project, The Art of Officiating, a documentary about Art McNally, a ref for the National Football League who would become the head of NFL Officiating in 1968. He is considered, by many, to be the Father of NFL Officiating. McNally is known for incorporating the seventh official on the field, which is in use today. He was an on the field during the so-called Immaculate Reception, the AFC divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh on Dec. 23, 1972. The play has been a source of unresolved controversy and speculation ever since.

ic County McNally currently works for the NFL as a game observer and trainer. LoPinto’s documentary primarily highlights his road to becoming a game official in a first person, sit down interview done by LoPinto. “The most interesting aspect of the film is Art himself,” explained LoPinto. “However, beneath it all, it was one moment in time that stood out for Art. While stationed in Hawaii, as part of his service as a Marine, he attended a basketball game between the Marines and the Army. It was a simple game that pitted two local base companies. That game changed his life,” LoPinto continued: “The game was delayed because the officials did not show up. An administrator stepped up and asked: ‘Can anybody referee?’ A young Art McNally looked around, shrugged his shoulders and said to himself: ‘Yeah, I'll take a chance.’” The rest, as the film explains, is history. CHS Senior Michelle Martinez’s project, Shift, is about a teenage girl who is trying to escape her partying ways of the past. As she struggles to shed her old past, temptation is found at all the regular places where teens explore life. However, she manages to stay clean and makes a new friend who is also on the straight and narrow. “What I think is the most interesting aspect of my film is the range in the styles of music used in the soundtrack, including hip hop, dub step, pop, and a piano instrumental,” she said. “Also the diversity in the characters, who range in ethnicities, reflecting on the diversity here in Clifton.” The Passaic County Film Festival and Film Commission are run under the auspices of the Passaic County Division of Economic Development and the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders. The goal is to foster filmmaking in the 16 communities of the county and help the development of the motion picture and television film industry here. For more information, contact Economic Development Director Deborah Hoffman for details at 973-569-4720 or

Clifton Entries Shift CHS senior Michelle Martinez wrote and directed this film about a teenaged girl who leaves behind her wild past and seeks a new future.

The Art of Officiating Art McNally is considered the “Father of football officiating.” This short film by independent filmmaker Brian LoPinto captures McNally’s early days as a young official on his journey to being a referee in the NFL.

Project C.O.P.E. A promotional documentary produced by Montclair State University student Bryana Arlington about a non-profit organization educating at-risk adolescents in Paterson about HIV and issues related to substance use.

Regretful Suicide Passaic County Technical High students Josue Dajes, Joel Delgado and Edgar J. Ramos collaborated to write and produce a dramatic story about a girl who contemplates suicide but realizes people actually care and love her.

The Fates and the Death of Gods PCTI student Javed Ali is in his third year of competition in the festival. He created what he calls a ‘documentary on the Greek mythological beings known as the Four Fates and their roles in the death of certain Greek Gods.’

EMT Exhibition Prolific PCTI student Javed Ali collaborated with classmate Ciara Rosario to explore the right way to conduct EMT procedures for public safety types. Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Birthdays & Celebrations - April 2013

Charlie & Frances Stek celebrate their 67th anniversary April 28. The Hawrylko brothers, Tom, Jr. will be 26 on April 16 and Joe, will be 28 on April 27, with their good friend, Bob Marley who turns 9 on April 4. Happy Anniversary to Pete & Ellen Fierro who will be married 37 years on April 18.

Birthdays & Celebrations

Send dates & Karen Goldey..................... Timothy Hayes .................... Hetal Patel.......................... Karen Schwartz .................. Raymond DeDios ................ Carl DiGisi ......................... Eric Homsany ..................... JoEllen Kenney-Illenye .......... Kevin John Lord .................. Greg Alexander..................

4/1 4/1 4/1 4/1 4/3 4/3 4/3 4/3 4/3 4/4

Happy 34th Anniversary to John & Donna Hawrylko on April 28 80 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Albert Pogorelec ................. 4/4 Joey Scotto ......................... 4/4 Bo Franko .......................... 4/5 Sabrina Greco.................... 4/5 Wafa Othman .................... 4/5 Mark Peterson .................... 4/5 Bob Tanis ........................... 4/5 Joe Franek.......................... 4/6 Sharon J. Koribanics ........... 4/6 Jessica Mondelli.................. 4/6 Luke Kulesa ........................ 4/7 Donna Mangone ................ 4/7 Patricia Colman .................. 4/8 Sheryll Franko .................... 4/8 Jackie Henderson................ 4/8 Jeff Murcko......................... 4/8 Emma Gretina .................... 4/9 Kathy Krisinski .................... 4/9 Brian Firstmeyer ................ 4/11 Leila Gasior...................... 4/11 Felipe Rivera .................... 4/11 Erin Smith......................... 4/11 Debbie Tucker .................. 4/11 Doreen Delancy-Williams... 4/12 Alice Shanley Babinski ...... 4/12 Josh Ontell ....................... 4/13 Alexander John Mosciszko. 4/14

Lisa Kulesa ....................... 4/15 Adam Pienciak ................. 4/15 Kurt Irizarry...................... 4/16 Robert Monzo .................. 4/16 Linda Humphrey ............... 4/17 Joseph P. Koribanics.......... 4/17 Peter Fierro....................... 4/18 Jason Dubnoff................... 4/19 Jennifer O’Sullivan ............ 4/19 Bryan Rodriguez............... 4/19 John Anderson.................. 4/20 Jeff Camp......................... 4/20 Greg Nysk ....................... 4/21 Alicia Rose Aste................ 4/22 Lori Hart........................... 4/22 Mike Tresca...................... 4/22 Alyssa Tucker.................... 4/22 Bobby Ventimiglia............. 4/22 Danny Gorun ................... 4/23 John Pogorelec, Jr. ............ 4/23 Marc Scancarella ............. 4/23 Katie Michelotti................. 4/25 Brianna A. Pastore............ 4/25 Klondike Tresca ................ 4/25 Buddy Czyzewski ............. 4/26 Stephanie Magaster.......... 4/26 Jillian Mangone ................ 4/26 Annie Pogorelec ............... 4/26 Elise Termyna.................... 4/26 Mike Grimaldi .................. 4/27 Michael Press ................... 4/27

Daniel Leigh Magaster April 7, 1985 - Oct. 16, 2003

Roland & Lena Krygsman celebrate 60 years of marriage on April 24. April Graham.................. Stephen Camp, Jr. ........... Paul Colman ................... Heather Halasz ............... Christine Klein .................

4/28 4/29 4/29 4/29 4/29

Peter Chudolij is 18 on April 28.

Happy 7th Birthday to Damian Calvo on April 13. Clifton Merchant • April 2013


Hardscaping adds Value to Home

Let Spring bring the winds of change around the outside of your home.... Whether selling or staying in your home, consider hardscaping this Spring. Products have come a long way beyond the parameters of interlocking concrete pavements and manufactured wall systems. Cambridge Pavingstones at Athenia Mason Supply offers staircases, columns, caps and mailboxes, veneer stone, water features, as well as outdoor fireplaces and fire pits, open air kitchens, grill islands and pizza ovens, pictured here. A permeable pavement can help manage storm water runoff on properties with high water tables. A heating system beneath a maintenance-free driveway of interlocking concrete pavers will eliminate snow removal. Building a retaining wall of manufactured units makes good sense when dealing with a sloped front or backyard. Cast stone wall caps, steps and stepping-stones are just a few examples of how other hardscape materials can 82 April 2013 • Clifton Merchant

Cambridge Pavingstones Founder / CEO Charles H. Gamarekian save money when compared to natural stone such as bluestone. Thinking about re-facing part of your home’s facade or facing a column, custom outdoor kitchen or refreshment bar? Consider manufactured veneer stones such as the ones from Cambridge and see them at Athenia Mason Supply. It’s easy to design straight, curved or serpentine walls, a raised patio or a tree ring using Cambridge wallstones because of its laser technology. The result is satisfaction due to a professional-grade fit, and optimal results in hundreds of style and patterns.

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