Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
In 1974, Paul VI Regional High School was on Valley Rd. and some of the rising seniors included, from left, Cathy Stefanchik, Norm Tahan, Debbie Russo and Kevin Tarrant paging a book between classes. For more on the legacy of the long gone Paul VI, go to page 60. Also pictured: three unknown talent contestants from Clifton Youth Week in the 1970s.
1970s Introduction by Jack DeVries Clifton Timeline by Ariana Puzzo
At Camp Clifton in Jefferson Township in 1970, from left, Bob DaGiau; Don Grillo, Casey Lasek and Jeff Spina.
4 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
Think of the seventies like the sixties. On steroids. The sixties began with JFK’s Camelot, the Beatles, and a distant skirmish in Southeast Asia. They ended with Richard Nixon in the White House, a man on the moon, and the nation in turmoil over the Vietnam War. And, when the seventies started, even the Beatles weren’t talking to each other. Things became darker and angrier. The decade would make people strong just by living through it, and no city in New Jersey would become stronger than booming Clifton. The once bucolic burg – a connecting roadway between Paterson and Passaic – would grow into a vibrant town of 85,000 strong, nearly that of today’s population.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
From our cover: Paul Fego, William Shershin, William Holster, Natalie Fedun, Mike Novack, Lisa Nash.
The seventies kicked-off with Clifton High showing off the best damn band in the land, if not the world. In 1970, behind their tall, golden-haired beauty of a drum majorette, Cindy MacVicker, the Mustang Band marched into World Music Festival in Kerkrade, Holland, and brought home the gold. Led by music director Saul Kay, the 146-member student band announced loudly that their hometown had arrived. The Mustang football team soon added to that luster. Dressing a team that covered nearly the entire sideline, Clifton went undefeated in 1972 and 1973 (rated third nationally in 1973), winning state championships under Coach Bill Vander Closter. By the decade’s close, the Mustangs would still be potent, ending their quest for another state championship with a loss against Passaic Valley in the massive Giants Stadium on December 1, 1979. During the seventies, politics, protests, and music exploded in the headlines. Nixon left the White House in disgrace after Watergate. But, if there were scandals in Clifton, they stayed silent. The city was known for low taxes, being tough on crime, and a high school that featured 1,000 students to a graduating class. To get things done, it was good to be on the right side of Clifton’s iconic ‘Bills’ – City Manager William Holster and Superintendent of Schools William F. Shershin.
Neighborhoods, like the Botany section, began reinventing themselves through urban renewal. Others, like Lakeview and Athenia, retained their character, while the Albion, Allwood, and Montclair Heights sections grew and prospered, powered by builder Steve Dudiak. Nationally, the women’s liberation movement gained steam during the seventies, but Clifton was far ahead of other cities, electing its first female mayor, Anna M. Latteri. Known for her signature hats, a Clifton park in Rosemawr is named in her honor. By the end of the decade, Clifton’s mayor was everyman Jerry Zecker – a talking dynamo and ultimate outsider, who got up at 5 am to visit coffee shops and campaign for votes. Left off the vaunted ‘City Hall Ticket’ because of his maverick reputation and plain spoken views, (“No one, not even those big boys at city hall, can buy me!”), Zecker shocked Clifton’s political establishment by grabbing the most votes and becoming mayor. He later served as a state assemblyman for 18 years and continues to live in the city today. During the seventies, protests were known in Clifton as well. Most famous was the 1973 Clifton Teachers Association strike when 600 educators walked off the job – led by then teacher and future principal William Cannici. The two-day work action shut down 16 schools and brought media attention — and threats to Cannici. 16,000 Magazines are distributed to hundreds of Clifton Merchants on the first Friday of every month.
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Along with gas lines, fashion and music were seventies staples. It was the decade of the bad haircut, something Clifton High’s yearbooks attest to. Along with bell-bottom jeans, music became louder, harder, and uproarious. City kids watched the Rolling Stones, The Who, and Bruce Springsteen play at the Capitol Theater in Passaic. Here in Clifton, the still rocking Flying Mueller Brothers – Billy, Carl, and the late Danny – then known as Impact, were winning the battles of the bands. And, just when denim was about to cover the decade, polyester reared its ugly head and disco was born. Clifton nightclubs featuring disco included Krackers; JP’s on Route 3 (now the site of a Honda dealership); and Joey Harrison’s Valley Lodge. But it was Casey’s on Allwood Road (now Bliss Lounge) that drew the area’s largest crowds. Casey’s featured a supper club, bar and a large dance floor presided over by DJ Byron ‘BG’ Hogan. As the decade ended, other clubs sprang up in Clifton, including the more informal Rick’s Pub, the upscale Ashley’s in Styretowne Shopping Center and a revamped Joey’s Place. Though the seventies had its moments, the years were also painful. Clifton lost 29 brave service men in Vietnam, and the worthwhile struggles for equal rights were long and hard.
The city began its own change – going from an overwhelming white population to one that would celebrate its incredible diversity today. While Clifton remembers its joys and bears its scars from that decade some 40 years ago, what
remains is its pride in its people, respect for its history, and Clifton’s patriotic heart. And, if you look carefully, there’s a white polyester suit hanging in its closet. So on the next 83 pages, join us as we dance our way back through the 1970s.
Clifton Merchant • August 2016
Circa, 1970, Clifton Democratic party leader Alex Komar purchased this old Great Lakes steamer, which he had shipped and moored on the Passaic River, just off River Road. He converted the vessel into a bar and restaurant and it became a hangout for a few years. However, one stormy night, the Passaic River Queen broke her moorings and beached down stream where it slowly rusted and was eventually sold for scrap— before becoming a lively footnote in our city’s history. Jan. 6, 1970: The construction of a $100,000 Gino’s Restaurant at Rt. 46 and St. Philip Drive is approved. The fast-food chain was founded by Baltimore Colts defensive end Gino Marchetti and running back Alan Ameche. Jan. 12, 1970: Mayor Joseph Vanecek appoints William Bingham and John Feczer to the Planning Board and Stephen Goceljak, George Garrison, Lester Herrschaft and Terry LaCorte to the Board of Education. Jan. 13, 1970: Councilman Thomas Cupo calls for a raise for City Manager William Holster. Holster pulled down $31,315 annually and was mentioned as a candi-
date for a $38,000-a-year cabinet post with newly elected Governor William Cahill. Cupo’s call for the raise was in response to the possible loss of Holster. Jan. 13, 1970: The Planning Board approves John Majka, through his Dor-John Corp., for an extension to a warehouse on the Athenia tract that previously housed Stacey Fabrics. Vanecek maintained his opposition to the expansion at the Majka industrial park during the session. However, his colleagues ignored his objections. Jan. 21, 1970: City Manager Holster’s profile rises as he is named to the legislative committee of the NJ State League of Municipalities. Jan. 21, 1970: Parents and the BOE get a demonstration of the school system’s new closed circuit TV system. Jan. 21, 1970: The plans for Harry Burns to expand his Country Inn on Valley Road and add an antique store are approved by the Board of Adjustment and recommended favorably to the City Council. The 1970 Biddy All-Stars took Clifton and the Garden State by storm. They headed to New Orleans in the spring, where they placed third in a national tourney. Since helping coach the team in New Orleans, George Hayek remained active with the Biddy team until 2007, when he took time off following hip replacement surgery. The team is now headed by Bob Foster of the Boys & Girls Club. Front, from left to right is Stan Kobylarz, Chris Melia, Rick Hilla, David Anton, Charley Hayek and Tom Primo. Back: Coach Ed Bednarcik, Steve Gallik, Ed Bednarcik, George Oiler, Duke Silgee, Mark Presby and Coach Max Kashtan.
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Jan. 21, 1970: An election of officers of the Ladies Auxiliary of Southern Division is held at Gus’ Hall. Jan. 21, 1970: City Manager Holster proposes that the state-owned Meadowlands be used for sanitary landfill to put “competition into garbage disposal procedures” wins endorsement from the Council. Holster relayed the plan to Gov. Cahill and other state officials. It called for opening up state riparian lands to municipalities on a fee basis so that the year-to-year threat of having dumping grounds closed to municipalities can be eliminated. Jan. 22, 1970: Mary Pavlik, with the support of Mayor Vanecek, succeeds Stanislaus Weiss as BOE president.
Jan. 24, 1970: Clifton’s 1970 budget reflects an increase of 25 tax points, for a total of $9,649,984.89. Notable increases included schools, higher police and fire salaries, state mandates for a health officer and funding for the new community center and libraries.
March 3, 1970: A dinner to honor Chief Joseph A. Nee is held to mark his 40 years of service as an officer. He served as chief from Jan. 1, 1959, until his retirement on Sept. 23, 1977.
Jan. 26, 1970: A trend of pupil transfers from parochial schools to the city’s junior high schools results in overloading and unexpected teacher recruitment. No reason for the transfers was determined. Jan. 30, 1970: A fire is averted at a building of the Athenia Steel Division of National-Standard Co. at 674 Clifton Ave. The fire was avoided by the early discovery of a smoldering blaze by a passing Fire-Police Patrol car.
Clifton Merchant • August 2016
Feb. 3, 1970: Getty Oil Co. wants to move its station at Parker and Dayton Avenues to another part of Botany Village. Their plan incited protests at a Council session. The company tried to buy two parcels of land and buildings as a site for a new station because its previous structure was to be razed by the city as part of the village historical restoration under urban renewal. Feb. 18, 1970: The Board of Adjustment approves a plan to turn the vacant Food Fair market in Richfield Shopping Center into a 13,000 sq. ft. office for an engineering firm that would employ up to 75 persons. March 2, 1970: Mary Pavlik is unanimously elected president of the BOE and becomes the first woman to head the school board. March 10, 1970: A free program, “Should Sex Education Be Taught in the Public Schools?” is presented by the BOE in the CHS auditorium.
On Jan. 1, 1969, the city made big news when it gave fire fighters full police powers, including the right to carry weapons and make arrests when it formed the Fire-Police Patrol. This controversial service was slowly disbanded, ending completely in the mid 1980’s.
March 11, 1970: Former Mayor Ira Schoem announces to members of the executive committee of the Chamber of Commerce that he will not be a candidate for re-election to the Council in May. April 1970: Standard Packaging Corporation opens a new headquarters at 1 Lisbon St.
April 2, 1970: The Allwood Branch library at School No. 9 closes on April 6 to move the library collection into the new building on Chelsea and Lyall Roads. April 9, 1970: The Passaic and Clifton Police Depts., and the Passaic County Public Defenders office, are subject to a probe by order of Superior Court Judge John F. Crane. The probe stems from an incident in which two Passaic men were convicted of holding up a Clifton tavern. It is alleged that pertinent evidence was suppressed by Clifton Police Sgt. John De Groot, known for his role in the Kavanaugh murder trial, from which he was cleared. He was alleged to not have pursued leads on four possible culprits. The next day, DeGroot filed for an indefinite sick leave due to ‘nervous exhaustion.’ 10 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
April 21, 1970: The Clifton Woman’s Club celebrates 30 years and their 8th District guest night at the Elks Lodge. April 23, 1970: Trustees of the Boys Club provide a budget to fight the use of narcotics. Among anti-drug slogans proposed: “Acid Burns” and “How Was Your Trip, Stupid?” May 2, 1970: Main Ave. from Crooks to Highland Ave. is swept as part of an anti-litter campaign conducted by the Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Clifton Junior Woman’s Club. May 12, 1970: Mayor Vanecek is ousted from power after finishing eighth in the Council election. Bob Baran was one of two new faces on the Council as a result of his fourth place finish. The second new face was Frank Sylvester who finished seventh. May 20, 1970: Newly hired library employee Dennis Harraka, 22, son of trustee George Harraka, is at the center of a controversy. Trustee Esther Bertoni said that she was never asked to vote on his hiring. Board Attorney Frank Ferrante said he too was not aware of the hiring. May 24, 1970: Dr. Alfred B. Green is installed as president of the Passaic County Dental Society.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
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Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
The 1970 City Council, from left, Tom Cupo, Israel Friend, Anna Latteri, John Surgent, Bob Baran Frank Sylvester, Mervyn Montgomery.
May 26, 1970: Anna Latteri is sworn in as the city’s first female mayor. Latteri’s six colleagues unanimously selected her. She was the first woman to head a major city in New Jersey. June 1970: The Bank of Passaic and Clifton, N.A. appoints three women executives—Alice Merrick Dougherty, Dorothy Druian and D. June Serafin. The bank stated that their appointment was the first time that any NJ bank named women in executive positions. June 11, 1970: The Board of Alcoholic Beverage Control says that a new state regulation for liquor stores and taverns that requires businesses to submit copies of licenses and a $25 fee directly to the state of New Jersey is unfair and unnecessary.
June 30, 1970: Clifton’s Main Ave. beautification program receives three checks from two banks, as well as Councilman Israel Friend. July 1970: Newspapers report that BOE members want to break their lease with the city and regain control of School No. 6 on Clifton Ave. The board originally closed School 6 five years prior when enrollments went down. However, shifting school populations to nearby Schools 3 and 15 resulted in overcrowding. Superintendent of Schools William F. Shershin disputed the newspaper reports and noted that the BOE’s contract with the city did not expire until April 1972. July 1, 1970: Police report that more than one car tape player was stolen per day during June.
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Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
July 7, 1970: Freshman Councilman Frank Sylvester introduces an ordinance to end acts of vandalism in the city’s playgrounds, school areas and rowdiness in public places. July 8, 1970: The BOE votes to sever its athletic ties with the Passaic Valley Conference and become part of the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League. July 13, 1970: Civil Service officials confirm to a Clifton delegation that firemen performing partial police duties in the city’s fire-police patrol program will have to be renamed public safety officers. July 30, 1970: The Mustang Band leaves for The Netherlands to participate in the World Music Festival as seen at right.
Karen Mullen, Pat Watson, Barry Raphael and Drum Major Cindy MacVicker.
On Aug. 12, 1970, Pope Paul VI sent his greetings and blessings to all citizens of Clifton, Peter Librizzi told the crowd welcoming home the 146 members of the Mustang Band. The Clifton entourage also visited Italy and took part in a mass audience at the Pope’s summer home in Castel Gandolfo. Librizzi, an officer of the Clifton Music Foundation, which helped raise funds for the trip, spoke with the Holy Father in Italian. The Mustangs came home with 2 gold metals and a silver in marching and concert competitions.
16 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
Aug. 19, 1970: The BOE announces plans to have guards on CHS’ campus when classes resume in September. Aug. 19, 1970: A 12,000 sq. ft. addition to the offices of Automatic Data Processing, at Allwood Rd. near Rt. 3, is announced. Nov. 25, 1971: Severin Palydowycz (far right) is named acting vice-principal of
Sept. 22, 1970: Telegrams are sent by CHS, filling the vacancy created by the transfer of Charles Gersie to supervise City Manager Holster to President classes for suspended students at School 6. Other CHS administrators from left, Richard M. Nixon and congressional Principal Aaron Halpern, Senior VP John Murphy and Junior VP Terry Hanner. leaders to help the city get title to the Nov. 10, 1970: A civic and schools committee studying U.S. Animal Quarantine Site on Colfax Ave. Holster said sex education recommends that Clifton health education that the move was made from frustration because the teachers be screened on their “attitudes toward human city’s efforts to get the state’s Republican Sen. Clifford P. sexual conduct” in teaching human reproduction to Case to move the project along proved “fruitless.” fourth through sixth grade students. Sept. 22, 1970: The city plans to move immediately to Dec. 1, 1970: Heroin addictions are on the rise, so remove safety hazards along Bloomfield Ave. that Municipal Judge John A. Celentano Jr. proposes that the caused the BOE to institute courtesy busing on a tempocity construct a methadone treatment center. City rary basis for 35 children from the Knollcroft section. Manager Holster told the Council that such a project was Sept. 22, 1970: A BOE subcommittee on drugs is disthe responsibility of the state or federal government. banded despite pleas from its chair to continue. Police Chief Joseph A. Nee said that police would be Sept. 23, 1970: Clifton hosts 1,000 members of the New overloaded if they had to check in on addicts. From Oct. York-New Jersey chapter of the American Public Works 1969 to Oct. 1970, there were 66 arrests for heroin use, Association for a conference at locations in town. of which, 61 were adults. Sept. 28, 1970: The DPW begins cleaning out Weasel Brook from the Passaic line to Center St., gathering up silt and trucking it to Botany Village to fill in the basements of demolished buildings. Oct. 12, 1970: Sufficient demolition is completed in Botany Village to open up all lands for sale to developers of the square. Oct. 15, 1970: City officials are told by the State DOT that Rt. 80 through Totowa and Paterson must be completed before any improvements are made to Rt. 46. Nov. 3, 1970: A referendum to reorganize the Board of Library Trustees is approved by voters. The question reshaped the board in accordance with a state statute that makes the library eligible for state aid. It meant that Mayor Latteri and Supt. Shershin were voting members. The mayor also had five appointments. Nov. 4, 1970: The Boys’ Clubs of America awards its gold medal to Anthony Consi and Henry Fette. 18 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
The first Santa Tour of Clifton began in Dec. 1970 thanks to the efforts of Tom Insigna, Chuck Ranges, Mike Novack and dozens of others who began the tradition in Clifton’s business districts.
Dr. Michael Lewko with his mom Stefania and sister Danusia.
Ukrainian Flag Raising
Aug. 24, Clifton City Hall
On August 24, the nation of Ukraine will celebrate its 25th anniversary of Independence from the former Soviet Union. Here in Clifton, Americans of Ukrainian heritage will mark the anniversary on Wednesday, August 24. We will meet at Hird Park at Clifton and Lexington Aves. at 6 pm. At around 7 pm, our group will be at Clifton City Hall for a flag raising and songs honoring this milestone. We invite the community to join us.
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Jan. 11, 1971: City engineers and the legal staff state that a subdivision application for one of Garret Mountain’s rockiest slopes is a subterfuge to enable 50,000 yards of bluestone to be quarried. Pictured above was the Paul VI freshman football team in 1971 with a backdrop of what was then called Washington Rock. The site is now the location of 810 townhomes. Jan. 11, 1971: Higher assessments and taxes turn 2,000 taxpayers into a jeering crowd in CHS’ auditorium that only seats 1,100. They booed City Manager Holster, the Council and City Assessor Alfred E. Greene. Jan. 30, 1971: After a two and a half hour review of the school budget with the Council, the BOE cuts $100,000 from the $12,790,140 spending plan. Feb. 1, 1971: Mayor Latteri reappoints Library Trustees George J. Kulik and Caspio Caprio. The other appointees are Mrs. Gerald Aires, Louis Ferry, Mrs. Charles Arangio and Mrs. Selma Hurevitch. Latteri and Supt. Shershin are also mandated members of the Board. Feb. 5, 1971: The Council OK’s $1,500 for a brochure to explain the figures on the tax revaluation, despite a provision in the contract that calls for the company doing the work to “conduct a program of public education.” Feb. 6, 1971: The Council decides not to give city employees dental care that would have cost $58,000. 20 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
March 19, 1971: Det. Benjamin Peluso stopped at 2:17 pm for traffic on Clifton and Colfax Aves., when he was rammed from behind by Alex Bidnik Jr., weekly newspaper editor of The Independent Prospector. Bidnik was then hit by George Kroll, weekly newspaper editor of the Clifton Journal, who is pictured above with Mayor Anna Latteri (left) and Fran Aires.
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Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
Feb. 9, 1971: The Council unanimously approves A&P’s proposal for a supermarket in the new Botany Village Square as part of the urban redevelopment.
April 8, 1971: The DPW begins planting trees as part of the city’s beautification program. The first ones were along Allwood Rd., from the circle to the power lines.
March 4, 1971: The BOE asks City Manager Holster to make School 6 available for academic use. Previously it was leased to the city as a community recreation center.
May 4, 1971: Taxi cab fares charged by the Clifton Taxi and Livery Service is argued before the Council. The company wanted to raise taxi fares from a minimum of 60 cents to 70 cents.
April 6, 1971: Some 150 teenagers attend a Council meeting to protest a revised anti-loitering ordinance, claiming a violation of their rights. April 6, 1971: The Council debates whether to repair or demolish at city expense an old structure on Parker Ave. in the Botany Village redevelopment. They also argued about bids to install a sprinkler system at the new Allwood Branch library.
May 4, 1971: A proposed sign ordinance, part of the beautification program, bans signs painted on railroad overpasses, streamers, bunting, strings of lights and spinners. May 14, 1971: Frank Carlet, a 34year-old attorney, becomes city Republican leader for the fourth consecutive time. He won 57-34 over Councilman Frank Sylvester.
On Nov. 16, 1971, Mayor Anna Latteri announces that she will appoint 38-year-old Frank A. Pecci (above), of Silleck St., to the BOE. He would fill out the unexpired term of Stephen Groceljak, who resigned. May 16, 1971: The city hosts a parade sponsored by the New Jersey American Legion to honor American POW’s War in Vietnam. June 15, 1971: Three ministers call city leaders to repeal the teen curfew and park restrictions. A youth worker calls City Manager Holster “paranoid” on the curfew issue. June 16, 1971: Construction of a 12-unit apartment at 180 Highland Ave. wins approval.
The 1971 Paul VI varsity football team. Kneeling, from left, Richard McDermott and Roy McTernan. Standing, from left, Henry Patterson, Steven Jakimec, William Donnelly, Kevin McKenna, Paul Ogden, Joseph Brower, Kenneth Scarpa, Joseph Rothong, Gary Szilagyi and Joseph Maran.
22 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
July 8, 1971: The BOE rejects the Social Education Committee’s proposed sex ed curriculum. The dissenting voters insisted they were not opposed to the proposal, but wanted to study how sexuality was handled in the curriculum to compare it with the committee’s remarks.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
Aug. 20, 1971: The Planning Board approves the construction of two warehouses between 203 and 300 Kuller Rd., adjoining the General Foods warehouses.
Jan 11, 1972: A camera crew from WOR-TV films Mayor Latteri and members of the police-fire patrol for a segment on the uniqueness of the program in the region.
Aug. 30, 1971: Plans for the enlarged branch of Clifton Savings and Loan Assoc. near Botany Village Square are unveiled to the architectural review committee.
Feb. 9, 1972: Louise Friedman, Clifton’s member on the Passaic County Welfare Board, speaks at the Clifton Republican Club meeting to gain support for her crusade against welfare fraud in New Jersey.
Sept. 1, 1971: As strike talks loom, the BOE adopts a “no haste” approach to the question of teacher and principal salaries. Sept. 15, 1971: The Zoning Board supports the proposal for a rustic Getty Oil service station to be relocated to another section of Botany Village as part of the urban renewal program. Sept. 16, 1971: Library Director Eleanor Purcell appeals the charges of incompetence and insubordination that were filed against her by the Library Trustees. Oct. 9, 1971: First Baptist Church, at Clifton and Lexington Aves, celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Arthur Mazowiecki wore many hats. The Chief of the DPW was also on the Board of the Boys Club from 1971-74. Being in charge of the DPW, he was able to get work crews, equipment and other support to help expand Camp Clifton in Jefferson Township. Camp Clifton was where some 500 day and overnight campers spent summers under the direction of Golden Chiefs Severin Palydowycz and Thomas ‘Doc’ Fedor.
Nov. 3, 1971: While the Board of Recreation and the BOE continue to share School 6, the Council authorizes City Manager Holster to start the process of refurbishing the building. Nov. 3, 1971: Two dozen residents of Scoles Ave. attend the Zoning Board meeting in order to protest the proposed construction of a center by the Jewish Community Council of Passaic and Clifton. Nov. 12, 1971: NJ DOT’s new plan that shows its proposed Rt. 46/Rt. 21 interchange at Nash Park indicates that it is suddenly necessary for more private property to be purchased. Dec. 29, 1971: George Kroll of the Clifton Journal is elected President of the Family Mental Health Clinic. 24 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
March 1, 1972: The Appellate Division of Superior Court will uphold the dismissal of former Det. Sgt. John De Groot’s falseprosecution suit unless his lawyer files a supporting brief by March 13. De Groot filed the suit after being acquitted of the 1966 murder of Gabriel DeFranco. March 8, 1972: The BOE convenes under President Robert Taylor. March 13, 1972: Council supports the Brunetti proposal for high-rise towers in Richfield Village.
April 26, 1972: Clifton joins Attorney General George Kugler’s suit to appeal Judge Theodore Botler’s decision on school financing.
April 27, 1972: City Manager Holster criticizes what he calls ‘a small group of liberals’ that oppose high-rise apartments in Richfield Village. May 3, 1972: The Zoning Board rejects an application by Tulgren Corp. for a 48-unit, $1 million luxury apartment building on the 1,018-acre Randazzo tract on Broad St. May 8, 1972: Lawyers clash as the hearing against fired Library Director Eleanor Purcell completes its second session. Employees testified to being berated by Purcell in public or hearing her berate other employees. June 28, 1972: Clifton’s Environmental Protective Commission pass a resolution to stop wholesale theft and abandonment of supermarket shopping carts.
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Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
On May 26, 1972, Lilian Kakascik of the St. Mary’s Hospital Senior Guild, followed up their Luncheon at Gene Boyle’s, with a thank you note to Gene’s wife, Mary, which we found on the back of this photo. It read: “The musicians were a delightful surprise and the menu, as always, fabulous!”
July 14, 1972: The Athenia sanitary sewer begins leaking and part of the effluent that carries human waste appears in various sections of Weasel Brook. July 18, 1972: The Council tightens up the anti-noise ordinance, spelling out not only what is offensive, but the hours in which it is most offensive and the formula for measuring how offensive. Aug. 1, 1972: Former Clifton Det. John DeGroot, one of the figures in the Kavanaugh murder case, has his attorney ask the city to pay for his legal fees following his acquittal. The lawyer, John Noonan, said the request was based on the recent decision by the Council to pay Sgt. James Hill for his legal expenses because of a charge by a Passaic woman. DeGroot, who claimed that he was penniless from legal troubles, was sued by the law firm that defended him in the trial for $21,928.20. In May, DeGroot accepted a $20,000 payment as settlement in his suit against former Passaic County Prosecutor John Thevos, two former assistant prosecutors and a county investigator. DeGroot also announced that he planned to sue the city and the PBA after dropping them in the suit against the prosecutors. He originally asked that all defendants in the suit pay $6 million because he was deprived of his civil rights. DeGroot added that the PBA and the city should have supported him in his trial. 26 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
At Camp Clifton, pool committee members saw their concept become a reality on June 24, 1972. From left: Anthony Consi, Robert Sussman, Steve, Linda, Bob and Jo Obser with Tizian Belli admire the 14 ft. deep olympic size facility, which also offered a wading area.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
Aug. 29, 1972: Dorothy McGuire, 23, said that she hopes to become the first female Clifton cop, but City Manager Holster opposes women on the force. He dismissed it by saying: “It’s a little ridiculous.” McGuire claimed that with proper training—she took karate classes—any woman should be able to become an officer. She hoped to become a narcotics detective and work with kids. Sept. 6, 1972: The BOE ratifies a one-year contract with the CTA after a lengthy debate. They gave teachers raises and increments; some had nine percent salary hikes. Sept. 7, 1972: The Zoning Board hears the disputed high-rise plan in October 1972: American Legion Post 347 from Lakeview Ave. attend the Botany Delawanna. The Main Ave. project Village dedication. Known members at the time from left were Henry Marrocco, Frank Horvath and the last one on the right was Frank Damiano. called for construction of three sixstory apartment buildings of “a luxDec. 19, 1972: The Council decides to not purchase a ury class” on vacant land at the corner of Rutherford vacant house on Randolph Ave. from the NJ DOT. Blvd. The plan was approved on Dec. 10. Instead, they explored construction of a new building for Oct. 9, 1972: Mayor Latteri appoints Marie Modarelli of the multi-uses that the old house was meant for. Union Ave. to the BOE. Nov. 3, 1972: Police Chief Nee announces that the first nine months of the year saw a 3.7 percent decrease in crime and a 20.1 percent increase in crime clearances.
Jan. 2, 1973: Construction of a new Albion firehouse and a building in Botany for the historical commission are the focus of a Council meeting.
Nov. 22, 1972: The Council gives the Girls’ Club a 100 by 150 ft. tract on Orono St. to expand its operations.
Jan. 25, 1973: A document that circulated by the CTA asking members to fill out an evaluation of their coordinators, vice principals and principals surfaces at a BOE meeting and draws scathing criticism of the teacher group. Supt. Shershin deemed the document unethical.
Dec. 5, 1972: The Council rejects the application of BudRon Enterprises to build a night club on Allwood Road. Dec. 6, 1972: The New Jersey Bank unveils plans to build a drive-in “mini-bank” in Lakeview. Dec. 13, 1972: Clifton Environmental Protective Commission devises a comprehensive residential recycling program and prepares a letter to the Council asking for support in launching it. Dec. 15, 1972: The “Juvenile Decency” campaign launched by sixth graders at School 15 draws a commendation from President Nixon. 28 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
Jan. 27, 1973: The $13 million BOE budget allows for 4.5 percent salary increases for teachers and principals at maximum and increments for those below the top level. Feb. 26, 1973: Former Library Trustee Selma Hurevitch plans to sue the city after being replaced by Mayor Latteri, who said Hurevitch was appointed only to complete the remainder of Gerald Aires’ term. Hurevitch claimed it was a full term.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
Summer’s Children, at right, blossomed from the folk music programs performed in the Woodrow Wilson Junior High School courtyard under the direction of teacher Frank Rainey. From 1967 to 1977, the WW music teacher would audition singers from the school for a select group—the 9th Grade Singing Ensemble— who performed difficult vocal and instrumental pieces leading up to the Hootenanny, or Folk Program. Accompaniment, predominantly guitar, was provided by In 1972: Karen (Momary) Bakaletz, Nadine (Chabay) Schober, Eric Lesko (playing guistudents from WW, with Rainey tar), Dante Liberti, Carol Hamersma (playing guitar), Kathy Harris, Michael ‘Ozzie’ playing the upright bass. The Bakaletz, Kathy (Gray) Knittel. Below are the same kids at Mario’s for Mr. Rainey’s Ensemble became a fixture in 75th birthday, which turned into a rehearsel for a Sept. 28 concert. Clifton in those days, performing at public events and at the elementary schools. They the performance grew. By 1977, up to 40 singers would even performed at Convention Hall in Atlantic City for gather together on the stage for the concert, which featured full group numbers, solos and small group numbers, the 1972 NJ Teacher’s Convention. As the years went by, alumni of the group began to and audience participation tunes such as Michael Row return for the annual performances in the courtyard, so Your Boat Ashore.
30 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
Rainey has since retired, and in fall of 2015 celebrated his 75th birthday. A group of alumni from those Woodrow years threw him a birthday party at Mario’s Restaurant and a few brought their guitars. Some singing took place, and the idea sprouted up to do a reunion concert at Woodrow Wilson. Dante Liberti contacted the principal and music staff at WW. The concert is at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in the courtyard at 7 pm on Sept. 28, rain or shine. If it rains, the concert will move into the auditorium. To keep the tradition, it was agreed that a group of current Woodrow students would perform as well as the alumni, who will make up the majority of the show. Many of the singers from the late 60’s and 70’s have careers in music and the program promises to be of high quality. Purchase tickets at theaterleagueofclifton.com. They are $8 if purchased on the website; $10 at the door. Chairs will be set up for the concert, but people can sit on the grass like old times. Bring a blanket for grass seating and get ready to sing Michael Row Your Boat Ashore.
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March 1973: Roland Business Systems moves to new offices at 999 Clifton Ave. The firm was previously located in Wayne. Owner Jerome Anzalone operated a printing shop on Main Ave. prior to owning his own shop. March 3, 1973: The Junior Auxiliary of American Legion Memorial Post 347 attends the statewide rally. March 12, 1973: The Council discusses the feasibility of a cable TV ordinance and competition for the city’s franchise heats up. April 2, 1973: Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Caplan lead Until Prices Drop, a local version of the nation-wide boycott to protest surging meat prices.
Sept. 17, 1973: President of the CTA William Cannici, at left, leads a city-wide teacher strike as 376 teachers do not report for work and 199 show up for classes. BOE President Lester Herrschaft calls the actions of the CTA “deplorable.”
April 16, 1973: More than 880 people attend a testimonial dinner that honors and celebrates Mayor Anna Latteri. April 16, 1973: A green decal to identify supporters of the drive to clean up Clifton is offered by the Clifton Citizens Advisory Committee on Beautification. May 10, 1973: Councilman Mervyn Montgomery calls for the public to be admitted to a meeting between the Council and the Board of Library Trustees. June 27, 1973: Michael Koribanics receives an OK to expand his commercial property on Van Houten Ave. A 2002 photo of some of the members of the only back-to-back undefeated Fighting Mustangs in CHS history. In front, holding the ‘73 jacket is Bob Bais and Greg Wichot is holding the ‘72 jacket on the right. At center with trophy that states ‘Clifton 9-0 Star-Ledger Poll #1 1973’ is Joseph McGonigle. Left rear, Charles DiGiacomo, Paul Nebesni, the late Coach Bill Vander Closter and Dennis Mikula.
32 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
July 2, 1973: A series of weekend burglaries and hold ups in various neighborhoods results in the loss of $2,300 in cash and goods from several local businesses.
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July 8, 1973: Anna Latteri, Clifton’s first female mayor, dies in her home after being confined to her bed for weeks due to cancer. She was a member of the Council
since 1966 and received the most votes in the 1970 election in a field of 27 candidates, making her the mayor. July 12, 1973: The Council agrees to have Israel Friend serve the final year of Anna Latteri’s term as mayor. Aug. 8, 1973: A BOE offer that upgraded salaries and made changes in other areas of disagreement receives a negative response from unhappy athletic coaches. Oct. 1, 1973: Members of the Planning Board appear to favor recommending a zone change for 3.6 acres of vacant land on Clifton Blvd. from residential B to light industry. The acreage is owned by the dormant Federal Sweets company and is used as a parking lot.
Jan. 1973: Christina Fischback’s house at 1250 Van Houten Ave. prior to the pruchase and groundbreaking of Kimberly Arms by developer Charles Nouhan Sr.
Oct. 31, 1973: EPC chair Raymond Egatz resigns in disgust because the commission was either thwarted or ignored by the Council for most of its existence. Fellow member Frank Sudol quits for that reason a week later. Nov. 5, 1973: Bids for construction of the new Albion Pl. firehouse come in above estimates. Nov. 14, 1973: The Council wants residents to opine on a garage sales proposal that would create restrictions. Dec. 13, 1973: A motion to end executive BOE sessions except for special circumstances is tabled. The disagreement was over the definition of “special circumstances.” Jan. 22, 1974: The tight budget from the BOE and increased ratable help the city to fend off $441,840 in increased operating costs and reduce the tax rate.
July 1973: Contractor George Ploch at work on the 40,000 sq. ft., 14 unit complex
Jan. 25, 1974: The Planning Board receives a proposal for the construction of a Girls’ Club facility on Speer Ave. Board members think the idea is “long overdue.” Feb. 1, 1974: Councilman John Surgent goes on record saying that, should the BOE reopen teacher pay talks, he would back their request for higher pay. “I approve the proposed 8.5 percent increase because it matches the cost-of-living increase,” he said to The Herald News. Feb. 8, 1974: The Council offers city employees a seven percent pay raise for 1974, an additional uniform allowance of $50, one personal day and improved medical and pharmaceutical fringe benefits.
Nov. 1973: The first tenant moved into Kimberly Arms. Nouhan, a real estate broker and owner of Four Star Agency, still owns and manages the property.
34 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
March 22, 1974: All BOE employees are granted salary increases, but seven school nurses continue fighting for mandated raises after two years.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
March 27, 1974: The North Jersey Consumers Group meets with the 8th Congressional District chapter of Common Cause to discuss a merger because of falling membership in both organizations. April 15, 1974: Joel Pasternack, at right, of Joel’s Sports of Clifton, which was then on the lower level of Styertowne Shopping Center, came in 28th place in the 78th Boston Marathon. He ran the race in 2 hours, 25 minutes and 3 seconds. April 16, 1974: William Elias, Clifton Schools new Phys. Ed and Athletics Director, introduces styles of dance, self defense, slimnastics, yoga and more non-traditional courses to the curriculum. Years prior, such courses would not be offered, but the change is seen by many as positive. April 16, 1974: Councilman Terry La Corte, a candidate for re-election, stresses the need for more diverse recreational facilities in Clifton. He said that the city and its citizens needed an indoor or outdoor ice skating rink and a pool.
April 22, 1974: The Planning Board approves a site plan for the proposed Post Office at 815 Paulison Ave. April 22, 1974: Over 300 reservations are placed for the Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon on April 24, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the City Manager form of government. City Manager Holster will speak, as will a dozen others who were involved with the change in 1934. April 30, 1974: The Board of Alcoholic Beverage Control approves the transfer of a tavern license to the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Church on Broad St. The approval was appealed the following week. May 8, 1974: The Council approves bonds to replace a $25,500 roof on the DPW garage, another to amend the zoning ordinance and a third to appropriate $6,500 for the purchase of engine performance testing equipment. May 14, 1974: The proposed Girls’ Club on the corner of Speer Ave. and Orono St. finds getting approval a rough road due to opposition and resistance from the Rec Dept.
Ray DeBrown, at left, with some of his many accordion concert students, circa 1974.
36 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
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In 1974, to gain the first spot on the ballot, Jerry Zecker and his supporters—Mike Novack, Richard Cooke, James Anzaldi, Chuck Ranges, Al Sabeh and many more—kept a four-day, round-theclock vigil outside City Clerk Betty Lutz’s office to present a candidate petition containing more than 7,000 signatures.
May 14, 1974: Councilman Frank Sylvester is named mayor following the Council elections. Other candidates who won a seat on the 1974 Council included: Israel Friend, Robert Baran, John Surgent, Gerald Zecker, Louise Friedman and Mervyn Montgomery. June 17, 1974: A student-supported change in the dress code at CHS to permit shorts lacks the necessary five Board votes. Barbara Sala and Michael Ressetar were in favor. Leading the opposition was Gertrude Silverman. “If we permitted these youngsters to wear shorts, they would go all out – and they definitely would – it would be a disgraceful scene. We would have a terrible problem enforcing a dignified atmosphere,” she said. Silverman proposed that school be let out if temperatures go above 90 degrees. Marie Modarelli, Frank Pecci and Eugene Kobylarz were also against shorts. Board President Lester Herrschaft and Samuel Castronovo indicated that they were open minded, but voted ‘excused’ until enforceable guidelines were drafted. June 17, 1974: Councilman Frank Sylvester and Robert Baran fail to file campaign contributions and expenditures, which are due 15 days after the election, according to the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission. June 17, 1974: The Planning Board urges the Board of Adjustment to reject a variance for Arthur Treacher franchises to build a Fish N’ Chips restaurant at 71 Ackerman Ave. They argued that parking provisions were inadequate and a fast food restaurant on Ackerman Ave. would cause intolerable traffic problems. 38 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
July 16, 1974: The Council issues a censure and calls for the resignation of Assemblyman Herbert C. Klein because he voted in favor of Gov. Brendan T. Byrne’s income tax proposal. Councilman Israel Friend asked Mayor Sylvester to reduce the BOE’s million-dollar request for repairs and improvements to schools. The Council received a petition of 250 signatures of Grove St. and Van Houten Ave. residents opposed to the Lutheran Housing Corp.’s low-cost elderly housing project. July 18, 1974: Republican Congressional hopeful Herman Schmidt calls for “firm action” on the “congressional level” to hurry the elimination of the U.S. Quarantine Station on Van Houten Ave. Aug. 4, 1974: Coast Guard Day is celebrated in honor of the 184th anniversary of the founding of the nation’s oldest sea-going service in continuous existence. Sept. 3, 1974: The Council postpones deliberations on proposed changes in the rent leveling rules. Sept. 3, 1974: Despite the Zoning Board’s favorable recommendation, the Council denies the expansion of Julia’s Mountaintop Nursery. The request was made by Cornelius Vos to add 30 children. Sept. 8, 1974: The Rev. Robert G. Grahmann is installed by Classis of Passaic as Pastor of the Lakeview Heights Reformed Church. Sept. 10, 1974: No decision is reached by the BOE regarding the appointment of a director of special services or on the assignment of Charles Gersie. Gersie’s administrative career was controversial due to his frequent transfers by the Board.
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Sept. 11, 1974: Al’s Place, 609 Van Houten Ave., is closed for 30 days by the Alcoholic Beverage Control board. Tavern owner Raymond Roman was accused of selling beer to a minor and pleaded guilty. Sept. 13, 1974: The Lions Club celebrates its 25th anniversary at the Robin Hood Inn. Oct. 1, 1974: Ravine Park neighbors appear before the Council in defense of the teenagers who gather there. Two weeks prior, the residents condemned the teenagers, saying that they cause ‘intolerable conditions’ by littering and damaging property. Oct. 2, 1974: The Board of Adjustment remains unconvinced that the Berkey Photo complex on Getty Ave. has enough parking for its expansion plans. Oct. 14, 1974: Wilson’s Liquor Store, at 117-119 Lakeview Ave., begins its 30-day suspension for selling three kegs of beer to a minor. Oct. 20, 1974: The Bicentennial Liaison Committee holds its first program in Nash Park. The committee was headed by Bill Chaky and Tom Miller. Oct. 28, 1974: Mayor Sylvester stands by his statement calling for the investigation of three city officials— Judge Nicholas Mandak, City Counsel Arthur Sullivan Jr. and Councilman Mervyn Montgomery—for representing clients in Board of Adjustment matters. Nov. 4, 1974: Umbriago’s Liquor Store, 805 Van Houten Ave., had its license suspended the previous month for 10 days for unknowingly selling beer to a minor. Nov. 11, 1974: Assemblyman William J. Bate states his opposition to a statewide casino referendum. Nov. 18, 1974: The Council and Library Board meet to discuss the details of the library expansion. Nov. 19, 1974: The BOE criticizes the newly-created Advisory Council of the Clifton Public Schools. The council was created as a result of a provision in the school board’s contract with the CTA. Nov. 26, 1974: AD William Elias defends the decision made by the CHS physical education department to bring back graded evaluation of student performance. Nov. 26, 1974: An old house with links to the Dundee Land, Water, Power & Light Co. is not salvaged as a museum. Frank Mileto, chief building inspector, rejected the idea of maintaining the building just off of Randolph Ave. by confirming that it was not cost effective. 40 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
July 19, 1974: Action on the application of Keystone Camera Company to construct a two-story addition to its warehousing and manufacturing complex on Getty Ave. is postponed to Sept. 4. The firm moved from Boston to Clifton when purchased by Berkey Photo in 1968. In 1970, they began to manufacture the Everflash series of cameras in Clifton that accepted Kodak’s new 126 cartridge film and several years later, Everflash cameras that handled the then new Kodak 110 cartridge film. Keystone’s claim to fame was their built-in electronic flash rather than having to use a flash bulb or flash cube, which was popular then on many other cameras. From 1970 to 1977, Berkey accounted for 8.2 percent of the sales in the camera market in the U.S., reaching a peak of 10.2 percent in 1976. In 1978, Berkey sold its camera division and thus abandoned this market. Dec. 1, 1974: An envelope containing $3,000 is stolen from the office of Parker House, a building supplies firm at 1140 Rt. 46. The theft was the biggest haul in a series of weekend burglaries. Dec. 3, 1974: Tom Zicardi, an NJEA spokesperson, rebuked City Manager Holster for his remarks regarding teachers’ raises. Zicardi said to The Herald-News, “The Clifton teachers regard Bill Holster’s unprovoked attack on 600 professional educators as just another example of his heavy-handed political interference in the affairs of the Board of Education.” Dec. 13, 1974: Board of Ed members have second thoughts about allowing the Hawthorne Drum & Bugle Corps and the Muchachos to use Clifton Stadium for a five-band competition.
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a Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
Jan. 1975: Keeping the Spirit of ‘76 in their sights, the Clifton Bicentennial Commission states that trips to historical places will awaken interest in the country’s “rich past.” Trips were planned for the 1975-76 season. Jan. 1975: The BOE meets with the CTA’s negotiating team and fails to move from their past position in terms of salary increases. A board source reported that an offer of a minimal increase for teachers who have not reached maximum level was offered. Those at the maximum level were displeased when the BOE did not even offer them a cost of living increase.
At a 1975 Main Mall Business Association Country Western night at the Knights of Columbus on Main Ave., from left Gloria Huber, four unidentified people, Marie from Dunkin Donuts, Joe Angello. In front, Susan Epstein, three unidentified individuals and Bob Santillo. The Main Mall was the predecessor to today’s Downtown Clifton Economic Group.
Jan. 1975: Samuel F. Riskin, President and Chair of the Board of the Bank of Passaic and Clifton, N.A. reports that resources increased to over $237 million for the year ending Dec. 31, 1974. The count for the previous year was slightly over $230 million.
Jan. 1975: The brokerage firm, Moore & Schley, Cameron & Co. is the only member firm in the city and rapidly becomes the meeting place for local investors. The office was managed by Joseph Catania and was located in the lower level of Styertowne Shopping Center. Jan. 16, 1975: The New Jersey Education Association reports, “Inflation is cutting deeply into our educational programs across the country.” The NJEA claimed that issues of public funding may be worse than shown. Jan. 24, 1975: The Membership of the Clifton Jewish Center celebrates Eugene Markovitz’s 25th anniversary as Rabbi of the congregation. He was ordained at Rabbi Isaac Elcanan Theological Seminary in 1946. Jan. 28, 1975: City Manager Holster receives a guide to negotiate next year’s salary for 550 employees two hours after Mayor Sylvester called the meeting to order. The final figure that was determined was 3.5 percent. The motion was made by Councilwoman Louise Friedman and seconded by Councilman Mervyn Montgomery. Feb. 13, 1975: The Trust Company of New Jersey opens the Trust Company’s Botany Village Office. It is the 17th banking center for the 79-year-old financial institution. Mayor Sylvester assisted chairman of the Board, Siggi B. Wilzig, who was also a Clifton resident. 42 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
Feb. 19, 1975: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allows Clifton into the National Flood Insurance Program. Property owners could now buy flood insurance at federally subsidized rates. March 1975: Robert A. Ericksen, Ph.D. is named Chief Psychologist of the Clifton Mental Health Services, offering psychotherapy and counseling, at 780 Clifton Ave. March 7, 1975: National Brands Outlet opens on Rt. 46 (East). The building was next to Fette Lincoln-Mercury. March 13, 1975: ‘Discover Clifton’ is the new slogan adopted by the Chamber of Commerce in an effort to encourage local residents to shop locally. A seminar was co-sponsored with The Herald News to educate business owners on how they could improve declining business. April 1975: Michael R. Rupert is named the new Executive Director of the Boys’ Club of Clifton. He held the same role at the Boys’ Club of Macon. April 1975: The month ends with the economy crunch taking its toll on the city’s school district; no less than 28 teachers are given pink slips. The teachers range from first year teachers to those completing their third year. April 18, 1975: New Jersey Bank’s office at 1184 Main Ave. celebrates its 50th anniversary. April 24, 1975: The city hall employees group, TriConference Committee, calls the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) to handle unresolved concerns regarding negotiating a new city contract.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ August 2016
As City Manager William Holster advocated for the quick acquisition of the U.S. Animal Quarantine Station, William Wurst and other city residents created a group called Civic Center Alternatives in mid-1975. Wurst, who was chairman of the CCA, voiced several concerns about the future of the city if the Municipal Complex was relocated from Main and Harding Aves. to where it is now at 900 Clifton Ave.—the former Quarantine Tract, at the Van Houten Ave. intersection. “We feel that, in their overzealous haste to obtain federal public works monies to begin construction,” said Wurst, “the council members advocating this project are failing to preserve a tract of land that is of obvious historic importance to the city.” The CCA opposed the relocation of city hall for nearly one and a half years. During that time, over 1,200 city residents signed statements distributed by the CCA opposing the construction. Rather, they sought expansion of the building on Main Ave. Expansion in downtown clifton appealed to the CCA because they also feared that moving city hall would result in an economic dilemma in the business district. “The Master Plan declares very explicitly that if city hall moves away from Main Ave.,” explained Wurst, “the loss of sales generated by municipal employees and visitors will have an adverse influence upon the local 44 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant
businesses. The committee feels very strongly that this tragedy must be averted,” he warned. The Main Ave. corridor was considered “the nucleus” of Clifton back in the day. The area in and around city hall in particular was host to various independent stores, locally owned services and a movie theatre. The departure of city hall alarmed residents and store owners who realized that much of that foot traffic would be lost. Additionally, Wurst and the CCA offered alternative uses for the Quarantine Tract by looking toward the Bicentennial year. They thought that the site was ideal for reminding citizens of the city’s rich, cultural past rather than seeing the open and undeveloped land built into a modern office complex. Suggestions for the site included a nature trail, community gardens and use of the existing building for various civic uses. “As we approach the Bicentennial year, we should consider what our legacy to future generations will be,” said Wurst. “Very few if any large tracts of scenic land such as the quarantine site exist in Clifton today,” he added. The CCA hoped that the City Council would consider its proposal for alternative options on the Quarantine Tract rather than acting hastily. As we know, city hall was inevitably moved to Clifton Ave. and what was once the historic site now marks a significant transition in our city’s history.
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State College. Over 500 people converged on the campus to express their disapproval of the proposed project. June 12, 1975: The Library presents an exhibit and slide talk on sex stereotyping in children’s literature and toys organized by the Concerned Women of Roche. Week of June 8, 1975: Stephen Dudiak proposes to construct 416 senior citizen dwellings on six acres of land located on Mt. Prospect Ave. The housing would be on the old Sisco Dairy tract and would cost $16 million. June 17, 1975: About 300 of the district’s 595 teachers walk from CHS to the BOE offices on Clifton Ave. to demonstrate their unity during salary negotiations. CTA President John Meyer rallies the teachers to show the board members and general public that there is complete unity. The main cry during the strike is “We Want A Contract.” Contract negotiation began the previous October when teachers asked for a 20 percent increase plus fringe benefits.
July 10, 1975: Fred V. Lombardo, also the Wood Shop teacher at CHS, replaces Andrew Vladichak as the chairman of the Board of Adjustment.
May 1975: Mayor Sylvester appears on the ‘Meet Your Mayor’ telecast over WOR-Channel 9. The series had mayors of top New Jersey cities discuss the problems confronting the mayors. Sylvester painted “a glowing picture” of the city and noted how its tax rate was low in comparison to other communities of the same size. May 1975: Mrs. Joseph DeLora is installed as the president of the Clifton Junior Woman’s Club. May 1975: Concern is expressed by Cliftonites and neighboring communities regarding the threat that is posed by the suggested garbage landfill plan to fill in an old quarry near the Clove Road entrance of Montclair
June 26, 1975: The Chamber of Commerce continues to pursue state action on the construction of a concrete divider in the section of Rt. 46 along the Passaic River. The Chamber exchanged communications with Alan Sagner, state transportation commissioner.
June 10, 1975: The Council convenes to discuss a proposal for a municipal complex at the U.S. Animal Quarentine Station between Colfax and Van Houten Ave. The proposal (sketch above) was approved immediately and the search for engineering and architects began. City Manager Holster said that action should be taken swiftly.
46 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant