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My Mowimy Po Polsku (Dentystka)


EXP 2-15-09


470 Clifton Ave • Clifton


EXP 2-15-09



629 Clifton Ave • Clifton 459 Chestnut St • Union


EXP 2-15-09

December Contents Coach Patterson Clifton’s new b-ball coach is given the task of rebuilding a program from the bottom up. Page 76

Pageant Finalist From the 1952 Miss America Pageant to Beverly Hills, CHS Grad Joan Kuzmich’s extraordinary life. Page 16

Hot Dog Night Event brings together high schoolers from Clifton and Passaic before the big game. Page 70

Shopping Ideas New stores and malls and neighborhood merchants help us Shop Clifton First! Page 48

Thanksgiving Marching Bands and Cheerleaders make for a great Turkey day. Clifton defeats Passaic 28-0 in the 80th meeting between the two schools. Page 66

Veterans Parade After 39 years on the job, Clifton Police Officer Edward Holster still snaps a smart salute as the colors pass in the annual Salute to Veterans Parade along Main Ave. Page 94

M Fo

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant



December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays

Greetings from the Hawrylko family. From left: Tom jr., Casey, Cheryl and Tom, Carly, Joe, and Cher’s mom, Marie Angello. Pictured at left is our hound, Bob Marley. Wow, another year almost gone. Hard to believe that we’ve raced through 12 months. There is much to be thankful for. Good health, for one, and my family, for another. Joe, 23, is in his final year at Montclair State and continues to grow here as a writer. Tommy, 21, works full time at Chem Dry and expects to be certified as a massage therapist in 2009. Casey, 18, is also at Montclair carrying a full load, working at Foodies and keeping in touch with an interesting network of friends. Carly, now a certified teenager, is in CCMS, on the honor roll and evolving as an artist. My partner in all this, Cheryl, and I are running fast. Tomahawk has kept us working independently since 1990 and we are grateful for that blessing. Taking it all in, it is, as I enjoy saying every Christmas, A Wonderful Life. We would like to thank you, readers and advertisers, for your support, and wish you the best in the New Year. 16,000 MAGAZINES are distributed to hundreds of Clifton Merchants the first Friday of every month. SUBSCRIBE PAGE 90 $16/year in Clifton $27/year out of town CALL 973-253-4400 entire contents copyright 2008 © tomahawk promotions

EDITOR & PUBLISHER Tom Hawrylko BUSINESS MANAGER Cheryl Hawrylko STAFF WRITERS: Joe Hawrylko, Jordan Schwartz Tomahawk Promotions GRAPHIC ARTIST: Rich McCoy 1288 Main Avenue CONTRIBUTORS: Downtown Clifton, NJ 07011 Gary Anolik, Rich DeLotto 973-253-4400 • December 2008 • Clifton Merchant



Insuring Happy Holidays!

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December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Miss New Jersey 2009 2002 CHS Grad has two Degrees & a Platform “I want to spread the message that real beauty is about accepting your flaws and learning how to make them work for you,” said Rodriguez. “The picture of me placed on the (Miss USA) website is airbrushed. Since I was a teenager, I struggled with acne.” Story by Joe Hawrylko


hen Kaity Rodriguez takes the stage at the 58th Annual Miss USA pageant on April 19 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, she’ll be hard to miss for a number of reasons. Standing at just 5’4”, most models tower over the 2009 Miss New Jersey winner by a good five inches. Her curved, voluptuous body is in stark contrast with the impossibly skinny look that’s featured in every fashion magazine in the checkout aisles of grocery stores. Rodriguez, crowned Miss New Jersey USA on Oct. 19, was the third African-American winner in the history of the New Jersey, and will be one of just a handful of ebony models in the big walk on April 19 next year. She also happens to be an outstanding scholar—Rodriguez received her master’s in social work from New York University in 2008 after graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of South Carolina with a degree in psychology. So much for the notion that models are anorexic and clueless. Stereotypes and hearts—Rodriguez breaks plenty of each.

Kaity Rodriguez strikes a pose at the Barnes & Noble in Clifton Commons. December 2008 • Clifton Merchant



December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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The 2002 CHS grad is proving that beauty isn’t limited to what’s found on the pages of the latest issue of Cosmo. “I want to spread the message that real beauty is about accepting your flaws and learning how to make them work for you,” said Rodriguez. “The picture of me placed on the (Miss USA) website is airbrushed. Since I was a teenager, I struggled with acne.” Since winning the title of Miss New Jersey USA on Oct. 19, Rodriguez has set out on a quest: Shatter all the stereotypes associated with beauty pageants. “While there was a lot of beautiful, tall and slim girls in the pageant, I had to say, ‘This is Kaity, this is who I am,’” she recalled. “I have to like myself for who I am. That’s why I want to redefine the standard of beauty, because there are so many different definitions.”

Realization of a Dream “I had always wanted to do it from the time I was a little girl,” recalled Rodriguez. Like so many young girls, she idolized the beautiful women that she saw in ads and fashion magazines. However, there was just one small problem: Rodriguez had no idea how to even get her foot in the door. She was just a high schooler chasing a pipe dream, and gave up. It wasn’t until Rodriguez was enrolled at the University of South Carolina that she saw an advertisement to register on the Miss New Jersey website. Suddenly, that far-fetched

Kaity Rodriguez at 7 and in the 2002 CHS yearbook.

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


In a whirlwind tour of Clifton to shoot our cover photo, Kaity wooed them: Above, at the T.G.I. Friday’s in The Promenade Shops at Clifton, from left: Fridays’ employees Carol Caroll and Debbie Beckman with guests Laurie Gazek and her sister Lisa Palmarozzo, and hostess Tina Chan. Below, with Michael Corbo in Corbo Jewler’s in Styretowne Shopping Center and here, at Historic Botany Village.

dream of being crowned pageant queen became much more realistic. But Rodriguez knew that she couldn't just enter the Miss New Jersey contest without any experience. Luckily, USC was sponsoring a small, campus-wide pageant, and she signed up. 10

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Kaity attended the former and now defunct St. Paul RC School on Main and Washington Aves. Here in 1987 is the Grade 7 class: Top, from left: Christian Santiago, Elaine Sanchez, Panitta Prasarn, Kaity Rodriguez and Paul Urena. Middle: Mrs. Diane Shagawat, Shane Biason, Karleen Jayme, David Thorton, Jamie Farley, Nicole Wells and unidentified. Seated: Marc Dulay, Megan Clarin, Kimberly Biason, Keith Reisenger and Shannon Banquecer.

“There were 10 girls in the campus pageant and 106 girls in Miss New Jersey,” recalled Rodriguez. Though she ultimately did not win, the 2002 CHS grad got her first taste of competition, and used it as a stepping stone to bigger things. “I knew what I needed to work on,” added Rodriguez. “Building confidence was part of it, and having the right coaching and what not.” Although she exudes plenty of poise now, Rodriguez wasn’t always this comfortable in her own skin. Like most teenage girls, the models featured in fashion magazines represented something Rodriguez thought she could never be.

On paper, she saw tall, slim models with perfect skin. But in the mirror, she saw a face spotted with acne, belonging to a young, developing girl who was much too short and too thick to become a pageant queen. Rodriguez was inadequate, or so she thought. The USC pageant showed that she might potentially have the beauty and brains to compete with the best in the Garden State. “When it comes to building confidence, there’s nothing better than forcing yourself to do things that are our of your element,” explained Rodriguez. To prepare, Rodriguez hired a coach to get her ready for the Miss New Jersey USA contest.

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December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


At the CHS 2002 Sports Awards, the Mustangs girls track & field team, from left: Sylvia Santelli, Lizzie Bakarich, Nermina Feratovic, Nicole Zayatz, Megan Kogit, Kaity Rodriguez and Kimberly Biason. At right, Kaity with best friend Shenay Green and CHS sociology teacher (and now Clifton Adult School director) John Lopez, who Kaity said was a key mentor.

Kaity with her dad Sam, mom Osteen, and brother, Cruise.


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

“Wardrobe, walking on the stage, the question and answer segment, confidence building, make up, hair,” she said. “They pretty much help with everything.” The support refined her natural talents and prepared Rodriguez for her biggest competition to date: Miss New Jersey, which took place on Oct. 19. “I’m a very competitive person, so my expectations were to place in the top five or win,” she said. “But I was still shocked to hear my name. You don’t think about it then, but now, it’s actually reality.” “My closest friends were so proud of me,” added Rodriguez. “I’ve been hearing from a lot of people that I haven’t talked to in years. People are contacting me on Facebook and stuff. Everyone’s just so happy to hear that this is happening to me.” But as much as being crowned Miss New Jersey is a personal achievement, Rodriguez knows that the position wields a considerable amount of power.

However, not every pageant queen has upheld those expectations. Just two years ago, the Miss New Jersey USA winner was stripped of her crown after becoming pregnant at the age of 20. There’s also been national scandals involving underage drinking and indecent photos. But that’s exactly why Rodriguez is different. Those issues don’t even surface as a concern with her. “You’re a role model, and that’s part of the reason why I decided to do it. Pageants are an excellent opportunity to be role models for young girls,” she explained. “It’s also an excellent opportunity to advance your career.” Rodriguez isn’t just saying the right thing at the right time. This is who she’s always been. Before she was ever on the Miss New Jersey radar, she was making a difference in her community. In 2007, Rodriguez founded R.O.S.E.S. (Reaching Out Supporting Every Sister), which aims to support young women between the ages of 18 and 25. “We strengthen and empower women through sisterhood, mind body and spirit,” explained Rodriguez. R.O.S.E.S. started as a small group of friends and now has grown to over 15 members. “I think that there’s a tremendous problem within the community of women. We tear each other down instead of lifting each other up,” she said. “So the vision was always larger than just my group of friends.” Faith has also played a large role in shaping Rodriguez into the woman she is today. She serves as a youth leader at her church, Agape Christian Ministry, in Paterson. “A lot of what I’ve done in psychology has to do with working with youth,” added Rodriguez.

She currently works as a youth group facilitator for the Passaic County Family Support Organization, and with the Essex County Educational Services, providing instruction for home bound students. “I think having someone concrete, literally there, speaking to you, it makes it so much more real,” explained Rodriguez. “When you have someone from your area that you may even know, it makes it real.”

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Her ultimate goal is to open a group of charter schools. “I think that there’s an achievement gap with urban school districts and their suburban counter parts,” said Rodriguez. “I want to get resources for urban youth.” Rodriguez is available for appearances at charity events and motivational speaking. Contact her at

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Our Almost Miss America Before Kaity, Joan was Clifton’s First Pageant Queen Story by Jack DeVries


ying in her hospital bed, freshman Joan Kuzmich knew she was in trouble. Visiting her was Mr. Applegate from Clifton High School. He had just told Joan’s mother Helen that, with her appendicitis and hospital stay, combined with the many school days she already missed, Joan might have to go to summer school. Her mother was confused. Yes, Joan was in the hospital for a bit, but she hadn’t missed that many days. She’d gone to school every morning and returned home each afternoon. Mr. Applegate had to be mistaken. He wasn’t. Unbeknownst to her mother, young Joan’s showbiz training was also taking place during school hours. “About six or seven times that year,” remembers Joan (Kuzmich) Nicholas, “I’d write a note from my mother excusing me from school. Then I’d catch the bus on Main Ave. to New York City to go to the clubs on Broadway and hear the big bands play. I’d go all by myself and get back in time like I’d gone to school.” Nicholas was used to going to the city. After traveling to New York to perform on radio and the stage for years, along with participating in countless auditions, she was comfortable walking the city streets alone. “I’d go to see Vaughn Monroe, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, and other bands,” she says, “and think nothing of it.” Nicholas’ mother might have been shocked but was probably not surprised her daughter felt com16

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

In 1952, Joan Kuzmich went from Clifton to the Miss America stage.

pelled to study great entertainers. Since she was age 3, Joan had been putting on shows in the family’s living room, inspired after seeing Shirley Temple on screen in a Passaic movie theater.

Recognizing her daughter’s passion for performing, Helen Kuzmich became a willing and enthusiastic supporter and her daughter’s roundthe-clock driver, to and from their Colfax Ave. home.

At Work, At Home or For An Evening Out Dancing,You Deserve

Beautiful, Comfortable Feet Autumn and winter is a painful time of year for many women. As they transition from open-toed sandals to closed-in boots and shoes, Clifton foot & ankle surgeon Thomas A. Graziano, DPM, MD, FACFAS, says he notices more women seeking relief for painful bunions. While this trend plays out most every autumn, Dr. Graziano says there are many causes but thankfully, many lasting solutions...

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“Some of my female bunion patients are in agony,” says Dr. Graziano. “They describe a constant, throbbing pain, even when they take their shoes off.” While the changing weather brings more bunion patients into his office, Graziano says some women inquire about surgery in the fall because they’re less busy than in summer months. Many are also closer to meeting their insurance deductible. Graziano emphasizes that surgery is a last-resort treatment for women with painful bunions. “For many women, simple changes like wearing shoes with wider toe boxes can significantly reduce bunion pain,” he says. “Custom shoe inserts, gel- or foamfilled padding and anti-inflammatory medications may also provide pain relief.” When the pain of a bunion interferes with a woman's daily activities, its time to discuss surgical options, according to Dr. Graziano and the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons. The College provides answers to frequently asked questions about bunion surgery on its Web site, Dr. Graziano’s office is located on the Clifton Ave. Extension and offers plenty of convenient parking. December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Her dedication would be rewarded in 1952 when Joan would participate in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City and contend for the coveted crown. And though she would wear a sash that read “Miss New York City” and use the stage name “Joan Kayne” when she walked upon the Convention Hall stage, she would always be Joan Kuzmich – former head majorette of Clifton High.

Rising Star Helen and John Kuzmich were originally from Passaic, where John owned a small electronics repair store on Market St. The family, which also included a son John Jr., moved to Clifton when Joan was in the third grade. “Clifton was very rural then,” says Nicholas, “and I don’t remember many kids living near us.” Having few playmates suited her as Nicholas’ days were filled with lessons, starting at the Ruth Cater


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

School of Dancing in Passaic. Cater had studied with Broadway and film star Eleanor Powell, known as the “Queen of Tap Dancing.” Joan also studied voice and dramatics. “I think my mother paid about 50 cents a lesson,” Nicholas says, “and $2 for a private one.” Along with lessons, there were auditions. Work followed, and Joan was soon singing on the Saturday radio program Rainbow House with future opera star Beverly Sills.

Joan Kuzmich at age 4 and at left, her mom Helen, in her later years.

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“I also vaguely recall being on a TV show that was in the testing phase,” she says, “Though I can’t remember its name. I do remember having to wear blue lipstick.” After the sixth grade, Nicholas left school in Clifton and began attending the Lodge Private Tutoring School in Manhattan. Though she was able to concentrate more on her performing skills, she missed the seventh grade (the school only had an eighth grade class). When she returned to Clifton to enter her freshman year of high school, she had fallen behind her classmates academically. “School was never easy for me,” she says. “With all I was doing, it was hard to keep up.” During her time at Clifton High, Nicholas’s life became more hectic. She continued to perform in and around New York, including in summer stock productions. At CHS, she became the head majorette and was part of the band’s performances during Mustangs football games. “I loved watching the games then,” she laughs, “but wouldn’t know the first thing about football today.” Says classmate Lou Poles: “My father was Joan’s orthodontist, and that’s how I first met her. Joan had it all – she was so talented. And no matter how successful she became, she never changed. She was nice to everyone. “Years later,” he continues, “we’d go to New York and see her perform and she was still the same person we knew in high school.”

The 1952 Miss New York City Joan Kayne being crowned by Mayor Vincent Richard Impellitteri. At right, Joan in 1955.

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December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

After graduating from Clifton High, Nicholas continued her career, becoming a dancer at the famed Copacabana nightclub in New York City, modeling, and studying acting with famed coach Lee Strasberg. And through it all, her mother kept making the drive to bring her daughter home safely each night. “At 2 am,” says Nicholas, “I’d come out of the Copa and my mom would be waiting.”

At 16, Nicholas attained the dream of countless girls throughout America: becoming one of 36 Rockettes dancing on stage at Radio City Music Hall. For her seven-day-a-week performance schedule, she earned $47.92 a week. “My father would give me $10 of my pay,” she laughs, “and a paid bus ticket for the week.” Nicholas says being a Rockette was great training. “We were so disciplined,” she says, “practice all the time. Between shows, we’d be working on the routines for next week. “You also had to be absolutely exact – your costume, the way you danced – they watched you all the time. If your arm was three inches higher than the other girls on a step, they’d let you know.” Classmate Jack Celentano remembers, “It was like going to school with a star. She was a big deal, a standout and well-liked by everyone.” “On the night of my prom,” Nicholas says, “I was performing at Bill Miller’s Rivera. I went to the club (in Fort Lee, N.J.) after the prom, performed, changed back into my prom gown and joined my classmates (including date Ron Plaza) in the audience.”

Boardwalk Bound Nicholas’ career would get an unexpected boost in 1950 when she caught the eye of Grace Downs, who ran a modeling school in New York City. Downs thought Joan would be an ideal contestant for the Miss America pageant. But instead of competing as Miss New Jersey, Downs believed Nicholas would gain prestige by competing as “Miss New York City,” a title she won by beating out 265 of the Big Apple’s most talented and beautiful girls. “I began living in a ‘girls club,’ a four-story building that Grace Downs owned near the Plaza Hotel,” recalls Nicholas about how she established city residence. Downs also helped her train for the competition by having her live at her country estate near Wykcoff where Nicholas ran and exercised. The New York World-Telegram reported, “Girl Trains Like a Fighter to be a Beauty.”

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December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

The Miss America competition was held during a five-day period in September 1952 in Atlantic City. Marilyn Monroe made her only Miss America appearance as the opening parade’s grand marshal, and crowds of up to 15,000 packed the Atlantic City Convention Hall to watch the competition. “Up to that point, Convention Hall was the biggest place I’d ever seen,” recalls Nicholas. During the competition, Nicholas made Clifton proud. She won the talent award for her dance performance to the song “Dancing in the Dark” and was selected as one of the final 10 contestants. “I did my best and did well,” she says, “but remember perspiring big pearls on stage.” The final five contestants would be interviewed on stage by the judges – a prospect that terrified Nicholas. Though most believed she would be selected as a finalist, when the judges announced their decision, Nicholas was not among them, missing out by a fraction of a point. “My sponsor and mother were upset,” she laughs, “but I was secretly relieved – that meant no questions on stage. I learned later from one of the finalists that one of the judges had a relationship with another finalist, which she told me was the reason I wasn’t selected.” Newspapers wrote the judges felt Nicholas was “too professional” in her performance. Neva Jane Langley, representing Georgia, was ultimately crowned Miss America 1953.



That’s Joan, second from left, in Some Like It Hot.

Throughout the contest, Nicholas’s good showing generated gossip column news. The mother of Shirley Talbott, the Miss New York City runner-up, wrote to columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, alleging Joan never actually lived in Manhattan.

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Columnist Walter Winchell picked up the story but later reported Talbott was actually from Washington D.C., ending any controversy.

What’s Most Important After her appearance in the Miss America pageant, Nicholas’ showbiz career continued. She became part of the famous June Taylor Dancers, featured on TV’s The Jackie Gleason Show. Gleason said of all the dancers, Nicholas had “the best legs on the show.” Her legs were often tired, as the June Taylor Dancers would rehearse eight hours each day and were given just a five-minute rest each hour. “When we’d get our break,” says Nicholas, “and we’d lie down and put our feet up against the wall to get some relief.” After a season on the Gleason show (leading to an appearance on the cover of Life magazine), Nicolas toured in her own dance act, billed as “America’s Personality Dancer.” Along with performing across the U.S., she danced abroad, appearing in England, Scotland and Ireland. In addition, she was seen on The Milton Berle Show and as a solo performer on The Kate Smith Show. Nicholas also appeared on Robert Montgomery Presents in a dramatic role, and made one film appearance in Some Like it Hot, starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe.


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Above, Joan at age 15, teaching a dance lesson, as a CHS Majorette, and on facing page, a recent photo of Joan (Kuzmich) Nicholas.


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After 1956, Nicholas moved to California. She continued to dance and thought of becoming a full time actress. However, she was not prepared to make the sacrifices a film career demanded. “To be a successful actress,” she remembers, “you had to be a lot more aggressive than I was. In the end, all I wanted to do was dance. I also knew that while I loved performing, there was more to life – marriage and family especially.” With fewer opportunities for West Coast dancers, Nicholas took a job at Ben Blue’s famous nightclub. There, she met her first husband, Blue’s manager Sidney Fields, and the couple had three daughters, Rebecca, Joanna, and Judith. After her divorce, Nicholas married her husband Fred, a prominent attorney and land developer. Together for the past 35 years and living in Beverly Hills, the couple has 10 grandchildren between them. When told about Clifton’s Kaity Rodriquez following in pageant footsteps more than a half-century later, Nicholas offered this advice: “Be proud, be confident but remember that it’s not the most important event in your life. It’s an experience to remember.”

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Story by Joe Hawrylko

Keeping Traditions, Celebrating Family, Eating Well For the Putignanos, the annual Christmas Eve gathering resembles a stereotypical Italian family feast. There’s old school Italian traditions, strong family bonds, lots of loud conversation and, of course, enough food to feed a small army. For the past 24 years, Rosalia Putignano Cannarozzi has opened the doors of her Botany Village home to her expansive family. This year, the Mahar Ave. resident expects to wine and dine 43 guests with mountainous portions of seafood, vegetables and pasta. It’s a task that would make even Emeril Lagasse’s head spin. But unlike the famous TV chef, Cannarozzi’s services are performed non gratis—love and appreciation from her family is payment enough. 26

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

After all, Cannarozzi is fulfilling a pact that she made with her mother, Enza, who passed on Dec. 13, 1984. “It was about a week before she died,” recalled Cannarozzi, who still retains the thick Italian accent

Enza Putignano

she brought over as a 17-year-old immigrant. “She knew she was going. She said you have to do this for the family—no crying.” With just 11 days until the feast, there was no room for error. It was the first Christmas dinner without Enza since 1963. Are the recipes right? Where to get the fresh fish? How much pasta is needed? Is everything perfect, just like Mom wanted? There wasn’t even time to mourn. “So I just cried at midnight,” laughed Cannarozzi. “But I did it. Physically, mentally, emotionally, you name it.” Sometimes good food and family is all you need to get over that rough patch in life. Slightly more subdued than in the past, the Putignanos celebrated Enza’s life, a

tradition that still continues with the annual toast to the ones who started it all: Enza and Gaetano. “We’ve been toasting to them each year,” explained Cannarozzi. “Thanking them for what they gave us: a tradition to live on, to pass down to the children.”

Just Like Mom Wanted It Twenty-four years have passed since Enza’s death, but dinner itself—traditionally known as the Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes—is just the same as the first one. Even the homestead on Mahar Ave., remains unchanged. “This is the house. We came here 50 years ago and this is my parents house,” said Cannarozzi, who lived with her parents for most of her life. “We went to Sacred Heart School and my mother would make homemade pizza. Everyone would come over.” The only difference between this dinner and the original in 1963 is the amount of seats at the table.

The Putignano family in an undated photo. From left, Rosalie Cannarozzi (also on facing page), Angelo, Aldo, Theresa Fulco, Gaetano, Rudy and Tina Callahan.

By Cannarozzi’s count, the original 12—mom, dad, their six children and spouses—has grown to a total of 43 family members. To accommodate that many people, furniture is moved to form two 16-foot tables that run parallel to each other in the basement of her home.

But before the tables are ever moved, there’s plenty of shopping to do. “I start shopping in November. Progressively. I will buy soda and non perishables now,” explained Cannarozzi. “We make a very thin linguini pasta and cook six to seven pounds of that,

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


and if I go in December, I can’t find it, because everyone else wants it.” Vegetables and fresh fish, which make up the appetizers before the big pasta dishes, are the last ingredients to be purchased. Eggplant, stuffed peppers, calamari, shrimp, stuffed clams, mussels, grilled veggies, tomatoes, bruscetta—hungry yet?

“It’s like going on a cruise,” laughed Cannarozzi, noting that, in accordance with tradition, there’s no meat served. “My signature dish, that they don’t have anywhere in a restaurant, is eggplant croquette,” she said over the phone while preparing biscotti for some guests. “My mom

The tradition of Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle. The children, led by the youngest Putignano, who carry the baby Jesus to the precepio. In 1982, that’s Danielle Fulco and Michael Putignano.

Gaetano Putignano , who passed away in September of 2000, displays his precepio at the Mahar Ave. home in an undated photo.

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December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


I fry my fish, I do it with flour—no eggs. Everything is customized recipes based in the old country, nothing like when you go to a restaurant. Nothing is done in the quick and modern way.” The tantalizing foods are served upstairs on the first floor during cocktail hour, as family members catch up with each other. Sometime after 9 pm, after the appetizers have been digested Cannarozzi will call everyone down into the basement, the traditional setting for the feast. “My youngest daughter, Enza, has a schematic of the ways the tables are set,” laughed the mother of two. “She’s writing a journal to keep it all. She also knows all my recipes.”

Toast to the Ancestors

At left, Angelo Crudele conducting the 21 days of Christmas and above from left, Theresa Fulco, Angelo Crudele, Tina Callahan, Aldo Putignano, Rosalie Cannarozzi and Rudy Putignano.

The feast begins with the toast to Enza and Gaetano and then it’s time to mangia. Pounds of pasta. Succulent lobster sauce. Good wine and better dialogue. Where do you even start? “There’s 10 conversations going on at the same time,” recalled Cannarozzi. “It gets noisy. There’s lots of laughing. Open another bottle of wine. This is what we do— it’s how it is.” Besides going to get seconds or grabbing something to drink, the only acceptable interruption to table conversation is the annual call from Angelo, Cannarozzi’s brother, who now lives in Texas. “At about 9:30 pm, he calls, because he wants to be a part of it,” she said. “The phone goes up and down both tables.” Dinner lasts as long as it takes to fill the stomach of each guest, and even then, the evening is far from over. Afterwards, there’s Christmas singing, led by Aldo Putignano on the rickety old basement piano and maestro Angelo Crudele.

the precepio, a large, traditional display that depicts the nativity. Just like everything else about the Christmas Eve celebration, the precepio is prepared by Cannarozzi, who carried over the tradition that her parents started. “They made sure that it was all imprinted in our heads,” she explained. After the baby Jesus is put in his proper place, it’s finally time for gift giving. The children shred through the wrapping paper, while the adults, much more subdued due to full stomachs, quietly sip on espresso and enjoy baked goods and dessert—the only outside foods allowed in the home. It’s a familiar scene, one that’s been repeated for 45 years. But it will never get old to Cannarozzi. “It’s fun. I feel honored that they think so much of it,” she laughed. “No body says where are you going for Christmas Eve in the family. They all come here. They know this—it’s the rules.”


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

One of the highlights is the 21 Days of Christmas—these true lovers give various pastas and Italian desserts, to no surprise. While that’s fun in nature, the singing of Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle is firmly rooted in the old country. For this tradition, the children start upstairs, and then come down the stairs in a procession, led by the youngest Putignano, who carries the figure of the baby Jesus. The lead child places Jesus in the manger, which is surrounded by

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eady to relax, enjoy and socialize?

Try hookah—and to learn how to partake of this time honored Middle Eastern tradition, visit Hookah Paradise in Downtown Clifton. Owner Simon Sheik is there 7 days a week and can serve as a guide to get you and your friends smoking. While the store is not a smoking lounge, Simon offers for sale hundreds of ornate pipes, many options on flavored tobacco and dozens of other accessories and items anyone will need to get smoking

So how do you hookah? First, don’t rush it— a smoking session lasts somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes. After preparing a clean hookah with cold water, selecting a flavorful tobacco for the bowl, lighting and adding the charcoal, the aromatic hookah smoke is drawn bubbling through the water. For more on hookah and why it may just make a great gift this holiday season, visit the website, stop down the store or give a call. Simon would be happy to guide you on getting started.

expires 12/24/08 December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Helping our


Story by Joe Hawrylko

The Homeless Bus, pictured above at St. Peter’s Church in New York City, serves as many as 100 people per night. On the facing page, Mark Landgrebe Jr., 8, helps hand out burgers at one stop.

It’s become a Saturday night ritual, in practice for over 17 years. Around 8:30 pm, while most people are heading into New York City to hit the bars, Tony DenUyl, Aldo Alzapiedi and Mark Landgrebe are preparing to donate food, drinks and clothing to the City’s homeless. On Nov. 15, the rendezvous point is the parking lot outside of DenUyl’s Broad St. law office. A light drizzle rains down, as the trio loads their small, white bus, with the company website,, printed on the side. Sure, the weather tonight isn’t exactly ideal. But Landgrebe knows that if they don’t go, it means there’s going to be someone spending yet another night on a cold, damp sidewalk, trying to sleep with an empty stomach. 32

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

“We’ve been out there in blizzards, too,” he says. It was Landgrebe who purchased the bus with $15,000 of his own money in 2003. “After the big blizzard of ‘96, they shut down the City and we still went. We were one of the only vehicles on the road.” The interior has been remodeled, with most of the seating removed in favor of shelving. The bus is fully stocked with purchased or collected goods—bags of various articles of clothing, a dozen boxes of doughnuts, 120 McDonald cheeseburgers and 100 bottles of water. “99 bottles, ‘cause I drunk one!” yells Mark Jr., Landgrebe’s 8-yearold son, who has been tagging along since he was was just four. In total, the Homeless Bus has made over 600 trips into the City.

Depending on the weather and the amount of resources they have, the bus serves an average of 50 people, and sometimes as many as 100. As he merges onto Route 3 East, Landgrebe recalls how the Homeless Bus has evolved from its humble roots, starting in the trunk of his car. “In the very beginning, Tony had his mom help. We first started out cutting up turkeys,” he laughs. “We did it out of our own pockets for so many years.” “I used to have my secretaries making sandwiches on Friday

night,” injects DenUyl from the back of the bus. Landgrebe first got involved with helping the City’s homeless after attending a seminar in Hawaii. When he returned, he joined a group of philanthropists, who would feed people on Madison Ave. during the winter holiday season.

Two years later in 1994, Landgrebe teamed up with his uncle, Alzapiedi. A few years later, DenUyl, who shared an office with Alzapiedi, joined the crew and the operation expanded. “We wanted to do it on our own, because there’s no salary. It’s all out of our own pockets,” explains Landgrebe. He claims that only a small portion of donations to nonprofit organizations reach their intended parties. That’s why he and the other guys get out and do it themselves. “We have people that we’re still feeding that have been here since 1992,” adds DenUyl, as the bus exits the Lincoln Tunnel. Including the drive in and out of the City, the Homeless Bus spends about two to three hours in service on Saturday nights. The real work is in the preparation. A great deal of the goods are purchased out of pocket while some donations are picked up at local stores.

“Foodies gives us pastries and doughnuts. Hot Bagel helps out as well,” says DenUyl, making sure to acknowledge the generosity of local merchants. “Saveway Cleaners gives us waterproof laundry bags.” Keeping true to the original route, the bus stays in the vicinity of Madison Ave., hitting several large homeless communities. On the way there, Mark Jr. spots a man in disheveled clothing, clutching a shopping cart full of his belongings, taking shelter from the rain under the corner of a building. “Hey, you want a burger buddy?” shouts DenUyl, who doesn’t wait for a reply and heads over with a burger, donut and water. “It’s what we call a full course meal,” he laughs as he boards the bus once again. “People, for the most part, will only take what they can eat. And 99 percent of them will say yes if we ask if they want anything. I wish I had that kind of success with customers.”

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Landgrebe continues along the route, making a few detours for stragglers, before hitting the biggest stop of the night at St. Peter’s Church at East 54th St. and Lexington Ave. What starts out as a cluster of less than 10 people rapidly begins to grow, as word of the bus’ arrival spreads amongst the homeless in the area. “That’s the hamburger guy, he always comes here,” says a homeless man, who asks to remain anonymous. He grabs some new, plus-sized clothes, which he plans to throw under his worn and tattered jacket for added warmth.


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

“God bless guys!” he yells, as he goes to enjoy his food with some friends on the corner. The crowd has grown to more than 30 people, and now everyone on board is busy helping out. Landgrebe and his son man the bus, passing out food and clothing through the side windows. DenUyl works the crowd, handing out burgers and doughnuts, talking to people that he recognizes. Alzapiedi, quiet for most of the night, emerges from the bus in the form of his alter ego, Human Resources. The name was bestowed upon him by Landgrebe and DenUyl, since Alzapiedi can strike up a conversation with just about anyone. “Who’d you vote for?” asks one homeless man, who takes a bite of his burger before announcing to Human Resources that he was a supporter of Senator John McCain. The bus has been parked for almost 30 minutes already, and there’s still people shuffling up to the windows. Though the relief is temporary, the effect is immediate. The lonesome, depressed expressions that were once painted on the faces in the crowd have been replaced with jubilant smiles. For just a brief moment, it’s easy to forget that, once the bus leaves for the next destination, each person here will once again be on their own, just hoping to find some food and a warm place to spend the night.

“There has always been somebody here at this spot,” says Alzapiedi, as he hops back on the bus to grab a pair of socks, a rare and valuable commodity in the homeless community. Aldo points out a granite promenade further down East 54th St., where a small crowd has gathered. A few soggy cardboard boxes are propped against the wall, offering a little shelter from the unrelenting rain. Immediately to the right is a large window, which looks down into St. Peter’s Church, where an evening mass is currently in progress. It’s almost like a cruel joke—all that separates these people from the comforting warmth inside is just a thin plane of glass. Yet, this is where they will spend the night. “I was handing out burgers over there, and this one guy was just barely able to stick his hand out of the box,” says DenUyl, clearly bothered by the depressing scene. But not everyone seems to share his compassion. There’s plenty of people out, but only four who are helping out the less fortunate. It’s about 10 pm now in the City’s Upper East Side, prime time to hit the region’s upscale bars. Three young women walk down East 54th St., eyes fixed straight ahead, attempting to ignore the scene around them. Other people meander through the crowd of homeless people that have congregated on the corner, curious as to what is going on.

No one gets passed by the bus. Mark Landgrebe makes sure this man has gloves, socks and food for the night.

“We have all these social issues right under our nose,” says Landgrebe, as he starts to bus and gets ready to head to the final stop. “Very few people are heading out on a Saturday night to help out homeless people.” Once everyone is on board, Landgrebe gives one final wave before heading down East 54th St.

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


From left, Mark Landgrebe, Mark Jr. and Tony DenUyl.

Soon, the bus rolls up in front of the 5th Ave. Presbyterian Church, where two sleeping men are sharing some blankets on the steps. The sound of the bus idling in front of the two men wakes them from their slumber. On their faces are expressions of disbelief—warm food and clothes are being brought to them by total strangers. “Yeah, man, I’ll take a burger,” shouts a sickly-looking bald man, who is reluctant to ruin his socks by running up to the bus in the rain. But Mark Jr. springs to action, and runs over food and clothing.


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

“Thanks a lot little guy!” he yells, eagerly shredding through the McDonalds wrapping to get to the warm burger inside. Mark Jr. hops back on the bus to ferry over some water and clothing as well. The commotion attracts more homeless people from the opposite side of the church, where more people have set up temporary camp on the steps. About 15 come to the bus this time, and the remaining goods are split up. And with that, the shelves are bare once again. In total, close to 100 people benefited from the Homeless Bus this

Want to help the Homeless Bus crew? While donations made payable to The Homeless Bus are always welcomed, Tony DenUyl also asks readers to contribute cold weather items such as gloves, socks, pants, coats and insulated clothing. For more information or to make a contribution, go to or call DenUyl at 973-473-2772. Deliver new or gently used and clean items at Foodies Cafe in Richfield Shopping Center or at Clifton Merchant Magazine, Tomahawk Promotions, 1288 Main Ave., Clifton. evening—an especially high number, considering the weather. On the other side of the church, DenUyl has run into some members of Midnight Run, a large organization that also feeds and clothes the City’s homeless. They express their admiration to the Homeless Bus crew and then continue on with to their own event down the block. Landgrebe says that expanding the program to reach more people is the future. “It’s exciting times, because we’re going to take it to the next level,” said Landgrebe. “We’ve been doing it so long, and most people fade out.” will soon become a 501-c non-profit group, allowing them to accept more donations. However, true to their roots, the only change will be the amount of goods that they can supply. Landgrebe, Alzapiedi and DenUyl will still be in the city every Saturday, personally handing out each burger, each donut, each pair of socks. “The beauty,” laughs DenUyl, “is the simplicity of it.”

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


The Clifton High School Madrigal Singers will be making appearances throughout the city during the holiday season with tree lighting ceremonies in Lakeview, Athenia, Botany Village, Clifton Center and City Hall. On Dec. 5, they will perform at the Hamilton House Museum as part of the annual candlelight tour. In addition they will be singing for various civic groups, St. Mary’s Hospital and some of the elementary schools in town. Their winter concert is scheduled for 7:30 pm on Dec. 12 in the auditorium at CHS. And on Dec. 21 at 2 pm, they perform at Lambert Castle on Valley Rd. On Feb. 12, the Madrigals will depart from Newark Penn Station and travel by train to Orlando, Florida where they will perform at Walt Disney World and also participate in a special workshop there on Valentine’s Day. The following day, both the Concert Choir and the Madrigal

Singers will be performing at Downtown Disney on the Dock Stage. They applied for this honor in June and were accepted in August for the February performance. As soon as school started, they began fund raising for this trip. The students have sold a variety of products from cookie dough to holiday wreaths and welcome any donations to help defray the cost of this trip. Checks made out to CHS Concert Choir should be sent to the high school at 333 Colfax Ave. marked for the choir c/o the PTSA. For details call 973-470-2320. In all, 76 students will be traveling to Orlando for the musical experience of a lifetime. The Madrigal Singers are directed by Barbara Novak and student director Ami Nydam. Others include John Almiranez, Darryl Baniaga, Terrianne Barrett, Brian Bender, Raven Bryant, Jennifer Burkhardt, Yessaret Cardenas, Kathy Chui, Christine Diaz, Jeanette Fabre, Kurt

Irizarry, Kelvin Knudtamarn, Vlada Koleva, Beata Gabriella Koziol, Jose Lamarque, Jenna Liberti, Danielle Maglente, Sara Malgieri, Mi Sook Mendonca, Tiffany Ojeda, Cassandra Porter, Michael Purdy, Jennifer Reyes-Vega, Sarah Robertson, Jennie Sekanics, Bhavin Shah, Louie Torres, Victoria Waumans, Jake Wilson, Matt Wilson, Elisa Woo, MaryKate Wrigley and Amanda Zaccone. When writing your Christmas cards this year, take one and send it to A Recovering American Soldier, c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Ave., Washington, D.C. 20307-5001. NJ District IV of UNICO National, in conjunction with Nina Corradino of Nina’s Salon on Valley Rd., hosted UNICO’s 32nd Annual Christmas Party to benefit the clients of the North Jersey Developmental Center of Totowa. For more info, call Joe Agresti at 201-874-0546 or Nina Corradino at 973-278-0356.

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December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

The 2008-2009 Clifton High School


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Students in the 8th grade enriched art homerooms of Dorothy Luto and Jeff Labriola at CCMS created pen and ink drawings of various animals and landscapes which were compiled into two different calendars. The money raised from the sale fund the art homeroom program—specifically its annual trip to the Metropolitan Museum and a Broadway show on May 13. For the past six years, Richard Mariso, a parent of a former art student, has generously scanned, printed, collated and delivered the calendars at no expense. Students will be selling the calendars for $10 each, so make sure to pick one up. Call CCMS at 973-470-2360.


These CCMS students drew the landscapes seen on this page. Front, from left, Anne Zhang, Ahram Jeong, Shivani Rana, Victoria Byra, Aslihan Savas and Christina Sotelo. Back: Anton Uri, Lina Pavlovska, Ashna Bhatia, Emilia Wozniak, Koeun Lee, Darren Malysa. Not pictured: Gregory Gwyn and Filip Lech.

Darren Malysa (Africa)

Emilia Wozniak (Poland)

Filip Lech (Russia)

Gregory Gwyn (USA)

Koeun Lee (Japan)

Lina Pavlovska (Ukraine)

Shivani Rana (Egypt)

Ahram Jeong (South Korea)

Ashna Bhatia (India)

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Carly Hawrylko

These CCMS students drew the animal pictures seen on this page. Front, from left, Kaya Hall, Simone Stilley, Destiny Macias,Madison Molner, Paola Perez and Jasmin Vega. Back: Tim Laux, Szymon Kutyla, Bella Bulsara, Adit Desai, Karol Oldziej, Carly Hawrylko, Mark Surgent, Vina Tailor and Matthew Cherico.

Karol Oldziej

Kaya Hall

Madison Molner

Mark Surgent

Matthew Cherico

Paola Perez

Simone Stilley

Szymon Kutyla

Timothy Laux

Vina Tailor August 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Police Unity Tour: Plans are already underway for next year’s Police Unity Tour, which is scheduled for May 9-12. To contribute, make checks to Police Unity Tour and mail it c/o Clifton Merchant Magazine, 1288 Main Ave., Clifton, NJ 07011 or call 973-253-4400. For the 11th year in a row, Clifton firefighters are participating in the Marine Toys-For-Tots program. A new, unwrapped toy can be dropped off at any of the six firehouses within the city until Dec. 12. The Chiropractic Center at Styertowne is running a Toys-ForTots campaign through Dec. 15 at its offices at 501 Allwood Rd. All new practice family members may give one or more toys and receive a free exam, consultation and up to two x-rays (if necessary)—a $220 value. Give three or more toys and receive a free exam, consultation, xrays (if necessary) and one adjustment—a $305 value. For more information, call 973-777-6995.

Clifton Police, along with departments from Passaic and William Paterson University hosted a Police Unity Tour 5K run at Garret Mountain on Nov. 15. From left, Clifton police officer Brian Fopma, Councilman Matt Ward, officer Derek Fogg and WPU officer and Tour organizer Ellen DeSimone.

Orthodontist Dr. Barry Raphael is collecting food and funds for local pantries. His office is at 642 Broad St. Call 973-778-4222. Weichert Realtors is collecting toys for foster children, ages 0-15. Drop off new, unwrapped toys at 791 Passaic Ave.. Call 973-779-1900.

Clifton firefighters, standing from left, Todd Healy, Craig Hopkins and Rich DeLotto. In front is John Sinke. The CFD’s Toys-For-Tots program is in its 11th year and toys can be dropped off at any of the six firehouses until Dec. 12. 42

August 2008 • Clifton Merchant

On Nov. 16 and 17, 60 Paramus Catholic students experienced what it was like to be homeless through a project known as Tent/Box City. The teens participated in service projects, reflected on homelessness issues and slept on the softball field in cardboard boxes. The activity also kickoff to the school’s Thanksgiving food drive to benefit local food pantries and the Center for Food Action of NJ. The American Red Cross’s “Holiday Mail for Heroes” campaign receives and distributes holiday cards to service members and veterans both in the US and abroad. Holiday Mail for Heroes, which began on Veteran’s Day, will expand its reach to not only wounded service members, but also veterans and their families. Send cards to Holiday Mail for Heroes, PO Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456. To donate phone cards or gift cards, go to and click on “Help Our Troops Call Home.” To send care packages should go online to and click under “Homefront Groups” to find out how to send them.

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Our Expert Technicians have the Training and Equipment to Properly Diagnose Your Vehicle August 2008 • Clifton Merchant


The RAH! Rockers Against Hunger Benefit Show for St. Peter’s Haven food pantry was Nov. 14 at Johnny’s Bar & Grill. Craig DeBari & the Usual Suspects, Sidebar, Maureen Hall & Mojo Workin’ and VSB rocked from 7:30 to 11:30 pm.. There was also a special guest appearance by North Jersey blues harp master Carlos Colina, who sat in with VSB. At the end of the day, $2,500 was raised for the pantry. Of course, their need does not stop here. To support the Haven, visit their website at The address is St. Peter’s Haven, 380 Clifton Ave., Clifton NJ 07011 or call them at 973-546-3406. Full Time Maintenance Help needed for Clifton Garden Apartments: Painting, landscaping, cleaning and General on site Maintenance work. Monday through Friday and One Saturday a month. Please email resume with Salary requirements to

From left, VSB’s Glenn Govier, show organizer John Muller, St. Peter’s Haven board member and event co-organizer Bob Massiello, Haven executive director Marsha Hook, Clifton Commons Applebee’s manager Tom McDonnell, Mike Ferry of Brooklyn Brewery and Provident Bank comptroller George Daily at the RAH! Rockers Against Hunger Benefit Show on Nov. 14.

Spencer Savings Bank, headquartered in Elmwood Park and with two locations in Clifton—one on Van Houten and another on Route 46— provided 11 Thanksgiving baskets and 13 bags of food to St. Peter’s Haven Food Pantry. The

goal of the bank’s food drive was to collect canned goods and non-perishable food items to benefit families in need for the holiday season. This is the second year that Spencer Savings has collected for this organization with a holiday food drive.

Thanks Neighbors & Clients, from the Genardi family! Ava Nicole Gia Camille & Bianca Eda... behind the wheel!!!

Warm Thoughts, Happy Holidays!

C. Genardi


August 2008 • Clifton Merchant

August 2008 • Clifton Merchant



December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Donations are already being accepted for the 2009 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Cliftonite Janet Mozolewski and her team of 25 women raised $67,500 at this year’s walk in October. Eleven of those team members were Clifton residents. Along with Mozolewski, were Eva Egger, Lynn Franco, Betsy Klos, Cara Rowe, Bobbie Madrigal, Lisa Lorenzo, Ginny Lataro, Denise Passenti, Cathy Rinzler and Sue Yedwab. The team, Loretta’s Ladies, came in seventh place among the biggest fundraisers. Anyone wanting to join or donate should call 973-919-9149.

Loretta’s Ladies raised $67,500 for breast cancer research in October. Clifton team members, from left, Lisa Lorenzo, Janet Mozolewski, Ginny Lataro, Bobbie Madrigal, Eva Egger and Lynn France.

John DeGraaf reviewing the list of medicine his group brought to a Honduran clinic with a Passionist priest and the administrator of a clinic in the Central American republic.

Washington Ave. resident John DeGraaf has been fighting poverty since 1997 as the director of development for the Passionist Missionaries. He just returned from a trip to Jamaica where he helped feed, clothe and educate the poor. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas or not, everyday is a day of survival for them,” DeGraaf said. To support the Passionist Missionaries, call DeGraaf at 888-8066606 or e-mail

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


With new malls on Route 3, unique stores in old neighborhoods and the established retailers you’ve known for years, it’s easier than ever to Shop Clifton First. For several years now, we’ve been preaching the holiday mantra of Shop Clifton First. With the given economic hardships, it makes even more sense to try and spend locally. When we shop in town and support our Clifton Merchants, we’re really helping ourselves. From Lakeview and Botany to Styertowne and Clifton Commons, the success of stores in our various business districts helps keep our community strong and vibrant. That said, meet some Clifton Merchants... 48

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

From left, models at Clifton Trends on Main Ave., and at center, sterling and stone neckless and earings from Wheels on Van Houten Ave. Above, left, BMX bikers Kyle Kocsis and Paul Rogers at Allwood Bicycles on Market St., Matias Vilches plays an arcade game at Digital Press Video Games on Piaget Ave. and at right, BlackFlag Shoppe on Lakeview Ave. sells skateboards and clothing.

Wachovia AMC Theaters (973) 249-2332 (973) 614-0966 Barnes & Noble Stop N' Shop Supermarket (973) 779-5500 (973) 779-6697 Party City Staples (973) 614-9080 (973) 594-9701 Sports Authority Blockbuster (973) 473-5222 (973) 594-0500 Chevy's Hallmark (973) 777-6277 (973) 574-7755 Applebee's Clifton Bagel (973) 471-6161 (973) 779-2900 Target Boiling Springs Savings Bank (973) 330-0002 (973) 365-6000 Walter Bauman Jewelry Johnny Carino’s Country Italian (973) 574-7555 (973) 662-0085 The Shannon Rose Irish Pub (973) 284-0200 December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


––– Allwood Bikes –––

From traditional foods to Christmas Tree candy decorations, we have it all!

Pork - Beef & Meat Products • Home Styled Smoked Sausage • Salami & All Kinds of Cold Cuts • Holiday Hams& Traditional Foods • Hungarian Delicacies • Spices & European Sweets •

We all remember the days of sitting on Santa’s lap and asking for a new bike—at Allwood Bikes on Market St, with hundreds of cycles ready to roll—that wish can come true. Their inventory is awesome and they’ll help you get the right bike and helmet. For instance, you do not want a road bike if the rider is going to be driving in the dirt. They have a nice selection of higher-quality bikes, built to last. Remember, there’s much more involved in a bicycle purchase than the paint job and a bargain basement price. Bicycles are vehicles that can travel at high speeds, so buy quality materials, assembled by a real bicycle mechanic, and then adjusted by a professional to fit the rider’s body. And don’t forget the helmet.

–– Clifton SkateZone ––– Skateboarders can safely and legally ollie and grind with a gift membership at SkateZone, a well-outfitted city-owned skate park in Dutch Hill. Basic annual membership begins at $30. Call the Clifton Rec Dept. at 973-470-5958 or go to

––– Outer Limits ––– Located on Piaget Ave., directly across the street from Christopher Columbus Middle School, Outer Limits is a great place for tweens and teens to come hang out after classes. The store sells Yugioh cards and even hosts tournaments three times a week. Other obscure items on sale include Japanese manga, anime, comic books and old Godzilla paraphernalia. 50

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

––– Digital Press ––– Digital Press Video Games on Piaget Ave. buys, sells and trades some consoles and games, like XBox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, Gears of War 2 and Call of Duty: World at War. The store also includes an old school arcade up front and a computer center in the back.

–– BlackFlag Shoppe –– BlackFlag Shoppe on Lakeview Ave. is the destination for anyone involved in the skater or biker culture, as evident by the teenagers hanging out at the store. Owners Leslie and Omar Fernandez call their place, “the newest select streetwear and lifestyle shoppe in Jersey.” They sell apparel, skateboards and footwear.

––– Clifton Trends ––– Clifton Trends on Main Ave. carries some of the hottest clothing brands on the market today such as Ed Hardy, Drifter, Monarchy, True Religion, Roar Clothing and Xtreme Couture. The shop targets customers 18 to 30 years old. Owner Joe Provenzano, who opened the store on May 5, said North Face jackets, Denali fleeces and Affliction thermals and long sleeves are popular right now, and everything is 20 to 40 percent off through Christmas.

––– Five Below ––– Located in the Riverfront Center, Five Below offers a new take on the dollar store. All items in the store are $1 to $5 and this store is packed with an ever changing variety of stuff to fill a stocking. On a recent visit, we found NFL totes and team bears, Wii accessories, crafts items and sports stuff. And everyone’s a kid when they walk down the candy aisle.

If a bike is on your gift giving list, the store should properly size your child with a quality helmet.

––– Barnes & Noble ––– Barnes & Noble in Clifton Commons is a great place to hang out, no matter what your age. Comfortable chairs, a big magazine rack and literally thousands of books, DVDs and music CDs. A gift card from BN will give the recipient plenty of options. Pick up a commemorative edition of Rolling Stone with Barack Obama on the cover, purchase a three-disc special edition package of the movie Wall-E, or buy J.K. Rowling’s new novel The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

––– F.Y.E. ––– No need to hit the highway for music and movies. F.Y.E. in Styertowne offers savings of up to 50 percent on box sets featuring artists like Billy Joel, Nirvana, Elvis and Bruce Springsteen. Snag some of the newest releases such as 808s & Heartbreak by Kanye West, Dark Horse by Nickelback, and Fearless by Taylor Swift.

––– Gift Cards to Hot Grill or IHOP –––

Teenagers playing Yugioh at Outer Limits on Piaget Ave. which also has a selection of Godzilla items in all sizes and prices.

Give your loved one two all the way or coffee cake pancakes with a gift card to Hot Grill on Lexington Ave. or IHOP on Rt. 3. For those longing for Clifton nostalgia, get a Hot Grill t-shirt. Over at IHOP, they’re offering several new pancakes like cinnamon apple, lemon blueberry and pecan streusel—a great pit stop when shopping. December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


––– Lefty’s Sports Academy ––– Baseball or softball players on the list? Make your first stop at Lefty’s on Bloomfield Ave. There is plenty of clothing, equipment and gear, and the LoCaro family offers year round batting cages so that your player can work their game, no matter the weather. There, look for CHS baseball coach Joe Rivera, who can tell you more about the clinics and classes this facility offers. Hitting, pitching, fielding and catching camps run from December through March for kids seven to 17 years old. Fill a stocking with some tokens for those batting cages.

–– Garden Palace Lanes ––– Get someone on your list bowling for $69. Through its pro shop, Garden Palace on Lakeview Ave. offers a Target Zone ball and bag, a great intro gift to this lifetime sport. They also offer a host of other balls for the more serious kegler. And if you have someone who loves knocking those pins down but is hard to buy for, there are gift certificates, sized to fit any size stocking.

––– Meltzers Sporting Goods ––– For fishing, hunting and hiking items, head over the Garfield bridge to S. Meltzer & Sons on Outwater Lane. Owned by Clifton’s Billy Meltzer, this is an independent outdoors and sporting goods store and the staff there knows their stuff about outdoor stuff—poles, reels, lures, guns and bows, as well as hooks, bullets, pellets or arrows.

Happy Holidays! Joseph G. Bionci Registered Representative

126 Oak Ridge Rd. Clifton

973-472-1707 OFFERS THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS & SERVICES: RETIREMENT PLANNING IRAs • 401(k) Plans • SEPs and Simple Plans • Pension/Profit Sharing Plans ESTATE PLANNING Business Ownership Succession Plans • Charitable Remainder Trusts EDUCATION PLANNING 529 Plans • Coverdell Education IRAs INSURANCE Fixed and variable Life Insurance • Disability Insurance • Long term Care Insurance • Fixed and Variable Annuities INVESTMENTS Mutual Funds • Stocks and Bonds Investment and insurance products distributed by Genworth Financial Securities Corp., member NASD/SIPC & a licensed insurance agency (dba Genworth Financial Securities and Insurance Services in CA). Home office at 200 N. Martingale Rd., 7th Fl., Schaumburg, IL 60173; phone 888 528.2987. ©2005 Genworth Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. NS19664B 08/15/05


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Joe Rivera is the training instructor and the coach of Lefty's fall and summer traveling teams. A CHS grad and gym teacher at CCMS, Rivera is the new CHS varsity baseball coach.

––– Jos. A. Bank Clothiers ––– With the opening of The Promenade Shops at Clifton on Route 3 East, comes Jos. A. Bank, a clothing store for men. The company owns and operates over 400 stores throughout the United States but the key to the firm’s success is that it normally keeps more inventory in stock than other stores. This strategy focuses on having the appropriate clothing and footwear in store, so that the customer leaves satisfied. The Clifton store will of course follow the same strategy and is offering a number of grand opening specials. Open seven days a week, visit for details.

Clifton Firefighters and Police Officers are Proud to Serve Our Community

From Clifton’s Bravest & Finest, We Wish All a Healthy, Happy & Safe Holiday Season!

This ad was paid for by the members of

Clifton PBA #36 • Clifton FMBA #21 December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Style and price have found each other and are on display at the showcase counters of area stores. Utilizing different precious metals and stones, lower cost items are popular this year at Clifton jewelry stores. “It’s all about price points,” said Laurie Mocek of Wheels Jewelry & Gifts on Van Houten Ave. “For the customer, it’s getting what you should be getting for the budget you have. For the retailers, we needed to anticipate the changes in the economy and adapt.” Large funky silver earings, crystal jewelry and Votivo candles in holiday scents are the hot well-priced items this year, said Mocek, adding she also has a great selection of gloves, hats, shawls and scarves. Over at Corbo Jewelers in the Styertowne Shopping Center, price and value are key words: they’re holding a recession buster sale during which everything in the store is 30 to 60 percent off. “Fresh water pearls are hot now because they are inexpensive and nearly as beautiful as their salt water counterparts,” said owner Mike Corbo. Other great value items include Citizen watches; however classic sterling silver and gold designs remain popular.

With the holidays comes milestone moments and thus engagement rings are big sellers now, and Corbo Jewelers always offers a trade up guarantee. If the purchaser can’t afford that perfect diamond right now, buy something less expensive and come back in five or 10 years to trade up for something better, explained Corbo.

Linda Dubnoff of Morré Lyons Jewelers in the Richfield Shopping Center noted yellow gold is certainly making a strong showing this year. She added that watches with big faces are popular and women are starting to buy and wear men’s watches as well. Dubnoff said everyone’s been affected by the current economic downturn but “people who have money are still spending it.” Morré Lyons is an authorized dealer of Swarovski crystal giftware. The store also carries a full line of silver crystal, crystal memories, and all of the Swarovski jewelry. 54

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Celebrating Our 5th Anniversary!


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Walter, Smita & Saba holding Dev December 2008 • Clifton Merchant



December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

––– Hookah Paradise ––– From the only in Clifton files come one of the most unique stores in the area—Hookah Paradise. Located on Main Ave. in Downtown, the store sells hookahs and all related items. Hundreds of them are on display, in all sizes, shapes and prices. Owner Simon Sheik said the slow and relaxed experience of smoking a hookah, which includes preparation of the hookah and the flavored tobacco, is the whole point of hookah smoking. It’s not about a buzz or a nicotine fix, it’s about the relaxed space among friends that is created by the hookah and the act of smoking it. Shoppers can purchase pipes and tobacco for home use as there is no smoking in the store. Also, Hookah Paradise caters parties at your location, renting hookahs, tobaccos — and even providing an experienced hookah server to make your event problem-free. The store is open seven days and offers gift cards in any denomination.

––– Castle of Nuts ––– A few doors down, shoppers will find nuts, seeds, dried fruits and freshly ground coffees for sale. Walk past Castle of Nuts and smell the nuts roasting. Purchase walnuts and pecans for cookies or select from a variety of dried fruits and fresh nuts for munching. Castle of Nuts has premade gift packs ready or create your own, selecting a little of this and that until the right house gift is created.

Hookah Paradise can provide everything you need—including an experienced host—to cater a hookah party.

––– Candy Connection ––– Panicked for some tasteful and unique gift ideas? Think sweet. Many Clifton chocolatiers still practice the Old World confectionary arts. And others, such as Janet Pavlowski, will even share some of their secrets.. Her store, Candy Connection on Lakeview Ave., sells candy making supplies—molds, chocolates and decorative items—and most every ingredient one will need to cook up a gingerbread house or even a dozen or so chocolate Santa lollipops.

The Physicians & Staff Wish Health & Happiness to all this Joyous Holiday Season!

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant



December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Just in time for the holidays—a whole new way to holiday shop. At The Promenade Shops at Clifton.

styles and great gift ideas.

Now Open Chico’s, Coldwater Creek and Jos. A. Bank

852 Route 3, Suite 202 ,Clifton, NJ 07012 973-773-6400

From the Garden State Parkway North or South: Exit 153 to State Highway 3 East (toward Lincoln Tunnel). Exit State Highway 3 Take right at second light into Shopping Center (Stew Leonard’s Wines). From State Highway 3

Coming Soon: Massage Envy • Avanti Moda Shoes • Cosi • Moe’s Southwest Grill Portrait Innovations • Bath & Body Works • New York & Company • Victoria’s Secret December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Wine or beer makers home brewing starter kit: Head on over to Corrado’s Home Beer and Wine Making Center on Getty Ave. and pick up an easy to use wine or beer making kit for $89.99. It is not a simple hobby but Jimmy Corrado and his staff can help people through the process. From the grapes for crushing (or this time of year, purchasing the in-store juices) to pressing, racking, aging and bottling their vintage of homemade wine, Corrado’s offers everything for the first-timer or the seasoned veteran. The store is filled with wine making items, from giant cauldrons to special ingredients. For making your own wine or beer, “it’s kind of like baking a cake,” claimed employee Ike Georghioh, who boiled down the beer brewing experience to this: “The kit is your pots and pans and the malt, hops and yeast are like your dough, sugar and icing.”

Want to make your own wine, like Mark DeGennaro and his grandfather Argante Tacchi? See Jimmy Corrado (at left) in Corrado’s Wine Making store on Getty Ave. But if you prefer just making a purchase, Shoppers Vineyard wine manager Stephen Fahy (at right) will gladly match your taste and budget to a bottle.

Wine making has become a competitive sport and that can be attested to by the 10th Annual Amateur Winemaking Competition presented by Corrado’s on Jan. 23. Hundreds of vintners enter their best bottles for review and possible medals, which culminates in an evening of great food and wine at the Westmount Country Club. Corrado’s presents a culinary feast and combined with the endless selection of wines, the $99 ticket is a bargain. Again, another great gift idea but hurry as the event sells out. Buy tickets in advance; call 973-340-0848


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Whether it’s selecting the perfect bottle of wine for dinner, shaking up martinis and Manhattans for a family gathering, screwdrivers and amaretto sours for a festive party, or pouring the bubbly on New Year’s Eve, the best spirits and wines can be found right here in Clifton. Wine manager Stephen Fahy at the landmark Shoppers Vineyard on Bloomfield Ave. can serve as a great wine guide. Plus Shoppers always has a cold keg ready to go. On Van Houten Ave., Wright Wine & Liquors has found its niche with Polish wines, beers and other international flavors. Mike Bertelli, the wine master at the store in Styertowne Shopping Center which bears his name, will help you find the right vintage at the right price for what you need to complement a dinner. And if you don’t see what you want, ask the managers as any of these stores can place a special order.

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant



December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Stephannie Smith is often behind the counter at Dayton Homemade Chocalates, and the staff at Stefan & Sons in Botany Village.

––– Dayton Homemade Chocolates –––

––– Homemade Pirogi –––

Dayton Homemade Chocolates on Market St., has been serving Clifton since 1912. The business got its moniker from when it was located on the corner of Dayton and Highland Aves., in Passaic, still owned by the Mikardos family. Customers come to the store for milk, white and dark chocolates year round as the family continues to operate in the Old World tradition of their founders.

Pirogies are Mike Duch’s life. As the owner of Homemade Pirogi at 1295 Main Ave., he and his staff have been turning out countless dozens of pirogies ranging from potato and cheese to prune filled or sweet cabbage for nearly a quarter of a century. In the beginning, the recipes were variations on his late mom’s. But Duch began to experiment in the kitchen. “I woke up at 4 o’clock one morning with an idea for a new recipe,” he said. “Another time, I got the idea for Broccoli and Spinach Royale while stuck in traffic on the way to Atlantic City. I love to cook and I love to feed people. It’s nice meeting people and getting compliments on your product.” The pirogies are made fresh every morning. They are boiled, cooled, then frozen. In addition to the retail side of the business, Duch sells wholesale and recently added a line of empanadas. But despite the potential for growth, he has no plans for franchising. “You can’t maintain quality control if you spread yourself too thin,” he said. “We are all about consistent quality.”

–– Stefan & Sons ––– Down in Botany Village it’s not unusual to smell the scent of cherry wood wafting through the air. This is because the butchers at Stefan & Sons in Botany smoke their homemade kielbasa and other specialty meats daily. Tree cutters provide them with cherry wood for the smokehouse built behind their store. This allows them to make double smoked, chunky style, fine grind and regular kielbasa everyday, all under the supervision of the Bochna family. Stop in and select items from the rack, see the many lunch meats in their showcase or order a holiday ham or hand trimmed steaks. Email: Tel: 973.779.0077 • Air & Land Travel Packages • Domestic & International Travel Services • Parcels to Poland & Elsewhere • US Dollars to Europe • Translation Services • Notary Public December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Washington Avenue, especially between Fourth and Fifth Streets, offers a twinkling spectacular of white lights. At the center of this all is a tree at the corner of Washington and Fifth worthy of being on display at Rockefeller Center.

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December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

For the past 26 years, Pete and Kathy Bakarich and their four kids have employed some innovative physics to decorate this 45 foot blue spruce “We stand on one another’s shoulders,” said Pete, an old Scout affiliated with Troop 3. “We also have trained squirrels.” The truth, however, is that Pete has gerry-rigged extension poles and completes the task over a few weeks. While many of us turn on our decorations the same evening we finish stringing the lights, the Bakarich’s have a tradition of not pulling the switch until Dec. 6, St. Nicholas Day.

Grief, courage, memories, love and hope: The holidays can be the most difficult time of year for those who have recently lost a loved one. But Marrocco Memorial Chapel on Colfax Ave. offers family members a way to remember the dearly departed. “We started it back in 2000 and we invite all our families and anyone from the public who has had a death in the past year,” said manager James J. Marrocco. “It’s very difficult for people spending their first Christmas without the person they lost.” The Holiday Memorial Program, on Dec. 10 at 7:15 pm, has five parts. Guest speaker Rev. Daniel Kelly from Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Wayne shares some thoughts on passings and then a candle lighting ceremony is held with five candles being lit to represent grief, courage, memories, love and hope. That’s followed by a video remembrance of those who have passed on. Reservations to the event are not required, but requested to include everyone’s photos. The program concludes with family members being called up to receive Christmas ornaments. For more on the program, call 973-249-6111.

Happy Holidays! from your independently owned neighborhood pharmacies...

Colonial Pharmacy

828 CLIFTON AVE. • CLIFTON • 973-473-4000 M-F 9-9:30 • SAT. 9-8 • SUN. 9-3 WALTER VOINOV, B.S.R.P. - WALTER DIDUCH, B.S.R.P.


669 VAN HOUTEN AVE. • CLIFTON • 973-779-1122 • FAX: 973-779-8996 M-F 9-8 • SAT. 9-6


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


mustangs 28 Optimist indians 0

Cup ‘08

Boverini Stadium, Passaic Thanksgiving Day, 2008

The Fighting Mustangs extended their Thanksgiving game winning streak to nine years on Nov. 27 with a 28-0 victory over the Passaic Indians. Clifton now leads the all-time series 40-35-5. The game in Passaic began with a ceremony during which 1967 Passaic graduate Jack Tatum’s number 32 was retired before a crowd of hundreds, including many of his Indian teammates. The national anthem was then performed by both school bands. Tatum (at left with hand on heart) helped Ohio State win the 1968 National Championship and the Oakland Raiders win Super Bowl XI. He was also the player who hit Steeler Frenchy Fuqua on the “Immaculate Reception” play. The Turkey Day game was broadcast on WGHT Radio with Clifton Merchant Magazine’s Jordan Schwartz doing play-by -play and Tom Szieber keeping stats. 66

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

The Optimist Clubs of Passaic and Clifton sponsor the game trophy and four MVP awards, presented to Joe Chiavetta, Franklin Duran, Kyle Fernandez and Juan Rosas. At right, the Mustangs and Indians meet at midfield after the game.

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Menu Ideas • Deep Fried Turkeys $4.99/lb • Spiral Hams $7.99/lb

Priced to Order • • • • • • •

Hot & Cold Seafood Anti Pasta Platters Cheese Platters Vegetable Platters Shrimp Cocktail Mashed Potatoes Stuffing & Vegetable

Call today for a Catering Menu


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Optimist Cup 2008, Boverini Stadium

Above, representatives of the two marching bands, Bob DeLiberto and Tatum’s Oakland Raiders teammate Phil Villapiano, below left, Fighting Mustang alumni, at right, Mustang and Indian Cheerleaders mix it up. Below, Jordan Schwartz doing the play-by-play, assisted by Tom Szieber and, bottom of page, Marching Mustangs Band Director Bob Morgan, on crutches, made a cameo performance as he conducts the Showband of the Northeast in the season finale, What I Did for Love.

Happy Holidays from the

Fusco Family

Frank, Sarah, Kaitlin & Nadine wish the best of the Season to you and your family.

Paid for by Committee to Re-elect Fusco, 296 East 6th St., Clifton. T.Costello, Treasurer.

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Clifton & Passaic Optimist Clubs Hot Dog Nite, November 19

Clifton coach Ron Anello (left) and Passaic coach Bill Curry (right) with their captains at the 10th annual Passaic-Clifton Optimist Clubs Hot Dog Night held on Nov. 19 at the Clifton Recreation Center on Main Ave. Photo by Will Smith.

Batting Cages Pro Shop Lessons


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Repeat Denied

by Jordan Schwartz

The CHS boys soccer team fell just short of capturing its second consecutive State Group 4 title, losing 2-0 to Rancocas Valley in the championship game on Nov. 21

Boys soccer coach Joe Vespignani with some of his Mustang seniors, from left, Juan Carlos Leal, Jan Kutarnia, Brian Kopitar, David Osorio, Ryan Ware and Tomasz Fraczek.

Boys Soccer It was a magical run that ended one game too soon as the Mustangs (21-4-2) lost 2-0 to Rancocas Valley in the State Group 4 final on Nov. 21. After tying Manalapan 1-1 in the 2007 title game to earn co-championship honors, Clifton entered this year’s State tournament looking to capture a title all to itself. And as the playoffs began, it looked like the boys soccer team would accomplish its goal.

On Nov. 3, the second-seeded Mustangs beat 15-Vernon 3-1 in the first round of the North 1, Group 4 bracket. Ryan Ware, Milton Gutierrez and Igor Petrovic each scored, while Victor Manosalvas added an assist and goalie Tom Frazcek made two saves. In the sectional quarters on Nov. 6, Clifton edged 10-West Orange 21 when Juan Carlos Leal scored in stoppage time on a feed from Manosalvas. Frazcek again stopped two shots.

The rematch with third-seeded Passaic County Tech in the semis on Nov. 10 was a lot more one-sided than the teams’ scoreless tie in the County finals back on Oct. 25. The Mustangs won 4-0 with single tallies by Gutierrez and Petrovic, and two by Oscar Gonzalez. Johnny Lopez had two assists and Fraczek made four saves. The sectional final against topseeded North Bergen on Nov. 13 was an absolute classic. Down 2-1 with 30 seconds left in stop-

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


page time, Brendan Guzman headed in the equalizer to send the game to overtime. In the second OT, Gutierrez scored the game-winner to give Clifton its second straight sectional crown. The Mustangs had to come from behind again in the Group 4 semi-final on Nov. 18. With less than four minutes remaining, Manosalvas tied the game 1-1 on an assist from Gonzalez. In overtime, Leal found Josean Moquillaza for the golden goal. But in the final against Rancocas Valley, Clifton couldn’t come back after spotting the Red Devils a 2-0 lead, and so a tremendous season came to an end one win short of the ultimate goal.

Girls Soccer The theme for the 2008 season was supposed to be ‘unfinished business,’ but the Lady Mustangs will have to wait one more year before attempting to complete what they started in 2007. That’s when Clifton earned the top seed in North 1, Group 4 and had its sights set on a State title before being unceremoniously dismissed from the sectional quarterfinals on a controversial penalty kick against Morris Knolls. It was more of the same this fall as the second-seeded Lady Mustangs lost 2-1 in overtime to sixth-seeded West Orange in the North 1, Group 4 semi-finals on Nov. 11. Clifton (15-3-2) got on the board first in the initial half when junior Michelle Ferrara (3 goals, 4 assists) scored on a feed from senior Elise Burnett (2g, 12a). But with seven minutes left in regulation, a kicked ball struck a Mustang in the arm before she could get out of the way. Officials awarded the Mountaineers with a controversial direct kick and Sarah Weinfeld beat Clifton goalie Lianne Maldonado for the equalizer. “That was a terrible call,” said Coach Dan Chilowicz, who spent many years as a referee himself. “The ball found the hand. The hand did not find the ball. The hand never moved.”

Vito DeRobertis Peter DeRobertis


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

In overtime, the Lady Mustangs played well but were done in with 22 seconds remaining. That’s when West Orange’s Raven Edwards got the ball past Maldonado, ending Clifton’s season. “First I felt like my mother died when we lost to West Milford [in the County tournament], then I felt like my father died when we lost to West Orange. I feel like a freaking Sophomore Shannon Seidzik orphan,” said an emochases after the ball in the sec- tional Chilowicz. tional quarters on Nov. 7. Clifton The coach felt the beat Bergen Tech 3-1 but lost in team underachieved this the next round to West Orange. year but there were still some girls who had tremendous individual seasons. Sophomore Megan Ferrara led all scorers with 19 tallies and 11 assists, followed by senior Jamie Lisanti with 10 and nine. Senior Kristina Cordova found the back of the net seven times. Junior Alyssa Robinson scored four goals and assisted on two others, while classmate Vanessa Pinto added four scores and three helpers. Senior goalie Lianne Maldonado saved 66 of 75 shots and even added three goals of her own, all on penalty kicks. The team graduates nine seniors.

Cross Country Both the boys and girls teams finished fourth at the sectional meet on Nov. 8, qualifying them for the Group 4 race on Nov. 15, when the girls placed 18th and the boys 19th. Junior James Sahanas was the best runner this fall with an average time of 17:00. He was followed by senior Andrew Kopko (17:33), sophomore Daniel Green (17:39), and seniors Victor Almonte (17:50), Gary Feig (18:17), Hanni Abukhater (18:36) and Ivan Enriquez (18:38). On the girls side, senior Eloisa Paredes (20:12) was the top runner. She was followed by juniors Kerry Sorenson (20:40) and Daphne Bienkiewicz (21:47), senior Kayla Santiago (22:35), freshman Josie Redwing (22:47), and seniors Brenna Heisterman (23:35) and Gracy Arias (23:51). Sophomore Danielle Camacho ran for Arias at the group meet and finished with a time of 25:28.

Girls Volleyball The 13th-seeded girls volleyball team (15-7) was no match for fourth-seeded Williamstown as the Lady Mustangs lost 25-11, 25-14 in the second round of the Group 4 State tournament on Nov. 7. Three days earlier, Clifton beat 20-Bergen Tech, 27-25, 23-25, 2522, in the first round. In that match, junior setter Natalia Dziubek had 11 assists, while senior outside hitter Jessica Kosciolek picked up four digs and senior opposite Christina Young had six kills.

Football The Fighting Mustangs (6-4) finished the season on a positive note, beating the Passaic Indians 28-0 on Thanksgiving Day to clinch a winning season.



Senior running back Al-Aziz Pitts rushed for two touchdowns and Optimist Club offensive MVP Franklin Duran added another. Sophomore safety Joe Chiavetta earned defensive honors, while his brother, Mike, scored Clifton’s fourth and final touchdown on a 71yard punt return. The win was the Mustangs’ ninth in a row over Passaic on Turkey Day. The victory helped soften the blow of losing 30-12 to third-seeded Livingston in the first round of the North 1, Group 4 State playoffs. The sixth-seeded Mustangs came out flat on Nov. 14, falling behind 14-0. They rallied to within two before the Lancers once again pulled away. “I’m still trying to figure out what happened,” said Coach Anello a few



Gymnastics The gymnastics team (2-10) finished its season with senior captains Donnalayha Cook and Chelsea Gurley competing at the State sectional meet on Nov. 8. Gurley scored her highest mark of the year with an 8.525 on the floor, while Cook scored a 7.8 on vault.



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days after the loss. “I preached to my team all week leading up to the game that it was a one game season and every team is good.” The coach thought the guys might have been overconfident after playing so well against NNJIL powerhouses Montclair, Ridgewood and Bergen Catholic. “It’s difficult for high school kids to get up for four straight weeks against stiff competition,” he said.







December 2008 • Clifton Merchant



December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Patterson Comes to Clifton Tommie Patterson is the new CHS boys basketball coach Story by Jordan Schwartz Tommie Patterson didn’t want to give Kobe Bryant the ball. But who could blame him? How was the young coach supposed to know the skinny teenager in his huddle would go on to become one of the best basketball players ever? Especially when he had other future NBA talent like Tim Thomas and Vince Carter at his disposal as well. It was the summer of ’93 and the 23-year-old Patterson was coaching the best AAU team in the country, the Pat Cats based out of the Silk City. Fresh out of college, Patterson was the fourth assistant at Paterson Catholic High School, but Head Coach Jim Salmon gave him the assignment to lead the summer league squad because Salmon wasn’t allowed to coach his own player, Thomas, during the offseason. The head coach was also able to recruit Kobe from Philly and Carter from Florida. “He was good at meeting players at camps,” recalled Patterson, 39. “He talked them into all playing together but he couldn’t coach the team so he asked me to do it.” Because he wasn’t familiar with the other guys on the squad, Patterson tried to get the ball to Thomas. “I felt like an idiot because I wanted to run everything through Tim,” he said. “I was just the guy who drives the guys home and here I was coaching All-Americans.” In the team’s first game, the Pat Cats trailed by one with seconds to play and Patterson called time out. “I thought we’d get the ball to Tim and he was like, ‘Coach, give the ball to Kobe,’ so I said alright.” Bryant went on to score the game-winning basket. “Coach, you never go wrong with me,” proclaimed the future Los Angeles Laker after the game. The Kennedy grad quickly found that out as the Pat Cats won tournaments in the Carolinas, Rhode Island and Virginia that summer without dropping a single game. Kobe Bryant won’t be coming out for the Clifton basketball team this winter, but the Mustangs will be in capable hands under Patterson, who brings with him 16 years of coaching experience and a lifetime in basketball. 76

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Patterson today and, at right, in 2003 coaching for Paterson Catholic High School.

Red and Black Some say the city of Paterson is split down the middle between the red and black of Kennedy and the orange and blue of Eastside. Tommie Patterson grew up red and black. The only boy sandwiched between two sisters, he was raised on Grant St. and attended School 7. When Patterson was in eighth grade, his father left and his mother, Marilyn, was forced to work two jobs. This left the kids to keep themselves busy. One day, Tommie was playing outside with his sisters, Tomacinia and Mary, when a couple guys from the east side of town walked by. Noticing the six-foot, 13year-old in front of them, the boys invited Patterson to shoot some hoops. Actually, Tommie wouldn’t be doing too much shooting. His job was just to stand underneath the basket where he could grab rebounds and block shots. Realizing he had some talent, the Paterson kid joined a church league and began playing for Our Lady of Pompei. In ninth grade, he made the Kennedy freshmen team under Coach Jim Ring, who now leads the varsity squad.

“In all the years that I’ve coached, there are only two players that stand out in how hard they were willing to work and Tommie’s one of them,” said Ring. As a sophomore, Patterson moved up to varsity and played under Coach Ty Collins. “He became a father figure for me,” said the new Clifton coach. “I’d shoot layups, play defense and grab rebounds.” Tommie would occasionally get above the rim as well. His first dunk came in tenth grade against Nutley. “They were pretty good at that time, but I got the ball, closed my eyes and dunked over Marty Higgins,” said Patterson, who grew to 6’2”. “I was so excited, I didn’t want to play anymore. I think I might’ve committed two dumb fouls after that.” The undersized center garnered first team All-Area honors during his junior and senior years, when the Knights won back-to-back Group 4 State titles. But basketball was about more than just awards and championships for Tommie. It kept him out of trouble. “My mom always told me that if I ended up in jail or somewhere I shouldn’t be, she wasn’t going to pick me up,” he laughed. “I’d spot trouble and go the other way. My mother is real strong. She’d tell me never to do anything to embarrass the family.” The coach even has his mom’s encouraging words tattooed on his left forearm: “God never gives us a

nder of e are the sons of the fou , a family R.F. Knapp Construction ed in Clifton owned business found the beginning, nearly 50 years ago. Since Siding prodwe have been using Alcoa ens-Corning. ucts as well as GAF and Ow ing, gutters, We specialize in roofing, sid a call and us e leaders and windows. Giv int appo ment to we will gladly set-up an and go over a discuss your job needs . complete written estimate

dream without giving us the strength to carry it out.” After Patterson’s dad walked out, the teenager offered to get a job, but Marilyn wouldn’t hear it. She wanted her son to stay in school, and that’s exactly what he did, despite going through four years of high school with only five different pairs of pants.


Brothers Don and Rich Knapp

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


“I had no intention of going to college until I played basketball,” said Patterson. He started off taking classes like wood shop at Kennedy but Coach Collins switched him out of those and got him into college prep courses like Spanish, geometry and extra history. “I was getting out at three when everyone else was getting out at noon,” said the JFK alum. The extra work paid off when he enrolled at William Paterson College in 1988. The athlete had received a Division 1 offer from St. Bonaventure and a host of D2 and D3 invites from schools such as Stony Brook, but he wanted to stay close to home. William Paterson head coach Dominick Pelosi immediately moved Patterson to guard and he wound up starting in his freshman year. “He sold me by saying I was a great athlete,” explained the former Pioneer. “The transition was easy because he pushed me to dribble and shoot the outside jump shot. I never really practiced it, I just went out there and did it.” Patterson ended up being named the NJAC Rookie of the Year.

Maroon and Burgundy Usually, the only thing people from Kennedy and Eastside can agree upon is their disdain for Paterson Catholic. But when the private school offered Patterson an assistant coaching position after he graduated college, the former Knight put his differences aside. At first, Patterson was just the fourth assistant, but when Coach Salmon left for Villanova with Tim Thomas in 1996, Jerome Smart took over and Tommie became his right-hand man. Patterson was working as the head cafeteria monitor at School 12 in the city at the time before getting a job as a teacher’s assistant at an alternative high school in the Newark area. In 1999, PC hired him as dean of students and that same year, he was promoted to head coach after Smart stepped down. “I came in with a different kind of concept,” he said. “The kids were changing and I told them that if they failed one class, they couldn’t play for me. Parents didn’t like that at first because the state rule was two classes.” But no one seemed to mind when Patterson led the Cougars to a 135-43 record over seven seasons. During that stretch, PC won its league every year and 78

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Tommie and his wife Kimeka at their daughter Kaiden’s christening. The couple has three children with one more on the way.

reached the Passaic County tournament final four times, winning it once in 2002. Patterson coached D1 players such as Darryl Watkins at Syracuse, Marquis Webb at Rutgers, and La Salle players Kimmani Barrett and Jerrell and Terrell Williams. “When you’re at PC, you have a lot of talent,” said Ring, “but I was very impressed with what he was able to do at Eastside in the trying conditions that he had.”

Orange and Blue In 2006, Patterson married his wife Kimeka and decided he needed to start making some more money to support his new family. Patterson took a teaching job at Eastside and also applied to coach the basketball team. When he got the job, the Kennedy alum resigned his post on the PC staff. In his first season at the new school, Patterson led the Ghosts to a 14-11 record and the top seed in the Passaic County tournament. “The ultimate compliment I can give Tommie is to say coaching against him is like coaching against Ty Collins,” said Ring, who squared off against his former player a number of times. “You know his team is going to be prepared for everything.” But before the ’07-’08 campaign tipped off, Patterson became embroiled in controversy. His substitute teaching certification had been expired at the time of his hiring and so Patterson claims one of his assistants, who was upset that he had been passed up for the head coaching position, complained to the commissioner of education. As a result, the administration reopened the position.

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“I didn’t even apply because it was embarrassing,” said Patterson. The coach considered returning to his alma mater to be an assistant under Ring, but he kept thinking about how that would affect his kids at Eastside. Patterson received a great deal of support from former players and mentors at the time. “TP/Pops/Coach keep your head up everything is going to be alright,” wrote Marquis Webb on ZagsBlog, an internet site run by former Herald News sports writer Adam Zagoria. “Like you told me years ago, there’s a bigger picture behind everything. That door will be open for you again. I’m here for you if you need anything.” “Just seems like he got a raw deal,” commented Coach Pelosi on the same site. In the end, Patterson stayed on as an assistant to new head coach Donald Davis. It took only six games for parents and players to start asking Davis to let Patterson lead the Ghosts, but he resisted. “His son was on the team and he played more minutes than he was supposed to,” said Patterson. “It was just an ugly situation.” The new Clifton coach said the whole ordeal came to a head when Davis made one of the team’s star players cry and the kid’s father threatened to pull his son off the team.


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

“The parents took it upon themselves to hold a meeting and so he finally felt pressured into letting me coach.” Once he took over, Patterson led the team on a run that included a win over state power Bloomfield Tech, a County finals appearance, and a North 1, Group 4 State title. Davis wound up getting Coach of the Year.

Maroon and Gray Realizing the new coach wasn’t going to officially step down, Patterson looked elsewhere for employment after the season concluded. The Clifton job was open and he was hired. “His ability with kids to get them to the next level over at PC and Eastside, and his playing career as a whole made him a good candidate,” said Mustangs Athletic Director Rick LaDuke. “The community has been great,” said Patterson. “I’ve been given a lot of opportunities to meet a lot of good people that want to help. I never received that from Paterson partly because there are three schools.” But he knows Clifton isn’t like his home town. “This is different because a lot of the kids don’t play like the kids in Paterson play,” he said. “Basketball is part time, whereas in Paterson, basketball is big and everything takes second fiddle.” The new coach’s job will be to bring the sport back to the forefront of Clifton’s consciousness.

Stories by Jordan Schwartz There’s no place to go but up for new coach Tommie Patterson. He takes over a program that finished 6-16 last season and failed to win a Passaic County tournament game or qualify for the State tournament for the first time since 2005. “We’re gonna have to have football scores this season,” said Patterson, who is used to playing more of an up-tempo style at Paterson Catholic and Eastside. “We’ve got to play zone, slow things down and change our defense up all the time.” The Kennedy grad said he’s observed some things the team has to work on while watching the kids play fall ball. “We’re not that good in the open court and we have problems finshing in traffic,” he said. One player who will be asked to

CHS Boys

Basketball Dec 12

at Elmwood Park

4:00 pm

Dec 19

Saint Joseph Reg.

7:00 pm

Dec 23

at Bergen Catholic

7:00 pm

Dec 27

at Nutley Tournament


Dec 29

at Nutley Tournament

Jan 06

at Eastside Paterson


Jan 08


7:00 pm

Jan 10

at Wayne Valley

1:00 pm

Jan 13

at Paramus

7:00 pm

Jan 15


7:00 pm

Jan 20

at Teaneck

7:00 pm

Jan 22

at Ridgewood

7:00 pm

Jan 27

Paramus Catholic

7:00 pm

Jan 29

at Bergen Tech

7:00 pm

Feb 03

Don Bosco Prep

7:00 pm

Feb 05

at Passaic

4:00 pm

Feb 10


7:00 pm

Feb 12

at Nutley

7:00 pm

Feb 17


7:00 pm

Feb 19

at Barringer

7:00 pm

Feb 24


7:00 pm

7:00 pm


Some of the featured players on the CHS basketball team, from left, Emilio Polanco, Michael Cadmus, Delshawn Lowery, Mike Dixon, Nick Lavender and Doug DiFalco.

shoot a lot is junior guard Nick Lavender, who gained a lot of experience playing varsity last winter. “He needs to get stronger because he can’t score off the dribble yet,” said Patterson. The coach sees junior small forward Emilio Polanco as more of a slasher who can spot up and shoot the ball also. He says the baseball player is one of the better athletes on the team. The point guard position will probably go to either junior Pat Zoubek or freshman Delshawn Lowery. “Pat is a very good ball handler, I just need to slow him down a little bit,” said Patterson. “He’s probably one of the only kids who can shoot it off the dribble consistently. I like him but he just doesn’t have the confidence right now.” The coach knows Lowery from his Paterson days. The ninth grader grew up on the Silk City blacktops but Patterson was thrilled when he found out Lowery was actually a Clifton resident. “Like the rest of the guys, he needs to hit the weight room,” said the coach. Three forwards who could see some time are

Mike Dixon, Michael Cadmus and Doug DiFalco. “Dixon is oozing with athleticism and rebounds very well,” said Patterson. “He nicknamed himself Kobe, but I need him just to be Mike.” Cadmus is a very tough rebounder and defender, but he needs to work on his agility. The senior received “Most Improved” honors at a camp in Paterson over the summer and will probably be Clifton’s best low post player. “Doug is a little soft around the basket, but he rebounds very well on the defensive glass,” said Patterson. “He’s a good spot up shooter from eight to 10 feet and will be an intricate part of our team.” The Mustangs will be inexperienced this year, but other coaches in the league are already taking notice of the team’s heart and determination. “They didn’t win a game during the entire nine week fall ball season,” said Kennedy coach Jim Ring,” but they took the number one seed down to the last minute in the playoffs. Tommie will do a tremendous job with these kids.” December 2008 • Clifton Merchant



December 2008 • Clifton Merchant



From left, Kimberly Douglass, Erica Baez, Felicia Castillo, Megan Ferrara, Michelle Ferrara, Majdal Zaineh and Michelle Lima.

Fifth-year coach Tim Nellegar says the Lady Mustangs will be really young this season, so he will use this opportunity to implement some new strategies. “We’re going to try to be uptempo and press,” he said. “We’re going to play our young players a lot and help them to learn on the job to build a really solid foundation for the program.” Junior honorable mention AllLeague forward Michelle Ferrara returns to start for her third season. Nellegar says she will be aided by the arrival of new assistant coach Ashley Flaherty who played the

same position at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Ferrara’s younger sister Megan, a sophomore, will have the unenviable task of replacing graduated All-League and second team AllCounty point guard Kristen Venning, who averaged 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals per game last season. Venning was one of four seniors to graduate from last year’s 7-14 squad. Senior guard Majdal Zaineh will help Ferrara out in the backcourt. Nellegar says the second-year varsity player can help the team with

Dec 19 Dec 23 Dec 27 Dec 29 Jan 06 Jan 08 Jan 10 Jan 13 Jan 15 Jan 17 Jan 20 Jan 22 Jan 27 Jan 29 Feb 05 Feb 10 Feb 12 Feb 17 Feb 19 Feb 21 Feb 24

at Holy Angels IHA at Passaic Valley Tourn at Passaic Valley Tourn Eastside Paterson at Kennedy Wayne Hills Paramus at Hackensack at Snyder Teaneck Ridgewood at Paramus Catholic Bergen Tech Passaic at Belleville Nutley at Bloomfield Barringer at Newark Eastside at Montclair

7:00 pm 7:00 pm 1:00 pm TBA 7:00 pm 7:00 pm 1:00 pm 7:00 pm 7:00 pm 1:30 pm 7:00 pm 7:00 pm 7:00 pm 7:00 pm 7:00 pm 7:00 pm 7:00 pm 7:00 pm 7:00 pm TBA 7:00 pm

her leadership and ability to see the floor extremely well. Two newcomers should make an impact on the hardwood this season. Sophomore forward Felicia Castillo played mostly junior varsity basketball last winter, but she worked on her game all summer and has developed a nice touch. Coach added that Freshman Kim Douglass also worked out with the program this summer and Nellegar likes some of the guard skills she brings to the table.

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant




These four CHS bowlers will attempt to repeat the team’s success from last season. From left, Justin Martinez, Sonja Shirak, Elena Mauro and Mike Bierach.

The girls bowling team returns two key parts from last year’s league and County champions. Sonja Shirak turned heads when she burst on the scene as an All-County freshman in the 2007-2008 season. “She was a pleasant surprise when she came out for the team last year,” said Coach Brian Small. This winter, the sophomore will be expected to anchor the squad with her 178 average, but Small doesn’t

think she’ll be affected by the pressure. “She was cool as a cucumber last year and came through in a lot of big matches,” he said. Shirak will be joined by honorable mention recipient junior Elena Mauro (142 average) and a host of varsity newcomers. On the boys side, Small will have to replace all four of the varsity bowlers that helped the team finish second in the league last

Dec 12 Dec 17 Dec 18 Dec 19 Jan 07 Jan 09 Jan 14 Jan 16 Jan 21 Jan 22 Jan 26 Jan 27 Jan 29 Feb 02 Feb 03 Feb 04 Feb 05 Feb 06

at Don Bosco Prep Nutley Belleville Paramus Bloomfield Ridgewood Teaneck at Paramus Catholic Passaic at BC/IHA Eastside Paterson Montclair at St. Joes./AHA Kennedy Barringer at Bergen Tech at Position Day at Handicap Tourn

3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45 3:45

year. Two JV guys moving up this season are seniors Justin Martinez (181 average) and Mike Bierach (169 average). “The junior varsity came in first last year, so I expect them to move up and do the same job,” said Small. “It’s their turn.”

From Right: Marcos Diaz, with owners Eric & Miriam Lopez, their daughter Nellie Quinones & her daughter Raquel. In the middle, is shop dog Yukon

valid until 1/31/09

valid until 1/31/09

valid until 1/31/09


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

pm pm pm pm pm pm pm pm pm pm pm pm pm pm pm pm pm pm

Front, from left, Chris Harsaghy, Anthony Zaccone, Joe Scotto, James DeLillo, John Rocabado and Moe Bekheet. Back: Moe Bidas, Kamran Karimov, Nick Boyko, Jon Rideg, Sunny Zaccaro, Moises Rodriguez and manager Samantha Ruggieri.


The CHS wrestling squad returns a ton of talent from last year’s 16-8 team that finished the season ranked 22nd in North Jersey. Senior Chris Harsaghy (103 lbs) was 18-15 as a junior, placing third in the district. Classmate and captain James DeLillo (135 pounds) went 2810, finishing second in his weight class. Other returning 12th graders include Nick Boyko (140 lbs), John Rocabado (145 lbs), Mohamed Bekheet (160-171 lbs) and John Rideg (285 pounds), who won 22 of his 32 matches last winter. Juniors on the team, which is led by third-year coach Dan Geleta, include Bedran Sulieman (130-140 lbs), Bradley Hornstra (135-145 lbs), Sean Steinfeldt (189 lbs) and Jesus Cabrera (189-215 lbs). Sophomores are Francisco Jimenez (112-119 lbs), Gus Gomez (125130 lbs), John Sunday (160-171 lbs) and Elliot Garcia (140-152 lbs). The Mustangs also add Mohamed Bedis (130 lbs), a senior transfer from Kennedy High School in Paterson, who went 22-10 last year and finished third in the district.

Dec 23 Dec 27 Jan 03 Jan 07 Jan 09 Jan 10 Jan 14 Jan 16 Jan 17 Jan 21 Jan 23 Jan 28 Jan 30 Jan 31 Feb 04 Feb 07 Feb 11 Feb 14 Feb 20 Feb 21

Happy Holidays!

Wrestling at St. Benedicts at Bloomfield Tourn at PCTI, Bloom, Becton at Hackensack Ridgewood at Nutley, Kearny at Eastside Paterson at Kennedy, Bergen T Eastside Paterson Passaic at Belleville Barringer at Don Bosco Prep PCCA Tourn at WM Bergen Catholic at Ruth, Has. Heights at Montclair PH, RP, Fort Lee District 15 Tournament District 15 Tournament

4:30 pm 9:00 am 9:00 am 6:00 pm 7:00 pm 9:00 am 4:00 pm 5:00 pm 9:00 am 4:00 pm 7:00 am 6:00 pm 6:00 pm 9:00 am 6:00 pm 9:00 am 6:00 pm 9:00 am 6:00 pm 9:00 am

I heard the bells on Christmas Day, Their old, familiar carols play and wild and sweet the words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Councilman Peter C. Eagler December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


The girls track team returns a few key performers from last year’s league and County championship squad. Junior Emily Urciouli, who qualified for Nationals last winter with a school and County record pole vault of 11 feet six inches, will again compete in that event, as well as hurdles, high jump, long jump and triple jump. Senior Eloisa Paredes will run everything from the 400m to the mile. Her classmate and cross country teammate Kayla Santiago will hurdle and run the 200-800m. Junior Andrea Villanova will compete in the shot putt, while fellow 11th grader Kerry Sorensen will run the long distance races. Returning seniors on the girls indoor track team. Back row, from left, Gracy Arias, Perla Esquivel, Kayla Santiago, Kate Laszyn and Haneen Alfawair. Front row, from left, Argelis Pena, Eloisa Paredes and Brenna Heisterman.


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Left rear, Hanni Abukhater, Victor Almonte, Ryan Dunn, Andrew Kopko, Rich Klett, Nathan Howard. Front left, Nathaniel Howard, Gary Feig, Jose Bazan, Ivan Enriquez.

On the boys side, Coach John Pontes is looking for hurdlers and pole vaulters to replace identical twins George and Steve Mena, who both graduated last June after setting a school record in the pole vault relay. Senior Hanni Abukhater will run the 55m, 200m and 400m. Classmate Andrew Kopko will run the mile and two-mile, while fellow 12th grader Victor Almonte will compete in the hurdles, long jump,

triple jump and 400m. Football playing twins Nathan and Nathaniel Howard will run the sprints, while Sophomore Dan Green is slotted for the longer distances. In 2007-2008, the boys finished third in the league and eighth in Passaic County. Both the boys and girls teams have more than 70 students trying out for varsity, so Pontes should have plenty of talent to pick from before the Mustangs’ first meet on Dec. 20.


Track Dec 20 Dec 21 Dec 22 Dec 29 Jan 03 Jan 17 Jan 21 Jan 24 Feb 02 Feb 07 Feb 09 Feb 15 Feb 21 Feb 24 Mar 13

at at at at at at at at at at at at at at at

FDU Holiday Classic FDU Holiday Classic NJ Spiked Shoe Holiday Relay Fest Track Universe Inv. Group IV Relays Passaic Co Champ New Balance Inv NNJIL Champ Sectional Champ Varsity Classic Inv Group IV Champ Meet of Champs Eastern States Nationals

9:00 am 9:00 am 4:00 pm 9:00 am 3:30 pm 3:00 pm 4:00 pm 9:00 am 4:00 pm 8:00 pm 4:30 pm 9:00 am 9:00 am 4:00 pm TBA

View The Giblin Report Wednesdays at 7:30 pm, Channel 76

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

1814 1814 December 2008 • Clifton Merchant




Seniors on the 2008-2009 CHS hockey team. Back row, from left, Ryan Pepitone (manager), Mike Ference and Kyle Fitzpatrick. Front: Darius Podkanowicz, Sean Russel, Geoff Philhower and Dominick D’Anna.

After a 6-16-1 record in 2006-2007, Clifton High School hockey head coach Tom Danko was optimistic about his team’s chances to turn things around in ’07’08. The Mustangs took a step in the right direction last winter, improving to 9-13, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Dec 03 at Montclair

7:00 pm

Dec 05 Glen Rock

7:00 pm

Dec 07 at Ridgewood

1:30 pm

Dec 12 Paramus Catholic

7:00 pm

Dec 19 West Essex

7:00 pm

Dec 27 at Saint Joseph Reg.

3:00 pm

Jan 02


7:00 pm

Jan 03

at Vernon

8:00 pm

Jan 09


7:00 pm

Jan 10

at Glen Rock

5:30 pm

Jan 16

Saint Joseph Reg.

7:00 pm

Jan 23


7:00 pm

Jan 24

at West Essex

6:30 pm

Jan 31

at Paramus Catholic

9:00 am

Feb 06


7:00 pm

Feb 13


7:00 pm

Danko, who is entering his 22nd season behind the bench, is looking forward to coaching a hard working team that returns a little bit of experience from last year’s Passaic County champions. Gone are All-County left wing Bill Freeswick, second team All-County defenseman Jon DeGraff, and

goal scorer Stan Grodzicki, but there are kids ready to step up and fill their skates. Senior forward Dominick D’Anna is entering his fourth year on the varsity team. Danko calls the second team All-County athlete a quick and very tenacious player. D’Anna had the second most points on the team last year. He’ll be joined on the front line by fellow senior Darius Podkanowicz, junior Matt Whitford and sophomores Brian Yip and Anthony Smerglio, who had a big summer. Senior defensemen Geoff Philhower, who received honorable mention All-County last year, and Sean Russel will anchor the back line. They’ll be joined by newcomers Alec DeGraff and Marcin Konefal, both juniors. Senior Kyle Fitzpatrick will contribute as well. The leading contender for the goaltender position is Mike Ference, who was the backup last year. But there’s always a chance Danko could use multiple goalies like he has in the past. Last year, Ference shared time with Dan Faller, who was a member of a four-man rotation the season before. Clifton is just three years removed from a 20-4-2 record, a North Red Division championship and a trip to the State quarterfinals.

But in order to reclaim that sort of success, the Mustangs will have to get its returning varsity letter winners to mix well on the ice with the younger players moving up from JV.

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Swimming at Paramus Montclair Don Bosco at Ridgewood Passaic at PCTI BC/IHA at Hackensack Paramus at Teaneck Kinnelon Pequannock Mt. St. Dominic

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Coach Andrea Bobby says this is the deepest girls team she’s ever had in her 16 years at Clifton High. Senior and top swimmer Erica Pangilinan, sister of 2004 CHS grad and Olympian Jackie Pangilinan, returns from last winter’s North Jersey sectional champions. She will be joined by classmate Brenda Flazyk who swims the sprint freestyles and backstrokes. Daphne Bienkiewicz headlines a strong class of juniors and will be competing in long freestyle and individual medley events. Other 11th graders include Charlotte Gustafson and Christina Habrahamshon. “They won a round in the States last year and I expect to do at least as

From left, Joe Miranda, Erica Pangilinan, Donna Balagtas, Maura Houston, Marissa Lorenzo and Gregory Nowicki.

well this year because we didn’t lose a lot,” said Bobby. The boys team lost four swimmers from last year’s Passaic County champs, but still return a good core group of athletes led by senior captain Greg Nowicki, who will swim the backstroke and middle distance freestyle events. He will be joined in the pool by sophomores Jovany Avendano (backstroke, freestyle and individual medley) and Ryan Santiago, who’s proficient at all strokes. “I don’t know how well the boys will do,” said Bobby. “We won the

Counties but we didn’t have a great season. We have strong enough swimmers that we can pull out some events. I’d like to see more boys come out for the team.” A CHS Swim Team Beefsteak will be held from 7 to 11 pm on Jan. 17 at the Athenia Veteran’s Hall, located at 147 Huron Ave. Tickets are $40 and include dinner, beer and soda. No tickets will be sold at the door, so call call Rose at 973-471-2741 to purchase them in advance.

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December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

If You Can’t Join ’Em, Beat ’Em Adam Satkowski didn’t make the Rutgers golf team but still went on to win a national collegiate tournament Story by Jordan Schwartz

2005 CHS grad Adam Satkowski and his partner Douglas Christian (not pictured) won the National Collegiate Golf Championship in Las Vegas on Nov. 7.

The Rutgers University golf coach must be kicking herself for not finding a spot on the team for Adam Satkowski. The CHS 2005 grad and fellow golf team reject Douglas Christian won the National Collegiate Golf Championship at the Silver Stone Country Club in Las Vegas on Nov. 7. The tournament was not affiliated with the NCAA but all college golfers were eligible for contention and players from more than 60 universities took part. Satkowski, a senior at Rutgers, has been playing golf for only three years. He was a standout pitcher and cleanup hitter at CHS but a hand injury in 12th grade derailed his dreams of playing collegiate baseball.

“So I started taking up golf,” said the history major. “Golf is a totally different sport. It’s very challenging for someone who grew up playing team sports.” But Satkowski’s natural athletic talent helped him pick the game up rather quickly and this past summer, he attempted to walk on to the men’s team at RU. “There was a tryout with 35 kids,” he explained. “Doug and I both shot 73, which was the lowest score but neither of us saw eye to eye with the coach. We told her we’d play anyone on the team for a spot, but she wouldn’t hear it.” In fact, no walk-ons made the Scarlet Knights’ roster this season, something the Cliftonite believes is due to the limited funding available to non-revenue sports thanks to the expansion of Rutgers Stadium. So Satkowski and Christian decided to team up for the National Collegiate Golf Championship. They shot a nine under 62 to best 70 other twosomes at a Rutgers qualifier before advancing to the finals in Nevada. “The weather was the worst Vegas had seen in five years,” said Satkowski. “It was pouring rain with a 35 degree wind chill for the first hour. It was terrible, you couldn’t control the flight of the ball.” But as the elements improved, so did the RU duo. After a two under start through seven holes, Christian chipped in at the eighth to

get to -3. That started a run of five straight birdies, which got the pair to seven under, where they remained until the final hole. Satkowski and Christian reached the 18th tee knowing they needed a birdie to win. “I hit a good ball down the middle 320 yards and then a lob wedge from 75 out to get within eight inches,” said the Clifton grad. “I tapped in and we won by one.” The Rutgers students received a trophy, a bunch of golf equipment and a free trip back to defend their title next year. Satkowski, who grew up in the Maplewood section of town, has no intention of trying to play on the PGA Tour after college, but he’d like to become a teaching pro at a country club one day. Maybe he could even give the guys on the Rutgers team some pointers.

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Clifton native Pete Carroll was there:

Berlin Airlift

In 1948, Berliners watching a C-54 land at Tempelhof Airport during the Berlin Airlift.

before being shipped out to Rhein-Main Air Force Base in Frankfurt, Germany. That was one of the primary support Story by Jordan Schwartz and Rich DeLotto bases flying cargo planes into Tempelhof Airport in West Berlin. “I had a company commander who didn’t like people who played sports, so he sent me up there because he thought it was a punishment,” said Carroll, 77. “But it was the best duty I ever had.” From March 1949 until the blockade ended on May 11, the corporal checked manifests for the aircraft leaving Frankfurt for West Berlin. At that time, one cargo plane was either landing or taking off every 30 seconds all day and all night. They were flying in food, water, coal and clothing for two million West Germans. Troops would also drop candy for children. This practice started with Colonel Gail Halvorsen, an American pilot who Six months after the Berlin would drop sweets attached to Airlift began in June 1948, Bob parachutes just before landing at Hope brought his USO Tour to Tempelhof. West Berlin to entertain the The effort, called Operation troops for Christmas. Little Vittles, caught on as other The legendary comedian was Pete Carroll in 1948 and today. crews followed suit. This led to accompanied by singer Jinx pilots being nicknamed ‘candy bombers.’ By April Falkenburg, funny man Jerry Colonna, and actress Irene 1949, the airlift was providing more cargo to the city than Ryan, who 14 years later, became “Granny” on The had previously been delivered by train, and so a month Beverly Hillbillies. Irving Berlin sang “White later, the blockade was lifted, signalling a major Cold War Christmas” to the troops on Dec. 24. victory for the Allies. The Berlin Blockade began in June of that year when Corporal Carroll remained in Germany with the 14th the Soviet Union blocked the United States, France and Armored Cavalry in Coburg until October 1950 when he Great Britain’s street and railroad access to West Berlin was transferred to the 6th Infantry Regiment in Berlin. in an attempt to strangle the city into submitting to comCarroll’s tour ended in 1952 and he returned to Clifton munist rule. to begin a 37-year career at PSE&G. The veteran moved In response, the Western powers created the airlift to to Nutley in 1993 and has returned to Germany twice supply West Berlin using planes. during his retirement. One of the men involved in the effort was U.S. Army The first time was in 1996 for the 50th anniversary of Corporal Pete Carroll. the unit he belonged to. During that trip, he became The Clifton native was born in 1931 and grew up on friendly with a current German officer who invited him Delawanna Ave., attending School 8 and CHS. back in November 1999 to represent the U.S. at a border On his 17th birthday, Carroll dropped out of school museum dedication. Carroll will return again next year and enlisted in the service. The athlete spent the beginfor the 60th anniversary of his very first unit. ning of his tour playing basketball for a regimental team



December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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Fanfare for


WWII veteran and longtime Hawthorne Caballero George Hayek was the Grand Marshal of Clifton’s 2008 Veterans Parade on Nov. 9. The following pages offer photos of some of the participants, as well as spectators who lined Main Ave. to watch the parade, which concluded with a brief ceremony in Main Memorial Park.


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

East Ridgelawn Cemetery... ...invites you to visit our Mausoleum on Main Avenue to see the inspirational art adorning our new building. Within the Mausoleum, our artist has painted a serene and peaceful view, entitled ‘Eden’, where visitors can pause to celebrate the lives of those who have passed.

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Our community’s diversity is truly our strength. Celebrate Clifton. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. Councilman Steve Hatala 96

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

The Cupoli Family wishes you a

Cool Yule

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to All! Jacqui & Joe and Joe, Jake and Julie-Anne December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


You’ve paid into the Social Security system during your working years. But today, if you are injured on or off the job, or become disabled or ill...

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to Disability Benefits? Unfortunately, Social Security Disability Benefits are often denied at both the initial level and again upon reconsideration.

It is necessary that an applicant keep fighting denials, since many times the denials are reversed and benefits granted, often after a hearing with an administrative law judge. As a result, it is very important that people know their rights and not be intimidated by the bureaucratic process. Call us. We can help you get what you deserve. The Law offices of

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December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

The family of Cpl. Steven Koch, a Milltown resident and member of the 82nd Airborne who was killed in the Sabari District of Afghanistan on March 3, marched in the Clifton Veteran Parade. Koch’s mother, Christine, led the way followed by a truck adorned with Steven’s picture and military

honors. On the podium at the conclusion, Christine told the crowd that her son “believed in the fight against terrorism and... responded with every ounce of bravery and spirit to make this world a safer place.”

As we reflect on the past & consider the future, we hope you find peace & health in the New Year.

Founder Joseph T. Bizub who in 1923 established Bizub's Funeral Home at 205 Third St. in Passaic. For three generations, our family has proudly served our community.

1313 Van Houten Avenue Clifton, NJ 07013 Phone 973 546-2000 Timothy J. Bizub, Mgr.

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Tim and Toby with their dad Tom. December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Merry Christmas and many thanks for your continued support

Surrogate Bill Bate 100 December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

In Loving Memory of our Founder

hen son is a time w he Christmas Sea ones, both here ved we remember lo rememg this season, we n ri u D . en av he eir and in have entrusted th ho w es ili m fa y ber the man year. ughout this past ro th s u to es on loved ved one, r the loss of a lo te af at th ow kn ories We ing special mem br ill w on as se sting in the holiday of sadness. Tru ts en om m r de n uch, and te gh his healing to u ro th at th ow be filled God, we kn come, will again to t ye es as tm Chris d laughter. od with hope, joy, an ay season, that G lid ho is th ng ri du We pray d give you is tender love an H in u yo ld year. ho will hout the coming ug ro th & w no peace, both or Shook, Sincerely, Elean amilies Garretson & F cy an N & oy R


Joseph M. Shook, Sr. March 15, 1924 - June 9, 2008

Shook Funeral Home Inc. Over 50 Years of Service, Still Proudly Family Owned & Operated

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December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


102 December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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Holodomor: Ukraine’s Famine Story by Brian Spadora For Armenians, there is the genocide at the hands of the Ottomans. For Jews, there is the Holocaust. For Ukrainians, there is the Holodomor. The Holodomor, which means roughly “murder by starvation,” was the intentional starvation of millions of Ukrainians by the Soviet Union from 1932 to 1933. The terror-famine, as it is sometimes called, represents a national tragedy for Ukrainians, the price they paid for resisting the rule of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. On Dec. 7 at 2:30 pm there will be a commemoration of the Holodomor at the Ukrainian Center, 240 Hope Ave. in Passaic. The event will include a dramatic performance of events related to the famine and traditional songs of mourning. Two survivors of the famine will also speak about their experiences. Nadia Kowbasniuk, of Jersey City, will tell her story in Ukrainian, and Rostyslav Wasylenko, of Union, will present his eyewitness account in English. The famine was the culmination of a series of Soviet policies designed to force communism on the peasant farmers of Ukraine. Beginning in 1929, the Soviets forced farmers throughout the Soviets Union to give up privately owned land and form collectivized farms that were run by the state. Many who were resisted were deported to Siberia where hundreds of thousands died. To punish those who were not deported, the Soviets set unreachable quotas of grain that the farmers had to produce and turn over to the state. Communist officials in every region confiscated whatever grain the peasants had, even in areas where people were already starving. Robert Conquest, the historian, whose 1986 book Harvest of Sorrow was the first lengthy study of the

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They went from house to house confiscating lard, potatoes, wheat. They searched through chests and any embroidered clothes were seized if they were found. To save our embroidered shirts we put them on under our old ragged jackets. It didn’t work. They undressed us and took the shirts to eradicate any national spirit in the household.

Yetrosyniya Poplavets Eyewitness to the Holodomor, Kyiv region Holodomor in English, described the results in the introduction of that book: “A quarter of the rural population, men, women, and children, lay dead or dying, the rest in various stages of debilitation with no strength to bury their families or neighbors. At the same time… well-fed squads of police or party officials supervised the victims.” In many regions, villagers resorted to cannibalism to survive. In some cases, people ate the remains of those who had starved to death, but in other instances people murdered others to eat them.

Wasylenko, one of the Holodomor survivors who will speak on Sunday, said in an interview that in his village near the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, a man was executed for cannibalizing his own wife. Wasylenko, who has been honored in Ukraine for his career as an actor, wrote a book in Ukrainian about his life called A Life In and Out of Makeup. The book includes his memories of the famine. When he was 13, he went looking for his friend, Nick, and found the boy’s sister sitting on the roadside staring ahead. “Where’s Nick? I haven’t seen him in a while,” he asked her. After a few moments, the girl replied, “We ate him. We cooked him. We ate him.”

Wasylenko survived by eating a variety of things, including clover and a crow that he shot with a rifle that he found in his abandoned school. Determining the number of victims of the Holodomor has been difficult, because the Soviet Union first denied it happened at all and, when that was no longer possible, refused to release information about the famine. Estimates of the dead range from 3.5 million to more than 10 million. A bitter irony of the famine is that Ukraine is one of the most fertile places in the world, so much so that it is known as “the breadbasket of Europe.” Cliftonite John Burtyk, who is of one of the organizers of the commemoration, said Ukrainians were punished for their desire for liberty. “The starvation was deliberately done by Stalin, because they would not submit to his rule and they would not agree to collectivization,” he said. “Always, Ukrainians fought for independence.” Burtyk said the commemoration had significance not just for today but for the future. Ukrainians want the Holodomor to be recognized as an act of genocide. “Unfortunately, Russia is now denying it,” he said. Russian historians say that since other nationalities, including Russians and Kazakhs, died in the famine, it cannot be considered an act of genocide against Ukrainians. Burtyk said the commemorations of the Holodomor by Ukrainians throughout the world are proof that the Russian desire to crush Ukrainian nationalism and patriotism were unsuccessful. “You can kill the body,” he said, “but you cannot kill the mind.” The Holodomor Day of Remembrance on Dec. 7 at 2:30 pm in Passaic at the Ukrainian Center on Hope Ave. is free and open to the public. For more on the Holodomor, go to

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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Happy 18th Birthday Bridget Rice on Dec. 3. Love, Your Family. Ann W. Kissel . . . . . . . . . . . 12/1 Mannan Amin . . . . . . . . . 12/2 Mike Gerardi. . . . . . . . . . . 12/2 Lauren Lawler . . . . . . . . . . 12/2 Bryan Nolasco . . . . . . . . . 12/2 Allison Ahdieh. . . . . . . . . . 12/3 Patrick Lotorto . . . . . . . . . 12/3 Bridget Rice . . . . . . . . . . . 12/3 Sharon Tichacek . . . . . . . 12/3 Phil Angello . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/4 Phyllis Galambos . . . . . . . 12/4 Timothy Gumann . . . . . . . 12/4 Mike Kester . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/4 Michael Vinciguerra . . . . 12/4 Rosemary Kuruc . . . . . . . . 12/5 Laura Mikolajczyk . . . . . . 12/5 Michael Ressetar . . . . . . . 12/5 Mark Mecca. . . . . . . . . . . 12/7 Robert Raichel . . . . . . . . . 12/8 Chris Sadowski . . . . . . . . . 12/8 Noelani Coronel. . . . . . . . 12/9

Jamie Osmak . . . . . . . . . . 12/9 Daniel Fonesca Ramos . . 12/9 Mark Surgent . . . . . . . . . . 12/9 Andrew Tichacek . . . . . . 12/9 Michael McEnerney . . . 12/10 Bob Snelson . . . . . . . . . . 12/10 Joey Cofone . . . . . . . . . 12/11 Kathleen M. Marshall. . . 12/11 Diane Meyer. . . . . . . . . . 12/11 Joseph Rutigliano . . . . . 12/11 Noelani Coronel is 9 on Dec. 9. Andy Kent . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/13 Dad Noel celebrates Dec. 7. Danny La Gala. . . . . . . . 12/13 Ray Capilli. . . . . . . . . . . . 12/14 Michael Murolo . . . . . . . 12/14 Mary Kate Kuruc . . . . . . 12/14 Steven Crawford . . . . . . 12/15 Marie Visicaro. . . . . . . . . 12/15 Ryan Jansson . . . . . . . . . 12/16 Hannah Grace Kulesa . 12/17 Jacqueline Gencarrelli . 12/18 Anne Gerardi . . . . . . . . . 12/18 Samantha Bassford . . . . 12/19 Jessie Ducos . . . . . . . . . . 12/20 Amy Marino . . . . . . . . . . 12/21 Sheldon Schwartz . . . . . 12/21 Michelle McEnerney . . . 12/22 Suman Pinto . . . . . . . . . . 12/22 Joey Cristantiello . . . . . . 12/24 Soumya Gunapathy . . . 12/24 Fred Bertalan . . . . . . . . . 12/25 Ernest Csaszar. . . . . . . . . 12/25

Alina Bladek and Michael Zalenski married on July 20. Ryan John Hariton . . . . . 12/25 Eric Soltis . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/25 Melissa Cordes . . . . . . . . 12/27 James Mazza . . . . . . . . . 12/29 Steven Bivaletz . . . . . . . . 12/30 Hunter Conklin . . . . . . . . 12/30 Tom Melfi. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/30 Courtney Pinter . . . . . . . 12/31

Abigail Cecelia Erickson made her grand entrance at 1:03 pm, Nov. 19. She tipped the scales at 8 lbs, 7 oz at 19,25 inches. She and her mom, Suzanne, are doing well. Grandma and Grandpa Torelli, however, have yet to return to earth.


December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Courtesy Nutley Historian John Demmer

In Dec. 1908, Yanticaw Lake, at the Yanticaw Ice Company Ice House, provided residents with the best skating there in years. “On Sunday there were so many skaters on the lake that it was difficult to get around.”

Bygone News As collected & edited by Clifton Historian Don Lotz Bygone News provides a glimpse into the events occurring in Acquackanonk (now Clifton) 100 and 50 years ago. While topics illustrate the evolution of a rural Acquackanonk Township into the Clifton of today, no doubt readers will also notice how some issues seem timeless.

December 1908 The Acquackanonk Township treasurer submitted no report at the Dec. 1 meeting but the poormaster had bills of $149.09 and the clerk presented $5.25 “received for a license and wagon plate.” The first reading of an “ordinance establishing a police department and providing for the regulation, control and management thereof” passed. Protection of Acquackanonk’s inhabitants evolved from a force of constables, led by William J. Coughlin, to a full fledged police department consisting of a chief and more officers as judged necessary by the township committee. The chief is required to “keep a telephone in his headquarters at his own expense” and receive an annual salary of $720. 112 December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Thieves entered the home of William F. McDermott taking a $75 gold watch and $30. A dining room window provided entrance and the thief, sneaking up to the second floor, obtained the plunder without disturbing anyone. “It is believed to be the work of an amateur, for left behind was silverware, cut glass and jewelry, which would have attracted the attention of a professional burglar.” The Yountakah Country Club remained in Delawanna despite the proposed consolidation of various clubs in the vicinity into one located at Arcola. The property owners asked for an increase in their lease and put Yountakah in a position to make the move to become part of the consolidation. The owners read the article and “offered a reasonable figure. The Yountakah Country Club... will remain just where it is.” A formal petition to the NJ Legislature calls for the annexation of that part of Acquackanonk, bounded by Van Houten Ave, Piaget Ave, and the Passaic River, to Passaic. Many residents of this section support the petition and

Quarterback Wayne Demikoff helped Clifton beat Garfield, 38-0, on Thanksgiving Day in 1958. feel “that annexation with Passaic is the manifest destiny of Clifton and that annexation would mean a big boom for Clifton.”

George F. Schmidt fought annexation with Passaic and was Clifton’s mayor 1918 to 1920. George F. Schmidt led the opposition to the annexation petition. The recent improvements to schools, streets, and sidewalks; the addition of fire hydrants and the purchasing of new fire apparatus put Clifton “in excellent condition” and unnecessary for it to be “gobbled up” by Passaic. Annexation advocate Joseph Griolo countered saying “thieves and highwaymen of all sizes, kinds and description have been making their homes in the township… scarring some of our more timid citizens almost to death.” He added: “Clifton’s political situation was rarely modified— once an officeholder, always an officeholder.”

“Think of what a beautiful place Clifton would soon become!” Griolo said. “All the dark streets would rapidly disappear, burglar alarms would be a thing of the past and chicken thieves would be a half forgotten legend, only told to sleepy children in the days to come.” Delawanna’s Park Athletic Association football team lost 6-0 to the Rutherford Bergen Stars at the Delawanna Park Oval. Rutherford’s “Bullethead Lewis” seemed to be in every important play during the game. The Clifton Training School football team defeated Paterson’s West Side Field Club at Clifton Stadium 17-0. O’Neil, Barrows, and Powers scored touchdowns for Clifton. The win extended the School’s unbeaten streak to four seasons. “The Delawanna Depot has taken on the appearance of Santa Claus’ store room the past few

days. Station Agent Fredericks has been overwhelmed with express and mail packages, both coming in and being dispatched. The business has been the heaviest known in some years.”

December 1958 Deputy Chief Marius Celentano gave Clifton Public Schools a fire safety clean bill of health after the Fire Prevention Bureau inspection “to prevent a tragedy similar to the recent disastrous fire in Chicago”. The Mustang Band Rose Bowl Fund campaign nears its goal of $30,000 and the Dec. 27 departure of the band for Pasadena. Former Clifton fireman Ben Latteri attached this note with his donation: “The good news has made me very proud and happy to think that our beautiful City of Clifton’s name will be displayed on the streets of Pasadena and Los Angeles.”

December 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Albion Place VFW Post 7165 donated $100 to the band which they raised at a teenage dance “attended by 135 youngsters each of whom donated 75 cents.” The Mustangs defeated Garfield 38-0 Thanksgiving Day to end their season 7-2. Quarterback Wayne Demikoff passed for one TD with Ray Promin, Joe Vernarec, Jack Boettcher and Cliff Ruth rushing for five more touchdowns and Bob Hall adding two conversions. Clifton’s record earned a co-championship with Teaneck in North 1, Group 4. This is the eighth title won under Coach Joe Grecco’s 14 year reign. Clifton Master Barber’s Assoc. raised the price of a youth’s haircut from $1 to $1.25 while holding the adult’s price at $1.50; but “Clifton still enjoys a better rate than many nearby communities.” Requested salary increases of principals, teachers, and janitors received a stern “No” reply from the Board of Ed. Despite Eugene Lockwood’s complaint that children had caught colds because of winter drills, the practice will continue. NJ Highway 21 construction through Delawanna will cause Clifton “to lose about $500,000 in ratables [and] a total of 61 structures will be affected by the path of the throughway which will mean an annual tax loss of about $28,000 or about two points in the rate.” 114 December 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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Santa’s Official Mason Supplier

A theniA A theniA MASON SUPPLY

From Lakeview Ave • Enter on Mina Ave


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Tomahawk Promotions 1288 Main Avenue Clifton, NJ 07011




1624 Main Ave. Clifton, NJ 07011

Office: 973-340-1202


Profile for Clifton Merchant Magazine

Clifton Merchant Magazine - December 2008  

Clifton Merchant Magazine - December 2008