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Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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The late John E. Biegel Jr. was on our cover three times. In May 1999, from left Joe Tuzzolino, Biegel, Helene Lenkowec, Walter Pruiksma and Randy Colondres. In November 2000, Korean War vets Biegel Jr., Andrew Den Bleyker, Tom Miller, Ken Supko and John Ryan. In May 2012, at the Avenue of Flags, Bill Van Eck with Biegel, one of our all-time favorites.

The Legacy of John Edward Biegel, Jr. John Edward Biegel Jr. would have loved his own funeral. With 15 motorcycles and 45 vehicles, portions of Routes 80 and 46 were closed on March 27 to let the procession pass from St. Paul Church in Downtown Clifton to the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa. The Clifton Police Honor Guard heralded in hundreds to Bizub-Quinlan Funeral Home as they gave the 83-year-old USMC Korean War vet a full-fledged Clifton salute, said son-in-law Tom Fieldhouse. It was a loving tribute to an average guy who did above average stuff for his hometown. Biegel was cofounder, along with Walter Pruiksma, of the every growing Avenue of Flags on the city hall campus.

While he slowed over the 15 years since its founding, Biegel was often at the barn he commandeered as his headquarters. Five times a year, he directed volunteers who set up and broke down the nearly 2,000 flags, in a patriotic tribute to fellow veterans. On March 20, the council named that historic barn in Biegel’s honor. “I’m glad they did this before I died,” Biegel said to his family, on the eve of passing. Commander JB is survived by his three children, Kathy, Jeff and John; a sister; three grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Memorial contributions can be made to Clifton Veterans Avenue of Flags, c/o Clifton City Clerk’s Office, 900 Clifton Ave., Clifton, NJ 07013. 16,000 Magazines are distributed to hundreds of Clifton Merchants on the first Friday of every month.

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Kevin Heredia, 18, has trained on Clifton’s Track Team through plenty of New Jersey’s seasons. He’s tasted salty sweat in humid summers. He’s felt snow and rain soak through his jacket during bitter storms. He’s navigated almost every possible path leading up to Garrett Mountain. And whether the city’s blocks of pollen-smelling trees were in full bloom, or just gray trunks sticking up from the mud as brown leaves crunched underfoot, Heredia’s sneakers have squeaked Monday through Saturday in and around Clifton Stadium. In the age of binging infinite entertainment on Netflix and high-stakes school testing, finding excuses to do something easier is never far from any student’s mind. Some days must have bled together on an endless loop as Heredia passed through the same difficult routines. Weeks went by. Then months. Yet Heredia, graduating this June with the class of 2018, is now being recognized across New Jersey for

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April 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com

sticking to these roads less traveled. He’s shattered longstanding Clifton cross-country records, winning top spots at the Passaic County Meet of Champions over the last few years. Now, those days on the field will be rewarded with a full-ride scholarship to Rider University. Heredia’s coach, John Pontes, credits Heredia’s grit and work-ethic for the wave of success. “Kevin’s sacrificed a lot to achieve what he’s achieved,” Pontes said. “The rewards are great: the rewards aren’t fast.” Self-improvement for runners comes in tiny, incremental chunks. Here, a few seconds shaved off the 800m. There, an extra day of laps – 7, 8, 10, 12 miles at a time. On many of Heredia’s days off, it was one foot in front of the other across the same neighborhoods near his home around City Hall, or to nearby Montclair and back.


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This ability to delay easy gratification and stay in the moment is a valuable mindset, especially when the work is so physical. “Running hurts!” Heredia laughed, thinking of sore joints, and muscles burning from lactic acid. “You do what you have to do. You have goals for the future. Running’s a lot of mentality. It’s more mental than physical.” Heredia remembers juggling Jost Szabo, Coach Mike Rogers, Takashi Yuasa, Coach John Pontes, Max between school, track, and variDubac, Kevin Heredia and Luis Zorrila at the 2017 All County banquet. ous jobs. “There’s lots of times I heritage. “My dad was born in DR, moved here when had to turn down invitations. You can’t go out Friday he was twenty.” nights.” He has worked catering jobs at the Westmont Country Club, cut and sold fish at Seasons Kosher Positive Outlook Supermarket, and is currently employed at Costco. Heredia credits his mother Jenny and father Alex for The daily climb would have been steeper still withconstantly supporting him, and coaches Pontes and out the longtime friendship of teammates like Max Michael Rogers for helping to shape his work-ethic. “It’s Dubac and Takashi Yuasa. crazy, the amount of time in their lives they devote to this “We always push each other, pull each other to try sport and their team,” he said. “It’s an honor to have hard,” said Heredia. “We don’t run each other down.” It coaches like them. They really do care.” is much easier to form a productive schedule out of the While Coach Pontes is on hand to help calm the same 24 hours every day when teammates hold each team’s nerves between each season’s races, in the conother accountable. “When it’s time to work, we work. stant chatter of social-media notifications and attentionWhen it’s time to have fun, we have fun.” stealing current events, he says few can focus and take Originally born in New York City, Heredia is a longadvantage of athletic opportunities the way Heredia has. time Clifton resident, previously attending Woodrow “The ladder of progress has a broader base,” when it Wilson Middle School and School #13 on Van Houten comes to those who abandon goals in the face of Ave. He and his family are proud of their Dominican

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steep learning curves. “Get up the ladder high enough,” Pontes noted, “and the view is worth it.” Heredia is fond of Clifton’s culture. “I love the huge diversity. I see a new face every day. It gives you an open mind, lots of opportunities to get different types of friends.” He enjoys reading young-adult science fiction novels like Pittacus Lore’s I Am Number 4 series and Gone by Michael Grant. In the dystopian world of Gone, following in the spirit of the classic Lord of the Flies, teens must tackle the open-ended questions involved with running society after adults are no longer able to step in. When asked about current events, increasingly framed as apocalyptic and toxic by many, Heredia was quick to take an optimistic view of the upcoming years. “All we’ve known are things after 9/11, like these school shootings. The fact that it’s happening to us while we’re growing up, it makes a huge difference. “I think the next couple generations are going to do good things in the world to prevent what we’ve witnessed.” Complete the Rough Work Like most teens, Heredia “has zero idea” of which area of study would best help him to do this. The number of possible careers has never been higher in human history, and this wide, chaotic landscape leaves many anxious about how they might earn a living and impact the world. What’s so unique about Heredia’s personality, as his

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April 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com

family, team, and friends will agree, is his sense of positivity and willingness to pay these good feelings forward. On the scholarship, Heredia said, “It was amazing when I heard the coach from Rider tell me the news. I told my mom and she started crying. My parents already do so much for me. It’s nice I can do this for them. One less thing to worry about, you know?” In a way, Heredia is now running into the upcoming years of his college education while facing backwards. He cannot see the future in front of him, but knows what mountains he has pushed himself up and down through enough investing into the years of what Coach Pontes calls, “The Rough Work.” Finishing The Rough Work laid down by Heredia’s mentors has been rewarded with top-tier results. The questions facing graduating young-adults at this age are laced with anxieties. How his family will pay for college won’t be one of them. In this moment, there’s a sense that there are still big opportunities waiting for someone to take that first, daunting step. Then another. Then as many seasons as it takes to see things through. Now, no matter where Heredia runs after his graduation come June, his hometown team will be behind him. As a freshman, he created a mantra in his mind when practice as an amateur seemed unbearable. It has stuck with him ever since. “I’m already in pain,” he said with an infectious laugh. “I might as well get rewarded for it!”


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Varsity seniors Robert Reynoso, Anthony Delgado, Mike Algieri, Andy Lorenzo, John Belizaire, Gianni Encarnacion, Greg Lopez. All Previews by Tom Szieber

Joe Rivera knows the graduation losses are staggering. The Clifton baseball team is now tasked with replacing 15 varsity players from last year’s 16-7 playoff team, seven of whom are now playing at the college level. The 10thyear head coach knows it won’t be easy, but still believes he can get the most out of a gritty and hardworking group that will need to grow fast on the field. “I think our defense will be good and our pitchers will keep us in games,” Rivera said. “But I will need to do a lot more teaching this year—hitting, fundamentals, etc. We are going to have to get these guys ready for a faster game than they’re used to at the junior varsity level.” Senior righty Anthony Delgado will be the team’s new ace—a year after throwing just 10 innings all season. He did, however, get the win for the Mustangs in a huge 2-1 upset of Bergen Catholic. A hard thrower with an exceptional slider, Delgado will need to throw more strikes and keep opposing runners off base. He will play right field when not on the mound. Senior Gianni Encarnacion will be behind the plate, while junior Pete Wilk will play first base. Wilk is a hard thrower with a good off-speed game, as well, and figures to start the year as No. 2 in the pitching rotation. Seniors Robert Reynoso or John Beliziare will man first when Wilk is on the mound. Junior Josh Tejada will play second, with junior Justin Severino manning the six-position. Junior Jordan Casado and sophomore Gariel DeLosSantos will vie for time at third.

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April 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com

CHS

Baseball April 2 @PCTI

4pm

April 4 PCTI

4pm

April 6 @St. Joseph’s Reg April 11 Bergen Tech April 13 Passaic Valley April 16 JFK April 18 @ JFK

TBD 4:30pm 4pm 4:15pm 4pm

April 19 @Teaneck

4:15pm

April 20 @Fair Lawn

4:15pm

April 21 @DePaul April 23 @Eastside April 25 Eastside

11am 4pm 4:30pm

April 27 Wayne Valley

4pm

April 30 Passaic

4pm

May 2 @Passaic

4pm

May 4 Bergen Catholic

4pm

May 7 @North Bergen

4pm

May 9 @Wayne Hills

4pm

May 11 @West Milford

6:30pm

May 16 Lakeland

4:15pm


Senior Mike Algieri, who saw varsity time as a courtesy runner last year, will look to utilize his speed again at the top of the order. He will start in center field and possibly act as the team’s No. 4 pitcher. Left field will be occupied by junior John Labanich (who may also serve as No. 3 in the rotation). Delgado will play right when not pitching, and senior Gregory Lopez will roam the outfield, as well. The group is young, no doubt, but are shooting for a milestone right out of the gate, as Clifton’s next win will be the 100th of Rivera’s career at the helm. If they can get it early, it will be a good momentum builder for a season that will be judged on how much the Mustangs can improve along the way. There will be bumps in the road, for sure. But a solid start and small ball approach could be what gives them a shot to surprise. “We could very easily have freshmen playing this year, because we have about 10 good players that came up from that team,” said Rivera. “I am going to push these guys and get them ready. I want to be in every game. I want to compete and I want to be in the seventh and have a chance to win. I don’t want to see us making errors and have games get out of hand. I think we are capable.”

Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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CHS

Softball April 4 PCTI

From left front: Brielle Rodriguez, Amy Sproviero, Grace Shukaitis, Aimmee Hirst, Rebecca Friedman and Isabel Ayala. Middle: Lauren Brown, Amaya Pelletier, Gianna Casillas, Liana Neumann and Kyra Rodriguez. Back: Celine Bennion, Taylor Panico, Alexis Camp and Skylar Wheeler.

In four years at the helm of Clifton softball, head coach Ish Falcon has seen great progress from a program that had been flatlining a bit. The Mustangs have made the playoffs in back-to-back years, and take the field this spring hoping to defend a Big North Liberty Division title that saw them go 10-0 in league play. With experience in the circle and skill in both the infield and outfield, Clifton seems poised for another successful spring. “We would like to go further in the playoffs, obviously,” said Falcon, whose team was bounced by Passaic County Tech in its playoff opener despite sweeping the Bulldogs during the regular season. “I think throughout the years we have made a lot of progress,” he continued. “The kids who started with me have made nice progress. I think we are finally getting respect from other teams.” Much of that respect is due to the consistency the Mustangs boast in the circle.

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April 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com

4pm

April 6 Bergen Tech

10am

April 7 @ Passaic

10am

April 9 @ Eastside

4pm

April 11 IHA

4pm

April 13 JFK

4:15pm

April 14 Passaic Valley

2:30pm

April 16 @ West Milford

4:15pm

April 18 @Fair Lawn

4pm

April 19 @Secaucus

4:15pm

April 20 Passaic

4pm

April 21 Classic Tourn@CCMS

3pm

April 23 @ Passaic

4pm

April 25 @Bergen Tech

4pm

April 30 Eastside

4:30pm

May 2 Lakeland

4:15pm

May 4 @ JFK

4pm

May 7 @DePaul

4pm

May 9 Wayne Hills

4pm

May 10 Montclair

4pm

May 14 @Wayne

4pm

May 16 @Passaic Valley

4pm


Senior pitcher Lauren Brown has started at least a portion of each of her four scholastic seasons, and was a second-team All-Passaic County player last year. A power pitcher who leads off for Clifton, she hit over .400 last season. Senior Isabel Ayala will be behind the plate for the third year, providing a strong throwing arm and consistency in her ability to block balls. Ayala is quick at fielding bunts and a solid hitter, as well. Senior Rebecca Friedman and junior Kyra Rodriguez will both see time at first base (the latter will also be Clifton’s No. 2 pitcher), while junior Gianna Casillas will start at second. Sproviero is consistent at the plate and in the field. Juniors Rebecca Friedman and Olivia Hirst are both possible designated players (DPs).

Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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A year after going undefeated in dual meets and steamrolling through the Big North Liberty Division, Clifton girls track is ready to make another run (pun intended). The Mustangs’ motif is versatility, as a number of their top athletes are capable of earning points at not just one, but several events. “That is our coaching style, we don’t specialize in one event,” said Clifton head girls coach Mike Rogers. “Because we want kids to really appreciate the sport and embrace the team approach, we encourage kids to do different events.” The approach has proven successful, including last year, when the Mustangs went 5-0 in dual meets, won the Liberty both in the standings and division meet, and finished third in the Passaic County Tournament. Rider University-bound Senior Alenys Morales is back this season after winning last spring’s long jump and high hurdles county titles. One of the best multi-event athletes in North Jersey, she won four events in the county meet during this past winter season. Further, she qualified for the NJSIAA State Meet of Champions in three (200m, high hurdles, 4x400 relay). Junior Brianna Morrison can likewise do it all, excelling in the pole vault, throwing events, jumping and sprinting. She earned first team AllPassaic County honors in both cross-country and indoor track. Sophomore Andrea Dubbels, freshman Mia Dubac and senior Sarah Adams are key pieces of the lineup in distance events.

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April 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Seniors from left rear: Aijay Romero, Carlos Perez, Bryan Montecinos, Derek Palacios, Max Dubac, Takashi Yuasa, Jordan Laceste and Daniel Olgado. Front from left: Antonio Caballero, Luis Zorrilla, Enam Thompson and Sonny Ruiz

CHS

Track April 2 @Bergen Tech

4pm

April 7 @Passaic Valley

9am

April 10 @PCTI

4pm

April 14 @ TBA

TBD

April 18 @ Passaic

4pm

April 21 @TBA April 24 Eastside Apr 28 @JFK

TBD 4:30pm 9am

May 2 Big North Championship 3:30 pm May 7 Big North Frosh Meet 3:30 pm May 8 @Wayne Hills

3:30pm

May 9 @Wayne Hills

3:30pm

May 19 @ Hackensack

9am

May 25 State Sectional

3:30pm

May 26 State Sectional

10am


Seniors from left rear: Angela Kliks, Janice Owusu, Sharita Simpson, Sarah Adams, Alenys Morales and Samantha Peynado. Front from left: Dionna McNair, Samantha Rozon, Hadeel Alshujaieh and Heaven Vergara

“We have a strong distance group,” said Rogers. “Mia and Andrea have set themselves apart the last two seasons. They are going to be a big part of our success even as young athletes. Sarah is a seasoned veteran. She is one of our experienced athletes and a future college athlete.” The Clifton boys are a senior-laden group that will look to improve on last season’s sixth-place finish in the Passaic County Tournament. They have a bulldozer leading the way in senior distance runner Kevin Heredia, also a Rider commit. Best at the 800m, he medaled in the Meet of Champions in each of the past two years. “In the last 34 years, my time here as an head coach or assistant coach, he is definitely in the top six or so guys I’ve had,” said head coach John Pontes. “His versatility in the 400 to the two-mile is basically unmatched.” Senior Jordan Laceste returns after just having won a county and sectional title in the pole vault during indoor season. Senior shot putter Sonny Ruiz won the county and made the Meet of Champions this winter season, and

is the first 50-foot thrower since Joe Hathaway 13 years ago. Senior thrower Luis Zorrilla is neck and neck with Ruiz, while senior distance runner/hurdler Max Dubac is a multi-time All-Passaic County honoree. “We are a better big meet team because we are loaded on the top end [of our lineup],” said Pontes. “The rest of our team is young, but we will be back in the hunt within a couple of years. They are working hard.”

Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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April 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com

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Seniors from top left: Ronny Alcantara, Nick Nosal, Alex Rodriguez, Daniel DeTorres, Richard Mejia and Captain Eric Sandberg. Bottom left: Andre Wos, Dylan Hirschmanner, Captain Jared Jankowski and Derek Szuba.

Despite some significant graduation losses, Clifton boys lacrosse has confidence that it has enough in its arsenal to make it back to the Group IV playoffs this spring. The Mustangs return a healthy balance of grizzled vets ands hungry newcomers, and are hoping that they can put things together fast enough to make a run for a Passaic County title, as well. “I think we are going to impress people,” said Clifton head coach George Cowan. “Nothing is out of reach. We will take it one game at a time. We might take our licks here and there, but we’ll might surprise people, too.” The Mustangs should be capable of scoring points thanks to players like junior Joseph Walker. Clifton’s leading returning scorer, the lefty is a crafty player with a good shot. Sophomore Jack Louer, who scored 34 goals (2ndbest on the team) in limited playing time as a freshman, has put on some good size and is a player to watch. Senior Eric Sandberg’s move to the cage has opened the door for junior Connor Sjosward and sophomore James Domaleski to get an opportunity to expand their roles. The Clifton midfield is a tough group that will be led by senior Jared Jankowski who scored three goals in Clifton’s 9-8 win over Bergen Tech. “Jared is just really one of those tough kids, a workhorse,” said Cowan. “He will do whatever needs to be done to help us get a win.”

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April 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com

CHS Boys

Lacrosse Mar 28 Boonton

4:15pm

Mar 31 @Bergen Tech

TBD

April 3 DePaul Catholic

4pm

April 5 Fair Lawn April 7 @PCTI April 11 West Milford April 14 @Lakeland April 17 Wayne Valley

10 am 11 am 4:15 pm 11am 4pm

April 19 @Paramus

TBD

April 21 @Wayne Hills

TBD

April 24 @Pequannock

TBD

April 26 Tenafly

5pm

April 28 Waldwick

10am

May 3 Hawthorne

6pm

May 5 @Passaic Valley

TBD

May 7 Pompton Lakes

4:15pm


Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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Boys Lacrosse Sophomore Eddie Maldonado and junior Patrick Kobylarz will round out the starting midfield unit with senior Dylan Hirschmanner, sophomore James Jackowitz and junior Marcelo Austin seeing significant time, as well. “This is a strong group, very scrappy,” Cowan said. “They are going to be the guys who wont shy away from a hit or from contact. They are the workhorses of the team and I think with this group we have a lot to build on.” Junior Steven Pedraza, sophomore Tommy Lyons and senior Derek Szuba will be Clifton’s first line on defense, while Sandberg will play in the goal with sophomore Sebastian Skuibsz as the first backup. “These guys are starting to jell,” said Cowan. “When they are on, they’re on. We are young, we will make our mistakes. But even in our [seasonopening] loss to Boonton, we played a good game, nearly rallied, and then came out and got a win against Bergen Tech. I’m excited about what we can do.”

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April 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com


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Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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April 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com


Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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For a program that has fought for years to get back to the playoffs, 2017 was a spring of modest achievement for the Clifton girls lacrosse. Led by head coach Amanda Gryszkin, the Mustangs got back to the dance and finished with a 7-10 record—marked improvement from the year before. They struggled in a 15-3 playoff loss to Randolph, allowing 10 Rams to score goals, but the berth still built confidence within the program. It showed the Mustangs that improvement is possible—and likely—when offseason training is intense and lacrosse I.Q. is high. Now, they are hoping to build on their last campaign. “Honestly, I never expected to win seven games last year,” Gryszkin said. “It’s a testament to the girls. This year, they worked hard again. They did a fall camp and winter camp, and they want to be good. This is an experienced group. I do have high expectations for them. They are a veteran group and they’ve put the time in.” That group will be led by junior Giuliana Richards, a third-year varsity player that makes things happen in the midfield. Quick and skillful, she is a stout defender and exceptional passer. She also led the team in scoring last season. Her presence in transition and scoring ability will be invaluable, as well. Joining Richards in the midfield will be senior Angy Calixpo, a workhorse of a player that hustles to the ball and, according to Gryszkin, “does all the little things.”

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April 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Seniors from left rear: Krystal VeraTudela, Jailyn Brown, Madison Surgent, Jillian Urban, Amanda Stetz and Maggie Szewczyk. Front row (from left): Angylenny Calixto and Andrea Guillen.

CHS Girls

Lacrosse Mar 28 PCTI April 2 @Paramus Catholic

4:30pm 10am

April 6 @Fair Lawn

TBD

April 9 Pascack Hills

4:30pm

April 12 @Pequannock April 13 Eastern Christian April 16 @West Milford April 19 @Westwood April 21 @South Plainfield

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

April 23 @Passaic Valley

4pm

April 25 DePaul

4pm

April 27 N.Valley/Old Tappan 4:30pm May 5 Wayne Hills

10am

May 8 @Paramus

4:15pm

May10 @Bergen Tech

4:15pm

May 11 N.Valley/Demarest

6pm


Senior Amanda Stetz will play alongside Richards and Calixpo. Defensively, the Mustangs will boast the versatility of juniors Shana Gadaire and Ivana Vasquez, both of whom can bounce around a bit. Senior Jillian Urban had emerged as the leader of the group, acting as a communicator and putting people in the right places. Senior Maggie Szewczyk will round out the defensive group. Senior attacker Madison Surgent will use her strong stick work to put goals on the board for the Mustangs. The rest of the offensive contingent will consist of seniors Krystal Ver-Tuedla, Jailyn Brown, Molly Herner and Andrea Guillen. Sophomore Nicole Ozga will play in the cage. The Mustangs certainly have talent. As long as they can heed the lessons being taught by their coaching staff, there is no reason the Mustangs can’t have a second consecutive surprising spring season. “You have to step on the field and play,” Gryszkin said. “We were competitive last year and always in games. They know they can do it. We are beyond the basics now.”

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Returning varsity players from rear left: Jacob Wojdag, Joseph Lauritano, Bryan Krawiec, Ahmad Harb and Dante Hatcher. Front from left: Deep Mejadiya, Abdullah Rahmloun, Manav Patal, Kevin Scorziello and Michael Guzman. Not pictured: Karam Hallak and Jinay Shah.

A year ago, everything involving the Clifton boys volleyball team was new. The scheme, the head coach and the composition of the roster were all different from the year before. It showed. The Mustangs finished the year with a 5-19 record.

Things are a bit different now, as second-year coach Dan Crespo believes the familiarity of his players with system and staff will result in a much more successful 2018. They are comfortable with who I am,” Crespo said.

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April 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com


CHS Boys

Volleyball April 2 Passaic

10am

April 4 @PCTI

4pm

April 6 @ Bergen Tech

10am

April 6 Jefferson Twsp

4:15pm

April 7 @Bloomfield

8:30am

April 9 Eastside

4:30pm

April 11 @Don Bosco

4pm

April 13 @JFK

4pm

April 16 West Milford

4:15pm

April 18 Fair Lawn

4:15pm

April 18 McNair Academy April 19 @Jefferson

4pm

April 20 @Passaic

4pm 4pm

April 27 Bergen Tech

4pm

April 30 @Eastside

4pm

May 1 @Wayne Hills

ball, he is a tough matchup for any defense. Junior Joseph Lauritano will play the middle, as well, while senior Michael Guzman will line up at outside hitter but can play anywhere. “[This group] just works, everyone feeds off each other, trusts each other,” said Crespo. “This group understands [this system]. I think this group is ready.”

4:15pm

April 23 PCTI

May 2 @Lakeland

Senior libero Jake Padula is a leader on the floor whose strong personality helps to rally the squad in tight situations. Senior Kevin Scorziello and junior Manav Patel are both talented setters who will quarterback the offense. Senior Dante Hatcher, the right side opposite, may be moved to the middle. Athletic and quick to the

4pm 4:15pm

May 4 JFK

4:15pm

May 7 @Dickson

4:15pm

May 11 @Kearney

4pm

May 14 Wayne Valley

TBD

May 16 @Passaic Valley

4pm

May 18 @Millburn

4pm

He reflected and explained further: “They weren’t comfortable with me or varsity volleyball last year. But this year, the attitude has been great. They’ve been waiting for this moment and I am excited about this season.” Clifton returns eight varsity players to the floor, including senior opposite Karam Hallak, who has shown that no matter where he is on the floor, he can put the ball down. He will share much of the offensive load with fellow seniors Jinay Shah and Bryan Krawiec. Shah has demonstrated great improvement during the preseason, particularly with patience and timing. Coach said Krawiec’s versatility is his greatest asset, as he is capable of moving all around the floor if needed. Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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This season marks the 28th and final go-around for Clifton head boys tennis coach Andrea Bobby, who will retire as the Mustangs’ leader following the season. She and her players will look to conclude her long, successful tenure with a playoff appearance just as they did a year ago. Clifton went 16-6 last spring, just a year after going winless. The Mustangs even won a game in the state tournament before bowing out in the second round against Montclair, surprising even Bobby herself. This year, they will hope to overcome some youth and inexperience to do it once again. “This is a great group, and they come every day and work to get better,” Bobby said. “If we can pull off some matches that we didn’t think we could, that would be great. It would be a nice send off.” Senior Heath Patel figures to lead the way in the first singles slot. Possessing a multi-faceted, stong overall game, Patel is a year-round tennis player. His vast array of skills makes him more of a chance-taker, but he has good form and plays with confidence. Senior Kishan Mehta will join Patel as part of Clifton’s singles group. Steady and strong in his defensive game, Patel rarely misses. Junior Omar Abufasha will play singles, as well, after playing doubles in his first two varsity seasons. Abufasha is big and strong and is working to increase his mobility on the court. Juniors Jonathan Martinez and Johann Game—a first-year player—will play first doubles, while the second doubles duo will be juniors Stephano Cespedes and Sebastian Colorado.

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Back row (from left): Payal Rana, Jonathan Martinez, Omar Abufasha, Heath Patel, Diego Ordonez and Tiffany Cheng; front row (from left): Kishan Mehta and Johann Gamo.

CHS

Tennis April 2 @Passaic

10am

April 4 @PCTI

4pm

April 6 @JFK

4pm

April 9 @Bergen Tech

4pm

April 12 @Lincoln Park JC

4pm

April 13 Eastside

4pm

April 16 @Wayne Hills

4pm

April 18 @Fair Lawn

4:15pm

April 19 @Bloomfield

4pm

April 20 @Passaic

4pm

April 23 JFK

4pm

April 25 @Eastside

4pm

April 27 @ Bergen Tech

4pm

April 30 @PCTI May 2 @West Milford

4pm 4:15pm

May 3 @Passaic Valley

4pm

May 4 Don Bosco

4pm

May 7 @ Wayne Valley

4pm


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Below, Moe Hindi at work and in character on the set of Madam Secretary. Facing page, CHS 2017 grad and MSU student David Ambrose.

Last month, Clifton Merchant Magazine profiled the city’s connection to Hollywood. To see performers and filmmakers who might one day appear in a future issue, movie and TV fans would be wise to attend this year’s Passaic County Film Festival. Now in its fourteenth year, the festival is an exhibition of student and independent filmmakers’ work, featuring projects created by those who live, attend school or work in Passaic County. This year, 75 films were entered. Along with providing a showcase forum, the festival is an opportunity for filmmakers to interact with industry members. Moe Hindi is one of those talented local filmmakers. A Clifton resident since 2008, Hindi, 30, is also a teacher and actor who has appeared in TV shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Blue Bloods,

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Madam Secretary, Elementary, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Path. At last year’s Passaic County Film Festival, Hindi’s first film, The Pick Up, which was shot in Clifton, placed third in the University & Independent Short Film’s category. His 2018 entry is called, Flight of the Navigator. It’s a short film montage of his daily commute from Clifton to New York City while working on the TV show, Elementary. “Last year’s experience at the festival brought me the validation I’ve been seeking,” Hindi said. “Finishing third stoked my fire. I began writing more, working more. It made me hungrier for more success.” In addition to film making, Hindi, who earned a master’s degree at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), works as a teacher in Norman S. Weir Elementary


School in Paterson, where he instructs students in technology education. “I try to juggle my passion for film while also teaching,” he said. “And I can relate my film work to my students.” Festival films are judged in the following categories: General Short Film; Public Service Announcement; Documentary; Music Video; Tourism, Eco-tourism, History

short film; and Animation Shorts. The festival also recognizes work by high school students. Another aspiring filmmaker is Clifton native and 2017 CHS graduate David Ambrose. His work, The Unknown Stranger, is a sci-fi thriller that revolves around the life of a time traveler. Submitting his work to the Passaic County Film Festival provides Ambrose with aspirations and hope.

“I am currently in college enrolled at Montclair State University,” said Ambrose, 19. “I am not in the film business as of now, but I hope to be in the near future. It’s my dream to work with film for a living.” The top three finishers in each category will be presented with “The

Costello,”named in honor of comedian Lou Costello. The multi-talented Paterson native starred on stage, radio, TV and movies, making more than 40 films during the last century as part of the comedy duo, Abbott and Costello. He often mentioned Paterson and other neighboring cities in his comedy routines. The film festival will also award a Costello for “Best Editing”and “Best Screenwriting.” Another Costello will be awarded to the best overall film.

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PCTI’s Desiree Harper, Dayana Cortez, Sadie Bevando and Enrique Torres.

To celebrate the festival’s fourteenth year, the North Jersey Federal Credit Union will present a special award of $1,000 to one filmmaker selected by NJFCU representatives. In addition, a donation of film equipment will be presented to a Passaic County High School, courtesy of Unique Photo and the Passaic County Film Commission. “The atmosphere at the festival is incredibly upbeat, so much energy,”said Deborah Hoffman, director of the Passaic County Division of Economic Development. “We get up to about 150 to attend each year, and its free. This year, we’ll present 21 awards and be giving out T-shirts as well. And our festival is free to enter; other festivals sometimes charge filmmakers to submit their work.” While awards are welcomed, other aspects of the festival are just as valued. “What I love about the festival is that topics are diverse and often on ecology, history and community,” said Freeholder Director Sandi Lazzara. “When young people get invested in that type of work, they are invested in the community. People invested in the community are invested in our future. The film festival cultivates a sense of ownership these future leaders have for the towns of Passaic County.” Lazzara, who is a former Woodlawn Park Middle School science teacher, noted that about $4,000 in awards will be won by students and the schools. “Many parents of the filmmakers attend,” added Hoffman, “and they are so appreciative of the festival. For the filmmakers, it’s a chance to see their work shown in a traditional venue, which is a big thrill.” The opportunity to network is another benefit. “That’s something I really enjoy,”said Hindi. “It’s great meeting other filmmakers and hearing how they get their ideas and navigate the creative process.” This year’s films cover an array of topics, such as one young adult’s journey to raise awareness about the DACA program and its impact on her family and community. Passaic County Technical Institute student Enrique Torres has entered a public service announcement about the process of organ donation through the Sharing Network, and a West Milford student has submitted a music video film about a couples’ love of New York City through dance and music.

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Another entry, Connected: A Social Media Documentary by PCTI students Desiree Harper, Dayana Cortez, Sadie Bevando covers the positive and negative effects of social media. The top-ranked entries in each category, selected by the judges (Passaic County Film Commission members), will be screened at the festival, which begins at 10 am on April 21 at the Fabian 8 Cinema. The Fabian is located on the upper level of Paterson’s Center City Mall at 301 Main Street (Main and Ward Streets). A voucher for the underground parking garage at Center City Mall will be provided. The Film Festival is sponsored by the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders with additional financial support from a grant administered by the Passaic County Cultural & Heritage Council from funds provided by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The North Jersey Federal Credit Union, Bascom Corporation, Investors Bank, Accurate Box, Office Furniture NYC, Matrix New World, Unique Photo and the Passaic County Community College Foundation. “We haven’t had any Academy Award winners... yet,”said Hoffman of the people who have been part of past festivals, “but some have gone on to careers in the film industry.” That’s something that Moe Hindi and other entrants are aiming toward. “I’d recommend that any person who loves the arts to attend the festival,” he said. “It has something for everyone... from film to music. You’ll see a lot of visions that people have fought and cared for, and I don’t think anyone will be disappointed. “It is well worth attending.”


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Passaic County Employers: 973-340-3400 • Ext. 7223 Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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CLIFTON

HISTORY

By Jack De Vries

Clifton High School is proud of its traditions and history. From its athletic Mustangs to its Marching Band to its student scholars, there is a long legacy of its success, dating back to the first CHS graduating class of 1909. But there is one former school group whose roots go back longer – an organization that can trace its inspiration back to the end of Medieval times. They are the Madrigals, a group of musical torch bearers, singing in a voice born during the Renaissance period.

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Forerunners of CHS’s Mad Caps, the Madrigals will celebrate their unique performance style with a May 4 reunion concert. The Madrigals perform “Renaissance Music,” where a group sings multiple, independent melody lines at the same time. The results have been thrilling audiences since the group’s founding in the seventies, as genera-


The 1976 Madrigals perform around a table with candles; the group began performing standing soon after.

tions of CHS students have performed with the group, with some going on to musical futures and careers. Jim Hassert is one. A 1976 graduate and member of the local band, the Manhatten Brothers, Hassert is looking foward to the upcoming May 4 reunion concert at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, beginning at 7 pm. “Being a part of the Madrigal Singers,” said Hassert, a member from 1976-78, “meant you were guaranteed priceless performance experiences, the ability to do good through singing, and the forming of what would become lifelong friendships.” Hassert, who worked as a professional stage manager for a decade, has continued performing on stage, in choirs and with his Manhatten Brothers group. He considers his Madrigals experience invaluable in terms of providing “confi-

The Madrigals made an appearance at the Oct. 2008 Halloween Parade to fund raise for their upcoming Disney trip.

Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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CLIFTON

HISTORY

Left, the Madrigals’ Lila Realubit graced Clifton Merchant Magazine’s Dec. 1997 cover; above, the 1982 Madrigals, and below, in 2003,

dence, professionalism and understanding of what being responsible and accountable is all about.” Another former Madrigal happily anticipating the reunion is Dante Liberti, who was the group’s student director in 1975. He expects 40 to 50 former members to perform at the reunion concert. We’ll be doing traditional Madrigals songs,” said Liberti. “At the end we’ll perform the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah and be joined by the Mad Caps on stage.” Liberti, who has performed in local bands and worked as his church’s music director, also treasures his Madrigal experience. “(CHS teacher) Pearl Anderson, who founded the group, was a true educator and an extraordinary

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The CHS Madrigals in 2006 showed off their new outfits. In Feb. 2009, a group of 76 Madrigals represented Clifton at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., under the direction of Barbara Novak, seen below (left) in 1987. Also below, Pearl Anderson.

music teacher,” he said. “Most high school choir groups were performing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer; we were learning Mozart Coronation Mass and Vivaldi’s Gloria. “She provided exposure to real music, teaching us what it was all about.” Hassert agrees. “In my opinion,” he said, “ she was a supremely talented musician and conductor who was never willing to surrender her musical integrity and authenticity. We sang, yes, but she made the music.” Along with their singing, the Madrigals also garnered a reputation for extensive travel. “My first year,” said Hassert, “we had a magnificent opportunity to travel to Clifton in the Bedfordshire County of England as part of a 1976 Bicentennial Exchange series of 12 performances. “The locations were the definition of history. We performed on the BBC Radio Network, sang in the hallowed sanctuary of Salisbury Cathedral and broke into an impromptu concert among the ancient ruins of Stonehenge.” The Madrigals also traveled with the CHS Choir to places like Williamsburg Va., Orlando Fla., Philadelphia

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and Hersey, Pa., and Montreal, Canada. During its history, the Madrigals have had four musical directors: Anderson, Rose (Francisco) Messineo, Barbara Novak and Christina Paulin. Novak, who led the group for 24 years, was responsible for taking the group to far away places like Iceland and Austria. “I had gone to school in Austria,” she said, “so I had connections there. A conductor who knew my work arranged for us to go to Iceland. The trips were always educational and not vacations.” When Novak took over the group, the Madrigals performed on stage, seated and standing around a table with a lighted candle. She got rid of the props and had the group perform standing as Madrigal singers did during competition. “They had to be very dedicated,” Novak said of the student members. “There was a lot of rehearsal and they were taught to sing in different languages. And, when we sang other songs that were not true Madrigal numbers, we would perform as the ‘Clif Tones.’” While proud of the Madrigals, Novak is also quick to recognize members of the Clifton Choir.


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CLIFTON

HISTORY

Madrigals in 1976 and in 2004.

“Not every kid wants to sing Renaissance Music,” she said, “and that’s okay. The Clifton Choir members also did outstanding work. Like the Madrigals, they would place highly in many of the competitions we entered.” While all the student performers should be celebrated, the chance for the Madrigals to sing once again is special. For Liberti, it’s also a family affair as he and his daughter Dania Brantner were both student directors, she in 2002. “Many alumni went on to varied and distinguished musical careers,” said Liberti, “from singing with the New York City and Metropolitan Opera to performing with the Village People. Some sang at Carnegie Hall, while others went on to become college music professors.” Novak is also looking forward to the Madrigal’s May 4 reunion concert. “When teachers see their students go on and pick up the torch,” she said, “they become colleagues and that’s the ultimate tribute for any teacher.” For info or to participate in the CHS Madrigals May 4 Reunion Concert, email dantepeter@aol.com

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April 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com


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43


School 12 patrols, principal Maria Parham-Talley and counselor Angel Castro with Giuseppe Mannina’s shade tree crew in March at Hird Park.

By Irene Jarosewich Few things feel as great as being a winner, and once again, Clifton gets to feel great. One of 10 national winners of a TD Green Streets grant, Clifton will receive $20,000 as part of an ongoing urban reforestation project – specifically to plant 50 new trees in local parks. “This is wonderful for our city!” said Mayor James Anzaldi upon receiving the news. “There is a fervent wish among many members of our City Council to reforest Clifton,” he said. “We understand that tree-lined streets give the city a stately character, and that the environmental benefits from our urban reforestation efforts only help our residents.” Commenting on the ranking, Anzaldi added: “Being among the top 10 cities in the nation to receive such a grant is also not so bad.”

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Clifton finds itself among an impressive group of winners, including major municipalities such as New York City and Boston, but also Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Providence, R.I. In recent decades, urban reforestation strategies have become important steps in city planning. Projects such as Green Streets encourage the maintenance and planting of trees, long-standing shade trees in particular, into the city planning process. “This is another step in keeping Clifton beautiful and livable,” said Councilman Ray Grabowski of the Beautification Committee. “We do it for ourselves, and we do it for our kids. Some of these trees will take 25, 30 years to mature. By planting today, we say, ‘Let’s keep Clifton beautiful and healthy in the future.’”


f w d

e h o

d e d

Parks to be reforested The Process Even to begin to apply for a Green Streets grant, a city needs to be certified as being a “Tree City USA” municipality – a designation offered by the national Arbor Foundation. This designation has been given only to 3,500 municipalities in the United States during the past 25 years. First, a city needs to earn this status, then a city needs to keep the status each year. To qualify and maintain this status, a city has to show ongoing commitment to keeping the local urban environment green – basically, having lots of healthy shade trees in parks, gardens, and planted along streets. Clifton has been a Tree City for 21 years.“We plan to keep it that way,” said Grabowski. “Maintaining that status is a prime directive of the Beautification Committee. “Besides being pretty, each mature tree provides enough oxygen for two adults and the goal of the Arbor Foundation, which manages the Green Streets program for TDBank, is to make our cities healthier places to live by making the air cleaner, more breathable.” The TD Green Streets program has been in place for six years and, of the 3,500 Tree City USA municipalities, several hundred have applied for these grants. This year, Clifton was chosen from 30 semi-finalists in the East Coast region. When announcing Clifton as one of the 10 winners, Joseph Doolan, TD Bank’s Head of Environmental Affairs said, “TD Bank is committed to enhancing urban tree canopies and green space as part of our vision to support the transition to a lowcarbon economy and nurture sustainability in the communities we serve.” “Through our longstanding partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation,” Doolan continued, “we are supporting innovative community programs that do more than beautify urban neighborhoods – trees improve air quality, capture carbon emissions and enhance the quality of life.”

Hird Park

Randolph Park

Nash Park Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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On the Ground in Clifton A life-long environmentalist since he was a kid, Al Dubois, Clifton’s Recycling coordinator and the Energizer Bunny behind the grant, remembers growing up and playing in Acquackanonk Park, “which had a beautiful stream running through it then with large maples and oak trees throughout the entire neighborhood.” He believes children today should have similar good memories of Clifton. To implement this Green Streets project, “Clifton will be working with the Lisa Simms of the New Jersey Tree Foundation, Paul Cowie, a certified arborist, the City’s DPW Shade Tree Supervisor Giuseppe Mannina, and the Clifton Beautification Committee to plant 50 trees in three parks – Hird, Nash and Randolph – all areas in need of urban reforestation,” said Dubois.

“The goal is to increase the tree canopy in these open spaces with a diversity of trees for livability and sustainability, thereby rebuilding the city’s ecosystem. Sustainability will be achieved when the biodiversity of the city’s ecosystems are restored and native habitats and wildlife begins to flourish providing residents, visitors, and tourists opportunities to enjoy nature locally.” Simms, the New Jersey Tree Foundation’s executive director, said her organization would arrange for the delivery and planting of the trees. Properly planting 50 trees in urban areas is not like planting a seedling in your back yard, and the foundation will provide the equipment and the crew. “The New Jersey Tree Foundation plants trees in urban neighborhoods where the need is greatest,” said Simms. “Planting 50 trees in three urban parks will provide a host of benefits, from clean air and water to shade and homes for urban wildlife. Planting trees is believing in our future!” Which Tree Where The three parks that were chosen for the planting of new trees – Hird, Nash, Randolph – are in older parts of Clifton. Over the years, the original trees planted there have died off. In particular, Dutch elm disease destroyed many of the elms in Hird Park, leaving open, barren spaces. Deciding what species of trees would work best in these parks – and fit their original design – was the job of Paul Cowie, an arborist, who surveyed the parks, made the recommendations and drew up the planting plans. While the old-fashion way of growing trees may have been simply letting the acorns fall where they may, urban landscaping, in particular the design and landscaping of parks, has a long history – the most famous of which is NYC’s Central Park. Those trees did not grow in that park by just letting acorns fall.

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Shade trees buffer noise, creating

Cowie, an urban forest speor enhance the design of the calm spaces. Well-rooted trees cialist, has been a tree consultparks. For example, Hird Park ant for Clifton for many years, has a few old American elm trees protect against winds, hail, and beginning in 1996 when he that appear to have been part of other forces of nature. did an inventory of Clifton the original historic design. Now street trees. He is familiar with that Dutch elm disease resistant Clifton’s different tree issues, including the planting of varieties of American elm are available, this is a great the Callery pear, a fast-growing and flowering taproot opportunity to reintroduce them and help retain the tree that was once planted along many streets. park’s original, formal design.” Although pretty in the spring, the tree was fundamentally weak, branches easily splintered off and the tree Canopy Cover was often uprooted in storms. Avoiding future problems There is a term in urban tree-planting programs – like that is Cowie’s job. “canopy cover” – that means the big, leafy branches of Cowie has recommended that dawn redwoods, shinshade trees. Good canopy cover, it turns out, has huge gle oaks, river birches, black gum, and hop hornbeam benefits for communities. “The social, environmental trees be planed in Nash Park. and economic benefits that tree canopy cover provides to In Randolph Park, there will be new honey locust, yelurban communities are well documented,” said Cowie. lowwood and bald cypress trees. “Trees moderate air temperature, improve air quality, and American elms and Adirondack crabapple trees will reduce storm water runoff. Shade trees reduce home heatbe planted in Hird Park. ing and cooling costs and repeatedly have been shown to According to Cowie, “In all cases, the species were increase property values. Trees provide serenity, reducing selected because they are inherently suited to the various stress. Studies show that the monetary value of the benesoil, drainage, and other site conditions at each location, fits trees provide significantly exceeds the cost of plantand they possess aesthetic characteristics that will restore ing and maintaining them.”

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Shade trees buffer noise, creating calm spaces. Well-rooted trees protect against winds, hail, and other forces of nature. Spacing and placement of shade trees in parks creates “outdoor rooms” where friends and family gather for sports, picnics, fairs, simply to relax and play. The tops of shade trees create “a roof” for these outdoor rooms, making the outdoors feel more intimate and personal. Simply put, said Cowie, shade trees create good communities. Trees Aren’t Forever Trees have finite life expectancies and, while we like to think that trees live forever, the need for replacement is inevitable. Since urban environments are not natural for trees, the process does need to be managed so that it is effective and not a waste of money. Clifton, said Cowie, has been working hard to replace its aging tree population so that the long-term benefits that trees provide to the community will continue for future generations. “They are doing it in a way that will help avoid future conflicts with electric wires and other infrastructure, such as buildings, roadways, housing, and preserving the historic design of places like Hird Park. Grants like this from TD Bank and Arbor Day Foundation really help the process along.” Few in Clifton better understand the process of shade tree management than Giuseppe Mannina, DPW Shade Tree supervisor for Clifton. Because of a small town feel, people tend to forget, said Mannina, that Clifton is pretty big. “We have between 30 and 35 parks, are about 11 square miles in size, with more than 80,000 people. That’s a lot to manage.” Mannina has been with Clifton for 23 years, and he and his crew of 11 are responsible for managing the city’s shade tree inventory – including cleaning storm damage, removing rotten trees and branches, and planting and maintaining new ones. One of the changes he has seen during his time is that years earlier “there was this idea that you would buy one type of tree – plant a row of elms or pears – so that they looked all the same. What we found out is that if a dis-

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ease hit one, it would take them all down. Diseases, pest infestations, they are more common in cities. As the city changes and grows, you have to plan and manage against disease. May not be as pretty, but better to plant different trees so that they don’t all get sick at once.” The Kids Benefit On April 23 and 24, staff from the New Jersey Tree Foundation will actually plant the trees in Clifton. School 12 fifth grade students will help out on April 24 at 9 am in Hird Park, which is across Clifton Ave. from School 12 in Botany Village. Maria Parham-Talley, principal of School 12, said that the students would be learning about the planting and reforestation in city parks as a follow up to the initial planting ceremony. “School 12 has an after school program where gardening and environmental beautification are two of the themes we teach,” she said. “The students are interested in monitoring the trees growth over the years.” According to Parham-Talley, students participating in the planting ceremony are from grades 4 and 5. Most are members of the 21st Century after-school program based on STEAM principles – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. The students grow plants in a greenhouse and, in the spring, plant them in the garden that they created during the last five years. As part of this program, students study botany, measure, observe and describe growth and change, and learn how plants are used to build healthy bodies. The new trees planted in Hird Park will be incorporated into this program. While leaders of the STEAM program are primarily teachers and School 12 administrative staff, support comes also from Clifton Boys & Girls Club staff and members of the Clifton School District. “School 12,” said Parham-Talley, “would like to thank the district and community for inviting students to take part in this awesome tree-planting ceremony. Our students are absolutely excited about collaborating with their community leaders and are proud to be part of planting Forever Trees in the park.”


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By Jack De Vries

Today, she is motorcycle royalty. But first she was a quiet Clifton girl who didn’t want to ride. Born in the back apartment of her parents’ cycle shop on Lexington Ave., Gloria Tramontin Struck grew up around two-wheeled machines. But that did not mean she was ready to climb aboard one. “I really didn’t want to learn how,” Tramontin Struck admitted. That changed when she turned 16. Her brother Arthur, nicknamed “Bub,” announced Gloria was going to ride and began convincing his sister to embrace her birthright.  “And 76 years later,” she said, “I’m still riding.”

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That’s correct – Tramontin Struck began riding more than seven decades ago. Today, she is 92 (turning 93 July 7) and has never stopped, roaring over nearly 700,000 miles through 48 contiguous U.S. states and Europe.  Now you can read her story. Gloria - A Lifetime Motorcyclist: 75 Years on Two Wheels and Still Riding was published in March. “The publisher (Wolfgang Publications) came to me about writing a book,” the first-time author said. “Before I started, they already had preorders – now that’s pressure.”


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Writing first in longhand, later switching to the computer, Tramontin Struck composed the book entirely from memory having no journals or diaries to refer to. “I never went to college,” she said. “But I went to Clifton schools, and we learned. We had 37 kids in class – it didn’t matter, we learned.” A lifelong city resident, Tramontin Struck attend Schools 12 and 7, and graduated from CHS in 1942. It took her two years to write the book. Granddaughter Kathy DeSilva, Gloria and daughter Lori DeSilva. “I’ve gotten great comments about it,” she said. “People tell me they can’t Botany Village garage. put it down. One woman said she brought it into the denThree years later, Ernest established “Lexington tist chair with her.” Cycle Shop” on Lexington Ave., selling bicycles and At a recent appearance at her family’s Tramontin Excelsior-Henderson motorcycles. Peter founded a Harley-Davidson dealership in Hope, N.J., she autoTramontin Pontiac next door (he would later move graphed 156 books, accommodating a crowd that across the street), and Julius built a Chevrolet dealership. stretched out the door. Joseph worked for his brothers. Standing barely over five feet tall, Tramontin Struck After Ernest’s tragic death when Gloria was 3 – he is a true pioneer. She broke barriers in a sport known for died after being hit by a motorist while riding his motorattracting mavericks and rebels as one of the few female cycle – Tramontin Struck’s mother Pierina took over the riders of her time. Over many miles, she endured insults business, becoming an Indian Motorcycle dealer until and slights because she was a woman motorcyclist – her 1947 retirement. including being  refused gas in Georgia and lodging in Next, Bub ran the business, becoming a Harleyother states.  Davidson dealer. He later opened a second shop in Hope “I never had problems with other riders,” she said. in 1973, closing the Clifton location in 1995. Tramontin “But, back then, some people didn’t consider a female Harley-Davidson continues to operate today. rider a ‘proper person.’ At a light in Passaic, someone Gloria met her future husband Len at her family’s called me a tramp. I hadn’t even had my first date yet! business when he returned from serving overseas after It was a different time.” WWII. Len Struck was also a rider and bought Gloria’s Tramontin Struck shrugged off the intolerance and 1941 Indian Bonneville Scout. continued to ride, owning 14 motorcycles (three Indians “But I didn’t date him for five years,” laughed and 11 Harleys) and, in the process, inspiring more Tramontin Struck. “I was too busy with my rides and female riders. In 1946, she joined the Motor Maids, a what I wanted to do.” club for female riders founded in 1940. Today, she is its After marrying, the couple had two children – Lori oldest riding member, and her daughter Lori DeSilva and and Glenn. Later, Gloria helped support the family as an granddaughter Kathy DeSilva now belong to the club. independent representative for Avon, a job she held for 44 years. Hometown Girl But motorcycles were her passion and her career Gloria Tramontin Struck’s story is also a Clifton story. highlights are many. She came to prominence in the In 1915, her father Ernest “Red” Tramontin, along December 1952 issue of Harley-Davidson’s The with his brothers Peter, Julius and Joseph, founded a Enthusiast magazine. motorcycle, bicycle and automotive repair shop in a

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An article about her, Gloria Goes Touring, detailed her first solo ride to Canada in 1950. Since then, she’s been inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum’s Hall of Fame (2011), the American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame (2016), and had her portrait painted by noted artist David Uhl, the eighth in his “The Women of Harley-Davidson” series.

Some 1942 grads at the 25-year reunion in 1967. Seated front from left: Helen Tyahla Jacelone and her husband, Joe, Len Struck and Gloria, Katie D’Amico Zaccagnini and Chip Zaccagnini. The back row is unidentified.

Crossing the Pond Tramontin Struck’s most memorable ride was to Europe. “I always wanted to go,” she said. “One day, I was 74 and realized I had not done it yet. So I talked my son Glenn into going, and [in 1999] we put our motorcycles on the same plane. We landed in Frankfurt, Germany, and did all of the Alpine regions, plus Slovenia, Northern Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria [where she parasailed by launching herself from a mountain].” On the trip, Tramontin Struck traveled the imposing and breathtaking Passo dello Stelvio (Stelvio Pass), the highest paved mountain road in the Eastern Alps, rising 9,045 feet above sea level and featuring 87 hairpin bends. She remembers thinking as she drove, “I don’t know any woman in her right mind who would be riding this!” In 2001, Gloria and Glenn returned to Europe, riding 4,000 miles in eight countries. During the ride, they learned aircraft had struck the World Trade Center in New York while riding in France – not knowing it was a terrorist action. “We didn’t know the extent of what happened until we found someone in a small French town who could speak English,” said Tramontin Struck. “We learned it was a terrorist attack – so horrible.” Later, the ride yielded better memories. Struck said her favorite trip location was Croatia’s Island of Cres. “It’s where my grandfather had lived and died,” she said, “right on the Adriatic Sea. We had an amazing trip and I still want to go back.”

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Born to Ride Tramontin Struck no longer travels solo, preferring to ride long distance trips on her 2004 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic with her riding partner and daughter, Lori. They ride as much as 600 miles a day when weather permits. When Gloria was 88, the two rode 835 miles in one day from Davenport, Iowa, to past Deadwood, S.D. “I wasn’t even tired afterwards,” she said. Tramontin Struck said her attraction to riding remains seeing landmarks across the globe. “The further we go, the better,” she said. “There’s so much to see in this country. People don’t realize what this country has and, in a motorcycle, you’re in it... you’re in the environment head on.” Along with riding and promoting her book, Tramontin Struck continues to make speeches at dealerships, inspiring female riders. “When you’re in a group, you’re talking about your motorcycle,” she said. “It got me out of my shell and now I never shut up. But everybody enjoys my talks that I give to women riders. I’m like an idol (to them). I can’t understand this because I don’t feel like I am. They just adore me, and I love every minute of it.” When she turns 100, she hopes to ride cross country. “And I’m going to do it on two wheels,” Tramontin Struck emphasized. “Most of the older riders ride on three.” To purchase Gloria Tramontin Struck’s book, “Gloria,” with a personalized autograph, visit her Facebook page for an order form.


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By Jack De Vries

Becoming a Catholic priest, many believe, involves a “calling.” Some imagine a divine whisper that convinces an individual to seek service to the church. Others envision a metaphoric heavenly thunderbolt that propels a man into a lifetime of the cloth. For Clifton’s Father Richard G. Rento, it was a teacher who inspired him. And her suggestion wasn’t delivered in a sacred place, but in the decidedly secular setting of the old Clifton High School, now Christopher Columbus Middle School. “My German language teacher Mrs. (Erna) Stasse,” remembered Rento, 87, “corralled me in the hallway one day and said, ‘Richard, I think God is calling you to the priesthood.’” Up until then, Rento had hazy dreams of joining the Navy, becoming an engineer or lawyer, or following his father into a business career. “Dick” spent his CHS days keeping up with his studies, serving in student government and playing pick-up basketball in his

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Luddington Ave. driveway. “Mrs. Stasse’s comment put a seed in my head,” he said, “and I began to think of it more seriously. It was not until after college when I made the big decision. Once I did, I never doubted I made the right move.” To this day, he never knew why Mrs. Stasse spoke to him. “I was in her class,” he said, “but didn’t learn much – my fault, not hers. I was never great at foreign languages. I have no idea why she said it, but it was done very privately. And Mrs. Stasse wasn’t even Catholic – she was Lutheran.” Her suggestion led to a career spanning more than 60 years in the priesthood, including time at Clifton’s St. Brendan’s parish from 1978 to 1998. And it ultimately led to Rento’s book, It’s Not Necessarily So, an examination of the Catholic faith and its church. Written from the perspective of a parish priest, not a professional theologian, the book seeks to “separate faith from fiction” and make sense of belief. It


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also takes a frank look at the many controversial issues facing the church. Throughout, Rento uses history, personal observations and an evolving faith to base his conclusions. Instead of playing it safe and standing on tradition, Rento invites the reader to take a new look at God – one celebrating a loving “creative spirit” who is within us and present in every part of our lives. Clifton Beginnings Father Rento and siblings David, Bob and Barbara (married to Charles and mother of six children). “They gave me 17 nieces and nephews,” he Richard Gregory Rento was born in said, “among the greatest joys of my life”. 1930 at Passaic’s St. Mary’s Hospital to “To this day,” Rento said, “I meet people who say parents Angelo Victor “Ange” and Margaret the best education they ever got was the one year in my (Pellegrine) Rento. Dick was the oldest of four siblings mother’s fourth grade class.” that would include Robert, Barbara and David. After living in Clifton, the family began following Rento’s father, who came from Northern Italy, Ange’s career, spending time living in Virginia, Long became a sought-after fabric dyer and later founded a Island, and other New Jersey towns. They returned well Fair Lawn company named “Renco.” Upon his death in before Dick entered high school, settling at 107 1969, Ange’s youngest son David inherited ownership Luddington Ave., next door to Police Chief Joseph Nee. and, over the next 40 years, developed it into a major In Clifton, Rento had many friends. “There was Bob textile producer. His mother, also of Italian descent, Meneghin, the Neylands from Union Ave. and was a school teacher, notably at St. Paul’s in Clifton.

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Upon returning, he was Dick Messenlehner, who also ordained a priest on May 31, became a priest. Others were Vince 1958, at Paterson’s St. John’s Biscotti, Bob Freyland, Barbara Cathedral. Rento’s first assignBush and Lucille Lemkuhl, also ment was “unexpected and undefrom Union Ave.” sired” as he became full-time The Rento children attended St. chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital. Paul’s, and one of the school’s “I was deflated. I had never teachers, Sr. Charles Eileen been in a hospital in my life Reinhardt, made a lasting impact except for a momentary visit. My on Dick’s life. “I had her for four inclinations were so different consecutive years,” he said. “I from my brother’s. He was makadmired and respected her – she ing that a career; I was trying to was ahead of her times in many avoid the place.” ways.” For Dr. Robert Rento, hospiCHS added to Rento’s educatals were familiar. He became tion. “To come from a Catholic known and loved in Clifton as a school was broadening – I was pediatrician, establishing there with young people who were Notchview Pediatrics in 1961. Jewish, Protestant and other faiths. Fr. Rento’s brother Dr. Robert Rento, a Affiliated with St. Mary’s, I was happy to have them in my beloved Clifton pediatrician, who died six years ago. Passaic General and St. Joseph’s life.” Hospital during his long career, As student council president, Dr. Rento also traveled to Nepal, China, and Brazil Rento treasured his CHS days. “I loved Clifton High with volunteer medical teams to aid children. He retired School very much,” he said. “I wept when I left that from full-time work in 2000, working part-time until place. It meant everything to me.” his death at age 80. But it was Mrs. Stasse’s words that would most Fr. Rento would become comfortable in the hospital influence him. Rento continued to think of what she during his time at St. Mary’s. said during his time at Seton Hall University where he “Those five years were among the happiest of my earned a philosophy degree. life,” he said. “It could not have been a better beginning “As I became more mature, I tried to evaluate and to priesthood. I had none of the material concerns a pasassess both my weaknesses and strengths,” he said. tor is faced with – like paying the heating bills or keep“When I did, the strength side would win out and it was ing the school going. It was pure, unadulterated priestclear the best place for me was to be a priest.” hood. “My work was assisting the ill and dying people. I Following His Path also had the wonderful experience of knowing the docWith his future settled, Rento studied Latin for a tors and nurses, and taught medical ethics to the student year before going on to Immaculate Conception nurses. It was a great experience, such beautiful people. Seminary in Mahwah. Later, the seminary’s faculty We’ve remained friends to this day.” selected him to attend Catholic University of America In 1968, Rento was given another unusual opportuin Washington, D.C., to obtain his Licentiate in Sacred nity: becoming a broadcaster and saying the Mass over Theology (the equivalent of a graduate degree). It prethe radio at WPAT – a job he continues today. The pared Rento to teach theology in a college, seminary, or broadcast airs from St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson at university, and to function as a chaplain. “That was serendipitous,” he said. “Life opened up 6:30 am and reaches into four states. in 1957. I was not living in the confinement of the semRento’s next assignment was to become pastor at St. inary; instead, I was living in the nation’s capital with a Brendan’s. However, he proposed another idea. car and close friends.” “I wouldn’t go as pastor in the traditional

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sense,” he said, “but part of a pastoral team including priests, the religious (sisters) and lay people. I thought if I was ever a priest in a parish, it would not be an authoritarian monarchy, it would have to be more democratic. St. Brendan’s liked the idea, and the bishop gave his approval.” The team was made up of three priests, two sisters, one married deacon and two lay people. “It was a rich combination from many walks of life,” Rento said. Critical to the team’s success were the two nuns – school principal Sr. Anne Donnelly and longtime teacher Sr. Mary Concepta. “She could bring an NFL team to order,” Rento said of Sr. Mary Concepta. “She weighed about 90 pounds, and between the pointed crooked finger and the stern look on her face… oh, boy! But kids learned!” Sr. Anne Donnelly served as principal from 1971 to 1995. “Anne was loved by everyone,” Rento said. “She was a simple, down-to-earth person – no sham

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about her in any way. She never pulled rank, and her teachers loved her. The kids loved her, too, especially the ones who were in trouble. They knew she was all for them – the worst behaving kids held her in the highest respect.” Rento and Donnelly became lifelong friends, and he supported her through her battle with Parkinson’s disease, which she fought for 40 years before her 2015 passing. “The doctors were astonished she suffered with it for that long,” Rento said. “She did it nobly and never complained.” While at St. Brendan’s, Rento gained national prominence for his fight against satanic influences in children’s lives and was quoted in Time magazine about the issue. Rento saw the problem as “disturbed young people who were unhappy with their homes, schools and religion, and got involved with the utter nonsense of satanic worship.” However, the issue, he said,


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could become lethal with“My hope in that regard out positive intervention. rests with the pope,” he After two decades, said. “It brings to mind the Rento retired from St. story when he was asked Brendan’s in 1998. “And about homosexuality and I’ve been trying to retire the church by a reporter on ever since,” he laughed, an airplane. His wonderful “but it’s never kicked in.” response: ‘Who am I to Today, Rento lives in judge?’ The minute I heard Lavallette, N.J., serving as that, I thought, we have the Catholic chaplain at the right guy this time.” Seabrook Village retireWhile Rento touches on Sister Anne Donnelly and Sister Mary Concepta. ment community and is a sensitive issues, his book frequent speaker at has been warmly received. retreats and conferences. He continues to say Mass Of the 57 reviews on Amazon, 91 percent give it the over the radio – rising at 3:30 am each Sunday to make highest rating. the trip to Paterson and back. “I wrote this book so people won’t be down on them“My faith has grown,” he said, “and I’m more comselves,” he said. “People are uncomfortable with doubt. fortable with it than I’ve been in a long time.” They are accused or accuse themselves of being bad Catholics; instead, I see it as they’re using reason and Literary Message confronting issues in their present time and space. Rento’s book, It’s Not Necessarily So (published in “The ultimate standard for Christian conduct is that 2016 by Caritas Communications) is a thoughtful and nothing outweighs one’s own conscience. Vatican II conversational look at the Catholic faith and its church. says it plainly: ‘For God willed that men and women be The book doesn’t shy away from controversial subleft free to make their own decisions.’ When push jects, looking at issues like the rapidly shrinking priestcomes to shove, when trying to make a decision regardhood and possible solutions. It also examines the sex ing a moral issue, in the end, a person must follow his abuse scandal that continues to impact the church, and or her own well-formed conscience. Right or wrong, do the issues of birth control and same sex couples. your best thinking, best judging and, ultimately, you Rento advises the Catholic Church can only become take a leap of faith.” a truly inclusive “people’s church” with respectful dis“It’s Not Necessarily So” cussion that includes those with contrasting opinions. is available on Amazon.com.

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By Anthony Buccino CHS Senior Yulexi Arriaga is a respectful, quiet leader and a hard worker, but it was a random act of kindness that exemplified the inner beauty of this future doctor. On Valentine’s Day, Arriaga stood in the cafeteria every lunch period, presenting a red carnation to each special needs student along with a smiling, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” CHS teacher Beth Slanina, who has Arriaga in Photography class, said, “She walked in with a bunch of carnations. I asked who they were for, and she said they were to give out to random people. That was extremely kind and I was very proud of her.” “It was like she was giving them GOLD,” said teacher Mrs. Mary Geary of the students’ reactions. “Yulexi demonstrated character beyond her years. Her empathy for others is remarkable. She continues to exemplify an inclusive caring attitude toward all the members of the CHS community.” “Seeing Lexi giving flowers to our special needs students,” said teacher Jennifer Liddle, “shows her strong sense of acceptance for all. It was a lovely gesture. The students were so surprised and excited by the gift!” Guidance counselor Rachel Fabrykant said Arriaga has proven to be an exemplary student. “Although quiet by nature, Yulexi has become more open throughout high school and proven a strong sense of self, and, when appropriate, can advocate for herself and her peers.” Arriaga lives at home with her mom and two sisters in a loving and united family. She’s involved in many clubs and organizations, like the Pre-Med Club and Key Club, and volunteers at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “I’ve always wanted to find ways to help contribute to our community and help people in general,” she said. While involved with the Boys and Girls Clubs, she enjoyed the opportunity “to be happy and to see other

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people smile and laugh because of the things that I do.” Her hobbies include running, soccer and boxing. Arriaga also enjoys fashion and being creative. “Yulexi is conscientious and works hard to achieve success,” Fabrykant said. Arriaga’s work earned her Honor Roll and Distinguished Honors. As a junior, she was inducted into the National Honor Society. “My favorite subject is science,”Arriaga said. “You always end up discovering new and cool things. My favorite teacher by far is Ms. Megan Graziano. “My best school related experience was in anatomy class when I was able to dissect a pig’s heart. I’m excited to one day become a surgeon!” She plans to attend Rutgers University, go on to medical school and earn a doctoral degree. “My mom inspires me the most,” she said. “She is a single mother. I grew up watching her achieve everything that she wanted alone. She had her downfalls but that only pushed her to keep going. Not giving up runs in our family.” Physics teacher, Sarah Taylor noted Arriaga’s excellent overall class performance. She’s averaged in the 90s in the first two marking periods by working hard, practicing problems and asking tons of questions. “Yulexi is kind and thoughtful,” Taylor said. “She works hard in class and uses her time well. She’s a quiet leader.” If other teens ask her how to solve a problem, Arriaga tells them to write down your problems and list a few solutions. Then choose the best option that works. “The best thing about CHS,” she added, “is that you can be yourself and you will receive a bunch of support and love.”


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The Tully family in Newark, along with the Landers, Kerrs, Logue and Lawrence clans; right, Cardinal Joseph Tobin with (left) Eileen Landers and Josie Tully.

During the March 16 St. Patrick’s Day parade in Newark – the 83rd in the city’s history – Broad St. became “Tully Blvd.” as Clifton’s Josie (Logue) Tully was sworn in as the parade’s 2018 deputy grand marshall. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka presented her with a plaque commemorating her investiture. Tully has witnessed every Newark St. Patrick’s Day parade since 1958, the year after she immigrated with her parents and six siblings from Kerrykeel, County Donegal, Ireland to Newark. Eminence Joseph William Cardinal Tobin performed Tully’s investiture during a Mass at St. Patrick’s ProCathedral. Several hundred people attended, including Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin and Monsignor Kevin Flanagan of Clifton’s St. Philip’s R.C. Church. A more than 50-year Clifton resident, Tully worked for Newark’s Sentry Life Insurance Co. and was later

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employed at ITT. Along with her late husband Frank, a Korean War veteran, she raised three daughters, Cathy, Colleen and Carolyn, and has five grandchildren, Frank, Shivaun, Brandon, Krystina and Peter. A parishioner of St. Clare’s, Tully is involved in many Irish organizations. At the parade, Tully was assisted by her “chief of staff” and sister Eileen (Logue) Landers, another 50plus year Clifton resident, and “aides” Bridget (Logue) Kerr and Margaret (Logue) Lawrence.


Clifton’s Brianna Gutierrez was one of the students who spoke during the March 14 National School Walkout at Paramus Catholic High School. Students listened to Cardinal Joseph Tobin’s message inside the school before moving outside to the parking lot where their voices were heard. Gutierrez, a member of the Class of 2019, said: “Kids are dying. Innocent lives are being lost. The need for gun law reform is a matter of life and death. As a unified voice, we need to start taking action. “Some people claim that we are reacting from an

emotional place, and that disqualifies what we have to say. But when people are paying the ultimate price, their lives, in places like schools and churches, clubs and concerts, where else are we supposed to react from? Of course were emotional!” Across the country at 10 am, students from 2,800 schools walked out of classrooms to show support for the 17 killed during the Feb. 14 shooting attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. “Our emotion,” said Gutierrez, “is what will save lives.”

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ClIFTONITES

The CHS Key Club held a Mr. Cupcakes fundraiser and collected $1,152 to sponsor meals at Oasis, A Haven for Women and Children in Paterson (oasisnj.org). Key Clubbers also served lunch at Oasis March 9 and March 16, and held a “Teens for Jeans” collection, donating 100 new pairs of jeans to the organization. At left, the late John A. Greco, a CCMS teacher and Lacrosse Coach at MSU.

While John A. Greco died unexpectedly at age 33 on Nov. 4, 2010, his legacy continues. A technology teacher at Christopher Columbus Middle School and lacrosse coach at Montclair State University, his family created a 501(c)3 nonprofit scholarship fund in John’s memory. Three scholarships are awarded annually to a CHS senior lacrosse player for $2,400. The same amount is also awarded to a MSU grad entering the education field. A CCMS alumni graduating from CHS will also receive $1,000. Al Greco, John’s dad, said the $2,400 represents the No. 24 his son wore when he was a lacrosse player. On April 22, at 10:30 am, MSU will dedicate the “John A. Greco Men’s Lacrosse Team Room” in the Panzer Athletic Center. To attend or for more info, call 973-655-3654. US Army Pvt. Isiah Buonafina graduated basic training in Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., March 22. The 2017 CHS grad will be trained as a mason and carpenter then be attached to the 668 Engineering Company in Orangeburg, N.Y. He is pictured with his dad, Staff Sgt Oscar Buonafina, who is deployed in the Middle East with the 505th Engineering Battalion in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel.

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Fr Pr Je w Ja an 13 Fo Th re Co Pa re ce re


SCHOOLS

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not,” read Clifton Merchant Magazine editor and publisher Tom Hawrylko to Mrs. Rita Stuart’s Grade 4 students on March 2. Hawrylko was at School 13 to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss and the National Education Association’s “Read Across America” day. The Lorax, written in 1971, speaks about the plight of the environment and was named by the NEA in 2007 as one of its “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.”

The Dundee Day Cleanup is a great way to make a positive difference in Clifton. The Passaic River shore cleanup will be held April 21 from 9 am to noon at the Dundee Island Nature Preserve, near Ackerman Ave. Volunteers are encouraged to wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and sturdy shoes. For info, call Julia Bresnan at 973-817-5784. School 14 HSA presents a Vendor Shop on April 21 from 10 am to 3 pm in the school at 99 Saint Andrews Blvd. Participating vendors thus far include LulaRoe, PartyLite, Paparazzi Accessories, Rodan + Fields, Touchstone Crystal and others. To become a vendor, write to School14HSA@gmail.com before April 13.

Once endangered, Bald Eagles on the Passaic River near the Hot Grill give new meaning to the slogan two all the way, two!

The Dutch Hill Residents Association is accepting applications for the 2018 scholarships. Two $750 grants are offered to high school seniors who live in Dutch Hill going on to any type of further education. Dutch Hill is from Clifton Blvd. to Main Ave. and Clifton Ave. to the Passaic border. Applications are available from CHS guidance counselors. Students attending any other high school may call 973-365-2577 for an application. Applications include academic record and community service experience. Deadline is April 27.

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The 13th Annual Cut-a-thon at Christopher Columbus Middle School is May 21. CCMS’s Character Education Club is sponsoring the event and will send the collected hair to Children With Hair Loss, which provides hair replacements at no cost to children and young adults facing medically-related hair loss. If your hair is at least eight inches and would like to make a contribution, write to Kim Dreher (kdreher@cliftonschools.net). Permission forms are needed for those under 18. Register at clifton.k12.nj.us/schools/columbus.


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by Rich DeLotto

Fifty years ago, change and upheaval raged across America. While the scars remain, they provide lessons to help navigate today’s conflicted and uncertain times. 1968 marked the Vietnam War’s bloodiest year with 17,000

Americans dying in Southeast Asia. During the war, 31 Clifton young men would pay the ultimate sacrifice. Vietnam continues to shadow the nation’s soul, as do the many tumultuous actions from 1968.

Here is a look at this history-making year:

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to

In our July 6th Edition

Did you graduate in 2008, 98, 88, 78, 68, 58, 48?

If so, let’s Reminisce! Tell us what you’re up to or about your reunion plans. Send info before 6/1 to: tomhawrylko@optonline.net Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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Nicole’s DIPG Journey By Ashley Parsons Nicole Puglisi, 24, has lifelong passions for continued learning and helping others. A full-time student at William Paterson University, the 2012 CHS grad is pursuing a double major in psychology and social work, with hopes of continuing onto the doctoral level. You’d be hard-pressed to match Nicole’s work ethic, degree of motivation and overall enthusiasm for life. In the past few months, however, she’s been posed with her greatest challenge yet: being diagnosed with a brainstem glioma, also known as DIPG. A brainstem glioma is a cancerous tumor found at the base of the brain. They arise from the brain’s glial tissue, which is comprised of cells that support and protect the brain’s neurons.

The initial discovery of Nicole’s glioma was accidental. Last January, while being treated for a car-accident-related neck injury, her MRI showed a mass located on her brainstem. Initially, Nicole sought treatment with Sloan Kettering, a worldrenowned cancer treatment and research institution. Although no symptoms presented themselves in the first two years, she began to experience debilitating headaches, which her care providers insisted were unrelated. She went for a second opinion at Mount Sinai, whose team has proven more proactive and head-on, both of which are sentiments that reflect her personality as well. Nicole’s journey currently consists of three main parts: fertility preservation, radiation and chemotherapy, and neurosurgery. To learn more about her story, go to

www.gofundme.com and search “Nicole Puglisi.” Support of any kind truly does help, whether it’s in the form of encouraging words, a share on social media or a donation. Nicole is a young woman who can accomplish anything she sets her mind to and will absolutely change the world for the better, and she deserves the opportunity to do just that.

The Rosary Society of St. Paul’s Church is hosting its annual Fish-N-Chips Dinner/Tricky Tray April 26. St. Paul’s is at 231 Second Street. Take-out orders can be picked up between 5-5:30 pm (sit-down dinner follows). Cost is $15; $7 for children under 12. Advance tickets only. Call Louise Moccia at 973-478-2605. St. Philip the Apostle Knights of Columbus hosts a fundraiser on April 10 at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. Twenty percent of your check (minus tax and tip) goes to help Clifton children and adults with disabilities. For info, call John Filippone at 973-772-7959. The Young At Heart Senior Club meets at noon on the first and third Tuesday of the month at the First Presbyterian Church on Maplewood Ave. Refreshments begin at 10:30 am. You don’t have to be a member of the church to join but you must be 55 or over. On April 16, the club will bus to Camp Hope Country for a Hoe Down with music by Peter Liberman. Trips depart from the Masonic Lodge, 1484 Van Houten Ave. Call Lillian at 973-779-5581 for tickets and info. Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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ARTS

Those 8-foot tall Easter eggs on the great lawn of City Hall are called Pisanki in Polish, a common name for an egg richly ornamented using various techniques. The wooden display was created by Aneta Pierog-Sudol and students of her Rustic Square Art, Design & Photography Studio at 679 Van Houten Ave.

John and Jackie Muller are hosting the 18th Annual Summer Sunset Blues Cruise on July 10, from 6 to 8:30 pm. Limited to 35 tickets, the tall ship A. J. Meerwald, departs Liberty State Park in Jersey City for a trip around New York harbor. Carlos Colina and Straight Up will perform. Attendees are invited to bring food and picnic on deck. Soft drinks are provided. Call 973-340-9405. Proceeds benefit “Musicians On A Mission,” which raises funds for local charities. Michael Gabriele will perform live acoustic music and present tales from his book New Jersey Folk Revival Music – History and Tradition on April 19, 7 pm at the Clifton Memorial Library, 292 Piaget Ave. Admission is free. The 190 page book with over 80 photos, provides a narrative on the evolution, traditions and history of folk revival music in the Garden State. In addition to the book talk, the non profit Friends of the Clifton Public Library will hold its semi-annual meeting. Call 973-772-5500 for info or visit www.cliftonpl.org.

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Put on your bonnet and cinch your gown in a bustle for the Passaic County Historical Society’s annual Victorian Tea fundraiser at Lambert Castle on April 27-29. Sessions are noon and 3 pm daily. Sally Lunn’s Tea House is catering and music is performed by the Four Old Parts Barbershop Quartet. Tickets are $45. Info at lambertcastle.org.

Wendy’s and the Relay for Life Clifton Committee will host a meet and greet on April 24 at 7 pm at 83 Main Ave. Mention Relay and teams will receive 15% of your check towards their 2018 goal of raising $60,000. Pirates of the Cure-ibbean is the theme of Clifton’s 2018 Relay for Life. The 14th Annual Relay for Life is at Clifton Stadium from noon to mid-

night June 16. Attendees can walk, run or simply enjoy a day to remember those who passed from cancer and support those who are going through the disease. To form a team or volunteer, call Chris Liszner at 973-650-2719 or Kim Castellano at 201-328-2326 (more info at cliftonnj.org/cliftonnj). For info about the American Cancer Society, visit cancer.org.


COMMERCE

St. Joseph’s Health Vice President of external affairs Kenneth Morris was appointed as an expert advisor to American’s Essential Hospitals to help develop national policies. At right: Clifton Hardware & Paint Supply has opened at 745 Van Houten Ave., the former location of Able Hardware. Pictured are Glenn Rossi (left) and Steve Davies who said the store has been updated with new lighting, a better flow to the store, as well as a new paint machine for their line of Benjamin Moore Paints. “What remains the same is the personalized service you expect from a neighborhood hardware store,” said Rossi. The store is closed on Saturday but open Sunday to Friday.

Kenneth Morris, Jr. has been chosen by American’s Essential Hospitals as an “Expert Adviser” to provide assistance and insight on Medicaid innovation and policy. Morris is vice president of external affairs at St. Joseph’s Health in Paterson and has more than three decades of experience working in public policy, government relations and community development. He has also been an at-large Councilman in Paterson, first elected in 2002 (Morris has chosen not to run for reelection this May). American’s Essential Hospitals supports its 325 members through education, policy development, advocacy and research.

ShopRite Wines & Spirits of Clifton will celebrate Drink Local New Jersey with a series of tastings of wine, beer and spirits made in the Garden State. From April 7 to 14, stop in at the liquor store on the corner of Clifton and Paulison Aves. to sample brands crafted in the Garden State. Updates will be found on the Shoprite Facebook page and flyers available in store. Some participating brands include Valenzano Wines, Bellview Wines, Tomasello Wines and Cider, Jersey Spirits, Forgotten Boardwalk Craft Beer, Jerry’s Vodka as well as rums, whiskeys and rye from Silk City Distiller on River Rd. across from Rutt’s Hut in Clifton.

Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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ATHLETICS The Mustangs Elite Summer Basketball Camp will take place June 25-29 at CHS. The 9 am to noon session is for grades 1-4; the afternoon session (1-4 pm.) is for

grades 5-9. Cost is $90. Providing instruction will be the CHS Boys Basketball coaching staff, led by head coach Mike Cadmus. Skills such as ball handling, shooting, one-

During a Jan. 23 in a game against Passaic, senior point guard Jordan Rivera became the third Lady Mustang to reach the 1,000 point milestone, finishing the season with 1,051. Others include Dori Breen with 1,180 in 1985 and Kelly Douglas with 1,315 in 2015. Rivera is pictured with coach Angelo Intile at left and AD Tom Mullahey. The Mustangs went 14-12 this year and 7-3 in the league. Rivera is undecided on her plans for September.

St. Mary’s High School in Rutherford was recognized for its ‘civic activism’with a New Jersey Assembly resolution. Pictured (left) are Principal Tara Blunt, Assemblyman Gary Schaer, Rutherford Councilwoman Stephanie McGowan and Student Council President Kiara Bedoya of Clifton.

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on-one moves and defense will be emphasized. The camp seeks to help players enjoy and appreciate the game by making it fun. Visit: mustangselitenbasketballacademy.com

Jacob Maldonado took third in the 147 lbs. division at the Northern NJ Youth Wrestling League tournament on Feb. 11 at Jefferson Township High School. He joined first-place finishers Luke Ceneri and Joe Abill, mentioned in last month’s Clifton Merchant Magazine. On that same day, Clifton wrestlers competed in the NNJJWL novice tournament at CHS. Placing as SubBantams were Noah Rodriguez (third, 40 lbs.) and Chris Andriola (second, 75 lbs.). In the Bantams were Collin O’Connor (second, 60 lbs.) and Anferny Castillo (fourth, 60 lbs.), Michael Soltis (second, 75 lbs.) and Michael Berardi (first, 87 lbs.). In the Midget Division were Naseem Abdelaziz (first, 95 lbs.) and Idreese Hamdan (third, 115 lbs.). Junior Jack Seyka placed second at 85 lbs. Students (K to 8th) interested in the Clifton Jr. Mustangs Wrestling program should call Phil Consiglio at 973-557-0717 or email him at phibe24@msn.com. The Strides Against Cancer of the Relay for Life of Clifton will host a fundraiser from 5 to 9 pm on April 16 at Chipolte at 380 Route 3 West. Chipolte will donate 50 percent of participating customers’ checks (dine-in or takeout) to the team when you tell the cashier they are there for the Relay fundraiser. The ACS’s Relay for Life Clifton is June 16 from noon to midnight at Clifton Stadium. More info at cliftonnj.org/cliftonnj.


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Birthdays & Celebrations - April 2017

The Hawrylko brothers; Joe turns 33 on April 27 and Tom Jr. is 31 on April 16. Their pal Bob Marley (above) turned 14 on April 4. Happy 39th Anniversary to big brother John & Donna Hawrylko on April 28.

Happy Birthday to... Send dates & names... tomhawrylko@optonline.net Karen Goldey..................... Timothy Hayes .................... Stephanie L. Magaster......... Hetal Patel.......................... Karen Schwartz .................. Raymond DeDios ................ Carl DiGisi ......................... Eric Homsany ..................... JoEllen Kenney-Illenye .......... Kevin John Lord .................. Greg Alexander.................. Joey Scotto ......................... Bo Franko .......................... Sabrina Greco....................

4/1 4/1 4/1 4/1 4/1 4/3 4/3 4/3 4/3 4/3 4/4 4/4 4/5 4/5

Wafa Othman .................... Mark Peterson .................... Bob Tanis ........................... Joe Franek.......................... Sharon J. Koribanics ........... Carmela Meglio ................. Jessica Mondelli.................. Emma Rozewski.................. Luke Kulesa ........................ Donna Mangone ................ Patricia Colman .................. Sheryll Franko .................... Jackie Henderson................ Jeff Murcko.........................

4/5 4/5 4/5 4/6 4/6 4/6 4/6 4/6 4/7 4/7 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8

John Filippone .................... 4/9 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 Alice Shanley Babinski ...... 4/12 Josh Ontell ....................... 4/13 William Parks III................ 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 Frank and Lee Robinson will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on April 12. Happy First Birthday to Emma Rozewski on April 6.

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Happy 12th Birthday to Damian Calvo on April 13. Peter Fierro .......................... 4/18 Maura Coleman................... 4/19 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 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 Peter Chudolij ...................... 4/28 April Graham....................... 4/28 Stephen Camp, Jr. ................ 4/29 Paul Colman ........................ 4/29 Heather Halasz .................... 4/29 Christine Klein ...................... 4/29 Cliftonmagazine.com • April 2018

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SCOUTS

Troop 21 of Saint Philip the Apostle Parish on Valley Rd. welcomed four new Boy Scouts. Alexander Jakimowicz, Wyatt Meyer, Riley Siedlecki and John Sagui crossed-over from Cub Scout Pack 21 after each were presented with the Arrows of Light, the highest award in Cub Scouting. Parents of boys in grades K to 5 interested in joining Cub Scouts can email Cubmaster Tom Meyer at pack21clifton@gmail.com. Parents of boys age 11 to 18 interested in joining Boys Scouts can email Scoutmaster Harold Bracero at Troop21scoutmaster@gmail.com.

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Clifton Merchant Magazine - April 2018  
Clifton Merchant Magazine - April 2018