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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.

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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.


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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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James Corrado, Paul Epstein, Carl Mueller, Bill Mueller, Don Mueller, Robin Owen.

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.

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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.

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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.


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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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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.

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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

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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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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.

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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.


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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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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.


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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.


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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.


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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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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.


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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


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July 1975: BOE building and grounds chair Herman Schmidt recommends that the BOE ask for three acres of Quarantine land for a CHS band practice field. Schmidt believed that the 140member Mustang Band did not have suitable practice fields. July 1975: The Paulison Ave. U.S. Post Office is expected to open in Sept. Employees who previously worked on Main and Van Houten Aves. moved to the new location when both branches closed. Week of July 13, 1975: A variance to permit Spencer Savings and Loan to construct a drive-in bank on Broad St. is rejected as over 100 residents objected. They feared that the bank would diminish property values. Aug. 8, 1975: City Manager Holster confers with PERC factfinder August Lanna to discuss a pay raise for city employees. It is reported that he will inform the Council that he favors a “modest” pay raise for city employees. The raise appears to mean between 5 and 6 percent, not surpassing 6 percent. Sept. 3, 1975: The Board of Adjustment names John Pogorelec its counsel-secretary, replacing Harry Fengya, who acted in the position for the previous several years. Sept. 4, 1975: BOE factfinder John Stochaj recommends to the Board that the city’s 600 teachers receive an 8 percent raise for two consecutive years, in addition to other fringe benefits. 48 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant

The Corrado Market on Main Ave. that we know today was an eyesore in 1975, of a vacant old supermarket, until purchased by the late James Corrado.

The story of how the Corrado family business grew from a tiny produce stand into the largest family-owned retailing enterprise in Clifton is a story of the American Dream in action. It’s a generational story of hard work, family involvement and dedication to customers. The family entered the produce business in the early 1920s when Pietro Corrado started as a merchant in Paterson’s Island market. In 1932, Pietro and sons, James and Anthony, moved into a converted shed in what was to become the Paterson Farmers’ Market and began selling produce on consignment. James, who demonstrated a knack for the business and an eye toward the future, began to expand from the core business of produce by selling flowers, shrubs, watermelons and California juice grapes to his growing base of dedicated customers. According to grandson, Paul, he thrived on hard work, often putting in 20-hour days, picking up produce from the Hunt’s Point Market in the Bronx, from local and regional farms, and hauling it back to the small store in Paterson. James also believed in the importance of family. During the 1960s, he worked in the Railway Ave. store alongside sons Jerry, Peter and Joey (now the three principal owners of the business), wife Margie and daughter Patty. In 1975 the family opened Corrado’s Family Affair at its current location on Main Ave., and continued to operate the Farmer’s Market store for another 11 years. Finally, with the new Clifton store, the elder Corrado finally had the opportunity he was seeking—to provide a wider array of products to an increasingly diverse customer population. He quickly added pasta, fresh meat and a deli counter, and turned the simple produce store into a supermarket. Corrado continued to add new items: fresh cut flowers, seafood, a bakery and a liquor store. He also dramatically expanded the grocery and produce sections of his market. The grocery section now carries over 200 private-label items in addition to popular brand-name products. Further expansion included a garden center, wholesale store and additional locations in north Jersey.


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Sept. 14, 1975 Frank Calise is to replace John Pogorelec as Clifton’s second legal assistant. Calise assumed his duties on Oct. 6, working with Pogorelec until Nov. 1. Calise previously was in the Passaic County Prosecutor’s office.

Nov. 25, 1975: Clifton teachers vote to ratify a new contract covering 1975-76 and 1976-77 school years. The vote was taken after a three-hour debate. The major point agreed on is a $469,000 salary package for 1975-76 and 1976-77. Most teachers were in attendance at the beginning of the meeting, but only 306 of the district’s 600 teachers, members of the CTA, were present for the final tally.

Oct. 7, 1975: Mayor Sylvester votes against senior citizen high-rise apartments proposed earlier in the year by builder Stephen Dudiak. October 30, 1975: Assemblyman Herbert C. Klein announces that safety improvements on Rt. 46 through Clifton will begin in 1976. Nov. 1, 1975: The official grand opening for the post office occurs on Paulison Ave. Postmaster Joseph Gondola led a tour of the 50,000 sq. ft. building and the Mustang Band performed.

Dec. 3, 1975: The Clifton Chamber of Commerce elects 16 new directors after expanding its board from 21 to 30 members. Joseph M. Gondola was named Clifton Postmaster on Nov. 2, 1965 and served in that capacity until 2006.

Dec. 10, 1975: Charles F. Bishop, president of Bright Star Industries, Inc., is elected president of the Chamber of Commerce. He succeeded Robert B. Doolittle.

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Among the 29 Cliftonites who died during the Vietnam War, were, from left, Thomas Dando, Guyler Tulp, Bruce McFadyen, Alfred Pino and Carroll Wilkie.

By the time the Vietnam War officially ended in 1975, 58,209 U.S. soldiers were killed in action, 29 of whom once called Clifton their home. One of those heroes was 25-year-old Marine Staff Sgt. George McClelland. On February 25, 1968, McClelland, a member of the 26th Infantry Regiment, was among two squads ordered to go out on patrol beyond the fire base to search for enemy mortar. The patrol was ambushed. When the shooting was over, McClelland was listed as among the 25 missing in action. His body wasn’t found until May 8. However, McClelland wasn’t the first serviceman from Clifton to lose his life in the Vietnam War. That sad distinction belongs to Alfred Pino, a 20year-old lance corporal with the Marines, who died in action on March 16, 1967, in Quang Tri province. Three days later, Thomas Dando of Second St. took part in an assault on the village of Dau Tieng in the midst of Operation Junction City. The operation, one of the largest helicopter assaults ever staged, began on Feb. 21 and would last 72 days. Dando was one of about 30,000 troops who participated in the lengthy operation, the goal of which was to destroy Vietcong bases north of Saigon. According to reports, the helicopter in which Dando was riding that day exploded, possibly from artillery fire or because it came in contact with a land mine. Dando died as a result of the burns. Until 1999, only 27 names were listed on the War Veterans Monument in Clifton’s Main Memorial Park as Cliftonites killed in Vietnam.

That’s when the chair of the Vietnam Remembrance Committee, Rich DeLotto, discovered the names of two other lost heroes and began efforts to honor them in their hometown. One of them, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Carroll R. Wilkie, 38, suffered a cardiac arrest while serving in the Da Nang region of Vietnam on Sept. 18, 1968. He was then flown back to Travis Air Force base in San Francisco, where he died two days later. Navy Lt. Bruce McFadyen’s name was also inscribed on the Clifton war memorial in 2000. On Jan. 17, 1969, five days after celebrating his 26th birthday, McFadyen was serving as a member of an explosive disposal unit when a 400-pound bomb exploded at the water’s edge in Nah Be, located in the delta region of South Vietnam. The explosion killed him instantly, fourth months before he was set to complete his active military service. Following the addition of Wilkie and McFadyen, there are 29 names listed on the war memorial of Clifton men who died during the Vietnam War. A roll call of the other Clifton heroes includes: William Sipos, Bohdan Kowal, Robert Kruger, Jr., Keith Perrelli, William Zalewski, Louis Grove, Clifford Jones, Jr., Richard Corcoran, John Bilenski, Donald Campbell, James Strangeway, Jr., Donald Scott, Howard Van Vliet, Frank Moorman, Robert Prete, Guyler Tulp, Nicholas Cornato, Edward Deitman, Richard Cyran, Leszek Kulaczkowski, William Malcolm, Leonard Bird, John France and Stephen Stefaniak, Jr. Clifton Merchant • August 2016

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April 16, 1976: James Anzaldi (far right) and Dolores Colucci (left), chosen by Clifton Jaycees as Man and Woman of the Year. They stand with Henry N. Luther III, NJ Lottery director, and Mayor Frank Sylvester (center right) who invited the pair to participate in the weekly lottery drawing which was held at City Hall. At right, the Spirit of ‘76 Leaders’ Club sold Bicentennial flags and tee shirts at the Clifton City Picnic. Pictured at right from left are Terry LaCorte (Chair), Mike Stratton, Bruce Obser (President) and Sean Tierney.

Jan. 15, 1976: Mayor Sylvester announces that he will reappoint Lester Herrschaft to the BOE, along with George Bayeux and newcomer Nicholas Gorab to replace Herman Schmidt and Frank Pecci. Jan. 27, 1976: Members of the city’s insurance committee meets with the Council to discuss a proposal of Gordon Hahn, considered by some to be the agent of record for the city’s insurance program. Feb. 1976: State law now requires school-age children to have specific immunizations before attending school. Feb. 7, 1976: Clifton Jaycees honor James Anzaldi as Man of the Year and Dolores Colucci as Woman of the Year at annual awards dinner. Feb. 11, 1976: The BOE tentatively agrees to raise Supt. Shershin’s salary by $5,100 over the next two years. Shershin will receive $48,034.15 for the 1976-77 school year and $50,676.03 for 1977-78. The raise would make him one of the highest paid supers in the state. March 18, 1976: Assistant Supt. Raymond Royal notifies the BOE of his intention to retire. March 28, 1976: City residents participate in a bus trip to Hyde Park and the Vanderbilt Mansion, organized by the Clifton Bicentennial Commission. April 1, 1976: CTA reps continue to file grievances against Supt. Shershin in response to his order to place “critical comments” on the evaluation forms of teachers who were to take part in an alleged job action during contract negotiations the previous year.

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The Clifton Leader newspaper served Clifton since 1926. Founder Augustine LaCorte celebrated the paper’s 50th anniversary midyear in 1976 by announcing the five individuals pictured at right as Outstanding Citizens of 1976. Here are the accolades he offered: Rabbi Dr. Eugene Markovitz. The Leader’s 1976 Outstanding Citizens: Rabbi Dr. Eugene Markovitz, Spiritual leader of the Clifton Jewish Michael J. Novack, Rose Bondinell, Gordon Wilson, Richard Stockinger. Center since 1949, giving it the leadership to guide it in its phenomenal growth. He was a June 1976: Former Fighting Mustang Football Coach guiding hand as well as a member of the Clifton Joseph Grecco is inducted to Upsala College’s Hall of Bicentennial Commission. Fame. One of the nation’s most successful football coaches, he served on the Council and later become Michael J. Novack. Clifton insurance executive Novack principal of School 13. arranged for the city–wide visitation of Santa, which has developed into a colorful annual event. As chair of the June 10, 1976: Supt. Shershin goes ahead with plans to Clifton Bicentennial Commission parade this year, he open summer schools despite the Supreme Court edict and his committee gave Clifton one of the largest and calling for the closing of public schools on July 1. most colorful parades in city history. He is also active in June 18, 1976: Emil T. Bolcar is installed as president of Athenia and in the Clifton Boys Club. the Rotary Club at the club’s 25th Anniversary Rose Bondinell. President of the Clifton Girls Club, led Installation Dinner Dance at the Robin Hood Inn. the drive for a home for the young girls of Clifton and June 24, 1976: George L. Kroll, editor and publisher of succeeded in acquiring the vacant Athenia Post Office at the Clifton Journal, announces that beginning with the Van Houten and Mt. Prospect Ave., now being fully July 1 edition, The Journal will merge with the Clifton equipped for the varied programs of the club. News, a weekly published by Richard M. DeMarco. Gordon Wilson. One of the leaders in the Athenia Week of June 20, 1976: Helen R. Deich is inducted as Veterans Post who served the group as commander for first woman president of the Daughters of Miriam Center several terms, Wilson is helping to make it one of the for Aged. The institution had existed for 55 years and outstanding veterans groups in the city. He is active in Deich succeeded Alexander Rosenthal. the Clifton Veterans Alliance and was co–chairman of July 1976: The Council unanimously rejects the BOE’s the last Veterans Parade. request for funds to help pay for summer school. The Richard Stockinger. As president of the Board of request followed the Supreme Court mandate that stated Education, he is exercising low key leadership with free public schools were to be closed after July 1. The emphasis on unity and excellence in guiding Clifton’s Council determined that the ramifications were too risky. school system as one of the best in the state. He was a July 1976: Woodcraft Millwork Specialties, formerly of Republican worker for a number of years and is currentMoonachie, opens its new offices and warehouse in a ly president of the Clifton Republican Club. new building located at 155 Clifton Blvd. April 6, 1976: Gordon Hahn, in a letter to City Manager Holster, resigns from the city’s insurance committee. Fellow members who complained that Hahn was not fair to them in terms of the insurance commissions split reacted to his resignation with approval. 56 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant

July 28, 1976: Carl Solomon of the Carolina Jeans Factory at 312 Clifton Ave. announces plans for an Aug. 12 grand opening. Located just off of Main Ave. in the Main Mall shopping district, the store offered aisles of bargain priced casual clothing.


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Aug. 15, 1976: Judge Nicholas G. Mandak submits his resignation, clearing the way for attorney Harry Fengya to be the next Clifton Municipal Judge at the Council meeting on Aug. 17. Sept. 1, 1976: Trustee Terry LaCorte is named the Boys Club President, succeeding Roy J. Schleich. Sept. 8, 1976: The Council increases Board of Adjustment from five to seven members, but leaves appointments to the Planning Board members up to the mayor. Sept. 15, 1976: The BOE defends Supt. Shershin’s $50,676 salary in a 7-2 vote. Oct. 13, 1976: Richard M. DeMarco, founder of the Clifton News, announces that he is leaving the Clifton News-Journal, where he is the co-publisher.

Oct. 30, 1976: Spencer Savings and Loan Association has its grand opening at 437 Piaget Ave., Rt. 46. Nov. 12, 1976: The Fighting Mustang football team took their first Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League Championship after defeating Bergenfield High School. Nov. 14, 1976: Ceremonies are held to rename Sperling Park to Dudiak Park in honor of Stephen Dudiak. The park is at the end of Sperling Road near Valley Road. Dec. 1976: Clifton’s Ida R. Hall designs snap-on outer frames similar to snap-on sunglass lenses, but cover the frames rather than the lenses. Her invention was brought to manufacturers thanks to the Raymond Lee Organization and was covered by a patent application pending in the U.S. Patent Office. July 26, 1976: Elvira Deleacaes of the Hamilton House Restoration Assoc., with Tim Cooper, DPW foreman at the construction of the spring house and grainery, creating Clifton’s first museum. Others include Frank Ficedola, Cesar Filtrin, Gil Kelley, Frank Horvath and Anton Borsch.

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The United States Bicentennial was celebrated with events throughout America during the mid 1970s in tribute to the creation of our nation. Festivities of the American Revolution and national Bicentennial celebrations culminated on Sunday, July 4, 1976, with the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Here in Clifton, the Spirit of ‘76 was displayed in a memorable parade along Main Ave. that concluded at Clifton Stadium.

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n

Many who attended Paul VI, which was established in the late 1960s, mention the name of Father Thomas Suchon as being among their favorite memories of high school. Tragically, the popular school director died while still young, of cancer, in 1976. He was just 38 years old. “Father Suchon was a huge presence in the school. If I close my eyes, I can still see and smell the lingering cigar smoke in the hallways,” said 1972 graduate Larysa Martyniuk. Many athletes remembered Father Suchon attending their events. Paul Ogden, another ’72 grad, said that his favorite memory was of the legendary school director pacing the sidelines duringfootball games, like Vince Lombardi. “He was always encouraging us. He did not allow any trash talk or cursing. He made that clear and wanted us to talk with our pads and not our mouths no matter what tricks the other team tried to pull,” said Ogden. “Sometimes, I think we played to win for Father Suchon who put all this together, the new school and the sports programs.” Others remembered Father Suchon as a music director. “Along with my father, he planted the seeds for my ongoing love of music and harmony,” said Joan Maso. Whether teacher, coach or friend, 1972 graduate William Foley remembered that Father Suchon ran the school with a firm hand. He had high expectations that his students worked hard to meet. Director of Paul VI, Rev. Thomas J. Suchon, passed away in 1976, but prior to his death, he could always be seen on the Patriots football sideline.

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Ed Cassatly made Casey’s, at Allwood Rd. and Clifton Aves., a dining and dancing destination in the 1970s. Now the shared space of Bliss Lounge and Buco Ristorante, and formerly the home of the Clifton Pub, Casey’s featured an elegant supper club on one side— complete with waitresses in long gowns and hats—and a nightclub that drew singles on the other. As the disco boom hit, Casey’s added Byron “B.G.” Hogan as its house DJ. Serving up the fun behind the bar was the late George Ouelette, Steve Sudol and Doug Berger. Casey’s did big business throughout the week, and drew even larger crowds on the weekends and on Monday nights with its zany ‘Gong Talent Show,’ featuring the Challenger-Meade Band. Well-dressed customers packed around the bar and dance floor, as their ears were serenaded with the steady disco beat. Colored lights flashed across the dancers as DJs mixed songs together in one steady stream of music, becoming local entertainment celebrities. Oftentimes, club owners had to slow the beat down so customers would stop dancing to buy drinks.

Jan. 4, 1977: Councilman Israel Friend’s plan to revamp the city’s legal department calls for a flat $25,000 fee for the city counsel’s salary. Week of Jan. 16, 1977: Mayor Sylvester appoints Kay Szott, Douglas C. Bilenski and Edward Neumann to three year terms on the BOE replacing Eugene Kobylarz, Barbara Sala and Gertrude Silverman. Jan. 24, 1977: Joseph Grecco is honored at the Clifton Optimist Clubs Annual Sports Night Banquet at the Robin Hood Inn. Jan. 28, 1977: The Council approves the $17.7 million 1977 budget of City Manager Holster. Taxpayers receive a tax break estimated between 17 and 20 points.

Feb. 9, 1977: Since the prior week, cops arrested 33 teenagers, predominantly Cliftonites, for possession and use of marijuana. Supt. Shershin once termed Clifton as “a city without a school drug problem.” Feb. 14, 1977: Four Council members appear before the Clifton Democratic Club to offer their views on the proposed City Hall project for the U.S. Government Animal Quarantine site on Van Houten Ave. Mayor Sylvester was on the side in support of proceeding with the plans to build on the Quarantine property. March 1977: The Chamber of Commerce plans two events to celebrate the city’s 60th anniversary in April.

Feb. 1977: Councilman Gerald Zecker asks for a meeting to establish “ground rules” regarding the growing number of city issues that are tabled because of the absence of council members.

March 1977: CHS grad Ron Fox joins the staff of the weekly Clifton News-Journal. The New Jersey Sports Writers Association named Fox the Sports Writer of the Year, the only writing award that the group handed out for 1976.

Feb. 8, 1977: Police receive a call that someone in the area of Pershing Road is firing a gun and find two teenage boys were exploding firecrackers in a pipe.

March 1, 1977: BOE members vote 7-1 to fire Board Counsel Sam Monchak. The BOE hired Clifton PBA attorney John Nemetz as his successor.

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March 12, 1977: Mayor Sylvester calls for a study with the end result being the possible removal of the junior high school system. He said that the junior high system is a disruptive element in disciplining students. Week of March 13, 1977: The Council approves the creation of the city’s first Construction Board of Appeals as a result of a state mandate calling for the reorganization of the Board of Adjustment by increasing its numbers from five to seven, and creating the appeals board. March 24, 1977: Curry Copy Center, 6 Market St., opens. March 26, 1977: The Botany Village Merchants host their 5th Annual Economy Transportation Auto Show in the business district.

March 28, 1977: Corrado’s hosts a grand opening at its new family market at 1578 Main Ave. on the site of the former Good Deal supermarket. April 1977: Tick Tock expands and opens a new dining area that can seat over 200 people. April 11, 1977: The Clifton Democratic Club elects Clifton attorney William A. Sala as president. April 27, 1977: JJ’s, a pub near the intersection of Colfax and Mt. Prospect Aves., is due in court on May 6. Charges were brought against the club for various violations of the entertainment variance. JJ’s also becomes the subject of a lengthy discussion at the May 3 council meeting as Councilwoman Louise Friedman seeks additional restrictions against its owners. May 14, 1977: Clifton attorney Harold Valentine is installed as president of the Passaic County Bar Association at an event at Gene Boyle’s on Passaic Ave. June 1977: Supt. Shershin is the state’s highest paid superintendent of schools in New Jersey with a salary of $50,675. Meanwhile, The New York Times also reported, “from 409 to 449 superintendent-run school districts, one quarter of the superintendents have annual salaries of $36,964 or more for the 1976-77 school year.” Disco may have been huge, but Clifton’s neighborhood taverns in the 1970s were equally popular. These unidentified guys were at LT’s Saloon, which was on Main Ave.

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June 20, 1977: Joseph Grecco retires from his career as an educator, finishing as principal of School 13 on Van Houten Ave. A 1932 CHS grad, he began working for Clifton Schools in 1945 as coach of the then downtrodden Mustang football team. He built the program and inspired generations of Fighting Mustangs, amassing 12 state championships and a 137-38-3 record. After the 1963 season, Grecco was stung by politics and forced to step down as coach because he was principal of School 6. A state official recommended that no administrator should also work as a coach. Grecco, then a councilman, was not politically aligned with the BOE, and it cost him his coaching job. Grecco served on the council until 1966, when he was elected to the NJ State Assembly. July 1977: Architects Arthur Rigolo and William Houthuysen are given the responsibility of designing a new city hall that will cost $2.5 million. July 8, 1977: Clifton PBA sends attorney John Nemetz before Superior Court Judge Joseph Salerno to question why City Manager Holster has not fulfilled the terms of employee contract that was agreed upon in March.

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Coach Joe Grecco and his wife, Tessie.

Aug. 1977: Greenwald Travel Service of Clifton installs a new, computerized reservation system. The system was known as SABRE and was the most technically advanced computer system in the travel industry. Sept. 1977: Newspapers continue to speculate that Joseph Grecco will announce his intentions of running for a council seat in the May 1978 election.


Sept. 6, 1977: Councilwoman Louise Friedman confronts City Manager Holster regarding whether the threatened layoff of 38 policeman is true. The public learned soon thereafter that the city was not in the financial trouble that the city manager tried to portray. Sept. 24, 1977: The 4th Annual Main Mall Country Fall Festival is held on Main and Clifton Aves. Sept. 30, 1977: The Boys’ Club celebrates 30 years of service with a party at the Upper Montclair Country Club. The club began in 1947 in a Botany storefront with a dozen men and women, and a membership of 150 boys. Thirty years later, there was a 60-member Board of Trustees and a growing boy and girl membership of 1,850. Oct. 12, 1977: The Clifton Football Booster Club is organized to promote and develop the football program at CHS. The club’s objectives are to foster, preserve and promote interest and participation in the Fighting Mustang football program at CHS. Oct. 24, 1977: The Chamber of Commerce holds a reception for about 60 schoolteachers in the New Jersey Bank

Building on Main and Union Aves. The meet and greet allowed new teachers to meet with members of the Council and the BOE. Nov. 1977: Incumbent members of the Council file their petitions for the following May election. Councilman Gerald Zecker and his crew were encamped in city hall to ensure that Zecker received the number one ballot spot. Nov. 1977: A groundbreaking ceremony for the $2.8 million new city hall is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 8. Nov. 15, 1977: Thomas Cupo, president of Cupo Companies, is elected president of the Clifton Chamber of Commerce, succeeding Charles Bishop. Dec. 1977: Firemen request 10 percent salary hikes for 1978 and 1979. They also wanted a revised work schedule with them on duty 24 hours and off 72 hours. Dec. 17, 1977: Groundbreaking occurs for the new city hall that will be located on the U.S. Animal Quarantine site on Van Houten Ave. The 60,000 sq. ft. building was funded with $2.5 million of federal grants and the balance of $500,000 from the city’s treasury.

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Jan. 3, 1978: The Council unanimously rejects McDonald’s Corp.’s request to have a restaurant on Rt. 3 next to the Tick Tock Diner as a result of an appeal from the Zoning Board’s initial rejection on Nov. 16, 1977. Jan. 3, 1978: City Manager Holster complains at a Council meeting that New Jersey’s budget cap laws are “putting the squeeze” on the city. The primary strain came from the city’s increased sewerage expenses. Jan. 4, 1978: Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation classes are at the Passaic – Clifton YM–YWHA, 199 Scoles Ave. Jan. 11, 1978: JJ’s Pub changes from a bar to a fine dining establishment to address issues regarding entertainment and noise complaints from neighbors. Jan. 11, 1978: The school system’s 22 administrators seek a two-year pay pact to continue through 1979. Jan. 14, 1978: The Clifton Football Booster Association awards dinner is at the Cotillion Restaurant in Garfield. Feb. 1978: Residents of DeMott Ave. protest the proposed car wash that would be located on Main Ave. between Clinton and DeMott Aves.

Feb. 1, 1978: The newly created Clifton–Passaic Evening Chapter, of the Passaic Valley Region of Women’s American ORT, holds its first meeting. Feb. 2, 1978: Construction on the $3 million city hall project is halted pending a ruling on the federally owned construction area’s status as a potential historical site. Feb. 4, 1978: City Manager Holster produces a list of recommended budget cuts during a Council meeting that he thinks will reduce the budget by $292,000. Feb. 7, 1978: The Council unanimously reappoints Harold Porter Jr. for another term in his position as chairman on Clifton’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Feb. 10, 1978: Planning Board members vote to approve the request of Casey’s Pub to expand its operation by 12 seats. The initial concern with the restaurant’s request was parking conditions. Feb. 13, 1978: The BOE produces a budget that is $650,000 under the cap limit. The action separates the city’s school district from others who requested to exceed the limit set in place.

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Feb. 15, 1978: CHS VP Severin Palydowycz is reinstated by the BOE after the charges filed against him with the NJ Commissioner of Education are dropped. He was suspended for acknowledging his “misguided judgment” while he was handling student funds. Feb. 15, 1978: The Board of Adjustment approves to convert three vacant stores on Center St. into apartments. The housing project falls within the general urban redevelopment plan established for Botany Village to reinvent and stabilize the business and residential neighborhood. Feb. 24, 1978: Superior Court Judge Ralph V. Martin orders the Zoning Board to reconsider its approval of the K.F.T. Associates’ request to build a 16-unit apartment on the corner of Walnut and Pleasant Aves. March 1978: Thus far, 17 people are declared as candidates in the 1978 City Council election. March 1, 1978: A BOE meeting is held where Richard Stockinger is re-elected president for the third consecutive year. Additionally, Marie Modarelli was elected to her third term as vice president.

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March 1, 1978: Edward Kredatus is set to succeed retired Police Chief Joseph Nee. City Manager Holster unofficially made the decision and Kredatus said that there was no confirmed date for his official swearing in. March 7, 1978: The Council unanimously rejects the proposal for a $410,000 improvement of Dwas Line Road. Residents who lived on “the worst road in Clifton” insisted that no changes be made to the road. March 7, 1978: Pay rises that slightly surpass 5 percent are tentatively approved for the city’s firemen and nonuniformed employees. If the agreement was formally approved, then each fireman and employee could see a 5.15 percent raise for 1978 and each employee would receive $100 in lieu of a dental insurance program. March 7, 1978: The Council votes to approve the $18.6 million municipal budget.

March 19, 1978: Captain Andrew A. Giordano, son of a Clifton resident, is promoted to the grade of rear admiral in the U.S. Navy. March 21, 1978: The city continues to gather data regarding the proposed ordinance that would prevent students who attend Montclair State College from parking on residential streets such as McCosh Rd. near the campus. March 29, 1978: A public hearing is held by the NJ Assembly’s Judiciary Committee at Woodrow Wilson School regarding proposed legislation that aims to consolidate the state’s court system by eliminating the county courts and bringing their responsibilities under the jurisdiction of N J Superior Courts. April 1978: Clifton employment figures dropped 5.3 percent since 1972. The US Census noted that there were 34,012 full time employees living in Clifton in 1972 and that number had declined to 32,205 by 1978. April 1978: The New Jersey Bell Telephone Company installs clusters of pay telephones on streets in our city that have heavy auto, mass transit and pedestrian traffic. April 1, 1978: Reed Roberts Associates Inc. is hired by the BOE through March 31, 1979, to handle the overwhelming paperwork following the creation of the state law that required payroll deductions for school board employees’ unemployment insurance. April 4, 1978: Michael Novak, president of the Athenia Businessmen Association, says that his group wants representation on the board of directors of the Clifton Senior Citizens Housing Corporation. April 4, 1978: Guilio Binotti of 51 Normandy Rd. wins $10,000 in the NJ Lottery’s Lucky Horoscope game. Week of April 9, 1978: Mayor Sylvester proclaims the week in the city as “Postal Consumer Protection Week.” Sylvester urged citizens to make themselves aware of “procedures in order to assure the best utilization possible of the assistance provided by the Postal Service.” April 11, 1978: Police Chief Kredatus informs City Manager Holster that if the third annual William Paca Festival is held in the Main Mall business district, the public’s welfare could be endangered. Kredatus mentioned overtime pay for police and restricted access for emergency vehicles due to high volume traffic as concerns.

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April 14, 1978: The bill for Passaic Valley Water Commission customers increases 30 to 40 percent due to water becoming free of “suspected cancer-causing agents.” The cost was a result of expensive carbon filtration systems recommended for installation by the U.S. EPA.

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April 19, 1978: The BOE rejects Supt. Shershin’s push for CHS graduation to be on June 27. Instead, the Board maintained that graduation should be on June 21. Board president Richard Stockinger argued against Shershin saying that June 27 was “too late.”

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April 25, 1978: Four board members are elected to the new Community Action Program board. The members included: Joseph Rios, Pamela White, Virginia Martinez and Jose Rivera. The purpose of CAP’s board is to administer federal antipoverty funds in the city.

Senior Mustangs on the 1978 Girls Volleyball tean included co-captains Falaja Palydowycz and Lynn Vrogindewy with (standing) from left, Natalie Marowsky, Daria Halaburda, Natalie Fedun, Alesia Kotlar and Sandra Mykych.

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Attorney and Kiwanis members Glenn Peterson and his dad, the late Harry Peterson, circa 1978. At right, Passaic County Elks C.P. Center Physical Therapist Anne Foster with a student in 1978 and today in the insert. Foster will be retiring this fall—after 38 years of service to the kids and the agency.

April 25, 1978: Glenn Peterson of the Clifton Kiwanis Club proposes a “vial of life” program to the Board of Health. The vial was to be kept in the refrigerator of an elderly resident. The vial contains medical info and family contacts that can assist emergency personnel in administering the proper medical treatment. April 26, 1978: Angry speeches regarding political influence are made at the Woodrow Wilson School during a candidate’s night. Prior to this, the 1978 City Council campaign was described as “a lackluster affair.” May 1978: Passaic County Prosecutor Burrell Ives Humphreys writes to Chief Kredatus congratulating the police force on the ‘significant reduction’ of the 1977 crime rate. According to Humphreys, the city showed a 16.4 percent reduction in crimes. He also acknowledged his amazement at the city’s 31.6 percent reduction in violent crime. May 3, 1978: The Social Action Committee of St. Paul’s R.C. Church sponsors a City Council Candidates’ Night in the church hall on Washington Ave. May 4, 1978: The city and the Clifton Log Company appear in Superior Court to settle a long-standing dispute. The company was in rent-free facilities at a city building on East Seventh St. and the city was long after their eviction. The city felt that their deal with the company was not lived up to because the company, according to them, had not converted bales of leaves into fireplace logs. 74 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant

In mid-1978, the Passaic County Elks C.P. Center on Main Ave. became a New Jersey approved private school for children with disabilities. The agency has expanded since its founding in 1947 to include a high school on Union Ave. and an Adult Training Center on Paulison Ave. Three years ago, the agency changed its name to the North Jersey Elk Developmental Disabilities Agency (NJEDDA) and continues to offer a wide range of services for children and adults with disabilities. May 6, 1978: An explosion at the Coronet Custom Coating Co., at 25 Delawanna Ave., kills 21-year-old worker Charles M. Buchynski. May 7, 1978: The Mustang Band marches down Main Street, U.S.A. in Disney World. They were invited to participate in the Great American Band Concert. May 10, 1978: Mayor Sylvester is not re-elected to the Council, ending an eight-year tenure. Councilman Gerald Zecker received the highest number of votes, 11,051, and was expected to become mayor when the Council convened on May 23. Other winners of the election included: Joseph Grecco, James Anzaldi, George Bayeux, Louise Friedman, Joseph Kolodziej and Gerald Friend. May 10, 1978: The BOE holds discussions regarding whether in-school suspension should be instituted as members consider the questionable results that the Passaic School District has seen from having it.


Clifton city officials in 1978, sitting from left: Council members James Anzaldi, Louise Friedman and an unidentified man. Standing: Building Inspector Frank Mileto, council members Gerald Friend and Dr. Joseph ‘Coach’ Grecco, Community Development Director Bill Walters and Councilman Joseph Kolodziej. Above, Mayor Gerald Zecker and Councilman George Bayuex.

May 12, 1978: The city submits its application for fourth year community development funds to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city sought funds for road construction and a Clifton Police Crime Prevention field office in Botany Village. The funds requested were $1,547,000.

May 16, 1978: Councilwoman Louise Friedman suggests that a commuter parking lot be built in the area of the Erie Lackawanna Railway station. The lot would be near School 6, off Clifton and Fornelius Aves. The Council supported the idea and City Manager Holster said that there might be funds for such a project.

May 16, 1978: The Council votes to join the Township of Little Falls in pushing for legislation that would help re-establish the jurisdiction of municipalities over solid waste management.

May 17, 1978: The Board of Adjustment reopens the debate regarding whether a variance should be given to the Allwood Corp. for a new Burger King franchise near the intersection of Allwood and Clifton Aves.

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May 22, 1978: Clifton PBA 36 and city negotiators reach an agreement after seven hours of conference. The settlement included a 5.7 percent salary increase. May 23, 1978: The new Council names 36-year-old Gerald Zecker as mayor. Zecker pledged to “help keep a unified City Council that will work together to serve the best interests of the city.” May 30, 1978: The Planning Board grants preliminary approval for Renaissance Village, which includes a mix of two-family homes, garden apartments and senior citizen housing. The housing would be located on the Fruehauf tract along Van Houten Ave. June 4, 1978: The city’s first crime prevention office opens at 209 Parker Ave. in the Botany. Headed by Patrolman Raymond Cramer, Chief Kredatus said he believed that it would help lower the crime rate. “What we did was teach people how to insulate themselves from crime,” recalled Cramer, who served in crime prevention until 1986. He explained there is a crime triangle with these elements: desire, ability and opportunity. “We can’t do anything about the criminals desire and ability,” he stated, “but we can put barriers between him and the crime he wants to commit.” Cramer gave hundreds of seminars during his tenure, established Crime Watch groups in various Clifton neighborhoods and created Operation MAC, short for Merchants Against Crime. June 5, 1978: The five new Council members attend their first regular meeting and are bombarded with complaints from residents all over the city. In the summer of 1978, pictured at Able Hardware are the late founders, Stanley E. Jakubczyk and his wife Wanda, with son Stanley (right) and son-in-law John Mieczkowski. The Van Houten Ave. hardware store and Benjamin Moore paint dealer originally opened in 1959 and remains a favorite in the heart of Athenia.

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Nicholas Real Estate was founded in October 1978 by Nicholas Tselepis, who started his work in the real estate business in June 1976. A Civil Engineering graduate of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Tselepis still operates his agency at 1624 Main Ave.

June 12, 1978: BOE President Dante Mecca says that groundbreaking for a new School 6 could occur in January 1979. Mecca was accused of promising the citizens something that was not possible. June 13, 1978: Construction official Frank Mileto delivers a $100 fine to builder Casimir Stasik because Stasik defied a stop-work order on a 24-unit three-story building at 129 Grove St. Mileto said the building was 1.5 ft. higher than the plans the Board of Adjustment approved.


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June 20, 1978: The Council votes 5-2 to inform the U.S. Postal Service that it is interested in purchasing the Post Office at Washington and Main Aves. City Manager Holster said private organizations were interested in purchasing the building so the city needed to act quickly to use the structure for municipal purposes. June 21, 1978: The Board of Adjustment approves a variance for John Tabaka to build a 12-unit garden apartment at 146-154 Allwood Rd. and for National Brands Outlet to use the former Robert Hall building at the intersection of Getty and Clifton Aves. as a warehouse distribution center. July 1978: John Nemetz, the BOE’s counsel, resigns. July 1978: Clifton’s cable TV system states that by October, citizens will be able to turn on their televisions and watch a “first-run movie, get the latest weather report, watch a news show devoted to area news or observe the Board of Adjustment decide on an important zoning matter.”

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If you ask anyone who attended the Battle of the Bands at Pope Paul VI back in the late 60’s and early 70’s who their favorite band was and the answer that you will probably get is Godspeed. The long-haired rockers had girls swooning and guys punching their fists in the air as the band belted out Led Zeppelin, Yes, King Crimson and The Moody Blues. Band members included Jeff Seitz on drums, younger brother Gary on bass, Jack Ciminello on keyboard and Steve Giovenco on guitar. “I believe it was Steve that suggested Godspeed as an idea for a name, as he had read a newspaper headline in which Richard Nixon wished the Apollo 11 astronauts ‘Godspeed’ on their journey,” Jeff recalled. Godspeed started playing in upstate New York because the drinking age was 18 there and 21 in New Jersey. But in 1973, the restriction was lowered to 18 in the Garden State and Godspeed came back. “It just became like nuts,” said Seitz. “We were playing all over the place: Dodd’s in East Orange, Joey Harrison’s Surf Club, The Dunes in Margate ...” Eventually, fellow Cliftonite Danny Schiano replaced Giovenco on guitar and then Terry Hill from Knoxville, Tenn. took over for Schiano before the band finally broke up in 1975.

Original Godspeed members, circa 1969, from left, Jack Ciminello, Gary Seitz, Jeff Seitz and Steve Giovenco.

Godspeed’s final lineup, circa 1975, from left, Jack Ciminello, Gary Seitz, Terry Hill and Jeff Seitz.

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July 5, 1978: The Passaic County Prosecutor conducts a preliminary inquiry into allegations that The Independent Prospector publisher Alex Bidnik Jr. extorted advertising from local businesses. Bidnik was also investigated for whether or not he pressured members of the Council to secure the city’s legal advertising.

July 18, 1978: Six men claiming to represent approximately 70 Clifton merchants urge the Council to discontinue the city’s legal advertising within the pages of The Independent Prospector. Attorney Joseph Nouhan addressed the city telling them that Bidnik’s writings should not be subsidized by the city.

July 12, 1978: Mayor Gerald Zecker appoints Stephen Goceljak, a 49-year-old insurance claims investigator, to replace Councilman George Bayeux on the school board. July 14, 1978: Supt. Shershin sends a statement to The Herald News denying that he hindered efforts of the city’s health department employees to conduct a study on the need for day care centers in the city. He previously declined to comment to the newspaper.

July 25, 1978: $987,300 of the $1,547,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development was allocated to repairing roads and sidewalks in Albion and Botany. Two days later, the city allocates $43,000 of the HUD grant to open an after-school center at the Girls Club on Van Houten Ave. The initiative was proposed by William Walters, the city’s housing coordinator and community development director, who announced the new service would begin in September.

July 18, 1978: An ordinance that calls for a $100 fee on “picnicking” in the city’s 33 parks is brought to the Council. Park Slope residents complaints about drinking and loitering in the parks prompted it, but the city’s legal counsel said that the ordinance should not be passed.

July 27, 1978: The Diamond Agency opens its new office at 881 Allwood Ave. WWII vet Morris ‘Beau’ Diamond was the founder of the agency, now headed by Francisco ‘Frank’ Cortes.

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When the first Mustang football team took the field against Butler in 1921, there were just 11 players—enough to play both offense and defense. But 11 players were all that Clifton needed. Like the proud Mustang teams that would follow, Clifton rolled over its foe, 46-0, with players Art Argauer, Vince Chimenti, Ray Bednarcik, Milt “Red” Suter, Don Collester and others dominating the opposition. Clifton would go 9-1 that season, their lone defeat coming at the hands of Pingry. The team went undefeated in 1922. Pictured at a tribute ceremony in 1978 on the field at Clifton Stadium are, from left, Chimenti, Argauer, Sutter and Collester.

July 31, 1978: The Daughters of Miriam Center for the Aged prepares for a possible strike by 240 nurses and service personnel by making arrangements with hospitals and municipalities to provide continued care for patients. On Aug. 1, The Center agreed to more than $500,000 in wage and benefit increases. The strike would have affected more than 270 elderly patients. Aug. 4, 1978: Former DPW employee and current Councilman James Anzaldi says the city needs to invest to replace aging DPW heavy equipment as recommended in a recent report.

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Aug. 5, 1978: Two trucks near the loading dock of Edmar Creations, 35 Mohegan St., catch fire. The fire officials who responded said that the origin of the blaze could be suspicious. Aug. 13, 1978: Krackers, the popular nightclub at Allwood Rd. and Main Ave. is robbed. The burglar did not set off the alarm and was able to get into the steel money cabinet without any force. Aug. 14, 1978: The replacement of School No. 16’s roof is estimated to cost at least $6,400 more than the original estimate of $88,700.


Feb. 1979: City officials grow concerned over the cost of the new city hall. Despite moving ahead of schedule, construction was thought to outstrip the estimated cost of $2.5 million. Originally, an additional $500,000 was set aside for furnishing the building, but the money “was gone,” leaving officials uneasy as to how they would buy the necessary equipment. In 1979, that’s Ray Mastroberte, who served Clifton’s Recreation Department for nearly 25 years, first as an assistant to Walt Sidor and then as director. He is shown with a photo plaque honoring the Doherty Silk Sox, which played in Clifton in the early 1900’s, on the property where Corrado’s Market is today.

Jan. 1979: Attorney Frank Carlet files a suit in Superior Court against the Council on behalf of the Hamilton Crest developers. He argued that the Council ‘acted improperly’ when they voted in November to prohibit a 59-unit condominium complex on Valley Road. Week of Jan. 14, 1979: Mayor Zecker’s appointments to the BOE include John Rutledge who replaced Nicholas Gorab, while Commissioners Lester Herrschaft and Stephen Goceljak were reappointed. Jan. 16, 1979: Sam Monchak is named city attorney upon Arthur J. Sullivan Jr.’s resignation. Monchak served as a councilman from 1958 to 1962. Jan. 23, 1979: Charles Nouhan Sr. and Edward Looney listen as West Paterson Magistrate A. Crew Schielke grants a waiver to Alex Bidnik Jr.’s attorney William DeMarco. Nouhan and Looney were the leaders of a group of citizens who were opposed to Bidnik’s The Independent Prospector, a publication labeled as scandalous and antisemitic. The waiver made it unnecessary for a probable cause hearing on the local level. Jan. 31, 1979: City Manager Holster presents the city’s 1979-80 budget to the Council. Previously, there were warnings that the city was “broke.” Therefore, the city was restricted to spending no more than 5 percent above the previous year’s budget.

March 1979: City Manager Holster projects a minimum 13point tax increase. At most, Holster said he thought it could reach as high as 25 points.

March 1979: The city receives a decent rating following a state education department study where 19 percent of the country’s schools are criticized as not providing an acceptable learning environment for students. CHS was rated as the best building throughout the city and was given a score of 898 on a scale of 1,000, the latter figure being considered “ideal.” March 14, 1979: The Board of School Estimate meets to adopt the budget for the academic year. Their meeting followed a denial by the CTA that an accord was reached with the BOE regarding salary negotiations. March 20, 1979: The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association is granted their requests by the Council. The PBA negotiated with City Manager Holster for months, asking for a 7 percent raise, as well as a dental plan and a letter that assured the PBA that Holster would abide by the 22-squad work schedule. March 26, 1979: The Clifton Historical Commission holds an Anniversary Ball at the Robin Hood Inn on Valley Rd. to celebrate 300 years of history as a community. The local Lenni-Lenape Indians gave 14 Dutch pioneers land that they knew as “Acquackanonk” in March 1679. The township would eventually be incorporated as a city and renamed “Clifton” in 1917. Clifton Merchant • August 2016

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March 29, 1979: A meeting is held in city hall regarding a McDonald’s restaurant being built at the corner of Allwood Road and Broad Street. Citizens feared that the building would be “an overuse of the land.”

July 1979: Mayor Zecker and Councilman James Anzaldi continue to try to make Renaissance Village Inc. president Thomas Cupo clean out concrete slabs and debris from Fruehauf property on Van Houten Ave.

April 24, 1979: City officials meet with representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to discuss the question of whether or not the city can raze buildings on the former U.S. Animal Quarantine Property where the new city hall will be constructed.

July 1, 1979: Assistant Superintendent Robert Sena begins working in the school district. Sena was assigned an office with a secretary in School 6 where the administrative offices were located.

May 1979: Clifton-based Prime Motor Inns looks ahead to building a 500-room hotel and casino in Atlantic City. The estimated cost for the project was $60 million. May 1979: Thomas Cupo, president of the Chamber of Commerce, announces that Austin M. Boyle Jr. is named to the Chamber’s Board of Directors. May 9, 1979: City and school board officials including Supt. Shershin and Chief of Police Edward J. Kredatus are subpoenaed by a Passaic County grand jury regarding the investigation of Clifton publisher Alex Bidnik Jr. Week of May 13, 1979: City attorney John Surgent is suspended from practicing law for six months. Three complaints directed at Surgent resulted in his suspension. May 16, 1979: City Manager Holster officially selects acting chief Edward Kredatus as the permanent chief.

July 2, 1979: City Counsel Sam Monchak appears at the Council on behalf of Thomas Cupo to request that the city reduce the amount of the $177,000 surety-performance bond that guarantees the “proper performance” of the Renaissance Village improvements. July 7, 1979: A flea market is held on Main Ave. to benefit the Association for Adult Handicapped Persons. July 17, 1979: Municipal Judge Harry Fengya, at left, is renewed for a new 3year term by the Council 14 months prior to the expiration of his current term. The Council voted 6-1, the only dissenter being Councilwoman Louise Friedman, who explained that the action was “an insecure thing to do.” Aug. 1979: William Elias hands in his letter of resignation to Supt. Shershin. Elias came to the city from the U.S. Naval Academy where he was in the sports program.

May 30, 1979: The BOE votes 5-4 to hire Robert Sena as the assistant superintendent of schools with a starting salary of $38,000. Previously, Sena was a New England educator, which led many to argue that Supt. Shershin should have selected someone within the district.

Aug. 6, 1979: The Council and the FMBA fail to sign a contract. City Manager Holster and City Counsel Sam Monchak sought changes that set back progress.

June 11, 1979: Detective George O’Brien is elected President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.

Aug. 21, 1979: The Council approves the FMBA contract in a split 5-2 vote, ending the long negotiations.

June 12, 1979: Father Richard J. Quinn, M.M., Maryknoll Missioner celebrates the 25th anniversary of his ordination. He was graduated from the former St. Paul School, Clifton, and the former Pope Pius XII High School in Passaic. He was ordained in 1954 and spent his entire missionary career in East Africa.

Sept. 18, 1979: Councilman Joseph Grecco changes his vote on City Manager Holster’s Solid Liquid Waste Utility Authority. By doing so, he helped pass the ordinance that allowed the authority to be established. The authority ultimately saved 60 jobs.

June 28, 1979: Mayor Zecker names building inspector Frank Mileto as Class 2 member of the Planning Board. Mileto replaced City Manager Holster, who was removed from the Board for the second time during his time as city manager. 82 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant

Oct. 1979: The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals accredits Daughters of Miriam. Oct. 2, 1979: Contract negotiations end after a yearlong battle between the CTA and BOE. The Clifton Employee Association representatives were given a $1,000 across the board pay increase.

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From 1964 to 1979, during his 16-year run as Clifton head coach, Bill Vander Closter led the Fighting Mustangs to five state championships and a 108-28-7 record. Some of the stars of Vandy’s last team, the 1979 squad, from left, Dave Kaptein, Bob Daly, Randy Calligaro and Glen Macejka.

Oct. 9, 1979: Fighting Mustang Coach William Vander Closter delivers his letter of resignation to principal Halpern. Vander Closter worked at CHS since 1950. Oct. 9, 1979: Teachers reject the BOE’s contract offer. A projected consequence of their decision was that the teachers will lead peaceful demonstrations, including picketing elementary schools in the evening by high school and junior high teachers and picketing CHS and junior high in the morning by elementary teachers. Oct. 10, 1979: The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board hears charges against two local discos. The discos were charged with alleged violations of state liquor laws. Nov. 1979: Fourteen CHS seniors are awarded as Commended Students in the 25th annual National Merit Scholarship.

Nov. 2, 1979: Nearly 500 teachers meet and 80 percent of them vote to reject the BOE’s proposed two-year contract. The pact would have included a 7 percent pay raise the first year and 8 percent for the second year. Nov. 9, 1979: CHS students compete in a “battle of brains” against Pompton Lakes High School. The program aired on UA-Columbia’s local channel, UACC-3. Nov. 13, 1979: Board members from both the Clifton and Passaic Chamber of Commerce meet separately and conclude that they should become one regional chamber. Dec. 12, 1979: President of the CTA, Robert Mullen announces that teachers voted in approval of a contract negotiation. It was a close vote for the contract, which provided “a 7 percent pay hike retroactive to September 1979 and an 8 percent raise for the 1980-81 school year.”

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By Ariana Puzzo “Wouldn’t you kiss Liz Taylor if you had the chance?” Robert Lions, better known as “The Kissing Bandit,” made headlines on July 24, 1964 after he planted a kiss on Elizabeth Taylor and ran. The circumstances that lead to his aptly given title were no less astonishing. We mentioned it as a footnote in the history of our city when we did our look back at the 1960s this past April. Lions, still a Clifton resident five decades later, met with us and shared some of the news reports from local and national papers. Here is a synopsis of what happened and how he snuck a kiss with a movie legend. On a night that appeared to be no different than any other night, sirens were wailing at 6:20 pm followed by Taylor and husband Richard Burton waving to a crowd gathered outside Clifton Stadium. 84 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant

The motorcade brought the famous duo to Clifton to support young Christopher Turnham, who was lying paralyzed in Passaic General Hospital. A classmate of Lions, Turnham dove into the swimming pool at the Country Club Towers, hit his head, and was instantly paralyzed from the neck down. Taylor and Burton were the headline stars in a fundraising event to help Turnham’s family pay medical bills. The true excitement began once Taylor and Burton emerged from their Rolls Royce. They entered the school stadium’s center field amid cheers and applause from an audience of at least several hundred people. Mayor Ira Schoem greeted the Burtons and Tex McCrary, from radio station WOR, introduced the pair. Taylor then accepted a painting done of her by a “local high school boy.”


She asked McCrary if he could ask the painter to come onstage so that she could formally thank him. What happened next was nothing short of theatrical. Rather than the true painter coming onto the stage to meet Taylor, Lions ran up, kissed Taylor and immediately vanished. McCrary later revealed that the boy who kissed Taylor was not the actual painter. “It took a lot of gall to do it,” Police Chief Joseph Nee had said. When Lions saw hands shoot up into the air when Taylor asked if the painter was present, he realized that it was now or never. “I saw my buddies raising their hands, pretending to be the one who painted the portrait of Liz, so I raised my hand too,” said Lions. “Then I decided to go down, since no one else, including the real artist, whoever he was, was coming forward,” Lions added. The true painter of the painting of Taylor was Roger Robles, of Nutley. He was in the audience and watched as Lions ran to the stage and kissed Taylor. “I was standing by the gate, kind of surprised, you know, I did-

n’t expect that,” said Robles. “I told one of the reporters there and he got in touch with the chairman and they told Liz and arranged for me to meet her.” However, there were no hard feelings between Lions and Robles. “I went up to [Robles] after and I apologized to him for doing it,” Lions said. “He said, ‘Well, that’s all right.’ He just laughed it off, I guess. He got his reward, too. He was just as happy, I suppose.” Amusement was expressed by everyone, including Taylor. “Oh, how funny,” she said when Robles came forward to meet her and also received a kiss. However, Lions’ mother was not surprised by her son’s antics. “He’s always liked to do devilish little things,” she recalled. The excitement did not end—Lions story would go on to be published in the November 1964 issue of Motion Picture Magazine. Despite his youthful hijinks, Lions grew into a professional man. Today, the still youthful and playful 70year-old works as a Chemical Engineering Lab Technician at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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Events & Reunions The CHS class of 1956 60th reunion will be held on Oct. 2 from noon to 4 pm at the Brownstone in Paterson. Tickets are $50, which includes a buffet, appetizers, wine, soda, coffee, and music from the era. Contact Judi Zagaya Den Herder at 973-779-6923 or judifromnj@aol.com. The CHS class of 1965 enjoyed themselves so much last year they are celebrating their ‘50 + 1 Reunion’ on Oct. 1 at the Fairfield Crowne Plaza. Tickets are available and must be purchased in advance. Call Loretta Wilson at 949-429-5040 or Albert Greco at 973-773-0448. Sculpture Mike Bertelli with his old friend Snubby.

The CHS class of 1966 50th Year Reunion Weekend is Nov. 4 to 6. Events begin at the CHS stadium with the Friday Mustang football game followed by a Saturday morning tour of CHS and lunch with classmates at Rutt’s Hut and a banquet at the Regency House, Pompton Plains. The banquet is $70; other events are pay-as-yougo. Write to CHSreunion66@aol.com, on FB at “Clifton HS Class of ‘66� or call Nancy Maurer Muddell at 201723-0402 or Jackie Sussman Schein at 973-265-4873.

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88 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant

The CHS class of 1986 is holding a 30th reunion at the Bethwood on Nov. 26. The cost is $75 and for more information, write chsmustangs86@optonline.net. The CHS class of 1996 20th reunion will be held on Nov. 26 at 7 pm at the Barnyard and Carriage House in Totowa. Tickets are $60 and include dinner, beer, wine, door prizes and a DJ. Make checks to the CHS class of 1996 and mail to P.O. Box 4109, Clifton, NJ 07012.


The Clifton Arts Center presents Show and Tell — original sculptures by Mike Bertelli inspired by great lines from literature on Aug. 25 at 6 pm. Free and open to the public, register by Aug. 19 Call 973-472-5499 or e-mail at Artscenter@cliftonnj.org. A longtime sculture, some of Bertelli’s works are Snubby 1, 2 and 3 outside the Clifton Arts Center patio gardens and Passin’ By outside CHS, the Eagle Alights in front of City Hall and King George at Jubilee Park. It proimises to be a fun evening as there is a reception before and after the presentation. Clifton Rec’s Free Summer Concert Series is on Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm at Main Memorial Park at Park Slope and Main Ave. On Aug. 7, fan of the Eagles will enjoy Eaglemania, followed on Aug. 14 with a British Invasion Tribute and on Aug. 21, it’s the Emerald Experience. Call 973-470-5956 for info. Passaic County Community College will launch a new Culinary Arts Program this Fall. Students can earn a degree in Culinary Arts or a certificate in either Baking or Culinary Arts. A Culinary Arts Open House

Chef Louis Hernandez, coordinator of Culinary Arts at PCCC says the new degree program offers a wide range of opportunities to students. Visit an open house on Aug. 22 at PCCC’s Wanaque Academic Center.

will be held for interested students Aug. 22 from 3:30 to 6:30 pm at PCCC’s Wanaque Academic Center, 500 Union Ave., Wanaque. Info at pccc.edu/openhouse.

Clifton Merchant • August 2016

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Union Tribute Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin received the AFL-CIO’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award on June 21 at their 23rd Convention. Giblin has been a member of Local 68 of the Operating Engineers, IUOE since he was 17. He served as the Business Manager since 2004 and previously was President. The union represents 6,200 stationary engineers and building maintenance mechanics. For the past 20 years, Giblin has been a unifying force as the President of the Essex-West Hudson Labor Council and he serves as a vice president on the NJ State AFL-CIO Executive Board. Giblin is stalwart proponent of Labor Education. Local 68 has been responsible for the largest number of enrollees at the Union Leadership Academy. His contributions to the labor movement also include his long time tenure as

90 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant

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NJ State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech with Thomas P. Giblin, Laurel Brennan, Secretary Treasurer of the AFL-CIO and James T. Callahan, General President of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Trustee of the American Labor Museum/Botto House in Haledon, the Advisory Boards of the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, and the Seton Hall University School of Arts and Sciences. Giblin served a decade as an Essex County Freeholder, a term as Essex County Surrogate and he

is currently in his sixth term in the New Jersey Assembly where he chairs the Regulated Professions Committee; is vice chair of the Higher Education Committee; and a member of the Assembly Transportation Committee. Giblin has five children and five grandchildren, and is a resident of Montclair.

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Cub Scouts of Pack 21, pictured below on the facing page, built and presented a new Clifton Cares collection Box. The Cub Scouts, sponsored by St. Philip’s Church, have been supporting Clifton Cares with the sorting of donations and packing of boxes that are sent to our troups. The scouting program encourages the boys to be helpful and an active part of the community. While functional, the old cardboard box used for donations needed some upgrading. Assistant Cubmaster Mike Klingler used the opportunity to teach the Bear Cubs some “Baloo the Builder” skills. They learned how to use hammers, clamps, screwdrivers and hand saws to complete the box. The Bear Cubs, Alexander Jakimowicz, Riley Siedlecki, Wyatt Meyer with the help of Nathan Adorno (Wolf Cub), Assistant Cubmaster Mike K. Den Chiefs Quinn Siedlecki, and Marek Pernis, and Cubmaster Tom Meyer built the box, and the Pack gathered to present it to the Mayor, the Council and Lizz Gagnon, the head of the Clifton Cares project. To mail a donation, make checks to ‘Lizz Gagnon’ and send c/o Clifton City Hall Tax Assessor’s Office, 900 Clifton Ave., Clifton, NJ 07013. For info, email Lizz at gags2120@aol.com or call 973-818-8141.

Vivian Semeraro (left), President of The Friends of the Clifton Public Library, presents Nancy Iacobucci, Market Manager at Investors Bank, with a certificate recognizing the bank as a Silver Corporate Sponsor of The Friends of the Clifton Public Library. The volunteer-run non-profit organization raises fund for cultural and educational programs for adults and children. To support them, call 973-772-5500, ext. 3005

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GRAND Opening!

The grand opening of Seasons, a New York-based kosher supermarket chain, was held on July 12, in Styertowne Shopping Center. Seasons replaced the ACME supermarket in the 54,000 sq. ft. space. Pictured above are Clifton residents Sam and Louise Sela who attended the opening alongside store manager Yaakov Rubinovich and marketing man George Matyjewicz. The Styertowne location is Seasons’ first step into the North Jersey marketplace. The chain has stores in Manhatten, Queens, Long Island and Westchester, as well as Lakewood, NJ.

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973-546-1105 92 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant


Valley National Bank has provided a $5,000 donation to support services of the Mental Health Clinic of Passaic. The non-profit employs more than 100 professionals, para-professionals and support staff. The Mission of the Clinic is to provide comprehensive outpatient and school-based services to children, adults and families who are experiencing emotional and/or behavioral difficulties. The main focus of Clinic intervention is to help clients become positive, productive members of their communities. Valley National Bank’s Vincent Kane and Sonia Amorim (right) present a check for $5,000 to Dr. Sybil C. Schreiber of the Mental Health Clinic of Passaic.

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Festivals & Picnics Historic Botany’s Free Summer Music Series in Sullivan Square begin at 6:30 pm so bring a comfortable chair. Friday concerts include: Retrocasters on Aug. 5, The Frost Kings on Aug. 12, PeterPix on Aug. 19 and Victoria Warne Band on Aug. 26. Carlos Colina & Straight Up is performing a Saturday performance on Aug. 13. For more info, go to historicbotanyvillage.org. Botany Merchant’s Carnival is Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 1 to 5, from 5 pm to 10:30 pm daily, at Randolph Park. Enjoy low cost rides and entertainment. Thursday is Bracelet Night; ride all night for $25. Save $10 on at sheet of 50 tickets with a coupon found at Botany Village Pizza, Rossi’s Tavern, Johnny’s Bar, Lydia’s Ice Cream, Hot Bagels Abroad and City Hall. Historic Botany Sunday Street Fairs return to Dayton and Lake Aves. on Sunday mornings. The dates are Aug. 7, Sept. 18, Oct. 23 and Nov. 20. Vendors should call Arlene Nikischer at 973-943-0547.

Clifton Veterans Avenue of Flags BBQ Picnic is on Aug. 27 at 1 pm in Athenia Steel Park, at 718 Clifton Ave. The fee is $20 and includes a menu of hamburgers, hot dogs, salads and soft drinks. Call John Biegel at 973-519-0858. The rain date is Aug. 28 at 1 pm. Clifton volunteers help to honor the city’s veterans five times a year when the Avenue of Flags is set up at dawn on the streets of the municipal complex, at 900 Clifton Ave. The next set up is Patriot’s Day, Sept. 11 and then on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11. Volunters are also needed to break down the display at around dusk. While there are nearly 2,000 flags decorating the campus, more flags are welcomed. Purchase a flag to honor a living or deceased US veterans. The cost is $110 and appplicants must fill out an application and mailing it in with a $110 check and proof of veteran’s service. For more details, go to cliftonnj.org. To volunteer or for other info, call John Biegel at 973-519-0858.

Downtown Clifton Street Fair is Oct. 22 from 10 am to 5 pm. Main Ave. will be closed to vehciles from Clifton to Washington Aves. and the street will be filled with vendors. Brookwood and DJ Nick at Nite round out the entertainment. Contact Angela Montague at 973-557-3886 or angela@downtownclifton.com.

Clifton Rec’s Family Camp-Out is Friday, Aug. 19 at 4 pm through Saturday morning, Aug. 20. The campout in Albion Park on Maplewood Ave. includes family games, activities, dinner and dessert. There’s a campfire on Friday night where families can roast marshmallows, sing songs and tell tales. Cost is $10 per family of four or $3 per person. For non-residents, the cost is $20 per family of four or $6 per person. Tickets can be purchased at cliftonrec.com or at the Rec Office on the second floor of City Hall. This event sells out so registration ends on Aug. 17. The rain date is Aug. 26 and 27. For more info, call 973-470-5956.

The 14th Annual Van Houten Ave. Street Fair is Sept. 18. From 11 am till 6 pm, walk Athenia and enjoy food, drinks, vendors, rides and entertainment. To vend, call Laurie Kirwin at 973-778-7837 or Christine Witmeyer at 201-410-1686.

Jubilee Park Flea Market & Collectible Show is Sept. 25 from 9 am to 5 pm. The event benefits the programs of Clifton Recreation. More than 100 vendors will offer back to school items, as well as grilled foods, zeppoles, coffee, cold drinks and fresh squeezed lemonade.

St. Andrew the Apostle Church and School Carnival is Sept. 7 to 11 at 400 Mt. Prospect Ave. Hours are 5 pm to 10 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, 5 to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 3 to 8 pm on Sunday. Jammed with rides, a big midway with plenty of family games and entertainment, visitors can save by purchasing a $75 super bracelet in advance at camys.com/tickets. For info, email standrewreled@optonline.net.

The Boys & Girls Club’s A Taste of Clifton is Sept. 26 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm at 181 Colfax Ave. Tickets are $35 enabling visitors to sample food and beverages from some 30 local restaurants. The proceeds from the 4th annual festival benefit the programs and services of the Boys & Girls Club. Purchase 10 tickets or more in advance and the cost is $30. For more info, call John DeGraaf at 973-773-0966 ext. 111.

Main Memorial Park Flea Market & Collectible Show is Aug. 13 from 9 am to 5 pm. If you enjoy great bargains and finding vintage items, then the event is an ideal place to shop and browse.

94 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant


Cliftonites of Ukrainian heritage are celebrating Ukraine’s 25th anniversary of independence from the former Soviet Union at 6 pm on Aug. 24 with a march which begins at Hird Park, at Clifton and Lexington Aves. The group of citizens will be at City Hall for a flag raising at 7 pm, a blessing and the singing of songs honoring the milestone. All are welcome to join in the festivities. Call Ken Wanio at 973-471-7910 for details or to participate. St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church Festival & Zabava is Sept. 18 at 217 President St., Passaic. The festival displays Ukrainian talent through a wonderful day of entertainment and delicious food. There are activities for children and raffles for adults. Admission is $5. Tours of the church interior and museum are included. Zabava means “to play” in Ukrainian and play they will with singing and dancing into the night.

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The Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Cathedral’s Picnic is Sept. 25 at 635 Broad St., Clifton. The festival starts at noon and among the musicians and dancers featured will be the ensemble ISKRA, as well as the youth ensemble CYM-Passaic. Stage performances are at 1 and 3 pm on the grassy picnic field, with much music and fun into the evening. Admission is $5. Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas in Clifton on Aug. 9 is hosting a farm-to-table dinner with wine pairing to benefit City Green’s ‘Growing Strong’ Youth Employment and Educational Program. The event, at Sputino in Clifton Commons, starts at 6:30 pm with a reception featuring passed appetizers made with locally-sourced, farm-fresh ingredients. A five-course sitdown dinner follows paired with wines to compliment the seasonal menu. Tickets are $80; call 973-661-2435. Clifton Merchant • August 2016

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Birthdays & Celebrations - August 2016

Tom Hawrylko and bride Lori celebrate their anniversary on Aug 18, Lori’s birthday is on Aug. 4 and Tom’s 59th is on Aug. 15. Ottilia Kedl turned 10 on July 23 and her brother Alexander celebrates his 8th birthday on Aug. 28. Emilie Oakley is 23 on Aug. 22.

Happy Birthday to... Send dates & names... tomhawrylko@optonline.net Margot Villanova................8/1 Kim West...........................8/1 Angelo Greco ....................8/2 Karen Lime ........................8/2 Michael Urciuoli .................8/2 Kevin Ciok.........................8/4 Scott Malgieri ....................8/4

96 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant

Mark W. Mikolajczyk .........8/5 Christina Sotelo ..................8/5 Ed Gasior Sr. .....................8/6 Sean McNally ....................8/6 Gladys Shefchik .................8/8 Chiara Cristantiello.............8/9 Jean Schubert.....................8/9

Emily Hawrylko ................8/12 Danielle Swede ................8/13 Andrew Cronin ................8/14 Kimberly Mozo ................8/14 Michelle Smolt..................8/14 Yuko Angello....................8/15 Christopher Antal .............8/15 Peter Bodor......................8/15 Andrew Noblett................8/15 Jessica Oliva....................8/15 Maria Pinter.....................8/15 Susan Van Blarcom ...........8/15 Daniel Wolfe....................8/15 Arlene Hard.....................8/17 Bella Bulsara....................8/18 Alexandria Veltre..............8/19 Michael Melendez............8/20 Rachelle Swede................8/20 Cara Cholewczynski .........8/24 Yasmin Ledesma ...............8/24 Joanne Pituch ...................8/24 Robbie Lucas....................8/25 Eileen Gasior ...................8/26 Cameron J. Popovski.........8/26


Peter & Christina Kedl celebrate their 12th anniversary on Aug. 21.

Adam Brandhorst .............8/27 Peter Fierro, Jr. .................8/28 Nicholas Swede. ..............8/29 Michelle “Mish” Choy .......8/30 Joe Rushen.......................8/30 Kathleen McKenny............8/31

Jack and Anne Houston’s 30th anniversary is Aug. 8 Phil J. Smith will hit a milestone plus 1 on Aug. 24. Happy Anniversary to Nancy & Mike Ressetar on Aug. 15 and to Bruce & Diane Drake at 45 years on Aug. 22. Clifton Merchant • August 2016

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Kassa’s Coupe The late Andy Kassa’s 1932 ThreeWindow Coupe, one of the most favorite at all East Coast shows in the 1950’s, will be at the Boys Club Car Show. Rick Bennett’s 1951 Mercury Custom Coupe will also be displayed. Other attractions include the Ford Quick Lane Nascar #21, the Lincoln Tech Racing Team and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Dept Tactical Teams who will exhibit how they take down bad guys. Promoters are working on other attractions and planning for a sunny day.

The Boys & Girls Club 3rd Annual Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show is Sept. 18 at 9 am at the Allwood Atrium, 6 Brighton Rd. Open to cars, trucks and motorcycles of all years, there are dozens of trophies and awards for a wide variety of categories. Register your vehcile before Aug. 31 and the cost is $15. Day of the show registration starts at 7:30 am and costs $20. Food, beverages, prizes and entertainment will be provided. Call 973-773-0966 ext. 111, write info@bgcclifton.org or click bgcclifton.org for vendor or car info. The rain date is Sept. 25.

98 August 2016 • Clifton Merchant


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Profile for Clifton Merchant Magazine

Clifton Merchant Magazine - August 2016  

Clifton Merchant Magazine - August 2016