Clifton Merchant Magazine - August 2007

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Clifton Merchant Magazine • Volume 12 • Issue 8 • August 3, 2007

Frankie Randall

A Life in the Spotlight





470 Clifton Ave • Clifton



629 Clifton Ave • Clifton 459 Chestnut St • Union


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August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


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August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


A Golden Day... one the city shall never forget...

1967 was a special year in Clifton’s history. It was the city’s 50th anniversary and residents celebrated with a parade the likes of which no one had ever seen before. During that Golden Jubilee year, city boosters also sponsored a beard growing contest won by Bill Peters. Ken Blum came in second, third place went to George Kauppert and an award for the bushiest beard went to Ray Farley. In this month’s issue, we offer readers a timeline of events, from 1967 to 1974. And our cover story on Frankie Lisbona Randall also offers perspective to that era. Enjoy reading our history and nostalgia...

Two Beard Growing contestants with Councilman Bill Bate and above, the June 4, 1967 parade passes Clifton Ave. at Sixth St.

Clifton Merchant Magazine is published monthly at 1288 Main Ave., Downtown Clifton • 973-253-4400

2,000 Participants... 150,000 spectators on the parade route...

Reports vary as to exactly how many people watched Clifton’s Golden Jubilee Parade on June 4, 1967, but one thing is clear, no one had ever seen anything like it before. The parade thrilled about 150,000 spectators jammed along Clifton and Main Aves. that Sunday afternoon, wrote Herald-News reporter Gordon Bishop. He went on to report that “$3 million worth of festive equipment—including a breathtaking sail boat float with 5,000 fresh carnations, 50 antique autos, Civil War muskets, canons and locomotives, many national championship marching bands and a variety of animals—wound up in Clifton Schools Stadium after a two-and-a-half-hour long spectacle never before seen in the city’s history.” The huge procession was the pinnacle of Clifton’s 50th anniversary celebration. 6

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

Spectators Stricken The warm weather took its toll on a number of spectators as well as marchers, Bishop reported. Some young musicians fainted along Clifton Ave. but quickly recovered with the help of a few residents who were watching from their front lawns. The Herald-News continued its report: “One fellow made it all the way to the Stadium before he keeled over. He was rushed to a tent to cool off. “Perspiration streamed down the neck of Clifton Mayor Joseph J. Vanecek, who stood throughout almost all of the proceedings, leaving only once or twice for a sip of fountain water.”

Susan Sisco, at left and below, as Miss Clifton Golden Jubilee Queen, stands atop a two-story high float depicting 50 years of Clifton progress, ‘from agriculture to the Space Age’. Facing page, the Marching Mustangs pass Mogul Ski Shop on Main Ave., and a horsedrawn carriage at Clifton and Sixth.

Police reported that at least two spectators suffered heart attacks and were taken to nearby hospitals. Some parade participants were no more than six years old and yet they were able to march the fourmile route without a problem.

Float Competition

On his way to Clifton Stadium where he would stand at the reviewing stand for hours, are Mayor and Mrs. Joe Vanecek and their children, Debra, Jo Ann and Patricia.

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There were more than 50 floats and so the judges were forced to review Polaroid pictures before making a final decision on the winners. A few crowd favorites were the New Jersey Bank & Trust Co. Cloverdale Station, featuring an old locomotive and two cars going over a bridge, The Shulton Inc. sailboat containing 5,000 EDITOR & PUBLISHER Tom Hawrylko BUSINESS MANAGER Cheryl Hawrylko GRAPHIC ARTIST John Feasenmyer

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There were more than 50 entries in the float competition. fresh pink and white carnations flown in from California, The Pub’s “Gay 90’s” barmen and maids listening to organ music, and the lavishly done Clifton float depicting 50 years of progress, topped off with The Herald-News’ Miss Golden Jubilee Beauty Queen, Susan Sisco, standing on a two-story high textile swirl, wrote Gordon Bishop.

Vietnam Hero And there was Clifton’s own war hero, Russell Ball, who was wounded 11 times in Vietnam combat. He received a standing ovation from the Stadium crowd, according to Bishop. Clifton PBA 36’s entry: a police car pulls a float of a jail cell with a prisoner in it.

Along Main Ave., the Clifton Irish American Assoc. heads to the stadium. The window sign notes ‘New Home of Dundee Linoleum and Carpet.” Dundee is now located on Broad St.

The Caballeros, from Hawthorne, again marched off with honors for another great performance. The famous CHS Marching Mustang Band kicked off the parade on Clifton Ave., near Van Houten Ave., smartly at 2 pm The newspaper said they were led by Henry Fette, chair of the extravaganza, who rode a silver-gray horse, accompanied by four out-riders. One of the four horsemen was George J. Homcy, the Clifton reporter for The Herald-News, riding a gold stallion. Fette, the Clifton Ford dealer whose son Larry and grandson John still run the dealership, now located at the intersection of Routes 3 and 46, claimed it was the biggest parade ever assembled in America. Fette’s parade expert, John McCallum, who also directed Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, agreed. Bishop described the event as “an unforgettable day for both participants and observers, Fette could not even guess how many people were in the parade.” He went on to report that one jubilee committee member estimated there were “at least 2,000.”

Proud to Represent Clifton Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin State of New Jersey 1333 Broad St., Clifton, NJ 07013 office: 973-779-3125 8

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

1814 1814

Beard Growing contest winner Ray Farley in the mirror after getting a shave by Ralph Eodice of Alexander Barber Shop (now Nico’s) on Valley Rd., while Golden Jubilee Chair Roy Schleich looks on. At left, that’s Eodice’s shop and the old firehouse (now a residence). Both buildings are dressed for the city’s Jubilee. Eodice provided some of the photos for this month’s edition.

Chimp Performs Two celebrities were among them—Mr. Jiggs and Mr. Blackwell. Mr. Jiggs was billed as the “world’s smartest chimp” with a response vocabulary of more than 200 words. His trainer, Ron Winters of New York City, shouted out some humorous words and Mr. Jiggs began his routine. “Dressed in a space suit, Jiggs roller skated for the small fry and smoked a cigarette for an encore,” Bishop reported. Mr. Blackwell was, and still is, the controversial California dress designer who criticized the wardrobes of such famous ladies as Jacqueline Kennedy and Lady Bird Johnson in the ‘60s and does the same to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears today. Blackwell appeared on a fashionable float with some of his elegant models, all through the courtesy of La Faye’s Fashions on Main Ave.

It was a day of reflection and thought, too, wrote Bishop. A Human Relations Commission float drew praise, as did the one from the Reformed Church of Clifton, The Living Rosary, presented by the Knights of Columbus. “It featured a cross and a Bible, with rosary beads so large,” Bishop noted, “that it required eight men to carry it as it summoned everyone’s undivided attention.”

Miniature Car The parade also featured a tiny Mustang electric toy car pulling a giant tractor trailer from Finkle Trucking. The paper explained that both vehicles were under their own power, but a few onlookers were fooled. “It sounded like the world was coming to an end when the Tramontin Harley-Davidson motorcycle float with a rock n’ roll combo blared into the Stadium, followed by a roaring 1880 train,” Bishop’s story continued.

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The procession ended at Clifton Schools Stadium, at around 6 pm. Also on hand was a team of huskies pulling a wagon and world champion horses pulling a caged live cougar. “One of the huskies called it quits in front of the reviewing stands and laid down for a heavy panting session.” He continued: “The cougar was so tame that scores of youngsters darted out onto the field to pet it, while it lay calmly in front of the announcer’s platform. The cougar was leashed so it wouldn’t run away in fright. “An eye-stopper was the horse-drawn hearse used until 1917 by the Quinlan Funeral Home. ‘What a way to go,’ quipped one of the two emcees, Garry McHugh, a partner in The Meadowbrook.

Ride in Carriage Coal and fuel distributor John Fairclough drove a red English Hunt Break carriage, while jubilee chairman Roy J. Schleich rode a Lillian Russell carriage. “A parade just isn’t a parade without fire engines,” read the Herald-News. Equipment from the mid 19th century, as well as the most modern trucks of the time, “rolled down the parade route, the sun glaring off the bright red finish and the polished brass and steel.” Despite its many components, the parade went off without a hitch. The more than 100 units began assembling at Clifton Ave. and Allwood Rd. shortly after noon and Allwood was literally covered with parade paraphernalia, Bishop reported.

Councilwoman Latteri waves to the crowd on Clifton Ave.

After spectators saw the parade go by, they got in their cars and drove to Clifton Stadium, where the procession would end by 6 pm. As the parade stepped off at 2 pm, smoke signals went up at the Stadium and the air raid siren sounded. The Order of Arrows from Aheka Council, Boy Scouts of America, created the smoke signals at second base on the baseball field. Bishop summed it all up when he wrote: “It was truly a golden day, one the city shall never forget.”

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Brothers Don and Rich Knapp

Perils of Pauline...

So That You May Survive...

We’re Having a Jubilee...

Clifton Movie Magic!

In early April 1967, film pioneer Donald MacKenzie, director of the classic Perils of Pauline, visited Clifton for a nostalgic return to the city where he said some of the scenes of the 1914 silent movie series was filmed. Starring the first female heroine Pearl White, the series introduced the term ‘cliffhanger’, since the episodes—all of which ended with White in a near death situation— often concluded with her hanging from the cliffs in the Palisades. Several scenes were shot on the banks of the Passaic River in Clifton’s Dundee section, he said, “including a climax where a home was burnt down.” Weeks earlier, Universal Studios announced that it would do a remake of the original 20-episode series and Fort Lee jumped in and asked to have the premiere screened there. “Clifton could just as easily ask for it,” said MacKenzie, then 87. He is pictured above with City Manager William Holster, adding: “Because as much of it (Perils of Pauline) was shot here as in Fort Lee.”

Dori and Michael Sheehy filmed nuclear disaster movies here.

Clifton hosted a sound and color film premier in 1967— We’re Having A Jubilee. Produced by CHS students Steve Brizek, Jeff Strassman and Dave McDermott (above), the 15 minutes of footage began with WWI to illustrate that the the nation was just three weeks into war when Clifton was incorporated. Also featured were local folks at schools, industries and public buildings. Mayor Vanecek provided closing remarks: a reminder “not to forget the oldtimers who built the city from its rural origins.” Other Clifton movie magic, circa the 1960’s... On Oct. 9, 1964, Michael and Dori Sheehy, then of Burlington Rd. filmed, So That You May Survive, at Styertowne Shopping Center, a how-to survival guide for the nuclear age. “It was about what it was like living in a public shelter after the air raid sirens went off,” explained Dori, who performed in the film with her daughter Kathleen. Her husband was the producer who worked for the US Army Pictorial Center in New York City, the former home of the old Paramount studios. The family lived in Clifton until 1970, when they relocated to Huntsville, AL, after President Nixon closed the NYC center. So That You May Survive was one of more than 200 produced by Michael, who also recorded two more films that week in the Clifton homes of Thomas Mullane, Charles Cox and Edward Hoffmire. The highlight of Michael’s career—who retired in the early 90’s—was having his Army film, Code of the Fighting Man, nominated for an Academy Award in 1959. “Although it did not win,” wrote Dori, who will celebrate 51 years of marriage to Michael this coming September, “it was an honor to have it submitted.” August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


Federal Mortgage Offers Senior Citizens A Reverse Mortgage


or some 34 years now, Anthony A. Accavallo, shown here, has been helping make the American Dream become a reality, right here in Clifton. As President of Federal Mortgage & Investment Corp. at 1111 Clifton Ave., Clifton, he and his firm have written millions of dollars worth of mortgages which have allowed people to purchase homes. And while that work has been fulfilling, Accavallo said he is getting his greatest satisfaction these days by helping senior citizens with reverse mortgages. A reverse mortgage is a special kind of mortgage loan for seniors. “It is a safe, easy way to turn your home equity into tax-free cash,” he continued. “Unlike a home equity loan, you do not have to make

monthly payments. Instead, a reverse mortgage pays you. More importantly, you do not have to repay the loan for as long as you live in the house. It’s a great way to keep your home and get money from it at the same time.” The name “reverse mortgage” describes exactly what the mortgage is — it is the exact opposite of a conventional mortgage. That is, with a conventional mortgage the borrower pays the lender but with a reverse mortgage, the lender pays the borrower. In the past, a senior citizen in need of money would have to take out a loan against their house and immediately start making monthly payments again or sell their home. But a reverse mortgage allows seniors to borrow against the equity

How do I qualify for a Reverse Mortgage? It’s simple. You and your co-borrower must be at least 62 years old. You must own your home free and clear or have just a small balance on your existing mortgage. Best of all, there are no income or credit requirements to satisfy. How can I receive my money? You can receive it in several ways: • Equal monthly payments as long as you live in your home • Equal monthly payments for a certain period of time • As a line of credit you can draw upon as needed, for whatever reasons • As a lump sum draw at closing • A combination of the above, to meet your requirements. When must I repay the loan? You must repay the loan if you no longer live in your home. In the event of your death, your heirs can choose to repay the loan and keep the house or sell the house and repay the loan, What are interest rate charges & fees? • An adjustable rate of interest is charged on reverse mortgages • Closing costs are typical for any mortgage closing and all may be financed • No out-of-pocket expenses at closing Are Reverse Mortgages safe? • Yes, FHA and FannieMae guarantee the payments you receive • FHA and FannieMae also guarantee you will never owe more than your house is worth — no debt left on estate 12

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

they already have in their home... and they never have to make a monthly payment. Each reverse mortgage candidate is required to attend a free counseling session with a local independent housing agency approved by FHA (Federal Housing Administration). Candidates are encouraged to bring other family members with them to help in the decision-making process. “This process ensures that the borrower understands the program fully and aides them in determining whether or not a reverse mortgage is for them,” said Accavallo.

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April 30, 1967: 5,000 residents attend Clifton Day at Yankee Stadium. 1967: The Federal Sweets & Water Co. on Clifton Blvd. closes. 1967: Approximately 91,000 people occupy 26,500 dwelling units. April 24, 1967: Clifton begins it 50th anniversary observance. April 28, 1967: Regina Mundi Chapter, Knights of Columbus, formally dedicates its new home at 1114 Main Ave., at Madison Ave. April 30, 1967: Clifton Day at Yankee Stadium is observed as part of the Golden Jubilee. Former Major Leaguer Eddie Mayo of Clifton, entertainer Frankie Lisbona Randall (see story page 62), the CHS Mustang Marching Band and a reunion of Paterson Silk Sox baseball players are scheduled to take part in festivities. June 29, 1967: Sixty-six residents living near and around Clifton Blvd. and Fornelius Ave. form a human chain to protest heavy trucking to the Canny Truck Terminal.

New York Yankees manager Ralph Houk welcomes Mayor Joseph Vanecek and bus loads of Cliftonites to Yankee Stadium on April 30, 1967. (Photo courtesy of the Paterson Museum/Arcadia Publishing, “Clifton: The Boomtown Years.”)

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August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


July 26, 1967: After 50 years, the Clifton Diner relocates. June 30, 1967: Passaic newspaper publisher Harold Matzner is jailed for alleged involvement in the murder of Clifton’s Judith Kavanaugh. June 30-July 4, 1967: Clifton’s Golden Jubilee picnic is held in Weasel Brook Park along Paulison Aves. and it is reported over 11,000 people attend the inaugural event. July 20, 1967: Joseph Bongiovanni and Anthony Brindisi receive $250 savings accounts as a reward for finding the body of 11-year-old Walter Salagai of Passaic in Lincoln Park on the previous Saturday. They receive the bank books from Henry Fette of Clifton’s Fette Ford. They also share a $500 reward from the Herald News. Both boys are 13 and live in Fairfield. July 1967: Clifton Wing Dings celebrates its fifth year. Drawing over 700 high schoolers from North Jersey. The event, sponsored by the

take part in the e urged city merchants to erc mm Co of ber am Ch n in bazaar. The Clifto by participating in a barga Golden Jubilee in 1967

Grace Church, takes students to a big barn in Chester in Morris County for fun and games. Four teams are divided up into the Cheerios, the Pizazz, the Zip Zaps and the Soles. They compete for more than a month and on Aug. 25, points are totalled and the winners receive a trophy at the Wayne Manor. That evening, there is also an old fashioned bathing suit contest and a baking competition. Clifton girls in the pageant include Linda Graglia and Lois Kievit.

July 26, 1967: The Clifton Diner, 996 Main Ave. on the old Herald News property, is moved to a temporary spot on Rt. 17 in East Rutherford until owners Vassilos Margaritis and Peter Logothiethis can find a new location. It was on Main Ave. for 50 years. July 28, 1967: It is reported that between May 1966 and May 1967, pay levels for Paterson, Clifton and Passaic salary workers rose between 3.5 and 4.6 percent.

Fredrick J. Paternoster, D.D.S. Clifton’s Downtown Dentist with 59 years in practice, from father to son


Dr. Fredrick J. Paternoster with his father Dr. Angelo Paternoster

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August 2007 • Clifton Merchant




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August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

Fall 1968: Going to Poppy’s after a Mustang football game... 1968: The old Delawanna Ave. Fire House is demolished and is replaced by a new Fire Station at 144 Main Ave., opposite Allwood Rd. Jan. 5, 1968: Fireman Harold Kutner wins his fifth consecutive term as the president of Clifton FMBA Local 21 and will be installed at a Jan. 25 dinner. He defeated Richard Wies.

Between 1958 and 1968, Poppy’s at 1313 Van Houten Ave. was the place to hang out. In fact, the milk bar and luncheonette (pictured past its heyday; today it is the Bizub Quinlan Funeral home) became so popular, Seventeen Magazine wrote about it.

Sept. 18, 1967: Dr. Lester Meloney, former Acquackanonk Township Commissioner, Clifton Health Officer and beloved physician, dies. Nov. 25 - Dec. 25, 1967: 113 robberies are reported in Clifton, an average of about four a day.

1968: The Clifton Girl Scout Council, founded in 1951, merges into northern New Jersey’s Lenni Lenape Girl Scout Council. 1968: The Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Church opens on Broad St. in Richfield, near Colfax Ave.

Jan. 6, 1968: Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Charles Carroll charges Clifton Police Det. Sgt. John De Groot as a co-conspirator in the 1966 murder of Cliftonite Judith Kavanuagh. De Groot is also charged with the Oct. 6, 1966 murder of Gabriel ‘Johnny the Walk’ De Franco of Paterson. Jan. 8, 1968: The Clifton Boys Club is one of eight of the 757 in the nation selected as a demonstration center for physical fitness. The demonstration is open to the public.

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Jan. 6, 1968: Det. Sgt. De Groot named co-conspirator in Kavanaugh murder. Jan. 9, 1968: John De Groot takes a police civil service promotional exam while in jail three weeks after he was indicted in the Kavanaugh murder case. He ranks 11th out of those who took the test. Jan. 10, 1968: Gertrude Silverman is elected President of the Board of Recreation for 1968.

Jan. 12, 1968: Funds for the Brighton-Allwood urban renewal project approved by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Renewal. Jan. 16, 1968: Fire wrecks the Port Murray Dairy Co. building at Broad St. and Rt. 46. Jan. 19, 1968: Kavanaugh case suspect Dorothe Matzner’s bail hearing.

Judi Kavanaugh, who lived with her husband Paul on Hazel St., was found murdered on March 13, 1966. The still unresolved case created sensational headlines here and in the NYC tabloids.

A young Clifton attorney, Miles Feinstein, (left) with Clifton Police Det. Sgt. John DeGroot following his acquittal in 1970. 18

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

Jan 22, 1968: The Clifton City Council reviews a $21 million budget, which includes a tax rate of $2.38 per $100 of assessed value. Feb. 3, 1968: Passaic County Prosecutor John G. Thevos announces that the state attorney general has been called into the tangled investigation of the murders of Judith Kavanaugh and Gabriel ‘Johnny the Walk’ De Franco. Feb. 5, 1968: Shulton announces the signing of a union agreement effective with the termination of the previous contract on Feb. 1. Feb. 9, 1968: An application for a use variance by the New Jersey Bell Telephone Co. to expand its building on Barkley Ave. is approved by the Planning Board in a unanimous vote. Feb. 14, 1968: The BOE adopts an $8.1 million school budget. Feb. 14, 1968: The license of the Tiny Bubble Lounge on Main Ave., is suspended by the Board of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Feb. 17, 1968: Clifton Firefighter Lt. Walter Geron has been selected to receive a bronze medal for his rescue of two children in a fire the previous year. March 11, 1968: Daughters of Miriam Home for the Aged name Mervin Silverman assistant director. March 11, 1968: The Girls’ Club installs new officers: George Bayeux, president; Stanley Zwier, vice president; Rose Bondinell, secretary; Adele Georgio, treasurer; and Emilie Sartor, public relations. April 26, 1968: The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development approves a $711,452 grant for Clifton’s Botany urban renewal project. Clifton officials plan mainly a rehabilitation program for the Parker-Dayton Aves. business district. Twenty-eight buildings are to be demolished and parking for 342 cars will be provided. May 1, 1968: The Clifton Zoning Board of Adjustment withholds

Nationally acclaimed defense attorney F. Lee Bailey with his client, the young newspaper publisher Harold Matzner, accused in the murder of Judith Kavanaugh, with his wife Dorothe, outside the Passaic County Courthouse, seconds after Judge Gordon Brown had ordered Bailey removed from the case.

action on an application by Casey Associates to erect an office building in front of its existing structure at 460 Colfax Ave.

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June 2, 1968: The Henry Garritse House on Lexington Ave., which may have been visited by General George Washington, is razed.

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August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


Service to the Nation By the time the Vietnam War officially ended in 1975, 58,209 U.S. soldiers had been killed in action, 29 of whom once called Clifton home. One of those heroes was 25year-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 and when the shooting was over, McClelland was listed as among the 25 missing in action. His body wasn’t found until May 8. But McClelland wasn’t the first serviceman from Clifton to lose his life in the Vietnam War. Alfred Pino, a 20-year-old lance corporal with the Marines, 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, had begun 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 Dando was riding in 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 seven years ago, there were only 27 names listed on the Main Memorial war monument as being killed in Vietnam. That’s when Vietnam Remembrance Committee chair Rich DeLotto discovered two other lost heroes. 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,

USMC Staff Sgt. George McClelland

fourth months before he was set to complete his active military service. With the addition of Wilkie and McFadyen, there are 29 names listed on the war memorial of men who died during the Vietnam War. A roll call of those other Clifton heroes: 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.

Four of the 29 Cliftonites who died in the Vietnam War. From left, Thomas Dando, Bruce McFadyen, Alfred Pino, Carroll Wilkie. 20

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

June 1968: Twenty-three years after the U.S. Marines captured Iwo Jima in WWII, the island was returned to Japan following the removal of the Stars and Stripes atop the battle-scarred Mt. Suribachi. Joe Rosenthal’s photograph of six American troops raising that same flag had become an iconic image of the war and has since become the most reproduced image of all time. But getting to the summit of the mountain required strategy and sacrifice, something that USMC 2nd Lt. George Linzenbold—a Cliftonite—knew all about. After being wounded in the summer of 1944 during the Battle of Saipan—where he claimed a pair of binoculars, a katana sword and a flag off of a Japanese soldier that nearly

killed him—Linzenbold returned to action just after the U.S. captured the Marshall Islands at year’s end. Sensing that the Americans’ next move in their push towards the main island would be to island hop to nearby Iwo Jima, Imperial Japan sent 22,000 troops to combat the Allies and stop their progress. “All Marines, lay below to your tractors,” wrote Linzenbold, recalling how he was awaken by loudspeaker on Feb. 19, 1945 for the planned invasion of Iwo Jima. At 9 am on that winter morning, the initial wave of over 30,000 US troops hit the landing zone. Within the first five minutes, the Allies were being bombarded with mortar shells. Linzenbold would lead his men some 900 plus yards up a heavily fortified beach.

The iconic raising of the flag on Iwo Jima in a photo by Joe Rosenthal.

USMC 2nd Lt. George Linzenbold

During the action, two of his superior officers were downed by enemy fire, forcing him to take command of his company. When his tank support got lost on the beach, Linzenbold himself opted to run 700 yards back—all his runners were dead—to direct them. But his act of heroism nearly cost his life. When he got to the first tank, he watched in horror as the lead man was shot in the head and then Linzenbold directed the vehicle himself before he was shot through the leg and neck. While recovering, Linzenbold wrote a letter to the Clifton Canteen—today the Athenia Veterans Post—detailing his ordeal. However, others weren’t so lucky. Lasting just over a month—35 days between Feb. and March of 1945— a total of 8,226 U.S. troops gave their lives on Iwo Jima, while more than 20,000 Imperial troops died. Linzenbold remains among the most decorated of Clifton’s veterans, earning a Purple Heart and a Silver Star. After being discharged, he went on to a 25 year career with the Clifton Police Department, retiring in 1977. August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


Sept. 1968: Clifton teachers starting salary is $6,113. June 24, 1968: More than 450 people attend a banquet honoring Rev. Jerome J. Pavlik, for his 25 years as a Franciscan priest at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church. He was a retreat director of St. Francis Retreat House, Easton, Pa. and a former guardian of the Friary there. Summer 1968: 17-year-old CHS senior Richard J. Barnett, spends six weeks cycling across Canada. July 1968: Some white middle class families, deciding that race relations had to start getting better somewhere, plays host to 20 black children from Paterson. The whites are voluntary participants in “Operation Vacation,” a program to enable black children to spend two weeks in white suburban homes. Sept. 1968: Clifton firemen begin patrolling the streets of the city eliminating fire hazards and gradually assuming some of the troubleshooting duties of police officers. Sept. 9, 1968: The Council votes not to renew the entertainment license of the Tiny Bubble Lounge on Main Ave. The majority opinion is that “the owner's business responsibility was not satisfactory.” Oct. 11, 1968: Passaic County’s crime rate jumps 19.2 percent from the previous year, in comparison to 21.2 percent in Morris County and 37.9 in Bergen County. In the first six months of 1968, Passaic County had 14 murders, compared to eight in 1967. Rapes decreased from 14 to 11 and robberies dropped from 202 to 190. Atrocious assaults dropped from 273 to 186. Breaking and entering rose from 1,700 to 1,959. Larcenies rose from 761 to 1,118. Auto thefts rose from 1,065 to 1,317. State wide, the crime rate rose 29 percent. 22

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

Above, the Pavlik family celebrated Father Jerome’s first mass in 1943. Back row, from left, brother-in-law George Dluhy, sister Margie Pavlik, brother John Pavlik and sister Sally Pavlik. Front row, from left, sister Mary Dluhy, nephew Georgie Dluhy, father Joseph Pavlik, niece Rosemary Dluhy and mother Rose Pavlik. The parents were from the Spis region of Slovakia. The inset is a photo of Father Jerome taken in 1975. He died on Feb. 11, 2007.

Oct. 11, 1968: After deliberating for four and a half hours, a jury finds former Clifton Mayor Stanley Zwier not guilty of soliciting a bribe from a building contractor. Zwier’s attorney, Raymond Brown, had attacked the reliability of a nine minute tape recording of an alleged conversation between his client and Edward Casey Cassatly, the contractor who claimed that Zwier tried to extort $20,000 from him in exchange for a zoning change. Cassatly sought the zoning to erect a $2 million hotel on Rt. 3, near Passaic Ave. The defense also questioned the reliability of Cassatly, as well as John C. De Groot, the suspended Clifton detective sergeant who played a major role in the undercover investigation and subsequent grand jury probe of

corruption in Clifton. The State claimed that Zwier, who was mayor from 1958 to 1962, never directly solicited the money, but worked with late Councilman Vernon Moorman in shaking down Cassatly. The recording, made on April 18, 1964, was withheld by Cassatly for three years. This was Zwier’s second trial. The first one resulted in a hung jury. Oct. 14, 1968: Clifton Police begin to probe the suspicious death of Mrs. Bonnie Haig, the 25 year old wife of Alan Haig, a jazz musician who lived at 999 Valley Rd., in the Montclair Heights section. She was found nude on a bed at 2:30 am on Oct. 9 by her husband who returned home from the Drake Hotel where he was employed as a pianist. He did not call the cops until 6 am. The

cause of death was strangulation. The couple was married for a year and a half and had no children. He was arrested on Oct. 15 and charged with murder. He had played with famous musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Oct. 14, 1968: The Delawanna firehouse, built at a cost of $250,000, is dedicated. The inaugural officer in charge is Captain Edward Bonnema. Oct. 15, 1968: The State FMBA asks for a state probe of the Clifton Fire Dept. on the grounds that the firefighters are performing police duties. Because of this, the Clifton local was thrown out of the State FMBA at its annual convention two weeks earlier. Oct. 15, 1968: Joseph Lynn is hired at the cost of $12,000 a year to oversee the renewal of Botany Village. Nov. 20, 1968: BOE President Stanton M. Weiss says he’ll “bet all the money in the world” teachers won’t get the $10,000 starting salary they sought. At the time, the minimum salary was $6,113.

In September, 1968, the city gave 155 firefighters 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.

Nov. 25, 1968: An application by Louis Trella, President of the Passaic Valley Water Commission, to permit the construction of two office buildings at 1000 Clifton Ave. fails to clear the Planning Board. The application stalled on a technicality raised by City Manager William Holster, an opponent.

Nov. 25, 1968: The Planning Board voted 8-0 to reject Bodell Builders’ bid to erect a restaurant and bar on a 3.5 acre residential tract located at 354-374 Valley Rd. Nov. 29, 1968: The official dedication of the Botany Village renovation is held, though ‘urban revitalization activities’ there continued.

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Members of the Clifton C Club at a 1969 reunion at Johnny’s in Botany. The Club’s aim is to aid and encourage participation in athletic activities and scholastic achievement among the students at Clifton High School.

Dec. 17, 1968: An ordinance requiring sprinkler systems in office buildings where 10 or more people are employed becomes law following its adopting by the City Council. Jan. 13, 1969: The 120-member Clifton PBA, shaken by the transfer of Det. Len Cohen from the Juvenile Bureau, meets to consider plans for a

counter coup against City Manager William Holster, who had apparently sanctioned the reassignment order. Feb. 8, 1969: George Haraka, who is a member of the Board of Library Trustees, is installed as president of the Joseph J. Vanecek Association at a dinner-dance at the Robin Hood Inn.

March 4, 1969: Ground is broken for of a new public library building in Allwood. It is scheduled to be dedicated on May 3, 1969, as the Allwood Branch of the Clifton Public Library. March 12, 1969: Combining his attack on the county budget with the announcement that he had no

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March 4, 1969: Ground is broken on the Allwood Public Library. desire to serve as county administrator, William Holster, dispelled any remaining rumors that the was considering the position. April 2, 1969: PURPOSE, Parents United To Review The Plausibility of Sex Education, releases a three page statement voicing sharp opinions against introducing a pilot program into Clifton Schools for sex education. The group alleges that individuals who publish a sexology magazine are behind the nationwide movement for the education. April 3, 1969: The first degree murder trial of Allan Haig is postponed two weeks because a key witness will not be available until after April 28. April 3, 1969: The City Council publicly stood behind City Manager William Holster in his bid for legislation requiring state agencies to hold public hearings on building plans. This is following Holster issuing a five-day notice to Montclair State University to halt construction of a 16-story dormitory (Bohn Hall) because the school had not notified the city. Holster has expressed concerns about drainage, flooding, debris and open burning. It faces Valley Rd. by the former Robin Hood Inn. Holster wants the city to go on record forcibly in favor of legislation that would require all state agencies to hold hearings and tell the people what they plan to build in their municipalities.

Superior Court. Kortel owns the Red Chimney Restaurant also on Rt. 3. It is controlled by Michael Koribanics and Louis Trella. The suit seeks to stop the change, dubbed ‘spot zoning.’ It will be heard on April 17. April 3, 1969: Joseph Lynn, executive secretary of the Botany Village Urban Renewal Project, was unani-

mously given a $500 pay raise by the City Council after being on the job since November. April 3, 1969: The Council awards a contract to Fette Motors to supply the City of Clifton with 13 Mercury vehicles at $3,065 a piece, a total of $39,844. The cars are earmarked to be used as vehicles for the Clifton Police Department.

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April 3, 1969: The Council approves plans to construct a $2 million Howard Johnson motor lodge on Rt. 3. However, the company still faces litigation from Kortrel Realty in two suits in August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


April, 1969: Drug testing, sex ed in the schools... April 22, 1969: A meeting regarding sex education held in the basement of the Clifton Public Library is abruptly cut short three hours in when Alfio Latteri, the 69 year old husband of Councilwoman and sex education opponent Anna Latteri, collapses and dies of an apparent heart attack. Sponsored by the East Clifton Civic Association, more than 200 people—smoking cigarettes, cigars and pipes—crowded the sweltering room, which was planned to hold just 75 people. Latteri’s death followed speeches by Paul VI Regional High School

Director Rev. Thomas Suchon, who was in favor of sex ed and William Burke, a former FBI employee who was against it. May 10, 1969: Robert Dunn, 92, of 115 Luddington Ave., dies after a brief illness. He was superintendent of construction of the Christopher Columbus Junior High School in 1925. The school was then CHS. June 25, 1969: Robert Sandri, ejected from a BOE meeting the previous week, calls for a referendum on sex education. Sandri, a chemist, of 37 Hemlock St., is a vehement opponent of sex ed.

‘Clifton is clean... drugs have stopped coming in’ Clifton residents were up in arms on April 17, 1969 over drug testing in Clifton Public Schools. Mrs. Saul Cohen, 84 Fairfield Rd., called for a 90-day moratorium on the voluntary test, which was designed by Dr. Luis Diaz deSouza of Fort Lee, who claimed absolute accuracy in detecting traces of drugs by testing human saliva in a gas chromatograph. The grounds of her complaint was that the method was not at all accurate, a claim backed by Msgr. William N. Wall, whose narcotics treatment center formerly employed deSouza. He said that of the people who approved the plan—the Board of Education, Superintendent, Mayor and Chief of Police—not one had the credentials to evaluate the professional aspects of the tests. He said that no scientist would ever claim 100 percent accuracy in a test and that, until that point, no other scientist had approved of deSouza’s methods. But BOE President Stanton Weiss, going on deSouza’s claims and police informants, stated, “Clifton is clean. Drugs have stopped coming in.” But when speaking with newsmen later, he changed the word “stopped” to “slowed.” The next day, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs reported that they had tested a non-drug user for marijuana and that deSouza’s test gave a false-positive, a contradiction to his claims. Furthermore, the Feds stated that deSouza did not have a patent for his machine as he had claimed, nor had he ever filed for one. The credibility of the doctor, who claimed that smoking marijuana just once could permanently damage chromosomes despite overwhelming evidence from other scientists indicating otherwise, was again questioned by citizens. 26

July 2007 • Clifton Merchant

Father Thomas Suchon, a beloved leader at Paul VI, with his ever-present cigar. His smoking caused his death in 1976 at the age of 38.

June 26, 1969: Republican party headquarters on Rt. 46 is cited for nine housing violations. July 15, 1969: The City Council goes on record approving a Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission plan to repair a cracked sewer line in Newark by diverting sewage into the Passaic River. The Council also overrules a state agency in approving a traffic light so school children can cross heavily trafficked Grove St. In other business, the Council reverses its position and scraps a resolution it adopted two weeks prior to regulate the activities of the picnic committee. Meanwhile, Mayor Joseph J. Vanecek calls for a renewal project in the Albion Place section. Finally, the Council adopts a resolution retaining Associated Surveys, Inc., to undertake a revaluation program. July 16, 1969: Andrew Bobby, 49 of John Alden St., is appointed principal of Clifford J. Scott High School in East Orange.

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


The Secaucus Broadcasting Company performed at the 1969 City Picnic. The group had a big, brassy sound and included members of the Marching Mustangs. The band included Barry Raphael, Richard Szabo, Tom Peto, John Fruhman, Edward Marchese, Tom Contrino, Greg Murphy, John Muchusky, Larry Howard, Sergius Yow and Angelo Donato. In October 1970, the Secaucus Broadcasting Company went on to win a Battle of the Bands competition at Palisades Amusement Park.

August 1, 1969: Southbridge Plastics on Allwood Rd. shuts down its operation for air pollution, according to an order issued by Superior Court Judge Worrall Mountain. Sept. 7, 1969: Third annual City Picnic at Main Memorial Park. Oct. 9, 1969: Rifle Camp Park on Garret Mountain is dedicated.

Nov. 3, 1969: Clifton voter rolls indicate a 1,356 person drop. Nov. 3, 1969: Former Mayor and Councilman Stanley Zwier confirms he will run for election to the City Council in the May elections. Nov. 4, 1969: Passaic County voters approve establishment of a county community college by a plurality of

just 1,290 in more than 88,000 votes cast. Preponderance of the opposition is in Clifton, where City Manager Holster campaigned against it. Dec. 12, 1969: The Clifton Teachers Association asks for a starting salary of $8,000, up from $6,800. The 17.6% raise is in line with what other Passaic County school districts have.

The 1969 Bertelli’s Team. Front: Jim Shea, Ray Zangrando, Bob Greg, Alan Swartzbardt, Walt Remus, Gary Ippolitto, Ted Shaft. 2nd Row: Head Coach Manny Gouveia, Kevin Baumann, Mike Vargo, Greg Aluce, Ed Kuberewicz, Alan Carestia, Dennis Kleber, Bill Cluney, John Schweighardt, Coaches Bill Robinson & Andy Schimpf. 3rd Row: Coach Gordon Van Lenten, Ben Romano, Steve Szurko, John Blandos, Mike Britton, Tom Jvranich, Joe Muschiotto, Billy Schimpf, Steve Sudol, Blake Lesnik, Coach Phil Carestia. 28

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

Nov. 4, 1969: Voters approve PCCC. Jan. 21, 1970: City Manager William Holster is one of five area officials named to the 1970 legislative committee of the NJ State League of Municipalities. Jan. 21, 1970: Parents and BOE members 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 Rd. and add an antique store are approved by the Board of Adjustment and recommended favorably to the City Council. 1969 Bertelli Cheerleaders. Joann Santillo, Diane Gouveia, Doreen Robertson, Adrianne Barbara, Elaine Bernadini, Cathy Pinchak, Debbie Mizdal, Linda Gouveia, Evelyn Gouveia, Janet Mullen, Carol Spillane and Laurie Santillo.

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The Castle on the Hill by Joe Hawrylko

Love letters found amongst the rubble, photographs scattered in the debris and other memorabilia give us a glimpse into what was once called the Castle on the Hill. Sitting on three wooded acres, the estate, its servants quarters and guest home looked out over Weasel Brook Park, near Third and Highland Aves.


August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

For three quarters of a century, it sat atop a steep hill overlooking Weasel Brook Park and the rest of Dutch Hill. Covered by trees and shrouded in mystery, the Castle on the Hill—or the Clifton Castle if you prefer—was the center of many urban myths. But now, all that remains are just a few tattered love letters, some photos and a weather vane modeled after the Egyptian Goddess Isis, after the Castle on the Hill was demolished to make way for the Highland Terrace condominiums. Clifton Merchant Magazine takes a look back at this landmark and tries to uncover the mystery of the Clifton Castle, thanks to help from one of our readers. In the summer months, this massive home was almost invisible to the eye, thanks to the thick foliage surrounding the 6.3 acre property.

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Built in 1908, the name Castle on the Hill is derived from its unique architecture. On the facing page is a photo of the main building, below a scan of mail left behind at the home and an undated photo of Marie Baylis. Above is an undated photo of Jack Baylis. Below on this page, the servants quarters and the guest home with two-car garage. Photos of the Castle below are courtesy of the Clifton Tax Assessor, Jack Whiting. All other photos were provided by Mike Dauphars.

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The only inclination that a non-resident would have of the Castle on the Hill would be the two gates—one on Highland Ave. and another on Third St.—with two massive pillars in front of them. Shrouded in mystery due to its seclusion from the rest of the neighborhood, the Castle was the focus of many urban myths. Some residents will recall sneaking onto the property as kids, only to be chased out by dogs that resided just over the perimeter wall. Such treks onto the property seemed as if they were a rite of passage for Clifton kids. However, that came to an end in June 1983.

Marie and Jack Baylis in an undated photo. Below is Mark Dauphars, who supplied photos of the Clifton Castle being demolished on the facing page.

Just a mere shell of its former self, this dilapidated Clifton icon of the past was in the midst of demolition in that year. The large hill which it once sat upon was being leveled and trees were being cleared to make way for the Highland Terrace condominiums. After hearing of the Castle’s impending fate, former Passaic resident Mark Dauphars took to action and headed over to the site with a camera to make sure that he would be able to preserve a part of Clifton history. After snapping some photos from various angles on the property, Dauphars toured the empty building, which is how he got a Bobbink Center 377 Valley Rd. 973-542-8071

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August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


hold of some photos and dated mail. In his scavenger hunt, he also located the very peculiar weather vane which sat atop an obelisk near the gate. “They were tearing the place down and it looked loose,” recalled Dauphars. “I hit it with a stick a few times and it fell.” For over two decades, he held on to the historical items. This past month, he contacted the Clifton Merchant office to donate his collection so that the story of the castle could be shared with the residents of Clifton. Thanks to Dauphars and Clifton Tax Assessor Jack Whiting, we were able to uncover some of the mystery surrounding the Castle. Built in 1908, the original owners of the Clifton Castle are unknown, as it is not documented in city records. The earliest name attributed to the Castle is Marie Kleber Baylis, who purchased the property in 1944. The names Clifton Castle and the Castle on the Hill are derived from the unique architecture of the three buildings on the property, more specifically, the large tower that was featured on the main building. In total, the trio of buildings came out to 4,208 sq. ft. (2,962 sq. ft. in the main building, 550 sq. ft. in the guest house and 696 sq. ft. in the servants quarters/garage). One of the WWII-era love letters found by Dauphars on the property may shed light on the original owners of the property. Written in 1943 by Jack S. Baylis, it is addressed to Mrs. M. K. Thiemes, presumably the former name of Marie Kleber Baylis, whom the property was entitled to. It would seem that the Thiemes family may have been the first to live there. It is interesting to note that the letters sent to the property had no address on them, just simply ‘The Castle on the Hill’. Even postmen knew of the iconic home by name alone. We encourage readers that have any additional information about the Castle to call us at 973-253-4400. August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


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August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

Big crowds surrounding Clifton High School students in 1970? You must be talking about the Clifton Fighting Mustangs football team, right? Not in 1970, when fans of another form of entertainment celebrated Clifton heroes. And it happened a very long distance away from Clifton Schools Stadium. In August 1970, the Clifton Mustang Band competed in an international band competition in Kerkrade, Holland. More than 3,000 people (another 4,000 were turned away) watched the Clifton marching musicians take two first place medals for marching and show, and another second place medal for concert at the World Music Festival. After spending time in Holland, the band journeyed to Italy where they took part in a mass audience with Pope Paul VI. Peter N. Librrizzi, a chaperone and officer with the Clifton Music Foundation, spoke with the Pope in Italian, who conveyed his blessings on the people of Clifton. After arriving home, the 146member band was saluted by the city. Thousands showed up at Clifton Stadium (shown at top right) to pay tribute to the band. Governor William T. Cahill and Rep. Robert A. Roe lauded the musicians by telegram, and President Richard Nixon sent a letter saying, “I am high on the list of those who appreciate the goodwill you created, and the outstanding example you displayed of the American way of life.” He went on to write: “You have my warm congratulations for being such effective unofficial ambassadors, and for bringing so much credit to your country.”

August 1970: CHS Marching Mustang Band travels to Holland.

On a 1971 bus trip in Holland, from top left: Karen Mullen, Pat Watson, Barry Raphael and Cindy Mac Vacker. August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


May 12, 1970: Mayor Joseph Vanecek is voted from office. Feb. 10, 1970: The City Council introduces the city’s $26.2 million budget that includes a tax rate hike of 25 points to $2.89 per $100 of assessed evaluation. Feb. 10, 1970: The Planning Board delays a request for site plan approval on a manufacturing plant of Allied Compositions Corp. of Queens which is to be relocated in Clifton. The delay is imposed until various city departments have determined

that no dust or air pollution problems will arise from the operation. March 3, 1970: The police force holds a dinner to honor Chief Joseph A. Nee (at right), who completed 40 years of service as a policeman in Clifton. April 9, 1970: The Passaic and Clifton Police Departments, and the Passaic County Public Defenders office are subject to a probe by order of Superior Court Judge John

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F. Crane. The probe stems from an incident in which two Passaic men were convicted of holding up a Clifton tavern. It’s alleged that pertinent evidence was suppressed by the Public Defenders office and that the Clifton and Passaic Depts. failed to fully investigate the case. At the center of the Clifton probe was John De Groot, already notorious for his role in the Kavanaugh murder trial, which he was found not guilty. He was found to not have pursued leads on four possible culprits. The following day, DeGroot filed for an indefinite sick leave due to ‘nervous exhaustion.’ May 12, 1970: Mayor Joseph Vanecek is ousted from power after finishing eighth in the council election. Bob Baran is one of the two new faces on the council as a result of his fourth place finish. The second of the new faces is Frank Sylvester who finished seventh. May 20, 1970: Dennis Harraka, 22, son of library trustee George Harraka, is hired at the Library without the approval or knowledge of at least one board member. Trustee Esther Bertoni said she was never asked to vote on the hiring. Board

The 1966-1970 City Council. Clockwise from top left, Tom Cupo, Israel Friend, Anna Latteri, Mayor Joseph Vanecek, John Surgent, Ira Schoem and Mervyn Montgomery.

Attorney Frank Ferrante said he too was not aware of the hiring. May 24, 1970: Dr. Alfred B. Green of Allwood Pl. is installed as president of the Passaic County Dental Society at a dinner-dance. June 11, 1970: The members of the city’s Board of Alcoholic Beverage Control say a new state regulation for liquor stores and taverns requiring them to submit copies of licenses and a $25 fee direct to the state 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 1, 1970: Police report that more than one car tape player was stolen per day during June. 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 14, 1970: Property owners near the old Foster tract on Main Ave. attend a preview of a supermarket proposed for the site.

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Sept. 22, 1970: A BOE subcommittee on drugs is disbanded. August 19, 1970: The BOE announces plans to have guards on the Clifton High campus when classes resume in Sept. August 19, 1970: A $300,000 12,000-sq. ft. addition to the Rt. 3 offices of Automatic Data processing is announced. Sept. 22, 1970: Telegrams are sent by City Manager William Holster, asking President Richard M. Nixon and congressional leaders to help the city get title to the U.S. Animal Quarantine Site on Colfax Ave. Holster said the move was made from exasperation because the city’s best efforts to get the state’s current Republican Sen. Clifford P. Case to move the project along proved “fruitless”. Sept. 22, 1970: The city plans to move immediately to remove safety hazards along Bloomfield Ave. that caused the BOE to institute courtesy busing on a temporary basis for 35 children from the Knollcroft section. Sept. 22, 1970: A BOE subcommittee on drugs is disbanded amid questions by its chairman as to why this was done. Sept. 23, 1970: The city plays host to between 800 and 1,000 members of the New York-New Jersey chapter of the American Public Works Assoc.

Sept. 28, 1970: The public works department begins cleaning out Weasel Brook from the Passaic line to Center St., gathering up silt and trucking it to nearby Botany Village. The fill is used in the basement areas of demolished buildings.

Dec 2, 1970: A proposal by Rev. Earl Modean, pastor of First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Van Houten Ave., for 150-200 church-sponsored senior citizen homes won guarded approval from the City Council. City Manager William Holster agreed, but cautioned that reliance on state or federal aid would most likely make the project subject to delays and impose regulations.

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: Clifton 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 question about reorganization of the Board of Library Trustees is approved by voters. The question reshapes the board in accordance with a state statute that makes the library eligible for substantial state aid. It means that Mayor Latteri automatically becomes a voting member of the board, as does Supt. Shershin. The mayor has five appointments to fill out the new panel by Jan. 1. Nov. 3, 1970: A civic and schools committee studying sex education recommends that Clifton health education teachers be screened on their “attitudes toward human sexual conduct” in teaching human reproduction to fourth thru sixth grade students. Nov. 14, 1970: Boys’ Clubs of America awards its gold medal to Anthony Consi and Henry Fette. The medallion is presented to those who give unusual effort to the Club.

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Dec. 1, 1970: With heroin addictions on the rise, Municipal Judge John A. Celentano Jr. proposes that Clifton construct a methadone treatment center. However, City Manager William Holster told the City Council that such a project would be the responsibility of the state or federal government. Police Chief Joseph A. Nee said police would be overloaded if they had to check in on addicts. From Oct. 1969 to Oct. 1970, there were 66 arrests for heroin use, of which, 61 were adults. An estimated 25 percent of those arrested used for more than two years, which is the state’s

prerequisite for being enrolled in a program, in addition to being at least 23 years old. Jan. 11, 1971: City engineers and the legal staff start a joint study to determine whether charges that a subdivision application for one of Garret Mountain’s rockiest slopes is actually a subterfuge to enable more than 50,000 yards of bluestone to be quarried there. Jan. 11, 1971: The prospect of possible higher assessments and taxes turns 2,000 angry taxpayers into a jeering crowd that filled the CHS auditorium way beyond the 1,100 seating capacity. They booed City

March 19, 1971: Newsmen sometimes follow their stories too closely it would seem. Detective Benjamin Peluso stopped around 2:17 pm for traffic on Clifton Ave., right by the corner of Colfax Ave., when he was rammed from behind by Alex Bidnik Jr., editor of the now-defunct Independent Prospector, a local weekly newspaper. Bidnik was then hit by Clifton Journal editor George L. Kroll, pictured above with Mayor Anna Latteri (left) and a woman identified as Fran Aires. 40

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

Manager William Holster, the Council and City Assessor Alfred E. Greene time after time. Jan. 30, 1971: Following a two and a half hour review of the school budget with the City Council, the BOE went into executive session for several hours and wound up cutting $100,000 from the $12,790,140 spending plan. Feb. 1, 1971: Mayor Latteri names a new Board of Library Trustees that includes the reappointment of Trustees George J. Kulik and Caspio Caprio. The four other appointees are Mrs. Gerald Aires, Louis Ferry, Mrs. Charles Arangio and Mrs. Selma Hurevitch. The seventh member of the board is Supt. Shershin. Feb. 5, 1971: The Council appropriates $1,500 for a brochure to explain the final figures on the tax revaluation, despite a provision in the reassessment contract that calls for the company doing the work to “conduct a program of public education.” Feb. 6, 1971: The Council decides against giving city employees the dental care program that would have cost $58,000. Feb. 9, 1971: The Council gives its unanimous approval to A&P’s proposal for a small supermarket in the new Botany Village Square. March 4, 1971: The BOE asks City Manager Holster to make School 6 available immediately for academic use. The previous year it was leased to the city for use by the Board of Recreation for a community recreation center. April 6, 1971: Some 150 teenagers attend a Council meeting to protest passage of a revised anti-loitering ordinance many claim is aimed specifically at adolescents and is a violation of of their rights.

April 6, 1971: Teenagers protest curfew and anti-loitering ordinance. April 6, 1971: The City Council has a heated debate over whether to repair at city expense or demolish an old commercial structure on Parker Ave. in the Botany Village development. The Council also argues about bids received by the Board of Trustees for installation of a sprinkler system in the new Allwood branch library. April 8, 1971: Crews from the public works department begin planting the first of several hundred trees to go in around the city as part of an overall beautification program. The first ones go in along Market St. and Allwood Rd. May 4, 1971: A proposal to increase taxi cab fares by the Clifton Taxi and Livery Service, is argued before the Council. The Council is asked to raise taxi fares for the seven cabs operating in Clifton from a minimum of 60 cents to 70 cents.

May 4, 1971: A report on the city’s proposed sign ordinance results in calls for more stringent restrictions than proposed. The report suggests banning signs painted on railroad overpasses and recommends a total ban on streamers, bunting, strings of lights and spinners.

June 14, 1971: Frank A. Carlet, a 34 year old attorney, becomes city Republican leader for a fourth consecutive time with a surprising 5734 win over Councilman Frank Sylvester. The photo above, provided by Carlet, is of members of the GOP group from that era.

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May 16, 1971: Clifton hosts a parade to spotlight the plight of POWs.

Nov. 25, 1971: Severin Palydowycz (far right) is named acting vice-principal of CHS, filling the vacancy created by the transfer of Charles Gersie to supervise classes for suspended students at School 6. Other CHS administrators at the time are, from left, Principal Aaron Halpern, Senior VP John Murphy and Junior VP Terry Hanner. May 16, 1971: The city hosts a parade sponsored by the New Jersey American Legion to spotlight the plight of American Prisoners of War—POW’s—in Vietnam. June 15, 1971: Three ministers call city leaders to repeal the teen curfew and other restrictions for the parks. A youth worker for the First Presbyterian Church calls City Manager Holster “paranoid” on the curfew issue. June 16, 1971: Mayor Anna Latteri does not attend CHS graduation for fear that “a joyful occasion (would be) marred by a demonstration or outburst of vulgarity, aimed in (her) direction.” A group of dissidents at the school, blaming the mayor for a variety of things such

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as the anti-loitering ordinance—which did not originate with her—and feeling she had encroached on education matters, had hinted at a disturbance. June 16, 1971: City Council approves the construction of 12 apartment units on vacant land at 180 Highland Ave. on the periphery of the Botany Village urban renewal project. July 8, 1971: The school’s Social Education Committee has its recommendations for sex ed curriculum shot down by the BOE. The dissenting voters insist that they are not opposed to the recommendations, but they want to study the way sexuality is handled in the present curriculum in order to compare it with the Committee’s remarks. Aug. 20, 1971: The Planning Board approves the construction of two warehouses between 203 and 300 Kuller Rd., adjoining the General Foods warehouses. 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. Sept. 1, 1971: 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, $135,000 Getty Oil service station to be relocated by the Botany Village restoration program. Sept. 16, 1971: Eleanor Purcell, the city library director, appeals allegations of incompetence and insubordination by the Board of Library Trustees. Sept. 16, 1971: The city receives approval for the first portion of its grant under the federal Emergency Employment Act to hire local unemployed persons. Oct. 9, 1971: The First Baptist Church, at Clifton and Lexington Aves., celebrates its 50th anniversary. Nov. 3, 1971: With continued sharing of School 6 by the Board of Rec. and the BOE, the Council authorizes City Manager Holster to start refurbishing the building.

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Nov. 3, 1971: Two dozen residents of Scoles Ave. attend the Zoning Board meeting to protest the planned construction of a center there by the Jewish Community Council of Passaic and Clifton. Nov. 12, 1971: A new plan furnished by the NJ DOT showing its proposed Rt. 46-Rt. 21 interchange at Nash Park indicates that far more private property will be required.

Nov. 15, 1971: The city receives an additional $240,000 federal grant under the Emergency Employment Act, bringing the total allocation for fiscal year 1972 to $671,200. Nov. 24, 1971: A proposal by the city’s Environmental Protection Commission to ask the City Council to pass a Clifton law banning no deposit, no return bottles is defeated by the Council.

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On Nov. 16, 1971, Mayor Anna Latteri announces that she will appoint 38-year-old Frank A. Pecci (above), of Silleck St., to the Board of Education. He will fill out the unexpired term of Stephen Groceljak, who resigned.

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December 2, 1972: Burning the mortgage at Sacred Heart RC Church.

December 2, 1972: Rev. Msg. Julian B. Varettoni, at left, who retired this past June after 41 years of service at the oldest church in Clifton, conducts a ceremony to “burn the mortgage” which signified that payments were completed on the Botany Church. Pictured above are, from left, Msg. Varettoni, Henry Marocco, Fr. McCarthy, John Bengivenni, Fr. Boland, Mr. Beli at podium, Fr. Rento, John DeMattia, Fr. Suchon, and Frank and Ann Carlet. Dec. 29, 1971: George Kroll of the Clifton Journal, is elected President of the Family Mental Health Clinic. Jan 11, 1972: A camera crew from WOR-TV comes to Clifton to film Mayor Latteri and members of the police-fire patrol for a segment about the unique program. Feb. 9, 1972: Louise Friedman, Clifton’s representative on the Passaic County Welfare Board, speaks in front of a crowd at the monthly Clifton Republican Club meeting to garner support for her crusade against welfare fraud that has been plaguing New Jersey. March 1, 1972: The Appellate Division of Superior Court indicates it will uphold the dismissal of former Clifton Det. Sgt. John De Groot’s false-prosecution 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 meets under President Robert Taylor. March 13, 1972: The City Council drafts an ordinance to make possible the Brunetti proposal for highrise towers in Richfield Village. April 26, 1972: City Manager William Holster joins Attorney General George Kugler’s suit appealing Judge Theodore Botler’s decision on school financing. April 27, 1972: The EPC votes to have cards placed around town for citizens to fill out if they wish to report a business that is polluting. April 27, 1972: Holster criticizes what he calls ‘a small group of liberals’ that oppose high-rise apartments in Richfield Village. May 3, 1972: The Zoning Board votes unanimously to reject an application by Tulgren Building Corp. for a 48-unit, $1 million luxury apartment building on the 1,018acre Randazzo tract on Broad St.

May 8, 1972: Lawyers continue to clash on procedures as the departmental hearing of charges against fired Library Director Eleanor Purcell completes its second session. A number of library employees testify to either being berated by Purcell in public, or hearing her berate other employees. June 28, 1972: The Environmental Protective Commission holds a public hearing on the question of a local ordinance to stop wholesale theft and abandonment of supermarket shopping carts. July 14, 1972: The Athenia sanitary sewer begins leaking and part of the effluent that carries human waste appears in the Weasel Brook. July 18, 1972: The City 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. August 2007 • Clifton Merchant



August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


Aug. 1, 1972: John DeGroot, the former Clifton detective who was one of the figures in the Kavanaugh murder case, has his attorney ask the city to pay for his legal fees following his acquittal in the case. The lawyer, John Noonan, said his request is based on the recent decision by the Council to pay Sergeant James Hill for his legal expenses because of a charge by a Passaic woman. DeGroot, who claims he is penniless because of legal troubles, was sued by the law firm that defended him in the trial for payment of $21,928.20 in fees. 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 Joseph Muccio, a county investigator at the time. He also announced that he planned to sue the city and the PBA after dropping them in the suit against the prosecutors. He had 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.

March 1972: American Coin & Stamp, founded in Frankie’s Market in Lodi in 1958, relocates from Monroe St. in Passaic to 1273 Main Ave. Pictured are founders: the late Joe Angello Sr., Marie Angello—who still works there today with her son Jeff—and their dog, Baron.

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Aug. 29, 1972: Will Dorothy McGuire be Clifton’s first female cop? Aug. 29, 1972: City resident Dorothy McGuire, 23, said she hopes to become the first female Clifton cop but City Manager William Holster opposes women on the force. He dismisses it by saying: “It’s a little ridiculous.” McGuire claims that with proper training—she took karate classes—any woman should be able to become a police officer. She hopes to become a narcotics detective and work with kids. Sept. 6, 1972: After a lengthy debate, the BOE ratifies its new one-year contract with the Clifton Teachers’ Association, giving teachers raises and increments, some up to 9 percent salary hikes. Sept. 7, 1972: The Zoning Board begins a hearing on the controversial high-rise plan for Main Ave. in Delawanna. The project calls for construction of three six-story apartment buildings of “a luxury class” on long-vacant land at the corner of Rutherford Blvd. The Board approves the plan on Dec. 10. Oct. 5, 1972: City administrative officer Thomas Fenton resigns to take a job in private industry. Oct. 9, 1972: Mayor Anna Latteri appoints Marie Modarelli of Union Ave. to the BOE. Nov. 3, 1972: Police Chief Nee announces that in the first nine months of the year, there was an overall 3.7 percent decrease in crime and an increase of 20.1 percent in crime clearances. Nov. 22, 1972: The Council grants the Girls’ Club of Clifton use of a 100 by 150 ft. tract of city owned property on Orono St. in Athenia to expand its operations.

Dec. 5, 1972: the City Council rejects the application of Bud-Ron Enterprises to build a night club on Allwood Rd. Dec. 6, 1972: The New Jersey Bank unveils plans to build a drivein “mini-bank” in Lakeview. Dec. 13, 1972: The volunteer Clifton Environmental Protective Commission devises a comprehensive residential recycling program and prepares a letter to the Council asking for support in launching it.

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Dec. 15, 1972: The campaign for “Juvenile Decency” launched by sixth graders at School 15 draws a commendation from President Richard M. Nixon. Dec. 19, 1972: The City Council decides not to go ahead with the purchase from the NJ DOT of a vacant house on Randolph Ave., and decides to explore construction of a new building in the area to house the multi-uses the old one was intended for.

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Circa 1972: The Passaic River Queen breaks her moorings...

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. But on 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.

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March 9, 1973: The Planning Board gives approval for a new photo finishing plant on Main Ave. at Washington. The Board also allows construction to begin on a new building on Van Houten Ave. to house Ray DeBrown’s Music World. Pictured above left is Ray DeBrown with his accordion students in front of the ‘old high school’, now CCMS. 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. Jan. 25, 1973: A document circulated in prior months by the Clifton Teachers’ Association 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. Superintendent Shershin deems it unethical. Jan. 27, 1973: The $13 million BOE budget allows for 4.5 percent salary increases for teachers and principals at maximum and increments only 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 claims it’s a full term.

Jan. 23, 1973: Angelo Bertelli, 52, is admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital after a heart attack. He is listed in ‘guarded’ condition. In addition to starring for Notre Dame and winning the 1943 Heisman Trophy, ‘Bert’ served in the US Marines, built a successful business which still bears his name, raised a family and lived most of his life in Clifton, which became his beloved home.

March 12, 1973: After the Council’s discussion with the Teleprompter company about the feasibility of a cable TV ordinance, competition for the city’s franchise heats up. April 2, 1973: Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Caplan head up the Passaic-Clifton division of Until Prices Drop, which is a local version of the nation-wide boycott on skyrocketing meat prices. April 16, 1973: More than 880 people attend a testimonial dinner for Clifton Mayor Anna Latteri. April 16, 1973: A green decal for affixing to store or automobile windows to identify supporters of the drive to clean up Clifton is offered by the Clifton Citizens Advisory Committee on Beautification. May 10, 1973: To help distinguish fact from fiction, Councilman Mervyn Montgomery calls for the public to be admitted to a meeting between the Council and the Board of Library Trustees. August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


1972 & 1973: Back to back undefeated Fighting Mustang teams. They were descended from Coach Joe Grecco and Bobby Boettcher, nephews of the 1950s great stars Billy DeGraaf, George Telesh and Roger Fardin. They saw their big brother Tom Papa crack his helmet during Clifton’s last undefeated season in 1962 and flew along with Gary Shenton in 1969, soaking in the crowd’s roar at Clifton Stadium. They learned the Clifton style of play in Pee Wee Football and refined their game as members of Frank Pecci’s Junior Mustangs. And, when it was their turn to play for CHS, the 197273 players showed everyone just how good a team could be. In fact, they became the best there ever was. From 1972 through 1973, the Mustangs outscored their opponents 708 to 70. The result was an 18-0 record, two state championships and a legacy that endures three and a half decades later. In 1972, Clifton was kicked out of the Passaic Valley Conference due to high enrollment and the Mustangs were ordered to join the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League to play against bigger Group IV teams like Bergenfield, Paramus and Fair Lawn. 24Hr Water Damage

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 which 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.

Clifton began the year by traveling to Fair Lawn and beating the Cutters 25-7. The team never looked back and completed an undefeated season by hammering rival Passaic 35-6 on Thanksgiving Day, also Coach Bill Vander Closter’s 48th birthday. Based on their perfect season, the Tastykake Dunkel Top Twenty rated Clifton as the best team in New

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July 8, 1973: Clifton’s first female mayor, Anna Latteri, dies in office. June 27, 1973: The Zoning Board. approves Michael Koribanics’ plan to add six units to an existing structure on Van Houten Ave., and Clifford Schneider’s proposal to add a second story to a building he owns on Highland Ave. July 2, 1973: A series of weekend burglaries and hold ups results in the loss of $2,300 in cash and goods from several local businesses. July 8, 1973: Anna Latteri, Clifton’s first female mayor, passes away at her home after being confined to her bed for weeks due to cancer. She had been a member of the Council since 1966 and received the greatest number of votes in the 1970 election in a field of 27 candidates, making her the mayor.

July 12, 1973: The Council is reported to be in agreement in having Israel Friend serve out the one remaining year of Anna Latteri’s term as mayor. Aug. 8, 1973: An offer by the BOE that upgraded salaries and made some changes in other areas of disagreement meets a negative response from the school system’s unhappy athletic coaches. Oct. 1, 1973: Prior to making a final decision, 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.

Oct. 31, 1973: EPC chair Raymond Egatz resigns in disgust because the commission either has been thwarted or ignored by the City Council for most of its existence. Fellow EPC member Frank Sudol quits for the same reasons 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 proposal regarding garage sales which would place restrictions on the sales. Dec. 13, 1973: A motion to abolish executive sessions of the Board of Education except under special circumstances is tabled. The disagreement was over the definition of “special circumstances.”

Sept. 17, 1973: Then-President of the Clifton Teachers Association William Cannici, at left, leads a city-wide teachers strike. A total of 376 teachers did not report for work, while 199 showed up. BOE President Lester Herrschaft calls the actions of the CTA “deplorable.” Years later, Cannici would become CHS principal, retiring in 2006. 54

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

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Jan. 22, 1974: Thanks to a tight budget from the BOE and increased ratables, the city is able to fend off $441,840 in increased operating costs and actually reduce the tax rate. Jan. 25, 1974: The Planning Board warmly receives a proposal for the construction of a Girls’ Club facili-

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of Common Cause to discuss a possible merger because of falling membership in both organizations.

April 16, 1974: Councilman Terry La Corte, a candidate for re-election, stresses the need for more diverse recreational facilities in Clifton. He says that the city needs an indoor or outdoor ice skating rink and a pool.



Original he

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ty on Speer Ave., with some board members pronouncing the idea “long overdue.” Feb. 1, 1974: Councilman John Surgent goes on record saying that, should the Board of Ed 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 in an interview. 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. March 22, 1974: While all BOE employees have been granted salary increases, seven school nurses remain fighting for mandated raises after two years. March 27, 1974: The North Jersey Consumers Group meets with the 8th Congressional District chapter

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April 26, 1974: 40th year of Clifton’s city manager form of government. April 16, 1974: William Elias, the new director of physical education and athletics, introduces various styles of dance, self defense, slimnastics, yoga and other non-traditional courses to the curriculum at Clifton High School. Years prior, such courses would never be offered, but with high school students growing more concerned about their growing midriffs and shortness of breath, the change is seen as a positive. April 22, 1974: The Planning Board indicates its approval of a site plan application for the proposed Post Office at 815 Paulison Ave., but noted a loss of conven-

ience to other sections of Clifton should neighborhood offices be closed due to the new construction. April 22, 1974: Over 300 reservations are placed for the Chamber of Commerce's luncheon to be held on April 24, marking the 40th anniversary of the city manager form of government in Clifton. City Manager William Holster (at right) will speak, as will about a dozen individuals who were involved with the change of government in 1934. April 30, 1974: The Board of Alcoholic Beverage Control votes to approve the transfer of a tavern license to the Ukrainian Orthodox

Holy Ascension Church on Broad Street. The license approval is appealed a week later. May 14, 1974: Councilman Frank Sylvester is named Mayor following the City Council elections.

Over the coming months, we will continue our timeline of Clifton history. So if you would like to share photos or memorabilia as it relates to Clifton from 1974 through the present, send it to Editor & Publisher, Tom Hawrylko, Clifton Merchant Magazine, 1288 Main Ave., Downtown Clifton, NJ 07011. You can also call us at 973-253-4400 or send an e-mail to

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Beyond Perfect

by Jordan Schwartz

On one hot Clifton summer day 50 years ago, Paul S. Bondinell made Little League history The 1957 Clifton Little League season was winding down when the Charms Cleaners squad took on the first place Styertowne Shopping Center team at Mt. Prospect Park on Monday, July 29. Twelve-year-old Paul S. Bondinell took the mound for Charms Cleaners. He had been pitching since he was nine, but he never had a game like this. “I just started out with everything working,” Bondinell said recently, some 50 years later. “The curve ball was working, the fast ball was working and it just went along and pretty soon it became the fourth, fifth inning and no one had even hit the ball.” Bondinell struck out the first 15 batters he faced and things were becoming very boring for the teammates playing defense behind him. “The shortstop just sat down on the ground in the fifth inning,” Bondinell recalled. “He said no one was hitting the ball, but our coach didn’t appreciate it and told him to stand up.” Down 3-0, the Styertowne hitters became desperate in the sixth and final inning. They tried to bunt, but only one player was even able to make contact with the ball, harmlessly rolling a foul ball wide of the first base line. It was also around this time that Bondinell’s father Emil finally showed up at the game. He watched the last inning from the outfield alongside Angelo Bertelli, the former Notre Dame All-America football quarterback, and owner of Bertelli Liquors. Incidentally, it was Bertelli’s son Mike who became Bondinell’s 18th and final strikeout victim, ending what many believe was the first ever “perfect perfect game” in Little League history. To confirm that history, a letter was sent to Little League headquarters in Williamsport, PA. Officials there said it was the first time to their knowledge that a pitcher had struck out all 18 batters he faced in a six inning game, but there was no way to tell if it had ever happened before 1957. To make the accomplishment even more amazing, Paul struck out four batters in a relief appearance in the previous game, so he actually K’d 22 straight hitters. Bondinell continued playing baseball into his 20s, but he never came close to repeating his historic feat. 58

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

Paul S. Bondinell on his Anderson Dr. lawn in 1957 after the 12-year-old pitched what many believe was the first ever “perfect perfect game” in Little League history.

He competed in the Babe Ruth league from ages 13 to 15, throwing a no-hitter on one occasion. Then he played for the 1961 Clifton High School team coached by Ed Sanicki that won the Passaic Valley Conference Championship and the North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 state title. Most of the team stayed together that summer and played for the American Legion Post 8 squad that captured the North Jersey crown before losing the state final by one run to the South Jersey champ.

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Bondinell learned the game from one of the best. Coach Sanicki played for the Philadelphia Phillies in the late ‘40s and even hit a home run in his first Major League at bat. But Sanicki’s stay in the Big Leagues was short-lived because he was competing for the same center field position as eventual Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn. Nevertheless, Bondinell remembers his coach hitting 400-foot home runs during batting practice at Clifton Stadium. From home plate, the ball would soar over the football field before landing in the high jump pit just inside the left field wall. Bondinell went on to play for Bloomfield College, garnering MVP honors his freshman year. He graduated in ‘67 and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 1993. Bondinell got his baseball genes from his father Emil who was on the ‘24 CHS baseball team, the only undefeated squad in school history.

Three generations of the Bondinell boys back in 1981. From left, Paul S. Bondinell, Paul E. Bondinell and Emil Bondinell, at the field named for him in Nash Park.

Emil was the assistant sports director for the Clifton Recreation Department for many years, before passing away in 1986.

Paul Bondinell, now 62, moved from Clifton to Deltona, Florida in 1980. He and his wife, the former Stephanie Honcharuk of Little Falls, have been married for 35 years. Their son Paul Emil Bondinell, 29, who provided us this story, lives in Oviedo, Florida. Paul S. doesn’t play too much baseball these days. He and his wife have been school teachers for the past three decades in Bloomingdale, NJ, and Volusia County, Florida. But Bondinell will never forget that one special game a half-century ago. “It was just a magic moment that happens once in your life,” Bondinell said. “When something just goes absolutely perfect, it’s something you will always remember.” The 1957 score sheet says it all: 18 up, 18 down, all by strikeout.


August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

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The Provident Bank Foundation • Brooklyn Brewery Parkview Animal Hospital Dr. David Staubach, Passaic Upper Montclair Country Club Jazzercise-Francesca Plain Styertowne Shopping Center, L.L.C. Assemblyman Thomas J. Giblin Clifton Savings Bank American Bank of New Jersey Edward J. Quinn Skyhawks Baseball, Augusta State Theatre of NJ, New Brunswick BlueClaws Baseball, Lakewood Luna Stage, Montclair Union County Arts Center, Rahway Red Bulls Soccer, Secaucus Somerset Patriots Baseball, Bridgewater Doherty Enterprises, Allendale New York Liberty Basketball, NY Holiday Inn, Totowa Casino Pier, Seaside Heights Sharks Baseball, Camden Trenton Thunder Baseball UNO Chicago Grill, Lyndhurst Mountain Creek Waterpark, Vernon IHOP, Clifton T.G.I. Friday’s, Clifton Dorney Park Wildwater Kingdom, Allentown, PA

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St. Peter’s Haven, a ministry of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, provides short-term housing for families. Through the Community Food Pantry 500 individuals receive food and clothing. The Haven offers classes in English as a Second Language and Citizenship. Volunteers from the Community regularly donate food and work at the Food Pantry. The Haven sponsors a Backpack Drive in August, a Thanksgiving Food Drive and a Christmas Toy Appeal.

St. Peter’s is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible and are most gratefully appreciated. August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


Frankie Randall A Life in the Spotlight

by Jack De Vries It was only 16 miles from Clifton, but to Frankie Randall playing at Jilly’s was like performing in the Emerald City of Oz. It was a bar/restaurant similar to others around Midtown Manhattan but with one big difference—Jilly’s was Mr. Frank Sinatra’s favorite joint. Stars came to Jilly’s, along with the near stars, wannabe stars, and people wanting to be seen with stars. The place also attracted a big after Broadway show crowd and tourists wanting a taste of the big town. Some nights—on some magic nights—everyone got what they wanted and more at Jilly’s— especially when Sinatra, the “Chairman of the Board” as WNEW-AM’s William B. Williams called him, came in and stopped the world. That’s what happened one night when Randall was at the piano. “When Frank walked in,” Randall, 69, remembers, “this silence... this awe swept through the place. When Sinatra walked to his table, it was like Moses parting the Red Sea—everybody watched him. Frank was bigger than life.” 62

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

Just in his early twenties, Randall was already a seasoned professional. He went back to the music and, by the end of the evening, had gained an influential fan. When the place closed at about 4 am, owner Jilly Rizzo told

the young singer that Mr. Sinatra was inviting him to have a drink at his table. “I’ll use a term the kids today do to describe that meeting,” says Randall. “It was ‘awesome.’ Frank liked my act and we talked. Jilly

Frankie ‘Chico’ Lisbona at age 10.

Grace Lisbona with her children, Grace and Frankie, at their home on 2nd St.

even went back in the kitchen and cooked for us. After we ate, Frank said, ‘C’mon, kid, let’s do a song.’ We went back to the piano and sang Where or When together.” It was a performance Randall had worked his whole life to be a part of. He sang with Sinatra and made an impression… and a lifetime friend. A few weeks later, on the recommendation of the famous singer, Randall was signed by RCA Victor records. “After graduating college,” Randall says, “I’d worked the Shore, the Catskills, Easton, Pa.— from Cleveland to Chicago. But it was at Jilly’s where I met the

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people who would influence in my career—people like Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, and of course, Frank Sinatra. “When I performed at Jilly’s,” he says of those days, some 40 years ago, “things started to pop.”

Clifton Dreams When Randall was a child, his mother Grace, would look out of her bedroom window of their apartment on Clifton’s Getty Ave. and stare at the house on 62 West 2nd St., dreaming of living there one day. Hoping to make his wife happy, Randall’s father, Joe Lisbona, knocked at the home’s door, telling the elderly couple living there that


August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

if the house was ever for sale to let him know. Turns out it was, as was the soda bottling company and building next door that the elderly man also owned. Lisbona made an offer and became the owner of the Belfi Bottling Co., gaining a business along with his new home. After his father took over the company, young Frankie would accompany him in the truck as Lisbona made stops delivering birch beer to taverns throughout the area. “It was hard,” Randall remembers. “My parents were diligent workers and proud people. During WWII, my father would work at the soda company during the day and then go to his job at Curtiss-

Frankie Lisbona, CHS Class of 1955.

Wright in Woodridge from 4 p.m. to midnight.” “Frankie’s parents adored him,” says high school sweetheart and now friend Arlene Carole. “His parents nicknamed him ‘Chico’ as a baby. His mother was funny and feisty, and his father was sweet. They were good to me.” The Lisbonas were originally from Passaic, and Frankie was born in St. Mary’s Hospital. They moved to Clifton in search of a better life, seeing the then rural community as an ideal place to raise a family. Friend Al Mardirossian Jr. remembers, “Frankie’s parents were terrific with all the kids – it was like they were part of our group. And his sister Gracie is a great gal. She worked for many years in Clifton as a special education teacher with Coach Joe Grecco, who thought of her as another daughter.” But life wasn’t always easy for the future singer. A bout with rheumatic fever ended any thoughts of playing sports as he was often confined to his house. Fortunately, there was music.

When Randall was in the second grade, his father’s cousin Jack Fina, a noted pianist, composer and bandleader, came to Clifton High to play a concert. Fina went on to star in several movies, usually appearing with the band. “He performed with the Freddy Martin Orchestra,” Randall says, “and played at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. After the concert, I saw how the people clamored around him, the adoration they gave him. On the way home, I told my father that I wanted to play piano, too. “He paid $10 for an old upright piano and I began taking lessons with Marian Baldino in Passaic.” Joe Lisbona understood his son’s musical dreams. A trumpet player, he continued to perform in a small band at weddings and parties after taking over the bottling company. He encouraged his son to play, but made sure he was classically trained, exposing Frankie to

That’s Frankie Lisbona Randall up front with one of his early groups, The High Fives.

Chopin and Rochmaninov. “It was the best background for any future musical career,” he says. “Frankie was not only a great piano player,” says Mardirossian Jr., who later backed Randall at gigs on the conga drums, “but could play other instruments as well. He’s so talented.” Carole, who would also become an enter-

tainer, described Randall as “a child prodigy.” “When I got into high school,” Randall says, “I became interested in jazz, listening to all the popular piano players of the time. The one who made the most impact on me was Nat King Cole – a great jazz piano player, excellent singer, and classy individual.”


August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


High School Ups & Downs “Classy” was not the way the nuns at Pope Pius High School described Randall’s behavior as a student. The future singer spent three years at the Passaic school until the good sisters could take no more. “My discipline,” Randall admits, “was not what it should be. I was always cutting class and smoking cigarettes—that sort of stuff. Finally, the nuns called my parents down for a meeting.” At the time, Randall remembers, there was a state law stipulating a student could not be expelled without sufficient reason.

From left, Terry La Corte, Al Mardirossian, jr., Frankie Randall and Tom Cupo.

“The sisters told my father that they didn’t care about the law,” he says. “They said, ‘You can take us to court, we don’t care. We want this guy out of our school.’” Ironically, the nuns at Pope Pius

were educating two future stars at the time. One of Randall’s classmates was Loretta Swit, who went on to star in the TV show M*A*S*H as Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan.

However, the school was only big enough for one future performer. Rather than battle the nuns to stay, Randall transferred to Clifton High for his senior year. “I don’t know what I was rebelling against

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at Pope Pius,” he says, “but at Clifton High, my conduct was impeccable. I made a lot of friends there – guys like Terry LaCorte, Tommy Cupo, and Al Mardirossian Jr.” Randall also spent his high school years getting an education in his future profession, performing in bands like the Rhythmers and in places like the Eclipse and Wishing Well off Route 17, and the Four Roses on Ellison St. in Paterson. He started performing in bands at age 12 after using photo-developing chemicals to change the date on his baptismal certificate. “Once I did, I used it to get an ABC permit to work in places where they served alcohol. I’d make $3 or $4 a night and learned to save my money. When my dad needed a new truck, he’d come to me and I’d loan him the money, which he always paid back. “I liked earning money and what it could bring— nice new clothes and new cars.”

Running with the Rat Pack After graduating from Clifton in 1955, Randall went on to Fairleigh Dickinson University, earning a degree in psychology. Despite offers to go on the road, including one to join singer Louie Prima in Las Vegas, he stayed in school. “My father wanted me to graduate from college first,” he remembers. “Then do anything I wanted to do, which I did.” With his degree complete, Randall hit the road, playing in small clubs across the country until his Jilly’s gig. “That was a thrill for his friends from Clifton,” says Mardirossian Jr. “At Jilly’s, he’d be surrounded by stars (Judy Garland would sit next to him at the piano as he sang). We loved hearing Frankie perTop, Frankie Randall with Dean Martin on Dean Martin’s Summer Show and with Peter Lawford and an unidentified man while Frankie appeared at the famed Copacabana in NYC. form there.”

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This column was originally started by our founder, the late Murray Blumenfeld. In his spirit, we continue its publication. e hope you had a wonderful Independence Day weekend and an enjoyable July. August will hopefully bring as many beautiful days to all of you.


Now that the heat of summer is upon us, stylish ladies are wearing their ankle bracelets....if one is good, two is better! Layering your anklets is very chic and at the height of today’s fashion trends. We carry a variety of styles available in both white and yellow gold. They are hot sellers this summer and we continue to carry styles both with and without gemstones. We had a great time at the JA Summer Jewelry Show in NYC. We picked out some beautiful new jewelry, found some exciting lines and we are eagerly awaiting their arrival in time for the holiday season. We’ll keep you posted on some of our new additions in the coming months. If all goes as planned, August will be a new beginning for Morre Lyons. Our look is changing and the demolition should commence later this month. Come on by and see the changes as they occur. Believe it or not, Swarovski has started to ship their Christmas merchandise. Beat the rush and pick up your tree ornaments before the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping season! The birthstone for August is PERIDOT. These beautiful green stones were highly prized in ancient Egypt; they were used both as currency and as personal adornments for the Pharaohs. Legend has it that peridots were only mined at night, since they were believed to glow in the dark like lanterns. They are thought to prevent sorrow and fear. Today most of the world’s peridot is mined in Arizona. Have an awesome August and we’ll see you next month.


August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


Frankie Randall with the Chairman of the Board. Sinatra called the kid from Clifton his favorite piano player.

After his RCA deal, appearances on the Tonight Show, Merv Griffin Show, and Danny Kaye Show followed, along with his first starring movie role, the 1965 teen flick, Wild on the Beach. The film featured the music of Sonny and Cher, also making their movie debut. The following year, Dean Martin called. “Dean had taken a liking to me,” Randall remembers, “and asked me to be a regular on the Dean Martin Summer Show.” “That was another thrill for us,” says Mardirossian Jr. “We’d put on the TV and there would be one of ‘our guys.’” Even with his new fame, Randall kept his perspective. “He was always the same —never changed, never got a big head,” says friend Tom Cupo. “He always was ‘Chico’ to us.” Randall appeared as a show regular for one season, enjoying his work with the legendary crooner. “Dean was a piece of cake to work with,” he says. “He was so casual, happy – easy to be with. “One story says everything about Dean’s personality. Once in Vegas, he came to see me perform with the Buddy Rich Band. On a break, Dean and I were sitting together when a drunk walked in. He looked at Dean and said, ‘I don’t know what my girl sees in you – I don’t like you… no, I don’t like you at all.’ “Instead of telling the guy to go away like Sinatra would have done, Dean says, ‘Sit down, pal.’ Within 10 minutes, the drunk thought Dean was the greatest guy in the world.” Randall remembers the dynamic Sammy Davis Jr. as a “salt of the earth”-type of guy. “I had some of my best times with Sammy,” Randall says. “When you got him alone, he was more of a regular guy. He also told some of the most interesting stories I’d ever heard in my life.”

But it was Sinatra who made the biggest impact. “If Frank liked you,” he says, “you were his friend—that was all he needed to know. But, his mood could change in a flash, from happy to miserable or angry. Thankfully, I didn’t see that side of him often – I had so much respect and admiration for him that I tried to escape that situation whenever I could. “He was also one of the easiest people to work with—always on time, always professional. And he stood up for others. When he first started working in Vegas, black entertainers like Lena Horne and Sammy Davis were not allowed to stay in the hotel. That was until Frank took a stand. He was instrumental in getting that changed.”

“Frankie Randall is my favorite piano player,” Frank Sinatra said, “and a marvelous talent who sings great and plays more piano than there are keys.” “We went to a party at comedian Pat Cooper’s house and were even invited to one at Sinatra’s. Unfortunately, that was the night Sinatra’s mother died in a plane crash and the party was cancelled.” Though he was happy to earn a living as an entertainer, Randall never achieved the huge fame of his idols who attained their stardom decades before. One reason was a new kind of music had arrived to change the world. “When rock and roll got big in the sixties, it was frustrating,” he says.

“I knew the quality of the music I was singing – songs by Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and others. Musicians and singers who were not very good were making hits with ‘bubblegum songs.’ It was tough, but you had to grin and bear it.” Despite rock and roll’s increasing popularity, Randall continued to produce albums and enjoyed modest success. He sang the theme songs for the popular TV shows Flipper and Bewitched, and with his frequent touring, he earned a reputation as a crowd-pleasing entertainer.

Showbiz Life At 24, Randall married his wife Sue and they had three children Lisa, Joseph, and Frank Jr. However, the marriage didn’t last. “That was a time in my life when I didn’t behave myself,” Randall admits about succumbing to the temptations of show business. Before long, he was divorced and living in Beverly Hills, Ca. A move to Las Vegas followed and then, at Sinatra’s urging, he moved to Palm Springs. “We spent many a night drinking ‘lemonade’ until 4 am at Frank’s house in Palm Springs,” Randall laughs. “Those were fun times.” “Whenever you called Frankie,” says Cupo, “say if you were out in Vegas and wanted to see a show, he’d do anything to help you. His friends from Clifton stayed at his house in Vegas and Palm Springs, and he’d introduce us to his showbiz friends.

On Aug. 17, 1965, local Unico National Chapters honored Frankie Randall at the Central Theater in Passaic. Randall’s movie, Wild on the Beach in which he stars with, among others, Sonny & Cher, was previewed. He also performed on stage for 45 minutes, singing Yellow Haired Woman, from his new album, pictured here. August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


“My life in show business was not all roses,” he says. “I went broke a few times but was always able to bounce back and make my living with music, whether it was singing or owning a piano store.”

New Chapter

Frankie Lisbona Randall, at his old family home on 2nd St.

In 1982, Randall arrived for a month-long gig at the Golden Nugget Hotel Casino in Atlantic City. Once he started, the crowds kept coming and management extended his engagement. He also developed a relationship with the Golden Nugget’s chairman of the board Steve Wynn, who started asking his advice about the casino’s entertainment. A year later, Randal became vice president of entertainment director for the Golden Nugget’s operations in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, booking himself whenever he got the itch to perform. He also remarried in 1984, becoming a father to two daughters, Laura and Ava. Using his showbiz connections and friendships, Randall flourished in his job. In 1987, when Bally’s bought the Golden Nugget, he worked in the same role for the new company. He left his position in 1991. “It was a high pressure life where you were always putting out fires, always making things right,” says Randall. “There were long hours—I’d walk Mr. Sinatra to his room at 2 am and be up the next day for a 9 am meeting.


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“But the job was also rewarding. It was a time in my life of stretch limos and corporate jets. In fact, after I left the job, I was getting on a commercial jet with my daughter Laura who couldn’t understand why we had to fly with other people.” Since leaving corporate life, Randall has gone back to his first love – performing. This spring, a group of his Clifton friends saw him sing at Resorts International in Atlantic City. “I’ve watched Frankie perform for years,” says Cupo, “and that show was the best I’ve ever seen him put on.” “That night,” says Mardirossian Jr., “he mentioned his friends from Clifton in the audience and we got a hand. After the show, he made sure we went backstage to see him in his dressing room. “He’s still a great entertainer, his voice is still great. Frankie doesn’t imitate Sinatra but if you close your eyes, you can hear Sinatra’s style in his songs.” “As an entertainer,” Carole says, “He’s a fine, fine pianist with a great voice. But it’s his personality that’s unbelievable, the same personality he had as a kid. I’m always telling him that he should have his own TV or radio show.” Randall says he will continue performing for as long as he can step on the stage. These days, the singer gets back to Clifton for an occasional visit, recently joining his friends at a

reunion at the Brownstone in Paterson. He spends his time living between his two homes in La Quinta, Ca., and Las Vegas, or on the road between engagements. “Clifton is my hometown,” he says, “and my friends there will always be special to me. I know many of them followed my career and appreciate my music. The truth is that I appreciate their support just as much. They mean so much to me.” At the end of his life, Sinatra had a final gift for his friend, giving him the arrangements to many of his songs. In tribute, Randall performs the songs just as his mentor did, much to the joy of audiences who listen. Sinatra once said: “Frankie Randall is my favorite piano player and a marvelous talent who sings great and plays more piano than there are keys.” And the people from Clifton couldn’t be prouder.

Want to Catch Up with Frankie? To purchase Frankie Randall’s music or find out where he’ll be appearing, go to Will he ever return to Clifton to put on a show? “The last time I performed near Clifton,” Randall says, “was at the Capitol Theater in Passaic. I’d love to perform in Clifton. If there’s a place nearby where we could make this happen, I’d love to hear about it.”

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So Long,Superintendent Rice –––––– Story by Jordan Schwartz –––––– As Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice wraps up his five-year stint as leader of Clifton’s educational system, he is confident the school district is better off than it was when he arrived in 2002. Rice entered a school system in which eight of the prior 11 budgets were rejected by voters and Board of Education members were known for being at odds with one another. Rice quickly outlined ‘six points of focus’ to improve the district. They included Communications and Relationships, Strategic Planning, Connecting to Students, Residency, Curriculum Alignment and The Budget. Rice’s top priority throughout his tenure was building a new school to ease what many feel is overcrowding at the middle and high schools. Several potential solutions were discussed, but referendums to build new facilities have either failed outright, or have been met with stiff legal opposition once approved. Rice called this the biggest disappointment of his stay in Clifton. “It’s a shame not simply for children, but also for staff who labor under conditions that are far from ideal,” he said. “It’s a shame for parents who have a right to expect better for their children.” An 11 member Community Advisory Committee researched 18 potential locations for new school buildings before recommending Latteri Park in the fall of 2003. But two months later, the City Council voted 6-0 to oppose the use of the site. This was in response to growing opposition by a citizen action group, Clifton Unite, which had collected 750 petitions. Rice admitted that dealing with the Council has been frustrating. “The Council for many years has had a relationship with the Board that has been less than ideal,” he said. “It goes back a couple decades and you have some Council members now who are certainly more pro-education, and one hopes that in the future, the City Council

“One hopes that in the future, said Rice, “the City Council will continue to move in a direction that is more supportive of children, but it is by no means there yet.” 74

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

will continue to move in a direction that is more supportive of children, but it is by no means there yet.” Residents eventually defeated the Latteri Park proposal in Dec. 2006. “I think that a good majority of people in Clifton believe we need more space, but settling on a specific site has been challenging,” Rice said. “There are a lot of people who don’t want a school in their backyard.” Then there are those who don’t believe the schools are overcrowded—a group Rice doesn’t spend much time worrying about. “There are people who will deny all sorts of things that are historical fact, so the fact that there is a small segment in Clifton that professes to believe that there is not an overcrowding issue is really not so much of an issue to me,” said the outgoing Superintendent. Rice also pushed hard for a 500-student 9th grade high school annex at 290 Brighton Rd. Cliftonites passed a referendum on the annex in a 68 to 32 percent vote on Dec. 14, 2004, but the Zoning Board denied the district’s application for a variance to build the annex on March 16, 2006, following 10 months and 17 hearings. “The Council-appointed Board of Adjustment made the wrong decision in March 2006,” said Rice. “The good news is you don’t have to take my word for it, a judge said so eight months later.”

On Nov. 9 of last year, Passaic County Superior Court Judge Robert Passero overturned the Zoning Board’s At Superintendent Rice’s final BOE meeting on July 25, he presented a decision and sent it back for reconsidcomparison between state assessment results from 2002, when he came eration. The Board once again denied aboard in Clifton, and 2007. Every test result for total students in every the application on June 7, 2007 and so tested grade in every tested subject was higher in 2007 than in 2002. the saga continues. When asked if he would return to % Proficient Clifton to attend a ribbon-cutting cerTest 2002 2007 Change emony if and when the Brighton Rd. Grade 4 Language Arts 73.6% 75.5% +1.9% school is ever built, Rice smiled and Grade 4 Mathematics 57.4% 83.3% +25.9% said, “Yeah.” Grade 8 Language Arts 64.3% 68.3% +4.0% But Rice takes exception to those Grade 8 Mathematics 51.0% 59.7% +8.7% who focus on what he hasn’t accomGrade 8 Science 73.7% 75.3% +1.6% plished. “I reject the idea that people High School Language Arts 75.1% 80.5% +5.4% in Clifton won’t approve questions to High School Mathematics 65.9% 68.2% +2.3% support school children,” he said. In In addition, most test results (11 of 16) for total students were higher in fact, during his five-year tenure, the 2007 than in 2006. In 2007, every test result for total students in every district passed eight of 12 voter initiatested grade in every tested subject was higher than the state’s Average tives, including four capital quesYearly Progress (AYP) benchmark. Here are some of the assessments tions, three of five budgets and a govwith the biggest changes. ernance question. While he wasn’t able to get a new Test 2006 2007 AYP Change middle school built, Rice was in Grade 4 Language Arts 72.2% 75.5% 75.0% +3.3% office for the construction of School Grade 4 Mathematics 80.3% 83.3% 62.0% +3.0% 17, which eased overcrowding at the Grade 4 Science 79.6% 83.5% N/A +3.9% elementary level. Grade 5 Mathematics 80.6% 84.7% 62.0% +4.1% One of Rice’s greatest accomplishGrade 6 Mathematics 61.0% 71.8% 49.0% +10.8% ments was the phased implementaGrade 7 Mathematics 58.3% 52.8% 49.0% -5.5% tion of full-day kindergarten classes Grade 8 Mathematics 53.1% 59.7% 49.0% +6.6% in all elementary schools. The program began in 2004 and will be comDuring his run, the Clifton Public Schools raised state pleted this fall. math and science test scores and won two state bilinHe has also identified and addressed other needs in gual/English as a Second Language awards. The district the diverse Clifton district. also revised more than 200 curriculum guides and began “Student achievement has increased at all grade levthree programs for eligible high school seniors: Passaic els in all subjects in the district,” Rice said. County Community College, Montclair State

Educational Gains, 2007 vs 2002

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University and career internships in the community. During his tenure, the district also created a five-year strategic plan, started putting in place a new student software system, bettered instructional technology and technology staff development, and increased by 89 percent the number of students taking Advanced Placement courses and nearly doubled the number of AP courses taken by these students. And while the district’s relationship with the city has been shaky at times, Rice said Clifton Public Schools enjoyed a fruitful partnership with other government agencies over the past five years. Starting in 2005, the district successfully lobbied for and received $3.3 million a year in state Abbott Rim funds from New Jersey—a result of Clifton’s proximity to Passaic and Paterson. The district also secured $1.5 million in state TARA funds in 2007, with which it is completing the roll-out of full-day kindergarten. In addition, Clifton received two grants from the International Institute of New Jersey to support



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School Chief Search Competition Clifton isn’t the only school district in New Jersey looking for a new superintendent. At least four others in North Jersey, including nearby Wayne, as well as several others from across the state are in the market for a school chief. Below is a comparison between Clifton and some of the other towns (K-12 districts above the line) the BOE will compete against to find the best individual to fill the position of superintendent. District Clifton K-12 Wayne K-12 Ridgewood K-12 New Milford K-12 Midland Park K-12

Supt. Salary $191,018 $190,000 $194,958 $151,602 $151,303

Carlstadt K-8 Guttenberg K-8 Demarest K-8 Kittatinny 7-12 Tinton Falls K-8 Springfield K-6

$178,950 $165,083 $150,305 $163,552 $148,589 $109,582

‘06-‘07 Enrollment 10,388 8,873 5,625 1,989 1,131 549 937 708 1,243 1,576 311

Source: the education of immigrant and refugee students: a $500,000 fouryear federal grant and a $354,000 three-year state grant. Rice is also proud of the district’s transition program. He recently attended an award ceremony at Middlesex County College for graduating senior Antoin Jones, who participated in the program. “He came from a classified, selfcontained background and was an out-of-district placement initially at the Cerebral Palsy Center,” Rice explained. “Then he moved in district into a self-contained placement and finally he moved into mainstream classes with inclusion support. It’s pretty impressive, I like to see kids move to a better place.” These are the types of experiences Rice, 44, will take with him when he officially leaves Clifton on Aug. 10 to take the superintendent’s job in Kalamazoo, Michigan—a

position that reportedly pays a minimum of $150,000 (Rice is currently making $191,018 in Clifton). He is being replaced on an interim basis by former Clifton assistant superintendent and principal Dr. Anthony G. Barbary. Rice said the move has nothing to do with any frustration he may have felt over the past five years. He grew up in Ohio and since most of his family still lives in the Midwest, Rice would like to return to the region to be closer to his relatives, who have been moving further west since he took the Clifton job. Overall, Rice said his experience in the district has been a positive one. “I think we’ve made huge strides and I feel like whatever road blocks a Council-appointed Board of Adjustment or a Council puts in our way, overwhelmingly, the schools are better than they were five years ago,” he concluded.

A History of Superintendents ––––––– Story by Jordan Schwartz –––––––– While most superintendents these days serve for the same amount of time as a senator or a two-term president, past Clifton school chiefs hung around for about as long as Supreme Court Justices or the Pope. The Clifton Public School District was established in 1914, and there have only been four superintendents during its 93 year history, each serving a shorter term than the last. The first was George Smith who served until 1951, when he was replaced by William Shershin, who held the position for 35 years before passing the reins to his assistant William Liess. In 2002, Liess left and Michael Rice was hired, becoming the first school chief without tenure. With Rice’s resignation, the BOE begins its search for the fifth individual to lead the city’s educational system. And as it does, here is a history of the previous leaders. 1914-1951 George J. Smith In 1907, Smith taught every class at CHS, which was at the time located at the corner of Clifton Ave. and First St. He worked his way up the ranks to the position of principal, and after a year, he was promoted to supervising principal before becoming superintendent. Smith also served as President of the NJ State Teachers’ Association, one of the highest honors among the teaching faculty in the state public school system. He was in charge when former Clifton Race Track property at Piaget and Main Aves. was sold to the city for school purposes and the construction of a ‘new CHS’ began in 1920, with its dedication and opening on April 14, 1926.

Smith was so beloved that the graduating class of June 1926 dedicated its yearbook, The Reflector, to him. “We have in our midst one who has achieved success,” wrote Louis W. Cross (Class of ‘26) in the yearbook. “His success has not been sensational, but has been gradual, as has been that of most successful men.” As the space needs for students grew during Smith’s tenure, a north wing, including a new gymnasium, was added to CHS in 1945. After 44 years, Smith retired in 1951. 1951-1986 William F. Shershin Shershin resigned as the director of Clifton Recreation on July 1, 1951 to become Superintendent and Smith retired two months later on Aug. 31. Like Smith, Shershin was a Clifton teacher and principal (at Schools 11 and 8) before being given the top job. His three and a half decades at the helm were defined by his effort to build more schools to accommodate Clifton’s growing population. On Sept. 26, 1953, School 14 was opened off St. Andrews Blvd. Less that two months later, a 10acre site for a Junior High School on Van Houten Ave. (now WWMS) was purchased and plans for the $1.65 million project were approved by the BOE the following June. On March 16, 1955, the Board of Education selected the Tichenor tract off Grove St. as the site for School 16. The following September, the Clifton School System converted to a 6-3-3 grade structure. Elementary schools taught up to sixth grade, middle schools housed seventh thru ninth grades and the high school began to teach grades 10 thru 12.

George J. Smith

Shershin then detailed an immediate need for a $10 million school building program at the junior-senior high school level during a special meeting of the BOE in March 1956. The superintendent outlined the need for the expansion of the facilities for almost two and a half hours, the Clifton Journal reported, but no action was taken. On April 9, Shershin proposed converting the new Woodrow Wilson Junior high school into a senior high school, the present senior high school into a junior high, constructing a new senior high school on Park Slope on what is now a part of Main Memorial Park, building new junior highs on the Robin Hood Park site and in the Rosemawr section, and erecting a new elementary school on the Quarantine site. Shershin envisioned an “Education Center” formed at Main Memorial Park through the construction of the new high school there as “one of the finest education centers in the East.” One of the features of Shershin’s program was the equality of August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


Despite Shershin’s recommendation to build two smaller high schools, the Council and BOE agreed in 1958 to construct one 3,000 student high school.

William F. Shershin

facilities that would be offered to all students. At the time, many criticized the fact that Woodrow Wilson Junior High students had the best facilities, while those at the other junior high did not. Despite the superintendent’s recommendation to build two smaller high schools, the City Council and the BOE agreed in 1958 to construct one 3,000 student high school on Colfax Ave. On April 29, 1962, the new CHS was dedicated. The old building at Piaget Ave. and Fifth St. was renamed Christopher Columbus Junior High the following Sept. Ground was broken in Aug. 1963 for an addition to School 16. Four months later, the BOE approved the demolition of School 10. In 1964, School 7 in Botany was razed and all-purpose rooms at Schools 5, 8 and 16 were dedicated. But as the children raised in the city’s new developments moved on, enrollment dropped in the following two decades. In 1983, Shershin began a reevaluation of school pro-

grams and facilities. The study called for the gradual closing of four older elementary schools. By 1985, the district had half as many students as it did in 1963. With his 70th birthday approaching, a point at which the state required school administrators to step down, Shershin announced his retirement in July 1985 and retired in Dec. 1986. Shershin, who served the district for 49 years, died on March 31, 1995 at the age of 80. The CHS Media and Technology Center is named after the late superintendent. 1986-2002 William C. Liess Liess began his career as a social studies instructor at CHS in 1959 before holding a number of administrative jobs. He served as instructional aids coordinator, curriculum consultant, education coordinator and director of secondary education before being named assistant superintendent in 1980. The Little Falls resident was appointed acting superintendent when Shershin began his sabbatical in 1985. When the 35-year school chief retired the following year, Liess officially took over. The 50year-old graduate of Montclair State College and Syracuse University started at a salary of $65,000. He entered with big shoes to fill, but Liess wasn’t about to just follow his predecessor’s agenda. His priorities included modernizing the

Liess saw the student population grow from 7,200 to 10,000. In response, he spearheaded the referendum to build School 17, which passed in 2001. 78

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

school system’s 15 buildings and improving the community’s perception of the district. Liess established a budget for capital expenditures for the first time in the district’s history. The money was used to upgrade every elementary school and put an addition on WWMS. Another one of the school chief’s greatest achievements was instituting a $7 million technology initiative. By 1991, every elementary school class had its own computer and CHS had six computer labs where wordprocessing, computer-aided drafting, secretarial and accounting skills were taught. In addition, a tech consultant position was created to assist staff with any problems they might have with the new technology. During his tenure, Liess saw the student population grow from 7,200 to 10,000. In response, he spearheaded the referendum to build School 17, which passed in 2001. Liess retired in 2002 after 43 years in the district. He currently serves on the Little Falls Municipal Council.

William C. Liess

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Birthdays & Celebrations! send us dates & names... Angelo Greco . . . . . . .8/2 Karen Lime . . . . . . . . . 8/2 Michael Urciuoli . . . . . .8/2 Kevin Ciok . . . . . . . . . .8/4 Mark W. Mikolajczyk . .8/5 Thereas Raichel . . . . . .8/5 Ed Gasior Sr . . . . . . . . .8/6 Sean McNally . . . . . . .8/6 Charlie Stek . . . . . . . . .8/6 Shirley Welch . . . . . . . .8/7 Chiara Cristantiello . . .8/9 Emily Hawrylko . . . . . .8/12 Kimberly Mozo . . . . . .8/14 Karin Feasenmyer . . .8/14 Michelle Smolt . . . . . .8/14 Yuko Angello . . . . . 8/15

Julia Gabriela Erszkowicz turned 1 on June 26.

Matt Schuller is 20 on 8/19, Justine Jensen is 18 on 8/20.

Best wishes to Peter Abbate who turned 89 on July 21. He and his wife, Helen, former Clifton residents, now live in Fairhope, AL. They look forward to celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary on Sept. 26. Congratulations!

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Nancy & Michael Ressetar celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary on 8/15.

Hailey Rose Moore was born July 9 to Dr. David & Elisa Moore. She is held by Max, who is 3 on Aug. 6.

Christopher Antal . . . .8/15 Peter Bodor . . . . . . . . .8/15 Jessica Oliva . . . . . . . .8/15 Maria Pinter . . . . . . . . .8/15 Daniel Wolfe . . . . . . . .8/15 Alexandria Veltre . . . .8/19 Matt Schuller . . . . . . . .8/19 Justine Jenson . . . . . . .8/20 Michael Melendez . . 8/20 Cara Cholewczynski .8/24 Joanne Pituch . . . . . . .8/24 Robbie Lucas . . . . . . .8/25 Eileen Gasior . . . . . . . .8/26 Cameron J. Popovski . .8/26 Adam Brandhorst . . . .8/27 Peter Fierro, Jr. . . . . . . .8/28

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Jeff Pompeo is hosting a party to celebrate the 50th birthday of all members of the Paul VI High School Class of 1975. It will be held on Sept. 15 from 1 to 8 pm at The Atlantic Club in Manasquan. Admission is free but guests are asked to bring a donation for the New Jersey Crime Victims' Law Center, a non-profit organization that provides free legal representation in the criminal justice system for victims of violent crime and their families. All donations are tax deductible. This is the organization founded in 1992 by Rich Pompelio, Esq. after his 17 year old son was murdered while coming to the aid of a young girl at a party. For more info, contact Jeff Pompeo at 908-757-7800 x 114 or School 16, 755 Grove St. celebrates its 50th anniversary this September. Anyone with pictures of the school or its students from over the years is encouraged to call Geralyn Plaskon at 201-406-7399. Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the neighborhood and people of Dutch Hill as its Residents Association hosts a milestone din-

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The Porter family and friends celebrated David’s Day on July 7 to raise money for the David Nicholas Foundation, established after David Porter (center, in the portrait) lost his battle with cancer on Aug. 25, 2006. Clockwise from top left is Alexis, Mike, Cassandra, Jennifer, Miranda and Little Mike.

ner on Oct. 18 from 6 to 10 pm at the Brownstone. For $25 tickets or to place an ad in the Souvenir Booklet, call Joan Sanford at 973-778-8337 by Sept. 18. High school students who plan to take the SAT I test this coming fall are invited to register for an SAT prep course, which will be offered at CHS. Students will be offered tips, techniques and strategies for taking the test, along with computer-assisted instruction in specific content for all three sections of the SAT I: critical reading, math and writing. Classes are available on Saturday mornings and on weekday evenings, beginning in September for courses that will prepare students for SAT I tests that will be administered on Nov. 3 and Dec. 1. Tuition is $275. For more info, visit the school district’s web site at Click on Clifton High School in the left side menu, and then click on SAT Prep Course.

CHS Head Soccer Coach Joe Vespignani is running a camp from Aug. 13 to 17. There will be three camps held for boys and girls. For high school boys, players will meet at School 2 on Van Houten Ave., from 9 am to noon. The high school girls will meet at WWMS on Van Houten Ave., at the same time. Both camps are $125. Youth co-eds, ages 3 and up, meet at School 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Cost is $90. For info, call 973-334-0207 or go online to The Clifton Fighting Mustangs Annual Car Wash is on Aug. 11 from 1 to 4 pm and Aug. 12 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Clifton Stadium parking lot. Cars are $5 and vans and trucks are $7. All football apparel including 2006 state championship merchandise will be on sale. Spread the word and come support the 2007 Clifton Fighting Mustangs. Call Steve Feliciano at 973-773-4671.

Fair Lawn Police Officer Mary Ann Collura was killed in the line of duty on April 17, 2003. In her honor, the Clifton PD is continuing the Mary Ann Collura’s Memorial Halloween Program, in which safety glow sticks and bags are given to elementary school students. The CPD will try to raise $8,500 to do the same. Checks should be made out to the CPD’s Mary Ann Collura Memorial Halloween Program and mailed to the CPD at 900 Clifton Ave., Clifton, NJ 07013. For more info, call 973-340-5151. The National Night Out Against Crime, coordinated by the CPD’s Community Policing Division, seeks sponsors to defray costs for the Aug. 7 event. The evening at Main Memorial Park features antique cars, a 50’s concert, kids games and prizes. Call 973-340-5151. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer: Janet Mozolewski has already attained 64 percent of her goal to raise $10,000 for the upcoming Avon Walk for Breast Cancer she will participate in. Over the past few months, she has walked more than 50 miles in roughly 18 hours training for the Walk. Tax-deductible donations can be made at her Avon web page: or you can donate by check payable to Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and mail it to Janet Mozolewski, 78 Scoles Avenue, Clifton, NJ 07012. The Passaic-Clifton Chapter of UNICO National will host its First Annual Benefit Beefsteak on Sept. 21 at 7 pm at the Boys & Girls Club, 822 Clifton Ave. The proceeds will benefit Nicholas and Anthony D’Agostino, twin son’s of Albert and Susan D’Agostino of Sparta (originally of Clifton). In 1991, at the age of 18 months, the twins were diag-

Rose C. Luipersbeck won a pair of Yankees tickets at the May 17 grand opening of the Modell’s in the Styertowne Shopping Center. At the game, she got a baseball autographed by former Yankee Paul O’Neill.

nosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which has confined them to Power Wheelchairs since the first grade. Now, the high top conversion van that had been made for the boys is more than twelve years old and has started to show its age. Proceeds will go towards a new van the boys could actually drive. Tickets are $40 and Brookwood will perform. Call Dave D’Arco at 973-417-0731. Clifton’s Sunday Evening Concert Series, now in its 11th season under producer Bob “Music Matador” Obser, is held each Sunday until Aug. 24. Festivities start at 6 pm; free show at 7:30 pm at the stage in Main Memorial Park on the Park Slope side. Be sure to bring lawn chairs. For a list of performances— which range from country to big band—call 973-470-5680. Clifton’s Historic Botany Village Sullivan Square concert series is on Friday nights from 6 to 9 pm, weather permitting. The free shows are at the corners of Parker and Lake Aves. until Aug 24. Call 973-857-1467.

The Theater League of Clifton presents A Grand Night for Singing, which will be performed at School 3, 365 Washington Ave., on Sept. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30. Friday and Saturday shows start at 8 pm; Sundays at 2 pm. Tickets will be sold at the door and are $15; $10 for students and seniors. Opening day special: two for the price of one. For more info, call 973-458-9579 or visit their site at Lakeview resident Greg Baron will be appearing in an indie film Consensual Injustice, a movie about the Ponce Massacre which took place in Puerto Rico on March 21, 1937. For info, go online to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 7 St. Francis Way, Passaic, hosts a four day food festival and carnival, from Aug. 9 to 12. There will be a variety of food, including traditional American, Filipino, Spanish and Italian, as well as rides and games of chance. Also, a 50/50 raffle will be drawn on Aug. 12 at 10 pm. Call 973-473-0246.

August 2007 • Clifton Merchant


Send your publicity to Clifton Merchant Magazine, 1288 Main Ave., Downtown Clifton, 07011 or via email at The Clifton Arts Center Studio/ Educational Barn is hosting workshops for children. On Aug. 20, a Dance Related Art Projects—Hand Made Crafts Workshop from 1:30 to 3:30 pm for kids ages 5-8 at the Clifton Memorial Library in the Community Room. On Aug. 22, The Art of Gardening Workshop from 10 am to noon for children ages 6-10 will be offered at the CliftonArts Center. The fee for both classes is $12 per child and includes materials. To register, call the Arts Center at 973-472-5499. Crafters Wanted! St. Andrew’s Craft Fair will be held Sept. 5-9 at 400 Mt. Prospect Ave. Interested crafters should call 973-773-4120. The North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce 24th Annual Chamber Invitational Golf Classic is on Sept. 10 at Preakness Hills Country Club in Wayne. Call 973-470-9300.

At the Rec. Dept’s Clifton Day at Jackal Stadium at Montclair State University on July 25, from left: Matthew Goehrig, William Goehrig, Paulina Edel, Courtney Carlson, Kyle Carte, Katelyn Schoelles, Olivia Rosenberg and Connie Zangara.

Glory Read, author of Everything Will Be Alright—an Alzheimer’s Memoir, hosts book signings at Watchung Booksellers, 54 Fairfield St., Montclair, on Aug. 18 at noon and on Sept. 15 at 2 pm at the Clifton Main Memorial Library on Piaget Ave. Call 973-778-2774. The Clifton Jewish Center, 18 Delaware St., welcomes Adam Goldstein as a candidate for the cantorial position. He’ll host services on Aug. 4 at 9 am.

The Clifton Jewish Center is holding a BBQ and Fun Day on Aug. 5 at noon at the YM/YWHA on Scoles Ave. RSVP by calling the Center at 973-772-3131. Adopt A Cat through Angels of Animals. Every Friday from 6 to 9 pm during Aug., volunteers from the group hold adoptions at the PETCO Store, Rt. 3 West. For more info, visit their site at or call 973-471-0622.


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CHS Class of 1962 Reunion Frederick Rembis

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They were the last class to graduate from the ‘old high school,’ now, Christopher Columbus Middle School. Clifton and our entire nation was going through extraordinary growth, and these kids lived through it. They watched a young John F. Kennedy inaugurated on a snowy January day in 1961, and were introduced to the Nuclear Age as the US and Russia faced off over the Cuban Missile Crisis. Back at home, the Fighting Mustangs, under Coach Joe Grecco, captured the PVC Championship with players such as Al Baldanza, Ron Zimmerman, Bob Havasy and Jeff Gratsky. The class includes recognizable public figures: City Engineer James Yellen and Fred Rembis, a frequent speaker at Council and Board meetings. There’s also sweethearts William Shaughnessy and Marilyn Hazinski, who wed after graduating. The class will host a 45th reunion on Nov. 24 at the Athenia Veterans Hall, from 7 to 11

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Boys & Girls Club


Beyond playing sports and hanging out in a safe environment, children who participate in summer programs at the Boys & Girls Club spend valuable time learning. Hands-on activities, education trips, reading clubs and other stimulating events make every day activities a genuine learning experience where kids have fun. The Boys & Girls Club of Clifton has been a fun safe place for community children since 1947. Their Summer Camp Clifton program has been an annual highlight for years, with daily activities such

as sports, swimming, arts and crafts, education programs and some field trips. “We are averaging about 350 kids per day here at the Club and had a record breaking registration this year with hundreds on the waiting list,” explained Executive Director Robert Foster. “I think it’s reflective of the quality of youth programs that we provide here at the Club” At Camp Clifton, participants are divided into groups according to age and each group is assigned a group leader, aide, and a counselor in training. There are eight groups,

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August 2007 • Clifton Merchant

each with about 45 campers in each: cadets, buddies, minors, majors, juniors, corporals, seniors and teens. Campers participate in programs as part of their group on a daily schedule. A staff member is in charge of each program area. Programs include color days, where each group is assigned a colored shirt. The one with the most participants is rewarded with a Thursday movie day at a local theatre. There’s also bowling days at Garden Palace Lanes, Boys & Girls Club trivia, an ice cream social and much more. Another one of the more popular features of the camp are the various field trips. “We have approximately 80 trips scheduled for the season, 75 percent of which are just straight forward fun,” Foster added. “We will go to places like Dorney Park, Bear Mountain State Park, Mountain Creek, NJPAC, as well as educational field trips like Liberty Science Center and the Museum of Natural History. We want to keep it fun and stimulating for the kids and provide them with the best summer camp experience that we can.” An upcoming highlight is the Club Summer Literacy program trip to Barnes and Noble for 85 children on Aug. 7 at 4 pm. There, campers will meet Wayne Madsen, author of The Misadventures of Inspector Mustachio. Each child will receive a free book courtesy of the author’s publisher.

You’d be excited too if it were time for recess. Above, Kindercare kids buddy-up and get ready for the playground.

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Kindercare kids take a time-out from running around on the playground at the Clifton Boys & Girls Club Summer Camp.

Events such as the ones mentioned above aren’t possible without the help of generous members of the community. “It’s donations and gifts from the community, our wonderful Board and supporters that really enable us to continue and thrive as a youth organization, said Club Director of Development Jacqueline Yorke. “It’s

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important for us to take the time to thank everyone and let them know that we appreciate their generosity and please continue to keep us in mind. It is a constant struggle to maintain our funding.” If you would like to inquire about donating to the Boys & Girls Club or how you could volunteer your time to help Clifton’s future, call 973-773-0966 x 51.

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The candidates—those who have confirmed that they will run as of July 30—include, from left: Councilman Matt Ward, who is defending his interim seat, George Silva, Joe Chidiac and Beverly Carey. The City Council Special Election is Nov. 6.

Beverly Carey, a Montclair Heights resident and ACTION Clifton representative, is among the latest to file papers for petitions to run in the City Council Special Election, which will be held on Nov.6. “I got a taste of it (public service) and felt that I want to do more,” said Carey, a sixth grade teacher in the Passaic School System. She and her husband have two grown children. “I want to protect my investment. I want to live here into my retirement, and beyond. I want to do my share to keep Clifton a community that people want to move into, raise a family in and grow old in.” Along with Carey, Joseph W. Chidiac—who garnered 3,577 votes in the May, 2006 election, finishing eleventh—and Ray Mattera, a frequent speaker at Council and BOE meetings, have “pulled petitions.”

While Chidiac said he will definitely run, Mattera stated that he was not committed to running just yet. Candidates will join Councilman Matt Ward—the interim appointment by the Council last year—and George Silva (he also ran in 2006, finishing with 3,029 votes) to see who will fill out the rest of Tony Latona’s term, which runs through the year 2010. Latona resigned in Oct., 2006, after his dual role as Clifton firefighter and Councilman was found to be a conflict. With 3,703 votes, Ward was the eighth place finisher in that May, 2006 election, which saw all seven Council seats up for election. The deadline to submit petitions— wherein candidates must collect signatures of about 400 registered Clifton voters in order to qualify—is Sept. 13. For info, call the City Clerk at 973-470-5829.

Dr. David Moore with Rae Dunkelman, who is 102 years young! Dr. Moore offers group presentations to businesses, government agencies or social clubs as a free service to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle and to communicate how chiropractic, among other factors, can help achieve this. Call us for more info or to find out about our monthly guest speakers.


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