Clifton Merchant Magazine - February 2004

Page 1

Clifton Merchant Magazine • Volume 10 • Issue 2 • February 6, 2004




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Botany Aerial View, Circa 1950 . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Trained in Clifton: CHS Internships . . . . . . . . .43 A Rocky Consensus to a New School . . . . . . .48

…on our cover Hard hats and hard work: that’s manufacturing in Clifton. At Bay State Milling, New Jersey’s only flour mill, fathers and sons work together to make the flour in the bread you eat every day. Celebrate the men and women who continue to build Clifton’s reputation as an industrial giant. Our stories begin on page 6.

Voters and Candidates: Register Here . . . . . .54 Budget by Barbara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 76 Grove St. Back to Planning . . . . . . . . . . . .59 Municipal Meetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Updates: Athenia to Delawanna . . . . . . . . . .63 Which Form of Government is Best? . . . . . . .65 Super Bowl Family Day Photos . . . . . . . . . . . .68 Savory Singer, Jazzy Dining . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76 Birthdays and Celebrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80 An Afternoon With Dave Szott . . . . . . . . . . .82


CairnsHelmets: hand-crafted in Clifton.

In September 1980, City Hall and hundreds of employees moved from Downtown Clifton to the present Municipal Building, shown above. It was the beginning of a decade of change for our city. In March, Clifton Merchant Magazine will publish a history of the 1980s but we need your help. Share your stories and photos of this remarkable decade. Call Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400.

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

Clifton Merchant Magazine

Letters to the

1288 Main Ave. Clifton 07011 Tom.Hawrylko@Verizon.Net


On behalf of the Greco family, I would like to thank you for publishing the many articles written in tribute to my dad (the late, great Mustang Football Coach Joe Grecco) and in dedicating so much of your magazine to tell of his life and accomplishments. It meant a great deal to him and to all of us. Phyllis Borowski

Corrections: In the January, 2004 article, Retail Follows Rooftops, the name of the Styertowne Shopping Center was misspelled. In an article on Catholic Schools Week, we reported that St. Andrew the Apostle School is 100 years old. The Mt. Prospect Ave. school turned 50 in 2003. In January’s Then/Now section which looked back at March, 2003, we reported two City Council members, Frank Gaccione and Ed Welsh, favored an appointed Board of Education. We mistakenly omitted Councilman Stefan Tatarenko, who also shares this opinion. Our policy is to publish corrections or clarifications as needed. If you feel an article is not accurate, please contact us. 16,000 MAGAZINES are distributed to hundreds of Clifton Merchants the first Friday of Every Month. HOME DELIVERY AVAILABLE $15/year in Clifton $25/year out of town SEE PAGE 62 TO SUBSCRIBE entire contents copyright 2004 © tomahawk promotions


February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Welcome to Clifton, Phase 2: Even six months after it was destroyed by fire, Lee’s Hawaiian Islander, the tiki-style restaurant at the corner of Piaget and Lexington Aves., remains a Clifton landmark. But these days, it looks more dangerous and less elegant. Six months is a long time for a dead structure to remain without being torn down, and Clifton’s four full-time code enforcement officers can only do so much in a city of 78,672 residents that adds 500,000 square feet of

new business each year. The former Firestone building on Main Ave., just a block away from Piaget Ave. and not all that far from Lee’s, sat lifeless for a decade before it was torn down. For months last year, we published its picture, urging the city to step in and take control of an aging Downtown eyesore. Is Lee’s becoming the new Firestone? Or, when the city completes its new budget, will it finally give its code enforcement team the resources it needs to clean up Clifton?

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EDITOR & PUBLISHER Tom Hawrylko BUSINESS MANAGER Cheryl Hawrylko GRAPHIC DESIGNER Michael McDonald STAFF WRITER Daniel Wolfe WRITERS Jack DeVries, Joe Torelli, Paula Zecca


hen I went to the first public forum held by the Board of Education to discuss the need for a new school, I heard high school kids testify of the perils of going from class to class in the crowded hallways. I heard social studies teacher Christopher Henry talk about what it’s like to teach in a cafeteria. And I listened to CHS Principal Bill Cannici explain just how close we are to having the most crowded high school in the state. But when Councilman Frank Gaccione attended, he worked the back of the room and heard the concerns of the ‘not in my backyard’ vote, who, coincidentally, live in his neighborhood near and around Latteri Park, the school site proposed by the Community Advisory Committee. At this point, readers should know that Latteri Park is owned by the Board of Education and would cost the taxpayers nothing to in free. Three days after that meeting, the City Council voted to oppose the use of Latteri Park for a school. Since that time, the Council and the Board have met on a few occasions to select a new site. Now attention has turned to Schultheis Farm on Grove St., which is right between two of the city’s most crowded schools. The Board and the Council will soon likely propose that the city buy the farm and build the school there.

Opinion by Editor & Publisher Tom Hawrylko

The best argument I’ve heard for this location is that if the city doesn’t build a school there, the owners of the property have an offer from a developer to put housing on the sixacre tract. In short, building on the farm would block housing. Over the last few weeks, I’ve received a handful of calls from people living near the farm saying a school would create problems in that neighborhood...they don’t want it.

CHS kids fight through these halls on a daily basis. Would you want to work in this type of environment?

Now what? At Latteri Park, the Council quickly responded to Clifton Unite, a group of what was supposed to be 750 Rosemawr residents dedicated to “saving all of Latteri Park and solving the problem of school overcrowding.” What happens if a new group forms, let’s say they call themselves “Save Schultheis Farm” and they create a website and purportedly get 750 Albion residents to sign a petition? Will the Council respond in a similar fashion?

This brings us to the ostrich and the giraffe. An ostrich hides its head in the ground, and a giraffe sticks its neck out. Which are we as a community? Are our Council members sticking their necks out or are they just sticking their noses into a mess? And now that they are involved—as they should be—will they stand by their choice and help pass a referendum? I’ve heard council members talk about shuffling grades and putting the 6th graders back into our elementary schools. That sounds like another band-aid solution. Decisions made in 2004 regarding our school will affect Clifton for decades. Ten years from now we will reflect on our choice and say this is what made or broke our city. Look back to 1994 when we had the chance to purchase the former Shulton property on Colfax Ave. We voted that down and instead got 637 units of crunched upscale housing called Cambridge Crossings. What could have been a jewel in our community—an educational and recreational complex—is now a model for overdevelopment. So, elected officials: are you going to stick your head in the sand or realistically deal with the issue of schools overcrowding?

“I’m not sure we need a new school.” –Councilman Frank Gaccione Clifton Merchant • February 2004


––––––– All Stories in this Section by Daniel Wolfe ––––––– Much is manufactured in Clifton. The dyes and lace for Victoria’s Secret lingerie, the stainless steel pipes for the nation’s nuclear power plants, the flour in the bread and pizza we eat – it’s all Made in Clifton. Touring his factory and showing off its state-of-the-art machinery, David Wiley, co-owner and vice president of the century-old dyeing and finishing company on Hazel St., International Veiling Corp., said: “You still have to grab this fabric and lay your hands on it. You still have to have an operator.”

These industry jobs are often held by people from Clifton, Paterson and other nearby towns. Many of the factories employ entire families; people work every day along with their brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. The family affair continues into ownership: some of Clifton’s older manufacturers are owned by the children and grandchildren of the company’s founders. Clifton is also home to the only flour mill in New Jersey, and one of three stainless steel pipe manufacturers in the United States.

Old newspapers, pizza boxes and other pulp products are first recycled then manufactured into cardboard at the Recycled Paperboard plant on Ackerman Ave.


February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

These firms face competition from as near as Pennsylvania and as distant as China. They ship out thousands of pounds of product each day, constantly re-investing in their Clifton facilities and supporting the workforce of the city. These are jobs that require skill, expertise and muscle. Although many workers start at the bottom, they stay loyal and quickly learn the skills that make them essential to the company’s success. Unfortunately, these jobs are becoming the legacy of the state’s past as an industrial giant. Back in 1943, New Jersey’s 961,000 manufacturing jobs made up 55 percent of the state’s workforce, according to a study recently released by Rutgers University professors James Hughes and Joseph Seneca.

That number began to decline after World War II and by 2000, the state had only 464,000 manufacturing jobs, just 11.6 percent of the state’s workforce. Despite this decline, it is not a bygone era here in Clifton. Many companies still manufacture in our city, some employs hundreds and work 24/7 while others are one man shops. Back in April, 2003, we began the Made In Clifton series, a celebration of the city’s industry and manufacturing. Our first story introduced readers to the Beachcomer, a wheel attachment for kayaks that was invented by Clifton’s Ben Capobianco.

Congressman Bill Pascrell recently toured Electrolift on Sargeant Ave., a firm which manufactures the hoists that raise and lower scoreboards in sports arenas across the nation.

Ben Capobianco holding the first version of the Beachcomer and the wheels of the new and improved US Patented item.

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In the next several pages, you’ll learn about what else is Made in Clifton. You’ll see the intricate processes that transform raw material into marketable products. You’ll also meet the individuals who started as sweepers and clerks years ago, learned the trade, some of whom became supervisors and company presidents. Made In Clifton: Do you know of a product founded or manufactured within the borders of our city? If so, submit your suggestions for this series via e-mail to or via US Postal Service to Clifton Merchant Magazine, 1288 Main Ave., Downtown Clifton, NJ, 07011. You may also send your business and industry news, notes and photos to the same addresses.





Clifton Merchant • February 2004


BayStateMilling This six-story operation runs on pure ‘Flour Power’

Franco Spaventa (with shovel), Rob Dechert and his dad Kurt Jr. Standing behind them are Curtis Martin, Plant Manager Mike Carmony, Marvin Hargrove and Willie Edwards.

When you’re told that 3 million pounds of flour is being processed above your head, suddenly the light plastic hardhat you were issued provides little comfort. That’s how much flour was counted in Bay State’s morning inventory, and already there are freight cars outside delivering more grain to the mill. Bay State Milling Company owns the only flour mill in New Jersey, a Clifton facility that has been running since 1917, built by the New Jersey Flour Milling Company. Bay State purchased it in 1963, making 8

February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Clifton one of its five operating mills in the nation. Walking through the company’s office area is like walking through any office, cubicles and all. The only difference between the mill office and, say, a newsroom, is a small stack of plastic hardhats in one corner. But the actual six-story mill is stunning. A visitor feels like a character in a snowglobe; no matter what the weather outside, the floors and walls are all coated with a thin dusting of snowy flour. The dust is thickest around the bagging area and other spots where the flour is allowed to escape the massive machinery.


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Each of the six stories represents a different stage in the milling process, and sometimes they represent several different stages. After being deposited by rail cars which each carry 200,000 pounds of wheat, the grain is propelled upwards through the mill in tubes by air. Then it descends through a variety of machines which grind, filter, sift, shake – some even seem to dance – as they process the wheat into flour. The top floor, described by Plant Manager Mike Carmony as the most boring of the six, filters and cleans the propelling air before it is released again into the outside world. Each machine has its purpose, and each grain of wheat is as unique as a snowflake, but just as fascinating are the individuals primarily from Clifton and nearby towns who keep all stages of the mill operating.

The mill employs 43 people, and for some, working at the mill was their first and only job. Ariel Rivera, 24, has worked at the Bay State mill for five years. He started after finishing high school. “My father was a blender,” he said. “I started as an assistant miller and worked my way up to miller.” The headmiller, Marco Sorace, 45, tells a similar story. “I was sweeping the floor, and I worked my way up,” said Sorace, a Bay State employee since 1977. His term of employment survived the massive Nov. 18, 1984 explosion and fire that destroyed all the mill but the old grain elevator. Flames shot as high as 300 feet into the air and the blast blew out a DPW garage wall across the tracks and shattered windows in the neighborhood.


Name: Bay State Milling Company Address: 404 Getty Ave. (behind Corrado’s Market) Manufactures: Flour Amount: 1.2 million pounds white flour daily 180,000 pounds whole wheat flour daily Size: 30,000 square feet Employs: 43 Fast Fact: New Jersey’s only flour mill

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Bay State’s six-story mill is a familiar part of the Clifton skyline, an unique landmark seen easily from the Parkway. The Getty Ave. facility grinds 30,000 bushels of wheat into flour each day. At right, a grainy look back inside the old Clifton mill.

“The owners felt they wanted to rebuild and provide jobs,” Carmony said, describing the aftermath of the explosion. “They chose to rebuild on the site. Some of the (workers) came back and are working here now. Some chose not to come back.” Sorace came back and is now in charge of overseeing all activities in the mill. He schedules maintenance and staffing, inspects equipment, and directs wheat rail car operation. He is also on call 24 hours a day; at times, he is the only person who can put the mill back

on track when things hit an obstacle. Not bad for a former sweeper. And what of Rivera’s father, Ricardo? “Right now he moved to the Florida mill,” Rivera said. His father, though far away, still works with Bay State. Ricardo Rivera’s old position as a blender is now worked by Robert Dechert, 25, from Clifton, who started at Bay State three years ago because his own father, Kurt Dechert, Jr., also works here. The care to family runs straight to the top; while the sixth-largest milling company in the nation, Bay

Bay State Milling Company owns the only flour mill in New Jersey, a Clifton facility that has been running since 1917. 10

February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

State is America’s largest that is family-owned. Although the company’s first mill was purchased 105 years ago in Minnesota, it takes its name from Massachusetts, the Bay State, where founder Bernard J. Rothwell settled in 1869 after emigrating from Ireland. Today, the company is still privately owned and run by the Rothwells. And the 1984 explosion and fire, which seemed devastating at first (costing one life and fifty jobs), did not destroy this large and longstanding manufacturer in Clifton. In the end, despite its losses, the facility became stronger. By 1989, Bay State retooled and built itself up from the ashes, replacing its 67-year-old tools with modern equipment, something which Sorace said made the facility

the flour in a loaf of bread in the supermarket cost the manufacturer only 13 cents. And each day, Bay State produces enough flour to make 1.4 million loaves of bread. Those pennies add up. The remaining 30 percent of the flour produced at the mill is sold in 50 and 100 pound bags to bakeries through the same distributors. These bags are more likely to be sold in bulk than individually. “We’re geared to sell in truckload quantities,” Carmony said. “Retail doesn’t work for us.” But even the local bakeries and pizzerias need flour in bulk, so don’t assume that you’ve never tasted Bay State flour just because you don’t have a bag in your own kitchen. This Clifton mill adds every day to the flavor of the community.

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noticeably safer, despite the uncertainty that still surrounds the explosion’s origins. When Bay State purchased the original Clifton mill 40 years ago, it produced 250,000 pounds of flour a day, a number that only seems small when you’re told that today you’re standing underneath 12 times as much flour as even more grain speeds up past you through the walls on its way to be processed. But where does all this flour go? Bulk tankers take 70 percent of the mill’s flour to distributors. Each bulk tanker holds 52,000 pounds of flour. “The volumes we deal in usually boggle most peoples’ minds,” Carmony said. “That’s also why flour’s so cheap,” he added. “Flour milling’s a very competitive business.” Carmony estimates

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SwepcoTubeCorp The product never rusts and neither does the skill of the workers


There are 104 nuclear reactors operating at 65 power plants in the United States. Every one of them uses pipes that are manufactured in Clifton. The stainless steel piping made by the 100 workers at Swepco Tube are used for everything from the power industry to the art world. Steel from Clifton was made into a sculpture at Fort Lauderdale International Airport. The most famous art used is the stainless steel globe—still on display in Flushing, NY—created as the centerpiece for the 1964 World’s Fair. But whether its purpose is practical or aesthetic, each pipe and tube manufactured to order on Clifton Blvd. is guaranteed flawless. Need proof? No problem. When solid sheets of stainless steel are transformed into pipes of custom length, diameter and thickness, they are welded shut and then examined by X-ray under the expert eye of an X-ray technician.

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February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Name: Swepco Tube Corp. Address: One Clifton Blvd. Manufactures: Stainless Steel Pipes. Amount: 28 million pounds of pipe per year. Size: 134,000 square feet. Employs: 100. Fast Fact: One of only three such manufacturers in the United States.

This puts a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the welders themselves, but Swepco co-owner and Vice President Victor Battistuz said he doesn’t worry. “It’s got to be a perfect weld every time,” he said, standing next to welder Dwight Otero, “and he does those, every time.” Otero, 38, has been working at Swepco for five years. He is skilled at working with high-reactive metals such as titanium and zirconium. He learned the trade while serving with the U.S. Air Force from 1983 to 1987. Not only are the X-ray images of the welds subject to inspection by any of Swepco’s clients, but so are the credentials of their X-ray technicians. There is a reason for this: whether used in power plants or building support, the pipes are expected to endure a lot of stress in their lifespan. “It doesn’t rust and it doesn’t need painting,” Battistuz said. “That’s the beauty of stainless steel.” Not only don’t they rust, but they also do not break in their 15-year lifespan. “We never had a failure in service,” Battistuz said. So when a prospective buyer comes to Swepco, they want to know that the pipes have been examined under the supervision of a level-III technician, as certified by the American Society for Nondestructive Testing.

They want to know that the technician, Bill Contrini, 67, of Hawthorne, has worked at Swepco for almost 41 years. They want to know that his experience was continuous (it only took six of those 41 years to train for level III). And then they’ll want to double-check his work with their own technicians. A level-I technician, such as Early Prince, 61, of Union, is proficient in operating the equipment. At 43 years of employment, Prince has been with Swepco longer than any other worker. A level-II technician, such as Jozef (Joe) Koziol, 47, of Clifton, knows how to interpret the X-ray images and identify flaws in the weld.

Kneeling, from left, Marek (Mark) and Wojciech Koziol. Standing, Kenneth Schultz, Victor Battistuz and Jozef (Joe) Koziol Clifton Merchant • February 2004


Koziol’s nephews, Wojchiech and Marek (Mark), also of Clifton, both work for Swepco as welders. This is no coincidence; according to Swepco’s co-owner and president, Kenneth Schultz, Jr., “Very seldom do we have to put an ad in the paper when we have an opening.”

If there is ever a need to hire a new worker, someone at the factory is always able to volunteer his brother, nephew, friend or son for the job. Indeed, that nepotism starts at the top: Schultz is the grandson of manufacturing guru A. Jack Ridella, one of the company’s two

“It doesn’t rust and it doesn’t need painting. That’s the beauty of stainless steel.” –Victor Battistuz, co-owner and vice president, Swepco Tube Corp.

co-founders. Ridella and Paul Tobelmann founded the company in 1949 in Newark as Stainless Welded Products Co. It moved to Jersey City in 1950, renamed itself Swepco Tube Corp. in 1951, and finally landed in Clifton in 1955. Why Clifton? “The shale played a part,” Schultz said. The soft shale underneath the factory allowed Swepco to dig deep into the ground to install the massive machinery used to shape steel pipes. Most of the machines are just as big underground as they are up top. 1630

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Mill Superintendent Bernie Ficacci stands between co-owners Bob Catanzariti (left) and Steve Oberhelman.

The area above ground also gave the company room to breathe and, more important, room to expand the existing facility as the company grew. But as the company grew, it did not forget its employees. According to Battistuz and Schultz, several of the workers at the Clifton location are relatives of former workers from the older two locations. In 1965, Tobelmann and Ridella accepted a buyout offer from Superior Group, Inc., formerly Superior Tube. In August of 2001, Battistuz, Schultz, Bob Catanzariti and Steven Oberhelman succeeded in buying it back. Today, the four share ownership. Despite changing names, locations and ownership over the years, Swepco still has connections to its past. For example, it was Ridella who patented the syncrowelder, which can weld the inside and outside of a pipe simultaneously. Ridella’s dynawelder uses a fixed torch to weld a moving pipe. Both are still in use not only in Clifton but at other stainless plants. In addition, “We’re the only company in the world that can weld stainless steel up to two inches thick without filler metal,” Battistuz said. This gives Swepco a unique advantage against its competitors. Swepco’s biggest project on the horizon is to create pipes for the new Taiwanese nuclear power plants. It is a project Swepco has pursued since April, 2000, and it is valued at $31 million.

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Clifton Merchant • February 2004


CairnsHelmets A Clifton leather legacy: protecting firefighters in style On the inside, there’s everything the modern firefighter needs: foam impact cap, chinstrap, liner, and earlap. And on the outside, it’s pure tradition. “A lot of the things that we’re doing, the way we’re making leather helmets, is exactly the same as when we started (in1836). There’s a lot of handwork,” said Attila

Iltekin, 49, of Clifton. Iltekin is the production supervisor at MSA CairnsHelmets, formerly Cairns & Brother, a longtime manufacturer of hard leather helmets for firefighters here in Clifton and across the world. He has worked with Cairns since 1974, at the Bloomfield Ave. location they operated from in Clifton since 1946. The company moved to its current facility, a 42,000 square foot location just off Brighton Rd., 15 years ago. Despite industry advancements and physical relocation, all of the helmets’ seams are still stitched by hand. The leather is trimmed and cut by the hands of individual workers. The distinctive embossing around the brim of the helmet is done by a machine that is operated by hand. Even the tools are hand-made. “A lot of the hand tools are modified to our needs,” Iltekin said. These include knives, trimmers, hammers and pounders – yes, pounders, which are a lot more specialized than they sound; a piece of metal fused to a metal handle is used to pound the connection between the helmet’s crown and its brim. Each of the 60 workers adds a personal touch to the final product, which is purchased by, as Iltekin calls them, “firefighters with money.” Each custommade hard leather helmet can cost between $400 and $550. By comparison, modern composite helmets (which Cairns also sells, in much larger quantities) can cost between $200 and $300. Production Supervisor Attila Iltekin shows off his favorite helmet style – natural leather. Each leather helmet is handstitched and built from the same recipe that the manufacturer used when the business was started back in 1836.


February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

The less expensive composite helmets, made from a shiny thermoplastic shell, are produced at a rate of 400 a day. But at the same time, Cairns creates 40 of its traditional leather helmets each day. These leather helmets are still in use, even by Clifton firefighters. Nicknamed the ‘New Yorker’ for their city of origin, these helmets are no longer ordered by the Big Apple, but are custom-ordered on an international scale. And as with everything this old, there is a secret recipe. After the leather helmet is assembled but

A front panel for a fire helmet, made from leather and stitched together at CairnsHelmets. Yes, there really is a Tomahawk Fire Dept. somewhere.

before it adopts the inner foam impact cap or even its coat of paint, it is cured and hardened. This process begins by soaking the helmet in a solution of gum resin and solvents, a specialized mixture concocted by Scottish luggage manufacturer Henry Gratacap in the early 1800s, and sold to the Cairns brothers, Jasper and Henry, in 1836. Cairns is now owned by MSA Fire Service Products in Pittsburgh. After the helmet is soaked in this mixture, it rests on a nearby shelf. “Leather cures and hardens in anywhere from five to eight weeks,” Iltekin said. “As the helmets dry, the solvent evaporates, leaving the solids behind. That’s what makes the helmets hard.” The transformation is obvious. Before, the leather was soft and could be sewn and shaped. Now, even with effort, the helmet shell cannot be bent by hand.


Name: MSA CairnsHelmets, formerly Cairns & Brother. Address: 60 Webro Rd., off Bloomfield Ave. Manufactures: Fire helmets. Amount: 40 leather helmets a day; 400 composite helmets a day. Size: 42,000 square feet. Employs: 60, plus temps for large projects. Fast Fact: Traditional Cairns leather helmets are hand-crafted using the same methods as when the company was founded in 1836.

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Pedro Acevedo of Passaic hand-crafts a leather Cairns fire helmet, sewing the newly-shaped crown onto the brim. When the stitching is complete, he will use a hand tool to trim the excess leather from the base of the crown.

In fact, the cured helmet must be heated with a torch in order to mold it into its final shape: “The sides are raised and then the back slopes down to shed water,” Iltekin said, tracing his finger along the curves of the sculpted brim. “This is the American tradition.” After that comes the first choice for customization: the color. “I can paint leather fire helmets for you, any color you choose,” Iltekin said. “The top seller is black. My favorite, needless to say, are the leather helmets finished in ‘natural.’” He picked one up one of his favorites to show off its natural leather finish. “Doesn’t that look gorgeous?” he

said. “Why would anybody order a leather helmet and get it painted?” The foam impact cap is also made here in Clifton, as are the chinstraps. And in case you’re wondering: yes, Cairns does sell replacement parts. Firefighters or municipalities often purchase an entire new interior (impact cap, chin strap, earlap, etc.) for most any damaged helmet. “All you need to do is unscrew four screws, drop this baby in, and you got brand new guts,” Iltekin said, holding the fully assembled replacement interior for a custom helmet. “You don’t need to worry about anything.” While the fire helmets are the bread and butter of the business, Cairns also does other work. 1040

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Recently, the firm took on a project to create the chin straps for helmets in use by American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. For this project, Cairns hired 28 temps and expects to add more workers within a month. Cairns also sell miniature helmets – ‘babies,’ as Iltekin calls them – which are often given out as gifts for retirements or promotions. They are crafted exactly like their big brothers: made from cowhide, handstitched, cured and painted. And they come with a smaller price tag: just $250 each.

Arnold Holt hand-sews four leather panels together to form the crown of a fire helmet. The finished product, above left, with a few more bells and whistles, is displayed by Clifton Firefighter Mark Mezzina.

Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. is proud to fight for American Manufacturing Companies in Clifton and across the country. Our offices are located at: Main District Office: Robert A. Roe Building, 200 Federal Plaza Suite 500 Paterson, New Jersey 07505 Phone (973) 523-5152 Passaic Office: Passaic City Hall, 165 Prospect Street Passaic, New Jersey 07055 Phone (973) 472-4510 Bloomfield Office: Bloomfield Municipal Plaza, Room 200A Town Hall Bloomfield, New Jersey 07003 Phone (973) 680-1361 Washington, D.C. Office: 1722 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 Phone (202) 225-5751 Paid for by Pascrell for Congress, Inc. C. Pagano, Treasurer Clifton Merchant • February 2004





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February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

InternationalVeiling Hazel Street’s most intimate & colorful manufacturer Next time you see a Victoria’s Secret model, pay close attention to the lace trim of her lingerie. It was once a bland, colorless off-white – known in the industry as ‘greige’ – before it came to Clifton. Her panties took on its seductive shine with the help of 50 employees at International Veiling Corp. on Hazel St. Co-owner and Vice President David Wiley describes the Clifton firm as one link in a long and elaborate chain – this is, perhaps, his favorite metaphor – that is garment production. After a product is designed and knitted, it comes to International Veiling for its color and its finishing (the latter of which determines how soft or firm the fabric is). In a room near Wiley’s office, you’ll find the pipetting machine. Operated by Gus Ruscher, the machine looks and sounds like something out of the fanciful factory of Willy Wonka.

Along its top are 70 glass jars, each containing a different color dye. “Those are the ones we use constantly,” Ruscher said of the 70 colors, “but we have many more.” Tubes feed the dye into the machine to create unique colors, and every few seconds, the glasses start to clink. A visitor described the sound as new age music. The machine’s song is caused by the

motion of plastic-coated magnets in all of the jars. These magnets jump about to ensure that the dye doesn’t settle while it waits to be mixed. The dye this machine creates is applied to a fabric sample. If the customer approves the sample, the color is then applied to the entire batch of fabric in machines that can handle anywhere from 10 to 1,500 pounds of fabric at a time.

Scott Degen, front, has worked at International Veiling for 20 years, He is pictured with Milsa Navea, Carlos Rodriguez, Felix Polonia, Freddy Jackson and Sixto Ortiz. Clifton Merchant • February 2004


After the fabric is dyed, it is dried, and the exhaust from the dryers is used to heat the water for the next batch of dyeing. After the customer gives the still-damp dye job a final OK, the finishing is added as the fabric is dried again, determining the final product’s softness or firmness. At its prime, the steam-filled factory could dye and finish 15,000 lbs. of fabric in a day. But times have changed, and now an average day produces just 7,400 lbs. of dyed and finished fabric.

Name: International Veiling Corp. Address: 244 Hazel St. Manufactures: Dyes and finishes for lace and netting. Amount: 7,400 pounds of dyed fabric a day. Size: 50,000 square feet. Employs: 50. Fast Fact: Possibly the city’s oldest manufacturer, International Veiling turns 100 this year.

made in China, Sri Lanka, Taiwan – everywhere but here.” The reason, he said, is that overseas, workers are paid in pennies by the hour. In the United States, they make a reasonable wage, plus benefits. But according to the Jan. 26 U.S. News & World Report, the average wage in China is 61 cents an hour. There is no way to compete. “They have to get a good wage here,” Wiley said. “They’ve earned it.” To show the extent of the impact this trend has, Wiley described one customer he lost to the overseas manufacturers. This customer was able to get every stage of the manufacturing process (including knitting, dyeing, finishing, and sewing) done for less money than International Veiling could charge just for the dyeing and finishing. Wiley said he sees this as the start of an industrial revolution in the Far East, similar to the one experienced by the United States in its own early years. And the American industries are suffering for it.

“It’s a dying industry,” Wiley said, repeating an old joke his grandfather used to enjoy. But these days, the joke has lost its humor. “The industry today is suffering badly,” Wiley said. “Most things are

International Veiling’s employees work in the steam-filed rooms that house the manufacturer’s 30 dyeing machines. The newest machines at the Hazel St. firm can handle loads of up to 15,000 pounds of fabric at a time.

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On Wiley’s desk is a stack of papers nearly an inch high, each announcing the closing of a factory similar to his own. There are pictures of the equipment, and all of it is new and modern; these were businesses that should have been healthy but they are closing. It’s ironic, Wiley said, that the garment industry is facing a slow decline here in northern New Jersey. For decades, Paterson was known as the ‘Silk City’ because of the number of garment industries in Clifton and Paterson and the thousands of employees in our area. Now, many of those companies have either closed or relocated their manufacturing operations to cheaper locales overseas. Wiley said that Congressman Bill Pascrell has been an ally to his industry. Pascrell has urged the Federal Government to actively prevent not just American jobs but entire industries from migrating overseas. Among these actions was November’s China Textile Safeguard, which limits imports from China on specific products. Back in December, Wiley asked only one thing of his family. He wanted to know that his Christmas gifts, items as mundane as socks and underwear, were all manufactured in the United States.

“They said it’s the hardest Christmas shopping they’ve ever done for me,” he said. Although he did get an American-made sweater and socks, his underwear was made overseas (too bad he doesn’t wear Victoria’s Secret). Despite this discouraging trend, the company celebrates its 100th birthday this year. The 50,000 square foot building itself was built in the late 1860s, and International Veiling was formed in 1904. It wasn’t always owned by Wiley’s family. “My grandfather was an employee here,” Wiley explained. “He bought into the company and he ended up owning it. He started out as a bookkeeper.”

After his grandfather, Edwin D. Wiley, the company was passed on to David Wiley’s father, Edwin S. Wiley, and his aunt, Ruth Post. “I had the best father in the world,” Wiley said. Edwin S. died in 2003 at the age of 79, and the company today is still owned jointly by the Wileys and the Posts. The trend continues in the workforce, where many employees work with their parents and siblings, all a vital part of the family within the walls of International Veiling. Most employees don’t have job titles; Wiley explained that they all work together to keep the factory running, despite facing challenges on an international scale.

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Lab technicians Jolanta Kret and Donna Kosmider with Vice President David Wiley in front of the pipetting machine, which mixes dyes to create new colors.

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ParisLace Three brothers and 53 machines make 15,000 pounds of lace a week Owned by three brothers, Paris Lace, Inc., of Clifton creates some of the most intricate designs you’ve seen or worn around the house. “What we do here,” began CEO Joe Dickinson, “is we manufacture – or, we knit – fabrics. Primarily lace fabrics. It’s a niche textile business.” When people think lace, they think bedroom attire, which is just part of what Paris Lace does. They also process fabrics for outerwear and furniture.

There are 53 knitting machines in the 60,000 square feet of rented space at 1500 Main Ave. Each reaches to the ceiling, weaving from countless threads of yarn like meticulous mechanical spiders, but they are not all alike. There are 45 lace Raschel machines, which are fed by large reels and knit intricate designs for clothing. In a separate room, the newer, bigger Jacquard patterning machines take smaller spools and transform them into patterns for furniture, for such customers as J.C. Penney. Paris Lace was founded in Ridgefield in 1968 by Irving Barr. When Barr moved the business to Clifton in 1978, he took on a new partner, Fred Dickinson. Fred Dickinson had three sons: Joe, Bob and Jack. “We became minority partners somewhere along the line,” Dickinson said. “In 2001, we bought (our father) out and he retired.” Their father still shares some ownership with the three sons. Touring the facility, Dickinson explained exactly what it is the machines do. “It’s a knitted fabric, like in the old days if you ever saw your grandmother with those hooks and the loop,” he said. But instead of a room full of grandmothers, there are large machines that altogether knit 15,000 pounds of lace a week. So what do Paris Lace’s 45 employees do, if the machines do all the knitting? “There’s a lot of attention that these machines require,” Dickinson said. “A lot of work goes into setting up patterns. It requires a lot of expertise – skilled people. It’s very complicated to turn out a lace fabric.” It’s that specialization that keeps Paris Lace in business, despite a changing market. “I’m working a lot harder than I ever did before,” Dickinson said. “The orders are smaller, and prices are not where we want them to be.” Part of it, he said, is the competition from overseas. However, he said that due to the niche nature of his business, Paris Lace is faring better than most, but it still faces hard times. In an average day, only half the knitting machines are running.

Machine technician Rigoberto Rivera stands with one of the 45 Raschel lace knitting machines owned by Paris Lace.


February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Name: Paris Lace, Inc. Address: 1500 Main Ave. Manufactures: Lace and knitting. Amount: 15,000 pounds a week. Size: 60,000 square feet. Employs: 45. Fast Fact: Purchased all of its knitting machinery from fellow Clifton textile manufacturer, Mayer Textile Machine Corp.

“The thing that will keep us here is that there will always be a demand,” he said. “And whatever’s here, we’re all fighting together.” Although Dickinson doesn’t get to choose where his customers’ fabrics go to be dyed and finished, he has done a lot of business with International Veiling on Hazel St. The Dickinsons also started a side-company, Lace for Less, which retails dyed and finished lace; this gives them some control over who gets to add color and texture to their product. Networking with local and regional businesses is a way to keep the trade strong, they reasoned.

Another way Paris Lace supports the industry is by buying machinery that is not only Made in America, but specifically comes from fellow Clifton textile company, Mayer Textile Machine Corporation. “We try to work together,” Dickinson said, “and that’s what will make or break us.”

Joe and Bob Dickinson, who own Paris Lace along with brother Jack (not pictured) and father Fred (retired, not pictured). The firm is at 1500 Main Ave.


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MadeInChina Is ‘Made in Clifton’ a thing of the past? It’s not just a campaign point: American jobs really are moving to other countries. “We’re facing competition from overseas,” said David Wiley of International Veiling on Hazel St., “but it’s not a level playing field.” Many white collar jobs are moving to India, where a company can hire six programmers for the wage of just one programmer in America. For blue collar workers, the gap is even bigger: one American technician’s wage is enough to hire 25 people in China.

“There’s no way anyone can compete with that,” Wiley said. In addition to lower wages, offshore employers do not have to worry about benefits packages, environmental regulations, and unions. The exodus may be growing: in January, there was even a conference in New York City for executives who wanted to learn how to send jobs overseas. According an article by the Associated Press, it attracted more than 150 attendees, and approximately 20 protesters outside.

“Invoking the China Textile Safeguard Petition will help level the playing field for American –Congressman Bill Pascrell companies...”

Proponents say this trend actually helps American workers by taking away the low-level jobs, thus forcing Americans to learn more specialized skills that can draw a higher salary. However, in practice, it’s begun to destroy the American companies that would need such highly skilled workers. This trend has hit the textile industry particularly hard, and has forced the closing of many factories – Wiley estimates nearly 60 percent – in an area once so famous for its fabric manufacturing that it was nicknamed the Silk City. Nationwide, the textile industry has lost 316,000 jobs. However, local industry does have an advocate.

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or some 30 years now, Anthony A. Accavallo, shown here, has been helping make the American Dream become a reality, right here in Clifton. As President of Federal Mortgage & Investment Corp. at 1111 Clifton Ave., Clifton, he and his firm have written millions of dollars worth of mortgages which have allowed people to purchase homes. And while that work has been fulfilling, Accavallo said he is getting his greatest satisfaction these days by helping senior citizens with reverse mortgages. A reverse mortgage is a special kind of mortgage loan for seniors. “It is a safe, easy way to turn your home equity into tax-free cash,” he continued.

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

How do I qualify for a Reverse Mortgage? It’s simple. You and your co-borrower must be at least 62 years old. You must own your home free and clear or have just a small balance on your existing mortgage. Best of all, there are no income or credit requirements to satisfy. How can I receive my money? You can receive it in several ways: •Equal monthly payments as long as you live in your home •Equal monthly payments for a certain period of time •As a line of credit you can draw upon as needed, for whatever reasons •As a lump sum draw at closing •A combination of the above, to meet your requirements.

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

When must I repay the loan? You must repay the loan if you no longer live in your home. In the event of your death, your heirs can choose to repay the loan and keep the house or sell the house and repay the loan, What are interest rate charges & fees? •An adjustable rate of interest is charged on reverse mortgages •Closing costs are typical for any mortgage closing and all may be financed •No out-of-pocket expenses at closing Are Reverse Mortgages safe? •Yes, FHA and FannieMae guarantee the payments you receive •FHA and FannieMae also guarantee you will never owe more than your house is worth — no debt left on estate

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Even if new restrictions can numb the impact of overseas competition, people still have to be willing to buy lace and fabric Made in America.

By Murray Blumenfeld Brrrrr, I don’t know about you but it’s too cold out there, and as far as the snow - I don’t even want to talk about it! Now lets talk about February 14th Valentines Day and that will warm the hearts of all my female readers. We are now stocked to the brim with a lot of lovely jewelry that will make wonderful Valentine gifts. Lots of heart jewelry made into pins, earrings, pendants and rings. We also have many other items to choose from so please come in and look for yourself. You’ll be surprised at what you can buy for very little money. We have some terrific items made by Swarovski that are new and just great gifts for your sweetheart. Jewelry and crystal pieces made just for Valentines Day. These pieces are displayed in my window showcase. I picked this up on the computer and it makes a beautiful story. Did you know Saint Valentine had been beheaded for helping young lovers marry against the wishes of the mad emperor Claudius. Before execution, Valentine himself had fallen in love with his jailer’s daughter. He signed his final note to her, “From your Valentine”, a phrase that has lasted through the centuries. The birthstone for February is Amethyst. In the deep purple shades it is a stone symbolic of royalty: It is featured in the British Crown Jewels, was a favorite of Catherine the Great and of Egyptian royalty. Greek legend associates the stone with Dionysos, god of wine. The presence of amethyst is said to dissipate anger and drunkenness. Have a good February. I will talk to you next month.



February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Congressman Bill Pascrell has met with industry representatives and voiced their concerns in Congress. On behalf of textile manufacturers, Pascrell has supported restrictions on imports from overseas. The most notable recent victory in this effort is the China Textile Safeguard, which was approved in November by the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements. CITA is an inter-agency body chaired by the U.S. Department of Commerce. “Invoking the China Textile Safeguard Petition will help level the playing field for American companies that have been fighting an uphill battle for business against Chinese companies,” said Pascrell, a Paterson native. The Safeguard places a limit on three textile products imported from China: knit fabric, dressing gowns and robes, and bras. Since many of these products are now made in their entirety overseas, this limitation could encourage recovery in all areas of domestic textile manufacturing. However, according to the January edition of Textile World, the restricted items represent only 5 percent of Chinese textile imports. The Safeguard’s biggest value could be as a deterrent; by starting to limit textile imports from China, the regulation could push companies back towards domestic manufacturing. Then again, the problem might get worse shortly. The existing textile import restrictions imposed by the World Trade Organization are set to expire in 2005. When this happens, the American Textiles Manufacturers Institute estimates that China will control fully 70 percent of the world textile market. Wiley sees this as a new Industrial Revolution for Asia. While others in the business are less epic in their wording, they still note the change. Joe Dickinson, coowner and CEO of Paris Lace on Main Ave., said, “The grand old days have slipped by us.” While Paris Lace faces its biggest competition from overseas, he said, “It’s not only imports, but also demand for the product.” Even if new restrictions can numb the impact of overseas competition, people still have to be willing to buy lace and fabric Made in America.

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RecycledPaperboard This family-owned business is built from scraps, every day The notes for this article were written on a notebook whose cardboard cover is made from recycled materials. Now that the article is published, the notes – and, possibly, several copies of the article itself – will be recycled to make more notebooks which will be used to write more articles and paper goods.

One step in this life cycle is Recycled Paperboard Inc. of Clifton, the second-largest manufacturing facility of its kind in the United States. Inside the factory at One Ackerman Ave. on the border of Clifton and Garfield along the Passaic River, the air smells like what one imagines fermenting grapes would smell like if they were covered in newsprint.

When old paper is brought in, it is soaked in a vat called a ‘pulper,’ where ordinary water transforms yesterday’s news into brown goo. This goo is then piped into the ‘wet end’ of a giant two-story machine (there are two yellow walkways, one along the machine’s top and another along its bottom, connected by a yellow ladder – i.e., the machine itself has two stories).

Recycled Paperboard’s owner Vincent M. Ponte, at center wearing glasses, with factory workers.


February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Name: Recycled Paperboard Inc. of Clifton. Address: One Ackerman Ave., Botany Village Manufactures: Paperboard (cardboard). Amount: 400,000 pounds daily Size: Factory footprint of 88,400 square feet. Employs: 100+. Fast Fact: Its recycling machinery is itself made from the recycled parts of older machines.

There, it is spread along a felt conveyer belt several times until the damp pulp has reached its desired thickness. When the material is strong enough to stand on its own, it comes out at the dry end, where it is pressed through enormous heated rollers, essentially ironed into a final product. This product is then sold in rolls or stacks to create everything from jigsaw puzzles to potato chip canisters to reporters’ notebooks. Throughout this process of taking in the old paper, soaking it, feeding it into the machines and selling reborn cardboard to other manufacturers, there are over 100 workers





who hail from Clifton and neighboring towns. Just 13 of these individuals are in office jobs; the 90 or so who work in the factory are members of the Paper, Allied-Industrial Chemical & Energy Workers International Union Local 300. It is through their hard work that 200 tons (400,000 pounds) of cardboard are produced each day on a three shift, 24 hour schedule which operates seven days a week. Today, the refurbished 80-yearold manufacturing plant hard on the banks of the Passaic River is going strong, even after being abandoned for a decade in 1979 by former owner Whippany Paper Board Co. after 55 years of service.

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Recycled Paperboard Inc. was created from V. Ponte & Sons, a paper supplier that sold materials to Whippany decades ago. V. Ponte & Sons was founded in 1919 by Vincenzo Ponte, grandfather of the current owner and president, Vincent M. Ponte. “My grandfather started off with a pushcart. He was a peddler,” Ponte said, “then he went with a horse and wagon. Then trucks.” The company provided collection services in various town. Today’s Recycled Paperboard is a continuation of that expansion. When their client, Whippany, went out of business, the Ponte family took it over and became, essentially, their own client. The family still owns and operates a separate company called All American Recycling Corp. in Paterson and another facility in Jersey City. In total, the renovation of the Clifton mill took three years and millions of private investment matched with a $10 million economic development bond from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, issued in Dec., 1988. When Recycled Paperboard began operating out of Clifton’s old Whippany factory in 1990 (the photo at left is of the grand re-opening) it kept more than just the street address. Even the two-story paper machine represents the company’s devotion to recycling – it was made, in part, by cannibalizing the old


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February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

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Passaic River

A look back to circa 1950 at the area surrounding Recycled Paperboard.

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“We also make our own energy,” said Chief Financial Officer Charles Jacobson. “We put in a cogeneration facility two years ago.” Jacobson described the generator as a gas-powered turbine. “It’s fueled by natural gas,” he said,

Engineer Paul Basak‘s primary responsibility is to keep the co-generation facility operating which in turn allows Recycled Paperboard to manufacture product. 1131 MAIN AVE • DOWNTOWN CLIFTON Across from New U.S. Post Office
















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February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

standing next to the dry end of the paper machine. “The turbine will make the steam that dries the paper, and it runs the whole machine and provides our electricity.” The $6 million generator replaced an old gas boiler, saving millions in electricity costs and adding efficiency. “All the boiler did was produce steam; you had to buy the electricity,” Jacobson said. On the manufacturing side, most of the paper comes from local sources (with the notable exception of the City of Clifton itself), the recycled product reaches much farther. We sell along the entire eastern seaboard,” said Vice President and General Manager Jeffrey Watson. “We also sell our products in the midwest and overseas.” And what can’t be sold is – you guessed it – recycled. From the water in the pulper to any damaged pieces of the final product, everything that doesn’t leave the factory goes back into the machine. 1679

machines left behind by the former owner. This rebuilt equipment is just one of the various investments that Recycled Paperboard has made to what has become the largest recycled cardboard manufacturing plant on the East Coast.

SafasCorp Surfacing from the edge of the Passaic River Founded in 1988, Safas Corp. rests on the Clifton side of the Passaic River where the water separates Clifton and Garfield. From its facility at Two Ackerman Ave., across from Recycled Paperboard, workers creates polymers which are used to coat the surfaces of countertops, sinks, bath tubs and furniture. There are currently 70 employees at the 100,000 square foot facility, which produces 100,000 pounds of polymer coating each day. However, Safas may soon expand its building, adding another 50,000 to 100,000 square feet and another 35 to 40 employees. This expansion would be built on part of the adjacent undeveloped portion of Dundee Island, owned by Safas CEO Akbar Ghahary, Ph.D. This land was recently tar-

Akbar Ghahary in front of Safas Corp., which is located on Dundee Island, just off the Ackerman Ave. bridge.

Name: Safas Corp. Address: Two Ackerman Ave. Manufactures: Polymers for surfaces. Size: 100,000 square feet. Employs: 70. Fast Fact: The proposed expansion to the Ackerman Ave. facility would create 35 to 40 new jobs.

geted by developer Town & Country as the potential site of a five-story apartment complex. The developer lost interest soon after Clifton’s City Council voted to reduce the zoned density of the land from 40 units per acre to eight per acre. Ghahary said plans for the industrial expansion will be presented to the city by March, with construction set to begin at the end of this year. This expansion would facilitate the manufacturing of a new product, Everstone, the first Safas product that can be purchased at the consumer level. All other Safas surfaces are purchased by manufacturers and are applied during production. “We are the first in the solid surface industry, outside DuPont, with a granite-looking surface,” Ghahary said. One of the leading Safas products, Granicoat®, was invented and patented in the early 1990s by Ghahary. Granicoat®, like other Safas products, is a spray-on material that mimics granite. It has a life expectancy of 30 years and provides resistance to fire, acids, solvents and stains.

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ZozzaroBrothers Big paper cubes are big business for Zozzaro You know that jigsaw puzzle or notebook of yours that says ‘Made in China’ on the back in small print? Chances are, you may have held it before, even if you’ve never been to China. That’s recycling on an international scale, and it all starts here in Clifton. Zozzaro Brothers Inc., a family-owned recycling company with its main facility at One Broad St., packages between 400 and 500 tons – that’s up to 1,000,000 pounds – of recyclable paper, plastics and metals each day. And when it’s all done, 90 percent of it goes overseas to China, Korea and Indonesia. “That’s where all the manufacturing takes place,” said Kevin Tinney, Zozzaro’s sales manager. It’s worth noting that Tinney’s business card has a big ‘Printed on Recycled Paper’ icon on its back.

If everything is made overseas, why buy materials from Clifton? “Paper can only be recycled a certain number of times,” Tinney said. After three or four life cycles, the paper fibers wear away and the product becomes much weaker. However, in America, “they’re constantly adding virgin tree fiber in the mix.” Translation: the paper here is newer and better. And while there are businesses, even one within Clifton, that will process the recyclables into a marketable product (such as cardboard), most overseas manufacturers buy the raw, unrecycled paper in the same state you saw it in your home or office’s own recycling bin. Tinney estimates that Zozzaro is the largest privately owned recycler in New Jersey. So what does Zozzaro do? They sort through the recyclables by hand (if you’ve ever wondered what happens to an old chicken bone when you accidentally throw it into the recycling with the paper, it doesn’t get far). After the trash is removed from the pure recyclable material, your old newspapers or soda cans are fed into one of five two-story tall baling machines. Then it is all crushed into 1,500-pound cubes. Each of the massive bales takes under four minutes to make (at the end of a ten-hour day, this totals 170 bales). Each bale is machine-bound with wire and shipped out with others on a truck, ready for its next stop in the recycling process. The five machines are so large that they don’t all fit inside the 30,000 square foot building.

No, these are not the Zozzaro brothers but they are like family: sales manager Kevin Tinney and machine operator Ramires J. Emilio.


February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Clifton Merchant • February 2004


One of them is installed along the outside wall of the facility. And although the company was founded in 1940 and the Broad St. facility has been around since 1980, four out of the five machines were purchased within the last four years. Machine Operator Ramires J. Emilio has worked at Zozzaro for 22 years. With a playful smile, he said of the upgrades, “I used to operate the machine. The machine operates me now.”

Reagan, Gorbachev, Clifton?

In our March issue, Clifton Merchant Magazine will publish a history of the eighties as it happened here in our hometown. But we need your help. We need your Clifton photos and stories. Contact editor Tom Hawrylko to share your Clifton memories from this decade. Call 973-253-4400.

Name: Zozzaro Industries / Zozzaro Brothers, Inc. Address: One Broad St. Manufactures: Crushed bales of recyclable materials. Amount: 1 million pounds a day. Size: 30,000 square feet. Employs: 85. Fast Fact: The company actually gets more business with the rise of overseas manufacturing, without having to sacrifice domestic jobs.

Tinney noted that, even though automation could have put Emilio out of a job, the opposite tends to happen. “I don’t think we’ve ever laid anybody off,” Tinney said. “They’re constantly adding, adding, adding.” Tinney said that in his seven years with Zozzaro, he’s noticed that most of the profits are put back into the company, adding new machines, new facilities and new personnel. It’s not the Zozzaro way to cut back. In case you’re wondering, there actually are Zozzaro brothers who own and run the business: James Jr., John, Lawrence, and Allan. They are the grandchildren of founder John Zozzaro, who purchased the Hazel St. property after emigrating from Sassano, Italy. Zozzaro started the company in 1921, long before ‘recycling’ was a household term. In the mid-1970s, New Jersey’s first automatic baler was operated by the family.

Shook Funeral Home, Inc. Roy, Dear Nancy & ness, r sincere kind ou y r fo ou y k Than g one passion durin m co d n a g in understand r lives. lt times of you u ic iff d t os m e “family” of the ting people lik ea tr r fo n tio Your reputa we had was ery question Ev e. u tr ly in every is certa patiently, and d n a tly es on answered h professional dled in a very n a h s a w rn conce manner. ay Nor ma you for the w k n a th l ia ec A sp nity. spect and dig re ith w – r fo ce. was cared she was at pea ew kn e w er h When we saw rofession. edits to your p cr re You both a Sincerely, l Nor ma Carrol The family of 1269


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PCGPrinting Keeping up with the changing pace of publications All businesses have to keep up with changing technology. Sooner or later, the old equipment becomes obsolete and a new investment must be made. Sometimes it’s gradual, but other times it happens very fast. “That happened in a period of about a year’s time – its amazing,” said John Watson, 41, president and co-founder of Premium Color Graphics, a Clifton printer. Before 2002, “everything printed had a negative image,” he said. “Now it’s on a hard drive.” PCG’s negatives are like the negatives produced by camera film, but a whole lot bigger.

And, just as many photographers now use digital cameras that display the picture on a screen before it’s printed, PCG is starting a service that lets customers view proofs over the internet. Watson and co-founder Mark Fitzgerald started the company in 1992, and technology isn’t the only thing they’ve updated over the past 12 years. “We initially started out as just a pre-press company,” Watson said. This means they’d prepare brochures and the like, performing services such as scanning and image retouching, but they didn’t do any actual printing. That changed five years ago.

These days, “we do some design work, but it’s not our core business,” Watson said. The expansion in service required an expansion in space, and although PCG never moved, it increased the size of its rented space three times, to the 15,500 square feet the company uses now. A year and a half ago, PCG stopped renting and bought the building with the aid of the state’s Economic Development Authority, a program which has created 8,200 jobs in New Jersey since 1992. To estimate how much PCG prints in a day is like estimating how many apples will grow

From left, Pressroom Foreman Frank Malanga, President John Watson and Pressman Stephen Watson. This machine handles small two-color projects, such as business cards and certificates.


February 2004 • Clifton Merchant




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Name: Premium Color Graphics, Inc. Address: 95 Industrial East. Manufactures: Printed items. Amount: 50,000 sheets a day. Size: 15,500 square feet. Employs: 25. Fast Fact: PCG’s press can print 8,000 double-sided sheets per hour.

on a tree. There’s a limit, but it could be anything. “There’s so many variables in the printing process,” Watson said. “The thicker the paper, the longer you have to run the machine. What makes a difference too is ink coverage.” On average, Watson said, PCG runs 50,000 sheets a day (each sheet measures up to 28 by 40 inches). If necessary, the equipment could handle 120,000 sheets daily. The biggest machine is a million-dollar sheet-fed offset printing press. It prints not just the standard four-color CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK; the same color combination used for the color pages in most magazines), but also specialty colors and finishes. A smaller machine, which is slightly taller but not much wider than an office copier, can produce modest-sized two-color jobs, such as business cards. It is manned by Watson’s uncle, Stephen Watson, 51, of Caldwell, a pressman and

one of PCG’s 25 employees. The elder Watson has worked here for three years, and is not the cofounder’s only relative at PCG. Jim Watson, 36, of Raritan, John Watson’s brother, has been at PCG for 10 years. He works in the prepress department, designing projects on Macintosh computers. In addition to the employees, the machines themselves bring a unique set of skills. After projects are printed, machines can fold, perforate, and slice them into their proper shapes. The large sheet-fed offset printing press, mentioned earlier, even has the ability to print on both sides of a sheet in a single pass. It does this by flipping the page as it goes through, without wrinkling the paper or slowing its 8,000 sheetper-hour rate. “I still don’t understand fully how it works,” Watson said. “You can’t open it up and watch it while you’re (running) it.”

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Pressman Scott Baumann of Suffern.

But not everything is so hightech as some of the old machinery still comes in handy. For example, there is a machine roughly twice Watson’s age that can cut rounded edges onto business cards – basically, a large freestanding hole punch. And even though printing from film negatives is out of fashion, the older equipment is still around in case a client wants it done that way. PCG recently participated in a reduced-cost interior auditing program offered through the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, an advocacy organization based in Newark. The NJMEP audit examined PCG’s methods and its relationship with customers, and provided guidance and direction on issues such as pricing. By participating in this program, PCG was able to take advantage of skilled consulting that is normally only available to larger and wealthier companies. At only 12 years old, PCG is one of the younger manufacturers in Clifton. But it plans to stay for many years to come.

SchoolsCareers CHS students have an option to follow a practical path to explore careers For as long as she can remember, Amanda Walsh has thought about becoming a teacher. Tejash Shah thinks he would like to go into nursing. Katie Doyle wants to attend John Jay College of Criminal Justice next fall to prepare for a career in law enforcement. Paul Kornaszewski is hoping for an appointment to West Point, and following his military obligations, would like to work for the FBI. Diana Santelli isn’t sure of her future goals, but says she wants to use her creativity in whatever field she chooses. The five Clifton High School seniors, along with 10 of their classmates, are having an opportunity to explore their interests as part of a Career Internship Program being piloted at CHS this school year.

“We wanted to offer our seniors some new options to make their final year of high school more meaningful,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Rice. Once these youngsters pass the state-mandated High School Proficiency Assessment and begin to receive college or technical school acceptance letters, many slack off for the rest of the year into a condition commonly referred to as ‘senioritis.’ “Providing them with a chance to spend part of their day in work settings they envision for their future can help avoid this lull before graduation, as well as offer them a realistic experience before they commit themselves to a college major or career path,” Rice added. The students participating in the program attend their required high school classes in the morning, then report to one of seven internship sites, which include the Clifton Police Department, St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center, Schneider’s Flowers, Woodrow Wilson Middle School and three of the district’s elementary schools. They receive 15 high school credits for the 15 hours a week they spend at work. “It’s been a great experience for them,” said social studies teacher John Lopez, who was appointed by the Board of Education to coordinate the program. “They’re not just passive observers. They’ve all involved in hands-on activities and interacting with staff at their sites to learn about the responsibilities of the jobs they hold.”

Intern Diana Santelli prepares a floral arrangement at Schneider’s Flowers under the watchful eye of designer Gina Ialeggio. Clifton Merchant • February 2004


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The three interns at the Police Department have been rotating among the department’s various areas, including dispatch, the traffic bureau, the detective bureaus and the records bureau. They’ve also spent time visiting the shooting range and monitoring calls to the 9-1-1 center. “We’re trying to give them exposure to as many aspects of police work as possible,” said Lieutenant John Storms. “They’ll be spending some time at the Sheriff’s Department, and will sit in on classes for two weeks at the Police Academy, alongside a class of new recruits.” At School 4, Amanda Walsh recently had an opportunity to teach a grammar lesson to third graders. “I wasn’t sure I could do it, but they really understood what I presented,” she said. “I was proud of myself. I went home with a big smile on my face.” “I know now that I really want to do this,” said Lidia Tomaskowicz, who’s been interning in a kindergarten class at School 11. “I’m enjoying working with the kids one on one. They even call me Miss T.” School 11 Principal Gregg Dickey feels the program will give Lidia a head start when she becomes a student teacher. “For most college teacher education candidates, student teaching is their first exposure to interacting with kids in the classroom,” he said. “She’s already getting that first experience in this program.” Tina Barone, who’s interning at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, thinks she’s more interested in a career in child or adolescent psychology than teaching. She’s using her time there to observe the teaching and learning process and experience how the students interact with each other and the teacher. Olga Razumov, who’s also at Woodrow Wilson, is still uncertain if she wants to go into teaching but is finding the opportunity to work with special education students gratifying. “I really feel that I brighten their day, and that makes me feel good,” she said.

Beginning two years ago, CHS juniors and seniors could opt to start classes during what is known as zero period, instead of the regular start time of 7:49 am. They finish their high school day as early as 11:14 am, depending upon their requirements for graduation.

Intern Katie O’Shea gets hand on experience as she helps a kindergarten class at School 15 review the days of the week.

For a number of other CHS students, the medical field is calling. At St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center, Natalia Chuchvara spent some time in the emergency room before moving to the Pathology Department, where she’s learning how to process cytology and histology specimens. She’s been thinking about a career in medicine, and feels the experience has given her exposure to some options in the field. Her fellow interns at St. Joe’s, Kellyn Chirinos, Patrice Fuschini, Pauleen Karaan, Tejash Shah and Fatma Bekheet, are working in the Same Day Surgery Department, the orthopedic nursing unit and the Paterson hospital’s day care center.

Clifton Merchant • February 2004


Name: Clifton Public Schools Career Internship Program Address: CHS North Wing Office, Colfax Ave. Contact: Social Studies Teacher John Lopez: 973-470-2320 Amount: 15 CHS Seniors are part of the pilot program Students: Receive 15 credits for 15 hours of work per week Employers: Employers in the area who would like to offer internship opportunities to students are encouraged to call Lopez Fast Fact: 27 other students are enrolled at Montclair State University

Diana Santelli is enjoying learning how to design floral arrangements at Schneider’s Flowers on Clifton Ave., and she’s also gaining some valuable customer service and business experience that she never thought about when she was accepted into the internship program. “There are so many aspects of running a small business,” she said.

“I think this experience will help me in whatever I do.” Program coordinator Lopez is working on developing additional internship sites and attracting more students to the program He’s also coordinating another pilot program that allows eligible CHS seniors to enroll in creditbearing courses at Montclair State

University. Twenty-seven students are participating in the program this year, taking freshman-level college courses ranging from psychology and history to political science and speech communications. The career internship and Montclair State University programs are two of the six pilot programs begun by Rice this school year to offer students diverse learning opportunities and, at the same time, address the issue of overcrowding at CHS. Participating students receive advanced placement high school credits, as well as guaranteed college credits if they choose to attend MSU after graduation.

Lieutenant John Storms oversees CHS interns Carlos Gill, Paul Kornaszewski and Katie Doyle. They are shown monitoring calls to the 9-1-1 center at the Clifton Police Department.


February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

The menu of courses offered at MSU was selected based upon the likelihood that the credits would also be transferable to any other college or university the students choose to attend. Like those involved in the Career Internship Program, students taking courses at Montclair State attend their required classes at the high school in the morning before leaving to attend their college classes at the nearby university. Scheduling choices already in place for upper classmen at CHS provided an ideal arrangement for the two new programs. Beginning two years ago, seniors and juniors with good attendance records could opt to start classes at 7 am during what is known as zero period, instead of the regular start time of 7:49 am. They finish their high school day as early as 11:14 am, depending upon their course requirements for graduation. “With our growing student population, we offered zero period as a way to free up space in the cafeterias, since these students wouldn’t need to be assigned a lunch period, and to have the hallways less crowded in the afternoon,” said Principal William Cannici. But the benefit to these students has been just as valuable. “The extra free time in the afternoon has enabled some kids to start part-time jobs earlier or get homework done before returning to school for athletic or other extracurricular activities,” said Cannici. “And now, the addition of the Career Internship Program and the MSU Program gives them even more options for a full day of meaningful activities.” Students or parents who want more information about these new senior options programs at Clifton High School may contact John Lopez in the North Wing Office at 973-470-2320. Employers in the area who would like to offer internship opportunities to students are also encouraged to call Lopez to discuss the program.

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Tel: 973-546-0030 • Fax: 973-546-1349 Clifton Merchant • February 2004


Rocky Road to a Consensus –––––––––– Story by Daniel Wolfe ––––––––––


he atmosphere surrounding the selection of a new school site

turned potentially rocky on Jan. 12, at the third and final joint meeting among the Board of Education, the City Council, and their employees. However, after a long and somewhat adversarial public discussion, the two bodies met behind closed doors and released a statement saying they had reached an undisclosed consensus on a location for a large junior high school. The two elected bodies have been meeting together privately since early November to find a location for a building that would provide new space for the severely overcrowded public schools, but not draw the same public opposition that the Board’s original selection, Latteri Park, drew when it was announced in the middle of the previous year.

The location is rumored to be the six-acre Schultheis Farm on Grove St., which on a map sits between two of the crowded schools – Clifton High School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School – that the new building’s construction is intended to assist. However, the Board will not officially confirm this any earlier than its Feb. 11 meeting. The turmoil on Jan. 12 stemmed from a letter the Council sent to the Board on Jan. 9. The letter asked questions related to the selection of the school site, its funding and its need. Since it arrived late on the Friday before the Monday night joint meeting, Board President Marie Hakim said, “We actually had no time to prepare.” But while some questions, particularly those related to potential avenues of funding, required more time than the one business day the Board had, many of the questions

were easy to answer simply because they had previously been answered. The Board spoke on many of these issues at its two public forums back in October, held to openly discuss both the need for new space and the possible locations for a new school site. Council member Stefan Tatarenko explained the redundancy in these questions by saying, “They may be asked sooner or later by many constituents.” Hakim suggested that the questions be read aloud, so that constituents may hear them, but Council member Gloria Kolodziej replied, “Let’s not waste our time.” And now, after two open forums and two joint sessions, it seemed the entire basis of these dis-

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cussions was at risk when Council member Frank Gaccione said, “I’m not sure we need a new school.” Gaccione raised questions about the impact on school population of new and proposed programs, and whether their effect on enrollment numbers negates the need for a new 1,700-student school. An accusatory tone arose when Gaccione said, “Are you (Rice), very bluntly, making room for an all-day kindergarten?” In Clifton, only the private and parochial schools offer this. Public schools have never offered more than a half-day kindergarten. Rice said the completion of School #17 – the referendum for which, he noted, predates his own arrival in Clifton – may provide room to pilot a full-day kindergarten program, but that was not its intention. School #17 also does not provide a solution to overcrowding at the upper levels by, for example, moving the 6th grade to the lower schools in the redistricting process that will follow School #17’s completion. “There are 800 kids in the 6th grade,” Rice said. “School #17 was

built for 550 kids. The 6th grade doesn’t fit. Complete full-day kindergarten doesn’t fit either.” “With all due respect to the Council,” Rice added, “we’re talking about the space needs of he 6th through 12th grades.” These higher grades are still forced to have classes in cafeterias and closets, Rice said, no matter how much room is made for the younger students. Gaccione also asked if the crowding problem could be solved by the school’s campaign to remove illegal students. Illegal students are kids from other municipalities who attend Clifton schools, even though Clifton collects no tax money from their parents. Clifton Public Schools have ejected 70-73 students per year since a full-time investigator was hired in 2001. Another 14-16 students left on their own each year while being investigated. However,if these numbers stay constant over the next several years, they will not negate the predicted growth of 953 students by Sept., 2007. An estimated 863 of these

Case for School Space August, 1950: The Board of Education purchased Latteri Park for a token amount. April 11, 2001: The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) formed under former Supt. William C. Liess. Eleven volunteers were given the task of researching an ideal site for a junior high school. Dec. 12, 2001: Supt. Liess announces he would retire July, 2002. May, 2002: The CAC submitted its initial recommendation that the former Pope Paul VI High School, now a Paterson Diocese Elementary School, be purchased and converted into a junior high school. June 17, 2002: Paterson Diocesan Schools Supt. Frank A. Petrucelli rejected Clifton’s offer to purchase the Valley Rd. school. July 31, 2002: Supt. Liess retired after 17 years and 30 years prior as a social studies teacher and assistant super. The Committee’s report and recommendation languishes. Aug. 19, 2002: Dr. Michael Rice becomes the fourth Clifton Public Schools Superintendent. CAC members said Rice’s interest in their project provides access to the information and experts they needed to come to a new conclusion. Dec. 11, 2002: Voters approve an $8 million bond to construct School #17, Clifton’s first new school since CHS was completed in 1962, but it does not address overcrowding at the middle and high school levels. January, 2003: An enrollment study predicted a growth of 953 students in Clifton Schools by Sept., 2007. An estimated 863 of these new students will be adding to the the two middle schools and CHS.

Located on Grove St. and running along Route 46 East, Schultheis Farm encompassses about six acres, not quite enough to accomodate the 1,700 student school.


February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Sept. 24, 2003: The CAC presented its new findings. They recommended building a 1,700-student school on Latteri Park, and a 500-student school at 290 Brighton Rd.

new students would enter the already overburdened middle schools and high school. The growth estimate came from last year’s Cohort Survival study, which looks at enrollment patterns from grade to grade over several years to predict the future student population. “The demographic projections are not crystal-ball-like,” Rice said. “They’re fairly simple.” Predicting Gaccione’s next question – “Wasn’t the Cohort Survival study done with the 2002 enrollment numbers?” – Rice said, “We don’t do a Survival study every nine months to determine what children were born 12 years ago.” Hakim added, “All (previous studies) underestimated growth enrollment.” By 2007, there might be even more than 953 students added to an already congested system, not fewer. But this is not new information. The theory that the residency investigator will single-handedly solve the crowding problem was already discussed and countered at the Board’s October forums. And the theory about redistricting after School #17’s completion was also discussed as a potential, but ultimately ineffective, solution. Rice and the Board’s answers haven’t

The groundbreaking of ‘School 17’ on Oct. 8, 2002 with Board of Education VicePresident Joe Kolodziej presenting a $1 bill—the purchase price of the land—a former county park—to Freeholder and Assemblyman Peter Eagler. Also from left: Mayor James Anzaldi, Eagler, Kolodziej, Senator Nia Gill and Board President Marie Hakim. The 500 student elementary school is expected to be ready in September, 2004. Photo by Joe Torelli.

changed since October, and as the school year progressed, students are still forced to have classes in cafeterias and closets. Even in the hallways, students have reported being shoved, groped, and pickpocketed by anonymous peers who get lost in an overwhelming sea of youths with backpacks and ID tags.

Aerodyne Engineering, on Route 46 East, and adjacent to Schultheis Farm, is another property rumored to be under consideration for purchase.

When the Latteri Park solution was first presented to the Board on Sept. 24, before there were any public forums or grass-roots movements or joint Board-Council meetings, CHS Principal William Cannici stepped up to the microphone with a simple statement. “We are the second-largest high school in the state of New Jersey,” he said. “I don’t want to be number one.” Now, there is another simple statement: “The Board of Education and the City Council has reached a consensus.” The question today is when will the Board move forward with its selection. Any later than February, and the new school site may not be put on the ballot until 2005. While the vote waits, students continue to pack the halls of the two middle schools and CHS; shoved, groped and pickpocketed in the hallways; then lost in vast cafeterias or packed into closets. Clifton Merchant • February 2004


Committee members from left front: Ethel Stein, Margaret Sichel, Linda Bandurski, Ellen Nunno Corbo, and Tom Lyons. At left rear, Nick P. Genchi, Fred Torres, Joseph Holmes, Harry Swanson and Richard DeLotto.


t has become the most thankless job in Clifton.

Tom Lyons, Joe Holmes and Ellen Nunno Corbo co-chaired an 11-member volunteer committee that spent two years researching sites in Clifton for a new school building that would provide enough space to alleviate the severe overcrowding problem. They found that using Latteri Park, a property the Board has owned since 1950, was the fastest and most inexpensive option for a long-term solution. Although there was also a short-term solution (a 500-student building on Brighton Rd.), there was no second choice. Latteri Park, to them, was the one and only option. Upon presenting their findings, an opposition began, calling itself Clifton Unite. The City Council sided with this cause, voting 6-0 to oppose the use of Latteri Park. But the Board always stood by its Committee and its recommenda-


February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

tion, refusing to take Latteri Park out of consideration unless they could be convinced that a better option is out there. When the City Council and Board of Education started having joint meetings to resolve the matter – finding a location for a school that was as fast and inexpensive as Latteri Park but was not Latteri Park itself – these meetings were closed to the public. An exception was made for Lyons, Holmes, and Corbo. As a reward for their two years of service, they were allowed to observe these closed meetings—but not to speak. By Jan. 12, the third closed joint meeting, Board President Hakim said the co-chairs should be able to share what they learned in their years of studying the issue. “I would like them to have the opportunity to speak,” Hakim said. Board member Joseph Kolodziej voiced a different opinion.

Citing January’s Clifton Merchant Magazine article that disclosed some of the properties considered behind closed doors, Kolodziej said he suspected a leak. He asked that the meeting be restricted to those whose presence is essential, a request that would specifically exclude Lyons, Holmes, and Corbo. Two votes were held. A motion failed that would have excluded the co-chairs entirely (only Board members Bernstein, Kolakowsky, and Kolodziej voted in favor). The next motion asked that they simply stay as mute observers. Traier voted no, saying he wanted them to be able to speak. Kolodziej voted no, citing the alleged leak, and making clear his theory of where the leak could have originated, regardless of whether it was true. The motion passed, and despite the accusation, the co-chairs were allowed to observe for a third time, but, again, not to speak.

Oct. 18, 2003: The Case For Space, an open public forum, was held at Clifton High School. Here, students and teachers talked about the problem of overcrowding.

Farm and the Valley Rd. quarry, that were added to the list during the closed joint Board/Council meetings. Jan. 12, 2004: A third and final closed joint Board/Council meeting was held. At its end, the elected officials announced that they had reached a consensus on a new school site, but did not disclose what that location is.

Oct. 21, 2003: The City Council voted 6-0 to oppose the use of Latteri Park. This was in response to the concerns of Rosemawr residents who use the park for recreation. Oct. 28, 2003: The Case For Space 2, a second open public forum, was held at CHS. This time, community members, including a group called Clifton Unite which opposes the use of Latteri Park, were able to discuss potential solutions to the problem of overcrowding. Nov. 10, 2003: The first joint Board of Education and City Council meeting was held behind closed doors to discuss potential school sites. Nov. 25, 2003: A second joint Board/Council meeting was held behind closed doors. They had still not reached a consensus, but were re-considering several sites the CAC had ruled out.

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Jan. 13/14, 2004: The Herald News followed up the Clifton Merchant Magazine article with its own stories, confirming the added locations by interviewing people from Schultheis Farm and K. Hovnanian Co., the latter of which is already developing the Valley Rd. quarry.

Jan. 3, 2004: Members from the Board and Council went on a bus tour of Clifton to visit potential school sites. These sites were still not revealed to the public.

February, 2004: The Board of Education expects to select a new school site by the end of the month. It must still be approved by voters before it can be built.

Jan. 9, 2004: Clifton Merchant Magazine published a revised list of potential school sites. These included some, such as Schultheis

Nov./Dec. 2004: If the Board selects a site in February, it will be presented to the voters on the November or December ballot.

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Vote On Election Day, April 20 Want to Run for the Board of Education? Deadline is March 1


It is an amazing American right Be A Candidate: Three seats are up omeone once said that bad politicians are elected that people in many countries do not for three year terms. For details, call

by good people who don’t vote. While it’s not quite that simple nor is it that easy to tell the good guys from the bad, it does come down to this: vote and have a voice. On the facing page, we’ve published a Voter Registration Form so that those of you who are not registered can join the 36,662 registered Clifton voters who are. It is a simple form and all it will cost to complete is a minute of your time, an envelope and 37 cents to mail. Our ability to vote and have a say in how our city, schools and country is governed is one of those little things that we often take for granted.

have the opportunity to exercise. Make your voice heard, Clifton: vote. To be eligible to vote on April 20, the registration form must be received in Paterson by March 22. Voting on April 20 is an opportunity to show the priority Cliftonites puts on the value of public education. It is our chance to put Clifton kids first. On April 20, we will also vote for the Schools Budget, an item that accounts for as much as 50 percent of our total property tax bill. The final budget figure and other issues to go on the ballot will be presented to the public in late February. Board of Ed Commissioners up for election on April 20, from left: Jean Bernstein, Ken Kurnath and Steve Kolakowsky.

the Board office at 973-470-2288. Candidates must be at least 18, be a registered voter and a Clifton resident for at least one year. If you want to be a candidate, then pick up a packet and have 10 other registered voters sign a petition which must be returned to the Board office by March 1 at 4 pm. Board of Ed Commissioners (in all New Jersey towns) are unpaid and receive no benefits package. Conversely, City Council members receive $4,000 annually while the Mayor gets $4,500. The Clifton Mayor and City Council also receive a medical, dental and prescription insurance package which has a value of $5,989 for single coverage to $14,727 for those with family coverage. All seven City Council seats are up for election at once in May, 2006. On Nov. 2, those up for election are President Bush, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Freeholders Walt Porter and Mike Mecca, (a Clifton resident) and Passaic County Clerk Ronni Nochimson.


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registered to vote where you live now, Voter Registration: If you are not you may register by completing this form.

Mail to: Passaic County, Commissioner of Registration, 311 Pennsylvania Ave., Paterson, NJ 07503 • 973-881-4516 Print clearly in Ink. Use ball-point pen or marker Qualification of an Eligible Applicant You must be a citizen of the United States and, by the date of the next election, at least 18 years old and a resident of New Jersey and your county for at least 30 days. The Commissioner of Registration will notify you upon receipt of this form. The Registration deadline to vote at the next election is 29 days prior to election day. Check if you wish to be a board worker/poll clerk in future elections. ❑ Check if you are permanently disabled, unable to go to the polls to vote, and wish to receive information on ❑ an Absentee Ballot.

Sign or Mark If applicant is unable to complete this form, print name and address of individual who completed this form.

This page is brought to you as a community service. For questions regarding this Voter Registration Application, call the Passaic County Superintendent of Elections at 973-881-4516. Clifton Merchant • February 2004




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Pennywise Path? ––––––––––––––––––– Story by Daniel Wolfe –––––––––––––––––––


ow does a city save enough money to avoid

a $167.40-per-household tax increase in its new budget? One suggestion: hire more people. Clifton’s City Council received its preliminary 2004 budget at its Jan. 20 meeting, and met the next Tuesday night, Jan. 27, to brainstorm ways to trim it down. Although no single item stood out as being an unnecessary expense, Council members asked City Manager Barbara Sacks to return with ideas that would cut the budget by 1 percent, 2 percent and 3 percent and spell out the impact of each cut. Before this request was made, Sacks already had ideas for increasing services without increasing expenses. “We’re not proposing to do a whole lot different than what’s been done in the past,” Sacks said. “We’re just doing more of it.” One of Sacks’suggestions is to hire a full-time planner who would serve the entire city and provide a more comprehensive view of the city. Today, the city hires consultants who only perform specific tasks for

the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment. “Up until a year ago,” Mayor James Anzaldi said, “we had a professional planner.” When the full time position was vacated, it did not attract a pool of applicants. “The problem was, the salaries that were there, we couldn’t find anybody,” Anzaldi said. In 2003, the city favored two consultants: Jill Hartmann, who authored the master plan, and former full-time planner Robert Ringelheim. This past year, the city paid $46,200 in consulting fees to Hartmann $32,150 to Ringelheim.

Combined, that comes to $78,350. When Ringelheim left the position of Principal Planner, he was being paid $69,696.87 plus benefits. The city’s maximum salary for that position is $76,159.79. Although it may seem that a fulltime planner is less expensive, the city was also paying Hartmann for planning work even when Ringelheim was working full-time. Back in 2001, with a full-time planner and a consultant, the city spent $100,950.36. With the position vacant, the city spent just $78,350 on the same two people, and didn’t have to offer them benefits.


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In the future, Sacks said, the difference will not be so broad. “It’s a wash,” she said. Under her plan, the total cost of city planning would not exceed $80,000 and the services would not be restricted to the needs of the Planning and Zoning boards. Similarly, the Council discussed a change proposed to its Public Works department. There was some confusion stemming from the techniques of new Department of Public Works Director Vincent Cahill, including the request for an additional $24,261.49 to hire a typist. However, the biggest variable was whether the city’s garbage collection would be internalized in the coming year. On Nov. 7, Clifton’s garbage collector, H.C. Company, declared bankruptcy and pulled its trucks from the streets. For a week, the city’s garbage collection was handled through the cooperative effort of Clifton’s recycling team and the municipalities of Ridgewood and Rutherford. At the end of that week, Clifton signed a short-term contract with Interstate Waste Removal. When this contract ends, the city will have the option to renew it, hire a different garbage collector, or internalize its garbage collection.

City Manager Barbara Sacks.

The option to internalize could potentially double as a cost-saving measure, and would protect the city from future problems similar to the one it faced in November. A study must take place to see whether internalization truly is the most pennywise path to take. With all so many potentially new expenses and services, there is also a new revenue source: a hotel tax. Enacted in October, the hotel occupancy tax is expected to bring in $140,000 from Clifton’s two hotels, the Wellesly Inn (formerly Ramada) and the Howard Johnson, both on Route 3.

However, with the completion of a new corporate hotel on the horizon, the new tax could become a more reliable source of cash. It will take two years for Togar Corporate Suites to complete the 258 hotel rooms it asked to build at the site of the old Brogan Cadillac on Passaic Ave. A corporate provides a home away from home for travelling executives. These frequent travellers can rent rooms for long-term stays and even leave their possessions behind when they go home for the weekend. Although Togar’s project may not affect this year’s budget, it could someday help lift the tax burden on homeowners, who already pay 68 percent of the local taxes (the rest comes from commerce, industry and apartments). The $167.40-per-household figure stems from an increase of 9.6 tax points in the budget. Each tax point represents $525,046 in the city’s budget, or $17.38 per taxpayer. This is all very preliminary. The Council members said they don’t want to overburden the taxpayers, and it also doesn’t want to deny them services. But until a new municipal budget is presented to the Council, it is unclear how much of that $167.40 the taxpayers will still be asked to pay and what services will be cut.


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You Thought You Heard the Last of 76 Grove St.

side of the street, but right now, nobody wants to mow it. That’s the problem C&L Developers, who aim to build eight single-family homes at 76 Grove St., found when they tried to market the property after an agreement was brokered with nearby residents back in August, 2003. In the words of Planning Board member Philip Binaso, the developers’ plan, revised from a 17 townhouse proposal back in January, left one question unanswered: “If I was an existing homeowner looking at my back yard, what would I see?” That question, raised at the June 26, 2003 Planning Board meeting, was finally answered and many thought concluded this past August: a barrier. Existing neighboring residents asked that a barrier be built along the existing property line, separating their back yards from a new street C&L wanted to build to serve its proposed houses.

But between that barrier and the road are 11 feet of orphaned land. This land was offered to those who own property along the barrier, but the gift was ultimately rejected by all but the Kashey family, who live at the corner house. It was agreed that a homeowners association, proposed by C&L attorney Frank Carlet, would be formed among the new residents of the eight C&L single-family homes, and that association would be responsible for maintaining the orphaned land into perpetuity.

The matter was considered settled, but it came up again to the Planning Board in January. The developers now credit the agreedupon homeowners association with deterring prospective buyers. Carlet argued that the mandated homeowners association may be illegal. He cited three previous legal proceedings, none involving Clifton and all dating prior to 2000, which he felt demonstrated the illegal nature of the association. If the Planning Board sides with Carlet, 11 feet of land will again be orphaned on almost every property for an entire block. So now what? Should this new road be maintained by the city with taxpayer dollars? Should it be maintained by residents on the other side of the barrier who have already rejected full ownership of the land? Could C&L gift the city with the money to fund the property’s maintenance? The next chapter in this story will be written on Feb. 26 at the Planning Board’s next meeting. On a cold winter night, cozy up in front of your fireplace with a nice bottle of Port and a little bleu cheese.




he grass may someday be greener on the other


Above, our Feb, 2003 cover. The story launched a city-wide campaign for a moratorium on housing. With the house demolished, 76 Grove St. as it appears today.



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The Evolution of 272 Grove St.


hat goes up... It was once a modest home

owned by an elderly woman (top right) who tended her own garden. Then, for several months, it was a hole in the ground filled with scattered litter. And now it’s ... another single-family home? Surrounded by apartments and condos on two sides and a single-family home on the third side, a 100 foot by 179 swath of property on 272 Grove St. has been having an identity crisis since the summer. That’s when semi-retired developer Joe Coan purchased and demolished the house at 272 Grove St. in one day (center) with plans of building a six-unit condo structure in its place. While the property is adjacent to a condo village at the corner of Van Houten and Grove, 272 Grove and the rest of the lots going up the hill are zoned for residential single-family homes. His proposal, this past summer, came at an especially bad time, as a furor had erupted over the past year against high density housing. When his plan was met with opposition by the city and neighbors, he abandoned the idea. Coan did not return calls for this story but it appears from the photo below that a large single family home is under construction on the property.

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In addition to the regular meetings of the City Council, the Board of Education, and other elected and appointed bodies in Clifton, there may be some special meetings that are, in whole or in part, open to the public. The City Council met on Jan. 27 to brainstorm possible changes to the proposed municipal budget that was received at their Jan. 20 meeting. Although future budget meetings are planned, they were not scheduled by the time we went to press. Below are the regularly scheduled meetings of the various city boards and committees. One notable change: the Board of Education usually meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. However, because state aid amounts won’t be announced until Feb. 26, the Board’s second Feb. meeting has been postponed to Mar. 4. Look for the next edition of Clifton Merchant Magazine Friday, March 5. 10th

Advisory Board of Health: 7:30 at Health Dept., City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave – 973-470-5770


Board of Education: 7 pm at Admin Bldg, 745 Clifton Ave – 973-470-2288


City Council: 7 pm at City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave – 973-470-5824


Zoning Board of Adjustment: 7 pm at City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave – 973-470-5809


Hazardous Materials Control Board: 3:30 pm at City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave – 973-470-5776


Traffic Safety Council: 7:30 pm at City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave. – 973-470-5854


Advisory Board of Recreation: 8 pm at Lester Herrschaft Ctr., City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave. – 973-470-5825


Planning Board: 8 pm at City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave – 973-470-5809

Mar 2

City Council: 7 pm at City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave – 973-470-5824

Mar 3

Zoning Board of Adjustment: 7 pm at City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave – 973-470-5809

Mar 3

Cable-TV Committee: 7 pm at City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave – 973-742-8885

Mar 3

Clifton Arts Center Advisory Board: at City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave – 973-472-5499

Mar 3

Environmental Protection Comm: 7:30 pm at Health Dept Conference Rm, City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave – 973-470-5754

Mar 4

Board of Education: 7 pm at Admin Bldg, 745 Clifton Ave – 973-470-2288

Subscribe To Clifton Merchant Don’t Miss Another Issue. Have It Mailed To Your Home. $15/YEAR WITHIN CLIFTON • $25 FOR 2 YEARS—OUT OF TOWN $25 PER YEAR • $40 FOR 2 YEARS Name:____________________________________________________________________________________ Address: __________________________________________________________________________________ City: ____________________________________________________________State: ____________________ Zip:____________________________________________________________Phone: ____________________



February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Delawanna’s Clay St. • K. Hov’s Passaic River Housing

Clifton Commons, especially on a weekend, knows that the traffic lights in that vicinity aren’t coordinated with one another. Thus, another proposed retail center in that area, which would link five commercial properties along 217 feet of Main Ave. and 99 feet of Clay St. – 21,483 sq. ft. altogether, is having a tough time getting a green light. The project is before the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Commissioners are asking for solution to the traffic issues there before giving any approvals. In total, there are about seven traffic lights that run along Main Ave. between the Costco and Kohl’s stores near the Route 3 ramps.

Chuck Ranges: still living on the river.

According to Zoning Board Commissioner Nicholas Veliky, those lights are on a county road. “We need to get the county involved,” said Veliky. “We need to get government agencies together here. The city can’t solve this.” Adding to the congestion, and the concern of board members, is a firehouse at the foot of Allwood and Main. “How’s the fire truck going to get down there during Christmas season?” Commissioner Paul Graupe asked. About 25 opponents came to the Zoning Board meeting to protest the development. The project will be heard again on March 3.


ld River Road...Old Story? K. Hovnanian’s

plan to turn a strip of mainly industrial buildings on old River Rd. into a cluster of 18 townhouses that continue into Passaic with another 76 units can best be described as dormant. Back in the summer, K. Hovnanian, in cooperation with the city’s Economic Development Director Harry Swanson, met with residents and explained the positive impact of the development for the city, noting it would generate $100,000 annually in tax revenue.

Traffic woes may slow this project.

However, the lucrative project would replace existing industry and one home and met some resistance. K. Hovnanian was supposed to contact the individual property owners but the few contacted put too high a price on their buildings, Swanson said, so developer’s response was to simply keep quiet for the foreseeable future. “The town wanted them to contact me but the never called – not ever!” complained Chuck Ranges, who lives in the lone home along old River Rd. A phone call to K. Hovnanian’s spokesperson yielded no new information on the status of this project. 1527


nyone who’s driven on Main Ave. near

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Clifton Merchant • February 2004


Athenia Challenges & Opportunities


arking Ample? P&A Auto

Parts on Van Houten Ave. just wants to fit in. Its renovation plans would make the presently non-conforming property finally fit the existing zoning laws, eliminating the mixed use of the property and making it entirely commercial. By razing a home on Orono St. and a small office on Van Houten, the proposed L-shaped building would add a second level to the Van Houten Ave. store and provide new on-site parking that would, like the majority of the project, conform to existing zoning. However, according to P&A’s Joe Cupoli, “We’re meeting stiff resistance.” Matt Grabowski, president of the Athenia Business Association, lives next door to the P&A Auto Parts store. He said that from this perspective, he can see “constant traffic of all the cars and trucks.”

Cupoli said the project would actually reduce business-related traffic by allowing the store to keep more inventory on-site in the space added by the renovation. “The parking situation is very bad,” Grabowski countered. “The neighbors on Orono St. are upset because they can’t even park in front of their own homes.” Cupoli said the added on-site parking would negate this concern. The expansion’s additional parking spaces meet city requirements. “The people of the ABA and the surrounding residents feel that we’re going to set a precedent by adding a second floor,” Cupoli said. “But we have the parking.” He noted that if any other businesses tried to follow his example, the parking concern would probably be the deal-breaker, preventing any additions because they lack the

space. P&A expects to present before the Planning Board in late February, following the completion of more detailed site plans.


eeking Sponsors: The

ABA or Athenia Business Association was awakened from dormancy in 2003, and it heads into 2004 with three planned events. The first is an Easter Egg Hunt on Apr. 3 at 11 am at Stanley Zwier Park on Van Houten Ave. A $1,000 diamond from Gnome Jewelers will be the top prize. A Dinner & Dance on Apr. 17 is at the Athenia VFW Hall on Huron Ave. The second annual street fair is planned for mid-September, perhaps a two-day event. To become a sponsor for any of these events, or for membership info, contact ABA Vice President Gina Yarrish at 973-773-0802.

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February 2004 • Clifton Merchant


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Which Form of Government is Best for Clifton?


n 1934, many Clifton voters wanted a change. Tired of the failures of their Mayor-Council form of government, the citizens gathered signatures and put together a referendum. From that year on to 2004, Clifton would be run by a CouncilManager system. Joseph V. Menegus, one of the cause’s supporters back in 1934, documented what motivated the voters to seek such drastic change. He wrote, “the City Council proposed to raise taxes 100 points with no apparent justification. Needless to say, Clifton taxpayers were irate.” Today, one tax point is worth $17.38 per average taxpayer. According to Menegus’ letter, this meant that Clifton’s old City Council, which operated under the Mayor-Council structure, was asking the equivalent of an additional $1,738 per year from each taxpayer – during the Great Depression. An editorial that ran in the April 11, 1934 Clifton Citizen said, “The City Manager Plan in Clifton will slack to the bone the operating expenses of the City. It will ease up on taxes and give property owners and rent payers, including every citizen, a chance.”

Ed Welsh

Mayor James Anzaldi


Clifton Center Albion

Hazel Dutch Hill

A map of Clifton shows the seven at-large City Council members live throughout town but none reside among the residents of Delawanna, Dutch Hill, Clifton Center, Albion, Botany or Lakeview.

Don Kowal

Stefan Tatarenko Gloria Kolodziej Steve Hatala Frank Gaccione

Athenia/R ichfield

Delawanna Montclair Heights/ Greglawn

Clifton’s Council-Manager government puts the day-to-day business of the city in the hands of a professional manager. This person isn’t elected, but is instead hired like any other job applicant, and can be just as easily removed by an alert Council. The elected sevenmember Council sets policy, and the Council’s president is considered the mayor of Clifton. In 1950, the Faulkner Act gave New Jersey voters a choice of possible governments, including a

Allwood/ Rosemawr

Council-Manager form and a Mayor-Council form. Wayne, a less dense municipality within Passaic County, operates under the MayorCouncil form as outlined by the Faulkner Act. Last month’s Clifton Merchant Magazine ran an article comparing Wayne and Clifton and how the two have addressed the same problems under their different governing structures. One notable difference is that Wayne’s Town Council includes a representative from each of the

Re-Elect Louise Friedman Now we got you thinking back to 1986! In March, Clifton Merchant Magazine will take our readers back to the 1980’s. And to do so, we need your help. Share your opinions, stories, and, most of all, photos that tell the story of this remarkable decade. To share your material, call, write or visit by Feb. 13. Tom Hawrylko, Editor & Publisher Clifton Merchant Magazine 1288 Main Ave., Downtown Clifton, NJ 07011 Phone 973-253-4400 • Clifton Merchant • February 2004


six voting wards in town, whereas in Clifton, all seven Council members are elected at large. There is nothing inherently wrong about the Mayor-Council form that Clifton voters rebelled against 70 years ago, and there is nothing inherently wrong about the Council-Manager form that Wayne voters rejected in favor of their current government. Both Clifton and Wayne residents have said that more important than the form of government are the people who are elected to run it. Nevertheless, the people are given a choice. What did you choose?

Voices of Voters “I worked for the city for 24 years,” said Marge Heerschap, former head secretary in the treasurer’s office. “Everything went well.” Heerschap responded to a survey at the end of the Wayne-Clifton article in January. It asked readers which governing style they thought was best for Clifton: its current form, Wayne’s current form, or slight variations of both. In all, we received 14 responses, but we are still accepting thoughts and opinions from readers. The responses were divided almost evenly between favoring Clifton’s current form and favoring Wayne’s current form. Heerschap chose to stick with the Council-Manager government Clifton uses. “Take, for instance, the garbage,” she said, referring to November’s garbage crisis. “They were on top of it.” It was the professional connections of City Manager Barbara Sacks that kept

Ward 5 Ward 4 Ward 2

Ward 3 Ward 6 Ward 1

A map of Wayne. Each of the six wards is guaranteed to have one representative on the Town Council. In addition, there are three Town Council members elected at large. While the ward representatives are advocates for specific sections of town, they, along with the at-large members, address city-wide concerns as well.

the city’s garbage collection running in the week-long gap between when its old collector declared bankruptcy and a new collector signed on. In Wayne, there is no city manager; those responsibilities are shared by the elected mayor and his business administrator. However, in Wayne they have something Clifton does not: a clear message to voters about who their leader will be. “It’s not clear who’s going to be in line for mayor,” said Joseph F. Dunphy, referring to Clifton’s current form. “You think you’re voting for a Council member instead of for mayor.” Dunphy selected Wayne’s Mayor-Council form, in which the mayor runs every four years for his own seat, separate from the rest of the Council. In Clifton, voters are asked to choose all seven Council members at once. After the election, the Council members choose which of them will become mayor.

“’s a fairer way of governing with each section of the city having its own representative.” –Florence Nibbling, who selected Wayne’s current form of government.


February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

This person is traditionally the Council member who received the most votes while running, but the Council hasn’t always followed this tradition. Another aspect of Wayne’s government that appealed to some readers was the way individual Council members are elected. Only three of the nine members of Wayne’s Town Council are elected at large, and the remaining six are elected by their individual voting wards. “I really feel it’s a fairer way of governing with each section of the city having its own representative,” said Florence Nibbling, who selected Wayne’s current form. “I had said this to one of our Councilmen at one time and they said, ‘at least if we’re at-large, we have the whole city at heart.’ I think you would have more fairness to have things done in the section that you live.” But Madeline M. Maier, daughter of Joseph V. Menegus, said that the current form is better for the voters. “When you’re elected to the Council, you’re elected for the welfare of the city as a whole,” said Maier, who selected Clifton’s current form, which her father helped set up back in 1934.

She said that if the Council is forced to always side with whatever section of town each member comes from, it works against serving the city’s other residents. Maier referred to the recent issue of choosing a new site for a junior high school in Clifton. When the Board of Education’s Community Advisory Committee suggested using the school-owned Latteri Park, much of the opposition to this selection came from those who live near the park. The City Council sided with these residents, asking the Board to consider other sites even though the Board’s committee spent two years researching many of the same locations. Maier noted that issues such as this could become even more challenging if every area of Clifton had someone on the Council who needed to side with that section’s views alone. “I feel that to change this now for Clifton is wrong,” she said. “You’re talking to a 78-year-old person who has seen things go on.” Maria Carparelli, who selected Wayne’s current form, said that similar issues have led her to the opposite conclusion. “The problem is when

“When you are elected to the Council, you’re elected for the welfare of the city as a whole.” –Madeline M. Maier, who opted to keep Clifton’s current form of government.

you have that many people,” she said, referring to Clifton’s large population, “you really need to have people representing those various sections. I just feel that the problem is certain areas are not even known on the Council,” she said. “The main thing is, I feel it’s very important to have a say. Some kind of input.” But whether one representative or all seven come from one area of town, that quality alone does not determine what makes a good leader. “Any changed form of organization would still have the same people doing the same functions,” said Joe Mathias, who selected Clifton’s current form. Mathias said that a lot of the issues that are important to voters are influenced by state laws and other contracts, so the structure of the Council may not have a strong impact on how issues are decided. But Nibbling said that if the taxpayers want strong leaders, they have to do what Menegus didn’t want to do: take another bite out of their wallets.

“I feel that our mayor and council, their salaries are disgustingly low for the size of the city that they’re governing,” she said. In Clifton, Council members are paid $4,000 and the mayor earns $4,500. In Wayne, where there are 25,000 fewer residents, Council members earn $9,000, the Council president earns $10,000, and the mayor is paid $18,500. “I feel that if you want good people,” Nibbling said, “you have to be willing to pay for them.” We received 14 responses from last month’s survey. Here are the results 6 votes: Clifton’s current Council-Manager form. 0 votes: Modified CouncilManager form. 7 votes: Wayne’s MayorCouncil form. 1 vote: A Mayor-Council form.

We want to continue this Discussion... Please provide your opinion on which form of government is best for Clifton. Fill out this questionnaire, along with your name and phone number, so that we can publish the results in March. ____Clifton’s current Council-Manager form, with Council members elected at large, and the Mayor selected by the seven Council members. ____A modified Council-Manager form, with Council members elected by ward. ____Wayne’s Mayor-Council form, with most Council members elected by ward and some elected at large. The Mayor is directly elected by the voters. ____A Mayor-Council form where all Council members and the Mayor are elected at large. Your Name____________________________________Phone Number______________________ Mail responses by Feb. 16 to: Clifton Merchant Magazine, 1288 Main Ave., Clifton, NJ 07011 or email to Be sure to include your name and phone number. Clifton Merchant • February 2004


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February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Clifton’s 8th Super Bowl Family Day on Feb. 1 was another winner, from kick-off to the final goal. Over 350 people came to the Boys & Girls Club to watch the game on two big screens tvs, eat pizza and hot dogs and share in family activities. Photos from the event are on the following pages. The party opened with adults and kids in a friendly series of toss, basketball shooting, floor hockey and more. Participants earned points and high achievers received trophies. That’s followed by an open gym where kids of all ages played basketball and soccer. There was also lots of other activities, like Twister, checkers and board games. Major funding and support comes from CASA or Clifton Against Substance Abuse, City of Clifton Human Services , Clifton Merchant Magazine, Tomahawk Promotions and the individual sponsors listed on page 75.


Super Bowl Family Day

Ernest T.


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February 2004 • Clifton Merchant


• State Certified Child Care (all year round, 6:30 am- 6 pm) • Full Day Kindergarten • Full Day Pre Kindergarten – Pre-School

• Grand Piano Room • Grand Keyboard Room • Drum Room

• University Piano Rooms • Student Recitals • Instrument Rentals

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February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

MOUNTAIN VIEW CONSTRUCTION Tony DePasque Jr., President, 810 Van Houten Ave • Clifton call


for a free estimate.

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February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Mryt Petty T.J. Pertkewicz Sean Pagan Jim Anzaldi Abraham Millan Himansha Tailor Jenn Kidd Jessica Villoria Debbie Oliver Barbara Powers Bill Lemke MaryEllen Krattinger Charles Brown Tom Fieldhouse Al Greco

Thank You!


Super Bowl Family Day 21 Club Sponsors

CASA-Clifton Against Substance Abuse Surrogate Bill Bate Jim & Rita Haraka and Family Clifton FMBA #21 Steve & Ellen Corbo The Optimist Club of Clifton The Anzaldi Family Schweighardt’s Florist Clifton Merchant Magazine Tomahawk Promotions Barbara Dougherty... ... In Memory of Henry Dougherty Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey Ann E. Fourre` Clifton Lions Club Loyal Order of Moose Lodge #657 Knights of Columbus, St. Philip the Apostle Council #11671 Clifton City Manager, Mayor & Council, Municipal Attorney & City Clerk Vincent Malba, D.C. Superintendt Michael F. Rice Clifton Rotary Club

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A Savory Singer & Jazzy Dining in Downtown Clifton —By Maria Silva—

In the center of Downtown Clifton is Luna Rossa Jazz Restaurant, now over a year in business, and a new place for nightlife in the center of the business district. Owner Al Pfeuffer took over and completely renovated this longtime Clifton restaurant landmark at 39 Harding Ave, near the intersection of Main Ave., and established a classy dining establishment and jazz destination without the big time prices. “Music was always very important to me,” he said. “I wanted a place where people could get good music and good food. I’m not aiming for a four-star place, just a nice plate at a nice price.”


February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Having spent most of his adult working life in restaurants (before starting Luna Rossa he was head chef of a local national chain), Pfeuffer has combined his working interest (food) and artistic passion (jazz) and brought it to a business reality in Downtown Clifton.. His vision for making it happen was shared by members of the Downtown Clifton Economic Development Group who two years ago awarded Pfeuffer an $8,000 grant to come to the area. That investment has paid off. Pfeuffer not only created a new restaurant but an entertainment destination. The club has local and regional jazz acts Thursday, Friday and Saturday night which attracts people from throughout the region.

CHS 2001 grad Nina Velez music has been featured on R&B radio stations. She works at Savory Solutions and will perform at Luna Rossa on Feb. 15.

On Thursdays, the Luna Rossa showcases students in the William Paterson University jazz program. Pfeuffer organizes this young artist series with Dr. David Dempsey, the coordinator of jazz studies at WPU. He said that it is extremely helpful to give those students the experience of performing live. It also creates a networking opportunity for these students as they build their careers. Audience members sometimes include some highly acclaimed regulars, such as Grammy Award winner Jim DeAngelis and latin jazz musician Johnny Pacheco. In addition to celebrity patrons, on Friday and Saturday nights the Luna Rossa features up and coming musicians. These artists perform all styles of jazz, ranging from traditional to smooth to latin, fitting in perfectly with the diversity of the Downtown Clifton area.

A Savory Singer Around the corner from the Luna Rossa is an equally satisfying place to eat. Located at 1159 Main Ave, Savory Solutions, owned by chef Jennifer Rodano, is another newly established business which offers catering and a delicatessen cuisine with a café-style atmosphere. While the food there is exceptional, the story these days may be about Savory’s behind the counter employee, Nina Velez. Within the petite frame of this 2001 CHS graduate hides the voice of a siren, a voice that some say could rival that of Mariah Carey or Erykah Badu. For almost two years, the young vocalist has been working with Alpha Entertainment Omega Records’ producer Jose Chavez to create her debut album. Velez describes her music as “real music that you can feel. Music that has emotion.”

At rear left, that’s Al Pfeuffer and his wife, Ida, owners of Luna Rossa.

Her single, Shy, has earned accolades from the R&B industry insiders and gained airplay on New York’s hit music station WKTU. Unfortunately, the road to success has not been as easy for the young singer/songwriter. When Velez approached the City of Clifton for permission to film her music video, she found a lot of resistance. Her efforts to film around Clifton, including inside the Luna Rossa, exposed Velez to a sobering lack of encouragement. Velez said officials had concerns about the number of people that her R&B style of music would attract. There were also harsh fees imposed to film a two-day project. “I grew up in Clifton my whole life,” she said. “I was surprised that they weren’t proud and ready to encourage one of their own.” Pfeuffer is in complete agreement with Velez. “It’s a shame that the players are here, but they don’t get recognized,” he said, expressing his concern over the lacking support for a new music scene in Clifton.

Velez is not at all dissuaded from her dream. She expected to face some obstacles, but her determination to succeed is as bold as the flaming pink stripe that courses through her pitch black hair. Nina Velez will headline at Luna Rossa on Feb. 15. To track this young Clifton star’s progress, visit her web site: hair nails color


Opening on weekdays at 5 pm, Luna Rossa has also become a place for local business owners to meet after work for drinks. There’s a big comfortable bar where guests are warmly greeted and everything from appetizers to entrees are served. Performers begin warming up around 8 pm and within a few hours the whole place is rocking. Pfeuffer’s efforts to bring novice and experienced musicians to his restaurant are extremely important to the developing area. Downtown Clifton has numerous and diverse restaurants, but it does not provide any other outlet for musical talent. In addition to the Thursday series, the February line-up includes singer Gil ‘Bop’ Benson on Feb 13, the Chicago style of the Black Widow Blues Band on Feb. 21 and other performers. For info, go to

Call Latife at 973.365.0220 to make an appointment. 88 Market Street, Clifton Clifton Merchant • February 2004


Jersey residents who died in the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks. The memorial will be built at the northeast end of Liberty State Park in Jersey City, across the Hudson River from ground zero. Professional artists, architects, and designers are encouraged to participate. To enter, register online or through mail by March. 1. Visit or call 609-777-0878 for details.

Breaking the Thread Ceiling, a 14-artist show featuring work in mixed media on fiber, is exhibited Feb. 11 through Mar. 6 at the Clifton Arts Center at City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave. On Feb. 12, there will be a public art forum/discussion with the artists from 7 to 9 pm. There is a reception Feb. 15 at 1 pm. For info, call 973-472-5499.

Anthology editors Maria Mazziotti Gillan, at front, her daughter Jennifer Gillan, left, and Edvige Giunta.

A contest to create a Sept. 11 memorial at Liberty State Park is re-entering the design stages. A previous contest attracted only 19 submissions, so state officials are looking for new ideas for a memorial as a tribute to the 700 New 1074


Ladies Only...No Joking! School #3 HSA is presenting a Ladies Only Comedy Night on March 11 at The Brownstone in Paterson. Cocktails begin at 6:30 and the $35 ticket includes buffet dinner, soda, coffee, dessert and an evening of leave your spouse at the house night of humor. With comics coming in from NYC, chances are there will be some boybashing going on that evening. Tickets are $35. Proceeds benefit the Washington Ave. school. Call Toni Karagianis at 973-478-3379.

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Italian American Writers on New Jersey: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose, a new book, is available from Rutgers University Press. Maria Mazziotti Gillan, an anthology editor, is founder and executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson and director of the Creative Writing Program at SUNYBinghamton. Her daughter, Jennifer Gillan, and Edvige Giunta also edited the compilation. To purchase, visit or call 800-446-9323 and mention code ‘PJG3’ for a 20 percent discount.

Registration Now Underway! • Nursery School • Pre-K Programs • Classes for 2 1/2, 3 & 4 year olds Open 9 am to 3 pm

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973 779-4844 78

February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

We welcome new patients in Clifton and our other locations! Tenafly 32 Franklin St 201-569-2400

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Paramus 26 Park Place 201-262-1140

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Ace Lane: Six Decades of Excellence in Motor Sports Photography is an exhibit which runs through Feb. 29 at the Paterson Museum, 2 Market St., Paterson. The show features auto racing photography and memorabilia by Ace Lane, Sr. and his son, Ace Lane, Jr. (below), such as Mario Andretti (right) taken in the 1960’s in Langhorne, PA, as well as classic shots of midget cars in Paterson’s Hinchliffe Stadium. For hours and info, call 973-321-1260.

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Clifton Merchant • February 2004


Happy Birthday To... Alison Degen . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/1 Robyn Feldman . . . . . . . . . . . 2/1 Kristin Reilly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2/1 Jillian Sloma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/1 Zully De Nardis . . . . . . . . . . . .2/2 Lori Egner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2/2 Scarlette Ramirez . . . . . . . . . . 2/2 Emil Soltis, Jr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/2 Joe Fierro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/3 Eric Lux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/3 Bob Naletko . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/3

Eric Lux celebrates his 9th birtday Feb 2. Sister Renee is 3 on Feb 14

3rd birthday greetings to Natalie Pych who celebrates on Feb 8. Catherine Grace Burns Jennifer Correa . . . . . . John Nitolo . . . . . . . . . . Courtney Carlson . . . . . Joseph DeSomma . . . . Charlie Hornstra . . . . . . Anna Robol . . . . . . . . . Robert D’Alessio . . . . . . Nicole Goretski . . . . . . . Nicole Tahan . . . . . . . . Tara Fueshko . . . . . . . . . Jamie Carr . . . . . . . . . .

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2/4 2/4 2/5 2/6 2/6 2/6 2/6 2/7 2/7 2/7 2/8 2/9

Open your heart and your home.

Craig Grieco . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/9 Bryan Kelly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/10 Matthew Seitz . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/10 Marwan Obaid . . . . . . . . . . 2/11 Joseph Hilla . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/12 Valentine Le Ster . . . . . . . . . 2/12 Leann Perez . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/12 Dolores Rando . . . . . . . . . . . 2/12 John Hodorovych . . . . . . . . 2/13 Amin Zamlout . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/13 Justine Mary Cetinich . . . . . 2/14 Renee Lux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/14 Orest Luzniak . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/14 Jeanette Ann Saia . . . . . . . . 2/14 Christine Canavan . . . . . . . . 2/15 M. Louis Poles . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/15 Helen Nikovits Stimach . . . . . 2/16 Ashley Christine Brandecker 2/17 Anthony Musleh . . . . . . . . . . 2/17 Lorraine Rothe . . . . . . . . . . . 2/17 Michael Del Re . . . . . . . . . . . 2/18 Maria Jimenez . . . . . . . . . . . 2/18 Michael Papa . . . . . . . . . . . .2/20 Brian Restrepo . . . . . . . . . . . .2/20 Michael J. Cetinich . . . . . . . .2/21 Brian Corzo . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2/21 Chris Lorenc . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2/21 Ashley Carlucci . . . . . . . . . . .2/22 Diana Murphy . . . . . . . . . . . .2/22 John T. Saccoman . . . . . . . .2/22 Robert Adamo . . . . . . . . . . .2/24 Eileen Feldman . . . . . . . . . . .2/24 Kimberly Mistretta . . . . . . . . .2/24 Nicholas Stambuli . . . . . . . . .2/24 Kimberly Gasior . . . . . . . . . . .2/26 Paulina Cirrito . . . . . . . . . . . .2/27 Brittany Helwig . . . . . . . . . . . .2/27 Joyce Penaranda . . . . . . . . .2/27 Brittany Pinter . . . . . . . . . . . . .2/27 Lauren Ricca . . . . . . . . . . . . .2/27 Joseph J. Schmidt . . . . . . . . .2/27 A special Happy Birthday to Kimberly Gasior who turns Sweet Sixteen on February 26. Congratulations to the following Valentine couples... Charley and Susie Butler of Galena, Maryland celebrate their 38th Wedding Anniversary on February 14.

Many children are waiting for very special foster families... Financial Assistance & Free Training Available

Call toll-free: 1-800-837-9102 N E W


To qualify to be a foster parent, you must be at least 21 years old, have a steady source of income and adequate space in your home. 80

February 2004 • Clifton Merchant


Tom and Cheryl Hawrylko will be married 23 years on February 14.

Classy, Sassy, Lassies Sure it’s Valentine’s Day and it’s the time of the year to wear red. But Clifton’s Classy, Sassy Lassies do it more than once a year. That’s because they are the city’s newest chapter of the Red Hat Society (The first was started last March by Mary Grace Heyrich) a new women’s movement changing the perception of aging women around the world. If you are a bold women who would enjoy meeting for tea in red hats and sharing some outlandishness, go to

Call Gen Genarelli at 973-744-7404 for info on Clifton’s Classy, Sassy Lassies.

On Valentine’s Day… …you can can have have Pancakes, Pancakes, …you but we we bring bring more more to to the the table… table… but

16 oz T-Bone Steak with Shrimp, Potato and Vegetable, Jello or Ice Cream includes Soup or Salad…$17.50 per person

680 Route 3 West Clifton • 973-471-7717 1286

Clifton Merchant • February 2004


Fighting Mustangs Dave Szott (74) and Scott Porter.

NY Jets #79 and ‘86 CHS grad Dave Szott comes home for ‘An Afternoon with #79 Dave Szott’ at Clifton High School on March 7 from 2 to 5 pm. The former CHS Mustang and Penn State Nittany Lion will recount his life and football career, answer questions and award sports memorabilia. As a Mustang, Szott earned four letters in wrestling and three in football and was inducted into the CHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998. Off the field, Dave and his wife Andrea established Szott For Tots, a program to provide services for children with disabilities in caring, therapeutic and educational environments. Their son Shane, diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy in 1995, attends Children’s TLC, one of the Szott For Tots beneficiaries. Szott has always been a friend to his hometown, running football clinics for the Clifton Colts and donating equipment to outfit the CHS Fighting Mustangs weightlifting room. Tickets to this fundraiser are $10. Make checks to Clifton Education Foundation and mail to PO Box 2071, Clifton NJ 07015 or visit the CHS office from 9 am to 3 pm. Call 973-470-2310 for info.

Dr. David R. Moore, Chiropractor Pictured (left) with Dr. Moore is endurance athlete, Jack Van Olden. Jack has competed in many Marathons including; New York City, Philadelphia, Jersey Shore, and Marine Corps. Jack has also competed in the Wyckoff, Harriman, West Point, and Morris County Triathlons. Mr. Van Olden has been a patient for over three years. And hit our improved website:

Mon • Wed • Fri Chiropractic Health Center 241 Crooks Ave • Clifton • 973.253.7005 Tue • Thu • Sat Elmwood Park Athletic Club 690 River Dr • Elmwood Park • 201.794.0155



February 2004 • Clifton Merchant

New Lobby & Registration Opened June 1999

New LightSpeed CT Scanner Opened June 1999


New LDR/P Maternity Opened September 2000

Today St. Mary’s Hospital is newer, different and better.

New Critical Care Unit Opened January 2001

Modern Main Lobby and Private Central Registration - Opened June 1999 First to Offer Advanced LightSpeed CT Scanner - June 1999 New LDR/P Maternity Unit - Opened September 2000 New 10 Bed Critical Care Unit - Opened January 2001 New Same Day Surgery Center - Opened November 2001

New projects planned for 2002/2003 Emergency Department - Operating Suite - Endoscopy Suite

Now our 2nd Century Campaign is asking for your financial support to help make these important projects a reality. For more information or a tour of our NEW Hospital call 973-470-3106. New Same Day Surgery Center Opened November 2001

It doesn’t get any better than quality people with quality technology in a quality setting.

St . Mary’s Hospital 2 11 Pen n i ngto n A venue, P a ssaic, NJ 07055


Tomahawk Promotions 1288 Main Avenue Clifton, NJ 07011




Buy or Sell A Home With Us & Use This Truck!

CALL TODAY!! 973-340-1202

Selling Your Home Will Cost You Thousands If You’re Not Aware of These 9 Critical Steps A new report has just been released which reveals 7 costly mistakes that most homeowners make when selling their home, and a 9 Step System that can help you sell your home fast and for the most amount of money. This report shows clearly how the traditional ways of selling homes have become increasingly less effective in today’s market. The fact of the matter is that fully three quarters of home sellers don’t get what they want for their home and become disillusioned and-worse-financially disadvantaged when they put their home on the market. As this report uncovers, most home sellers make 7 deadly mistakes that cost them literally thousands of dollars. The good news is that each and every one of these mistakes is entirely preventable. Industry insiders have prepared a free special report entitled “The 9 Step System to Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar” To hear a brief recorded message about how to order your free copy of this report CALL 1-866-8314517 and enter ID # 1700. You can call anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and STOP wasting thousands of dollars on rent NOW.

Clifton $264,900 Nice ranch in family neighborhood. Nice sized living room and dining area. 2 bdrms, bath on lower level. 2 additional on 2nd. One car driveway.

Clifton $279,900 Nice well maintained property w/ LR, DR, Mod EIK, 3 Bdrms on 2nd floor. Includes full basement. Above ground pool stays!

Clifton $299,000 Totally redone home in Maple Valley Sec of Clifton. Fin-Bsmt w/ Rec Rm, Computer area and L/A.Move Right In. Quick Closing.

Clifton $559,900 This Beautiful home offers Lr, Mod Eik, 6 Bdrms, 2 Bths, and Den. Also offers 2 Car Garage and Full Bsmt.

Clifton $279,900 Beautiful and well maintained 1 family w/ brick front. Lrg Lr, Dr, Mod EIK w/ pantry, 3 bdrms, sunroom, and expandable attic.

Haledon $279,900 Lovely brick ranch offers large LR, Mod EIK, 2 bedrooms, & bath on main level.Also full finished ground walk out level .

Clifton $449,900 2 FAMILY ranch style home.Mod 2 Br Apt. in front w/ M/D set up in rear.Lrg LR, Mod Kit & D/A. 2 Lrg Bdrms & Bth.Lrg Rec Rm w/ Summ. Kit 2 Bdrm & Bth

Clifton $299,900 This lovely one family home offers LR, DR, Modern EIK, 3 Bdrms, and a bath. Full finished basement has toilet and shower.

Bloomfield $299,000 Well priced home, very accessible. All large rooms, LR, DR, Mod EIK, 2 bdrms possible 3rd, finished bsmt. With 14x20 rec room, laundry area, and _ bath. 2-car garage.

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