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January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Clifton Merchant Magazine

Letters to the You’ve heard about the subprime mess. Clifton Savings can help. We only lend to qualified borrowers and we give them low rates. It’s no secret. We’ve been doing it for 80 years. Over 2,000 New Jersey families have loans from us. None — zero — are subprime. John A. Celentano, Jr. & Walter Celuch Clifton Savings Bank

All we hear about in the media is the growing losses and substantial write downs taken by money center banks, national mortgage banking companies and Wall Street firms on huge portfolios of subprime mortgage debt and other securitized debt obligations. Just because a small group of financial institutions ran with the herd trying to bolster short-term profits and operated without regard to sound lending practices, all banks should not be punished. Media sensationalism is causing the public to believe that virtually every bank has exposure to these losses. The adverse publicity is causing the investment community to frown on financial institutions. Many community and regional banks, Valley National Bank included, did not participate in the subprime frenzy and aren’t experiencing debt write downs. Even more frustrating is that those that abstained from underwriting these loans were harshly criticized during the boom times for not showing double-digit loan growth. The media should report both sides of the story. It’s vital that citizens not believe the economy is about to collapse under the weight of subprime mortgage problems. Confidence in the economy’s strength is key to avoiding a recession. Gerald H. Lipkin Pres. and CEO of Valley National Bank

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On our cover are some of the Clifton seniors who will participate in the CHS Fashion Show on Feb. 10. See page 72 for their names and more information. The Avengers volleyball team at St. John Kanty School are grateful for the photo and story you published in November. The team is a member of the North Jersey Junior Volleyball League, which is entering its 10th season. The league believes all participants should have the chance to play, build self-esteem and learn the importance of teamwork. Parents of interested 5th to 8th grade boys and girls can contact us for info. Coaches Lori Wood & Diane Cogot, Avengers Volleyball Team (

The artists in my 8th grade homeroom really appreciated the photo and write up you did on their 2008 America the Beautiful calendar. Thank you for what you do for our community. Jeff Labriola CCMS Art Teacher

Thank you for the article about my husband Al Pogorelec, “4 for the Price of None,” in your December edition. Al has received many calls, has been stopped in the supermarket and his former coach who lives in Pennsylvania even called. Jordan Schwartz did a super job with the article, combining facts and human interest. Merry Christmas, happy and healthy New Year and continued success with the magazine. Betty Pogorelec

EDITOR & PUBLISHER Tom Hawrylko BUSINESS MANAGER Cheryl Hawrylko STAFF WRITERS: Joe Hawrylko, Jordan Schwartz Tomahawk Promotions CONTRIBUTORS: 1288 Main Avenue Jack DeVries, Downtown Clifton, NJ 07011 Cheryl Hawrylko, Joe Torelli, John Bendel 973-253-4400 • January 2008 • Clifton Merchant



No Further Action Letter for Athenia Steel Year In Review by Jordan Schwartz and Joe Hawrylko n the wake of the Dec. 06 Latteri Park school referendum defeat, the City Council offered to let the Board of Education build the school on land the city has owned since 1999, on the site of the former Athenia Steel company. If the Board does not accept the offer, Mayor James Anzaldi stated in Jan. 07, the city would begin construction during 2007 on ball fields on the northern section of the Clifton Ave. property. A senior citizen apartment complex, built in 2004, occupies the front six acres of the 35-acre site. Using the Athenia Steel property for a school is old news. During 2004 and 2005, a majority of the Board, then led by President Joe Kolodziej, had worked with the city in the hopes that it could use the 11 northern acres of the property for a 1,700 student school. The “deal” was that City Council was to expedite the environmental cleanup of the northern portion of the property and once completed, the Board would “swap” Latteri Park for the environmentally cleaned Athenia Steel site. Despite promises from the Mayor and Council, the necessary approvals from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection never materialized.


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January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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Clifton ACTION Group holds its first meeting

But in a November 17, 2006 letter to the City Council, the DEP determined “that no further action is necessary for remediation” of the soil on the 11-acre northern section. Those acres, or a portion of them at least, were again being offered in Jan. 07 by the city in exchange for the 7.5 acres of Latteri Park. BOE President Marie Hakim said that despite the DEP letter, she still doubts the viability of building a school on Athenia. She cited an earlier letter from the DEP which stated that any potential clearance of the soil on the northern property should “in no way be construed as an endorsement for the placement of a school” anywhere on the site’s 29 undeveloped acres. Hakim in Jan. 07 noted other problems and other unanswered questions with the offer: the 12 acre central portion of the property is still contaminated and the only way on and off of Athenia Steel is through a single driveway on Clifton Ave. “That brings us to the question of who will pay for the extra work,” she said. BOE Commissioner Norman Tahan was far more adamant about the Athenia Steel offer: “It’s contaminated, a toxic waste dump,” he said. “I will not be a part of any plan that puts Clifton’s children in harm’s way, as this plan does.”

Cliftonite Jack Frost turned 102 on Jan. 1

On Jan. 7, Frank ‘the Barber’ Schiro gave his last hair cut and closed his barber shop, which he opened on Main Ave. in 1966. Below is the link to the Athenia Steel No Further Action that was posted on the city’s web site in early 2007.

In our Jan. 07 edition, Mayor Anzaldi was asked: What happens if the BOE rejects Athenia Steel as a school site? “Then we’ll have the biggest and best park in the city,” claimed Anzaldi, who has been mayor since 1990. “We can begin building the soccer fields this year.” No work has begun on the fields or creating alternative access to the site in the 13 months since that statement. However, City Manager Al Greco stated in Dec. 07 that final designs are currently being drawn up, which must be approved for Green Acres funding. He added that ground breaking is expected to be in spring, ‘08. Our Jan. 07 edition also featured a commentary by Tom and Cheryl Hawrylko regarding a Dec. 28, 2006 letter City Planner Dennis Kirwan filed with the Office of School Facilities in the State of New Jersey, regarding the 500-student high school annex at 290 Brighton Rd. Corresponding on behalf of the Planning Board, Kirwan wrote: “this board still has concerns has (sic) to the factual enrollment and the under utilization of the school facilities that exist their (sic) today.” Kirwan’s comments echoed that of many who still questioned if the overcrowding was simply because of illegal students, or if it even existed at all. In the year that has passed, not much has changed, as the legal wrangling still continues for 290 Brighton Rd. January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Feb 07

208 Senior Apartments Approved he long-abandoned manufacturing site behind Richardson Scale Park on Van Houten Ave. was approved by the Planning Board for 208 units of affordable senior housing on Feb. 16. As a part of the project, site owner Regan Development Corp. would donate an acre of wooded land to the city, which abuts the current soccer field. Construction was planned to begin by the end of spring and would be completed in two years. To be eligible, couples or singles must have a combined income of less than $42,000. Clifton’s seniors were up in arms after the U.S. Postal Service removed 30 of the city’s 98 public mailboxes in a cost-cutting effort. Councilman Peter Eagler came to the defense of the seniors, claiming that it is hard for them to get to the city’s boxes that aren’t close, and that many residents fear identity theft if their mail is left in personal mailboxes. The understaffing of Clifton’s post offices on Saturdays—the busiest day of the week—was also a concern of residents. The BOE’s preliminary budget proposal included three more full-day kindergarten programs (Schools 2, 11 and 15), two college credit courses at CHS and expansion of a program to keep teens interested


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January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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Dog barking ordinance is passed by Clifton Council

in completing school. In addition, the annual spending plan was also proposed for $106.7 million, a 5.3 percent increase, or roughly a $180 increase for the average assessed home of $175,000. The Council adopted an ordinance that would make underage drinking illegal on private property. Police would still need a warrant to enter, unless they receive consent, there is an emergency situation, or if an officer observes an underage drinker in plain view. The maximum fine for the first offense would be $250. Exceptions to the law would be for religious purposes or if consumption was done in the presence of a consenting parent, legal guardian or relative over the age of 21. On Feb. 27, Clifton’s firefighters filed a grievance with the city, claiming that obligatory out-of-town training had forced them to shut down two of their fire houses over the course of the month. The local FMBA argued that the practice violated a minimum staffing agreement. The Council passed a law that would allow cops to ticket owners whose canines bark for more than a total of a half hour over two consecutive days. Those writing a complaint are required to show in court and the defendant could face fines starting at $250 if found guilty.

Family Super Bowl party attracts 400

Fighting Mustangs TE/DE Nick Cvetic (center, next to Coach Ron Anello) officially committed to play football at Colgate University on media signing day in February. Standing, from left, is Cvetic’s father Pete and CHS Principal Richard Tardalo.

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January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Federal Mortgage Offers Senior Citizens A Reverse Mortgage


or some 35 years now, Anthony A. Accavallo, shown here, has been helping make the American Dream become a reality, right here in Clifton. As President of Federal Mortgage & Investment Corp. at 1111 Clifton Ave., Clifton, he and his firm have written millions of dollars worth of mortgages which have allowed people to purchase homes. And while that work has been fulfilling, Accavallo said he is getting his greatest satisfaction these days by helping senior citizens with reverse mortgages. A reverse mortgage is a special kind of mortgage loan for seniors. “It is a safe, easy way to turn your home equity into tax-free cash,” he continued. “Unlike a home equity loan, you do not have to make

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

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

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

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Mar 07

BOE Approves Budget with Full-Day K he Clifton Board of Education approved a $106.7 million operating budget for the 2007-2008 school year. The spending plan included full-day kindergarten programs for elementary Schools 2, 11 and 15, two college credit courses at Clifton High School and the expansion of a program for teenagers disinterested in school. Meanwhile, the fiasco at the BOE took a turn for the worse, as the Board voted 6-3 to press ethics charges against commissioner Michael Paitchell on March 11. Dissenting votes came from Paitchell, Mary Kowal and Keith LaForgia. The charges were to be filed with the state School Ethics Commission, within the state Department of Education, however, there never was any formal charge handled by the state. If a case is ever officially brought forward, penalties range from a reprimand letter, to a censure letter, which is read into public record, or even suspension or removal. The State Department of Education re-approved the 290 Brighton Rd. project on March 30, forcing the Zoning Board of Adjustment to once again rule on the application for the variance for a 500-student high school annex. The Board was required to reconsider the variance, without considering matters such as walk routes, sidewalks and transportation patterns that weren’t its legal responsibility. Mike Rabel, a 2004 CHS graduate, was awarded a $1,000 check on March 1 by Police Chief Robert Ferreri as a part of the Officer John Samra Scholarship Fund. On Nov. 21, 2003, Rabel was one of two civilians on the scene when Samra, a motorcycle cop, was run down by Luis Hernandez of Passaic after he fled


during a routine traffic stop. The fund is meant to help relatives of police officers pay for college, however, an exception was made for Rabel, who no longer lives in Clifton, but indicated at the time that he wished to become a Clifton cop after graduating. The City of Clifton announced that it was seeking a farmer to lease the five acres of land that was Schultheis Farm until being purchased by the municipality in 2005. City Manager Al Greco stated that it

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January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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would also be home to community gardens and that the city anticipated demolishing the three historic buildings that were still standing at the time. Also under consideration was the construction of a building to house the Fire Department’s equipment and auxiliary unit. Residents of the Athenia section breathed a sigh of relief on March 23, after the Regional Medical Examiner’s Office in Newark concluded that the bones found in front of 26 La Salle Ave. on March 5 were not of a human. Private contractors were digging a trench to repair a sewer line and came across the remains—a thigh bone, a kneecap and a few inches of shin bone— which were originally thought to be from a human, but were later determined to be from a deer. Bill Vander Closter, the legendary Fighting Mustangs coach who succeeded Joe Grecco, passed away on March 26 at the age of 82. After joining the team as an assistant in 1950, he took over the ‘Stangs in 1964. In the 16 seasons that would follow, Vandy guided the Clifton Mustangs to a 111-28-7 record and five state championships. He also posted a 224-24 record as a JV basketball coach.

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Coach Vander Closter, 82, passes March 26

Clifton Police Officer John Samra was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 21, 2003. On March 1, 2007, Mike Rabel, a 2004 CHS grad who tried to help Samra that day, was awarded a $1,000 check as part of Samra’s Scholarship Fund.

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Tahan edges Graupe; BOE Budget Fails he Board of Education election results come in on April 17 with a surprise first place finisher: former CHS teacher Jim St. Clair (2,320 votes). Incumbents Kim Renta (2,081) and Norm Tahan (1,905) followed, with the latter of the two besting Paul Graupe by just eight votes. Graupe, the former Zoning Board Commissioner who many thought to be a favorite for one of the three seats, opted to challenge the results before Passaic County Superior Court Judge Robert Passero. A week later, the judge found that the results were indeed accurate and upheld the voters’ choice. The rest of the field was Steve Goldberg (1,825), John Houston (1,618), John Salierno (1,364), Kevin Coradeschi (705) and Maura Giron (253). Candidate Coradeschi was also in the spotlight for other reasons. The Washington Ave. resident was accused by publisher Tom Hawrylko of taking bundles of the April edition of the Clifton Merchant Magazine from at least one store. The matter was settled on Aug. 30 with payment of an undisclosed sum and publication of a letter from Coradeschi in the September edition of CMM in which he stated: “I sincerely apologize to Tom and Cheryl Hawrylko for taking more of their magazines than I, in retrospect, should have taken.”


On the evening of April 17 at the BOE offices on Clifton Ave., candidates and their families as well as operatives, media and political observers strained to see the tally board as results were posted by ward in the race for three seats and the schools operating budget. The three eventual winners, pictured below from left included newcomer Jim St. Clair and incumbents Kim Renta and Norm Tahan.


January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

CHS Athletic Hall of Fame inducts Stan Lembryk & others

Guru Al Du Bois feted for 20 years of recycling

Paul Graupe (left) and Steve Goldberg (right) finished fourth and fifth respectively in the April 2007 race for three open seats on the Clifton Board of Education.

In the same election, the proposed tax levy failed by 33 votes, which cast doubt on the district’s plan to expand the all day kindergarten program to six more schools the following year. The final numbers were 2,608 No votes to 2,575 Yes votes.

Statewide, 78.1 percent of tax levies passed, which was the largest number in recent years. Clifton’s recycling guru Al DuBois was honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for his twenty years as the city’s recycling coordinator on April 26.

Clifton Celebrates 90th Anniversary

The city of Clifton also received the annual Environmental Quality Award, which is the agency’s most prestigious public honor. On April 4, an armed criminal bit off more than he could chew, when he tried a brazen daytime robbery of the Sprint/Nextel store near Main and Washington Aves. The suspect, David Santiago of Passaic, pulled a gun on the owner Nathar Abdelaziz after asking about phones. Santiago tied him up in the back and told customers to leave the store. The owner’s cousin, Ahmad Bsharat, entered the store and was also taken at gun point. However, as Santiago returned to the back, he was greeted with a shovel to the face from Abdelaziz, who had freed himself. The two cousins then detained the criminal for arrest by Clifton Police.


January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


May 07

Zoners Nix Main Ave. Professional Plaza he Clifton Zoning Board of Adjustment voted 5 to 2 on May 16 to reject a variance application for the proposed Clifton Professional Plaza at 1260 Main Ave. in Downtown Clifton. George Tafankaji wanted to redevelop his Exxon Gas Station into a three-story, 10,000 sq. ft. professional office building, however, the plan, which was presented by attorney Frank Carlet, was deficient by 29 spaces. Since then, the proposal has gone back to the drawing board and was rejected yet again in December by the Planning Board. The City Council announced plans to transform the Athenia Steel property into a 30-acre recreation site, with the first phase completed by Spring of 2009. The city purchased the property for $5 million back in 1999. For the first phase, Clifton plans to build two soccer/lacrosse fields, one of which would have a removable dome and artificial turf. Officials also would like to add a bike path and walking trail, depending on state grants. The second phase would call for a ice hockey rink, a playground, a basketball court and a softball diamond. To alleviate the traffic situation to Athenia Steel—which currently has only one entrance and exit—officials plan to build along the rail line on


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January 2008 • Clifton Merchant



Jan Brogan returns to Clifton for book signing

Chris Robertson stars in Dead Man Walking at CHS

Clifton students attended the Clifton High School Prom at the Skylands Manor on May 18.

Jack Kuepfer: 20 years at Morris Canal Park

the eastern border. In the past, the state has said that crossing the rail line is not an option. The city now anticipates groundbreaking by Spring 2008. Clifton officials were confused as to how they would enforce a State Superior Court ruling banning nightclubs in the city. The Appellate Division panel’s decision came as a result of a battle between Pub 46 and its neighbors. The residents, led by Mark Nouhan of 19 Gleeson Dr., have been complaining about noise coming from the bar for years. In the middle of 2005, the Zoning Board of Adjustment ruled that Pub 46 was a restaurant with an entertainment license, and not a nightclub. Nouhan and some of his neighbors then took the matter to Passaic County Superior Court, but the Zoning Board’s decision was upheld. Finally, this spring, a State Superior Court Appellate Division panel of three judges unanimously ruled that the Rt. 46 east restaurant’s “current use of its property as a discotheque-nightclub is not a permitted use under the zoning ordinance or the special exception under which Pub 46 is permitted to operate a restaurant.” City Manager Al Greco said the Appellate Court’s decision put the city in an unenforceable position.

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June 07

Lady Mustangs Capture 4th State Title he Lady Mustangs softball team captured its first Group 4 State Championship since 1998 by defeating Toms River 2-0 on June 9. Led by senior pitcher Deanna Giordano, Clifton went 30-3 over the course of the season, giving Cara Boseski her first title as a coach, after having been a part of the dominant Lady Mustang squads of the 90’s. Clifton’s finest were embroiled in a controversy after shooting John Kubasta, a 42 year old, mentally disabled man, following a low-speed chase that started on a rainy night on June 4 in Garfield. The man ran through a checkpoint and led officers on a chase into Clifton near Rt. 19 and Broad St., at which point he backed into an officer’s car and tried to take off again. Officers shot at Kubasta, striking him six times. The cops were eventually found to have acted appropriately. Dr. Michael Rice, the Clifton Schools Superintendent since 2002, announced on June 9 that he would be leaving his post in August to take up the same position in Kalamazoo, MI so that he can be closer to family. Rice, often the scapegoat for problems with the BOE, was instrumental in getting full day kindergarten in all elementary schools and seeing several budgets pass.


Pictured here are the top 10 students of the CHS Class Of ‘07 (not in order of class rank). From left: Mia Edwards, Mohini Patel, Amy Wong, Cassandra Trujillo, Francesca Hemsey, Zachary Solomon, Anthony Shehab, Ivan Jakimovski, Samer Hamad and Chris Shagawat. 18

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Sacred Heart Msgr. Julian Varettoni retires

Clifton Zoning Board rejects Brighton Rd. School again

In other academic news, Clifton High School honored its students at the 2007 CHS Senior Athlete Awards Dinner on June 11. Softball pitcher Deanna Giordano and football lineman Timmy Jacobus won the Athlete of the Year awards. Quarterback Anthony Giordano won the Joe Grecco Award and Bill Vander Closter Award. Swimmer and cancer survivor Sylvia Hyra was presented with a Certificate of Achievement for her dedication. Also related to Clifton Schools, the 290 Brighton Rd. fiasco continued in the month of June. The proposed 500-student, 9th grade high school annex was shot down by a 4-3 Zoning Board of Adjustment vote on June 7. The meeting was for a variance to convert the industrial building currently there into a school. The result started up a whole new round in the appeals process. After an eight month delay due to an unforeseen problem with relocating Verizon fiber optic cables, the construction on the Grove St. and Van Houten Ave. Rt. 46 ramps continued. The $28.3 million dollar project was meant to ease traffic in the area and was originally slated for completion in April 2007. However, the delays pushed back the project until April 2008, with final landscaping not expected to be completed until June of that year. Since

CHS Class of 2007 graduates June 22

the project was started in 2004, it has been a nuisance to residents, who have had to deal with increased traffic due to the bridge that was cut in half, as well as graffiti that the State did not clean up for weeks at a time. On June 26, it was announced that Clifton’s free commuter shuttle service, which was partially funded by NJ Transit, would be cancelled at the end of the month. When it was first launched about five years ago, the shuttle service attracted around 45 commuters, which were dropped off at the Allwood Road Park and Ride bus terminal and NJ Transit train station. However, rising costs and additional parking spaces rendered the service obsolete. Many times, less than nine people would ride the shuttle during the course of the day, which sealed its fate. Schultheis Farm, purchased in 2005 by the City of Clifton as per Clifton’s master plan to maintain green space, was considered as the site for an auxiliary garage for the city’s emergency vehicles. The construction would have required the demolition of the historic barn buildings on the property. The plan angered residents and it was eventually taken off the table on Nov. 29.

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


July 07

Barbary Tapped as Interim Superintendent ollowing Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice’s announcement that he would be leaving the district, the Board of Education selected Dr. Anthony G. Barbary to fill the position of district interim superintendent. The 59-year-old River Edge resident previously worked for the Clifton district for 31 years as a principal of two elementary schools, the last being School 5 on Valley Rd. Barbary also served as assistant superintendent before leaving Clifton in July 2003. The BOE voted unanimously to appoint Barbary, after also considering Assistant Superintendent Ira Oustatcher, Business Administrator Karen Perkins and former Clifton school chief William Liess. A story in the Herald News on July 16 caused quite a stir in town. The article by Karen Keller detailed how some east side residents feel the quality of life is deteriorating in that part of Clifton. Some blamed it on an influx of foreigners, while others said they couldn’t put their finger on the cause. Another contingent said there was no problem in the section of the city below Main Ave. The story included census data stating that the percentage of foreign-born residents in East Clifton rose from 23 percent in 1990 to 33 percent in 2000.


In July, the Clifton Merchant Magazine featured a couple of interesting profiles. At left, William Schmidig standing next to his tall grape vines at Clifton’s Community Gardens. At right, Paulison Ave. ShopRite owner Clifton resident Rafael Cuellar. 20

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Clifton’s Free Shuttle goes offline July 1

Dr. Anthony G. Barbary Interim Superintendent

David Porter died from a Wilms’ tumor on Aug. 25, 2006. His family celebrated “David’s Day” in his honor on July 7, 2007.

Clifton’s Oldest Veteran WWII Vet Joseph Jacobs

The following day, the City Council voted unanimously to once again ask the BOE to consider selling Latteri Park to the city so it could preserve it as open space. The School Board denied the Council’s first offer in 2005 because it wanted to keep the park as a possible school site. In Dec. 2006, residents voted down a referendum to build a school there, but with some Board members still considering the park for a school, the BOE again rejected the Council’s offer to buy the park on July 25. That same day, the Board passed a resolution authorizing the city attorney to file a complaint with a state Superior Court judge about the Planning Board’s statement that a variance may be necessary to construct a walkway at CHS. July was a busy month for Clifton soccer stars. Clifton High School ‘01 grad Chris Karcz was signed by the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer. The 24-year-old midfielder was a first-team AllAmerican in his senior year at CHS. Meanwhile, CHS girls soccer goalie Lianne Maldonado was invited to take part in a training camp for the Under-16 national team, and CHS ‘05 grad Nikki Krzysik was over in Europe playing for the Under-21 team.

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Some Top Clifton Seniors Keith Stanckiewitz SATs: 1700 Keith is a Varsity Swimmer, sound engineer for the Paladin News Network and drama club, and a member of National Honor and International Language Honor Societies. He is involved in Campus Ministry and is a Eucharistic Minister. Brittany Rood SATs: 1700 Brittany is a member of the Italian Club, Ski & Snowboard Club, Culture Club, National Honor Society and International Language Honor Society. She is also a PC Ambassador. Michael Kay SATs: 2160 Michael is Co-Captain of the PC Swim Team, President of the Model UN, as well as Vice President of PC’s National Honor Society.

Ask your Clifton neighbors why they made Paramus Catholic their High School of choice.

Brian Bednarz David Burak Carolina Cabanillas Alexandra Czajkowski Paul DeVita Samantha Gacina Chelsea Gamarra Lisa Grifo Gabriela Guardino Ashley Hughes Nicole Kay Corey Kientz Jonathan Kosinski Jonathan Krzysik Naiasia McCoy Jenuel Mendez Alyssa Murphy Mark Niedziela Thomas Osborne Jonathan Otero Matthew Payano Kevin Ramirez Frank Samra Adrian Soltys Damian Stobierski Stanley Szeliga Dominique Vinas Olivia Melillo Yakira Aguasvivas

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Martha Romaniak Eveline Roszkowski Steven Slezak, Jr. Kelly Stanckiewitz Marisa Tucci Alanna Turco James Wagner Alexis Wahad Angelique Witmyer Thomas Santeramo James Carluccio Yaakoub Hijazi Brian Gillio Anthony Valente Rachel Parada Vishal Patel Alan Bisco Eduardo Cabanillas Siobhan Campbell Jaymee Castillo Michael Deegan Melissa Desueza Christopher Evans Michael Ferrari Gregory Florio Justin Gacina Jaclyn Gamba Kathleen Harvey Daniel Hughes

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January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Aug 07

Superintendent Michael F. Rice Leaves uperintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice’s last day with the district came on Aug. 10. Clifton’s fourth school chief resigned earlier in the year to take the superintendent’s job in Kalamazoo, Michigan, five years after arriving in 2002. At his final BOE meeting, Rice, presented a comparison between state assessment results from 2002 and 2007. He claimed every test result for total students in every tested grade in every tested subject was higher in 2007 than in 2002. Another one of Rice’s accomplishments was the phased implementation of full-day kindergarten classes in all elementary schools. But Rice’s tenure was a tumultuous one as he almost continuously butted heads with the City Council during his attempt to build a new school to ease what he and many others felt was overcrowding at the middle and high schools. During Rice’s second year, a Community Advisory Committee recommended Laterri Park as a site for a new school, but the Council would later oppose the decision and voters followed as they rejected the proposal in Dec. 2006.


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believe the Board of Education would need a variance to construct a walkway at CHS, stating that the height of the walkway was not a problem. The $2.4 million walkway project was approved by voters in Dec. 2006. Yankee great Phil Rizzuto died on Aug. 13 at the age of 89. The Hall of Famer once owned RizzutoBerra Lanes, a bowling alley in Styertown, with teammate and friend Yogi Berra. American Bank of New Jersey held a grand opening at its new Clifton Ave. branch on Aug. 4. Three days later, the Clifton Police Department held its National Night Out Against Crime event. The evening at Main Memorial Park featured antique cars, a 50’s

Yankee Phil Rizzuto dies Aug. 13 at age 89

concert, kids games and prizes. Clifton Merchant Magazine continued its series on Clifton history taking a look at 1967 to 1974. The timeline began with a story about the Golden Jubilee Parade that celebrated the city’s 50th anniversary. Other events from that era included the infamous Judi Kavanaugh murder case. She was found murdered on March 13, 1966. Clifton Police Det. Sgt. John DeGroot was acquitted of the crime and the case has never been resolved. We also took a look at Sept. 1968, when the city formed the Fire-Police Patrol. The initiative gave 155 firefighters full police powers, including the right to carry weapons and make arrests.

Rice also pushed hard for a 500student ninth grade high school annex at 290 Brighton Rd. Cliftonites passed a referendum on the annex in a 68 to 32 percent vote on Dec. 14, 2004, but the Clifton Zoning Board of Adjustment denied the district’s application for a variance to build the annex on March 16, 2006. On Nov. 9, 2006, Passaic County Superior Court Judge Robert Passero overturned the Zoning Board’s decision and sent it back for reconsideration. The Board once again denied the application on June 7 and so the BOE brought the matter back to Passero. On Aug. 30, the judge found that the Board of Adjustment’s decision was “unreasonable” and so he granted the variance himself. Reached in Michigan for comment, Rice said, “It’s a victory for children and it’s too bad that the city Board of Adjustment wasted so much of the taxpayers’ money.” Two weeks earlier, another school matter was laid to rest — for No, this isn’t the 2006 Year in Review. While this same picture ran in the time being. Clifton Zoning last January’s timeline, the photo is still relevant as the Brighton Rd. Officer Dan Howell said he didn’t school saga continued all the way through 2007 and on into 2008.

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Sept 07

James, Currie For Clifton Gov’t Change


letter asking Democratic party faithful to help with an “initial grass roots effort” to “change Clifton’s government into a partisan one” upset a lot of people in September. The letter, written by Freeholder Bruce James and Passaic County Democratic Chair John Currie, invited recipients to a $300 per-plate cocktail party on Oct. 11, hosted by Assemblyman Tom Giblin and his special guest Senator Richard Codey. Giblin said he was “broadsided” by the letter, adding that he had no idea the dinner would have anything to do with a change in Clifton’s government. The Clifton BOE announced that its latest School Site Selection Committee ruled out Athenia Steel as a possible location for a new building to ease overcrowding in the district. The committee, made up of seven voting members and Mayor James Anzaldi and BOE Vice President Michael Urciuloi, voted 7-0 to eliminate Athenia Steel from consideration after hearing from environmental consultants on the condition of the property. Developer Fadi Salim of Totowa withdrew his proposal for a restaurant and catering hall at the corner of Lexington and Piaget Aves. in Clifton, citing a soft market and neighborhood opposition. On Sept. 7, Clifton was awarded an $82,498 grant by FEMA to reimburse the city’s costs incurred during the April nor’easter. Clifton was one of seven municipalities in the state to receive federal emergency money. The city had applied for $160,000. Cliftonites commemorated the sixth anniversary of 9/11 with a quiet service in front of City Hall. A bell tolled for each of the nine city residents who died on that day: Timothy Grazioso, John Grazioso, John Skala, Ed Murphy, Kyung Cho, Zuhutu Ibis,

Edgar H. Emery, Ehtesham U. Raja and Francis Joseph Trombino. Clifton Savings Bank opened its doors on Sept. 14 to a group of 16 Japanese bankers who wanted to know what it takes for a small community bank to not only survive, but thrive in the U.S. Schweighardt’s Florist on Ackerman Ave. held its grand re-opening ceremony on Sept. 16. Now called Embassy at Schweighardt’s Florist, the Clifton company, which was founded in 1935, joined with Embassy

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Ed Pasino battles MSU over Quinn Rd. exit

Adam Ricci: Recycling Center groundskeeper

P.A. Officer John Skala remembered on 9/11

Florist of Manhattan, which was founded in 1920, and has expanded to New Jersey. Christopher Columbus Middle School English teacher Dave White released his first novel, When One Man Dies, on Sept. 25. The crime fiction centers around a New Brunswick private detective who’s hired to investigate a hit and run accident. The Theater League of Clifton presented A Grand Night for Singing at School 3 on several dates in late Sept. Five bands performed at the second Botany Blues Crawl on Sept. 29, from 8 pm to midnight. These residents who opposed the plan to construct a restaurant and catering hall at Lexington and Piaget Aves. were pleased when the developer withdrew the application in September.

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Oct 07

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he Brighton Rd. school saga continued into the fall after Van Ness Plastic Molding Co. Inc. filed an appeal on Oct. 11 of Judge Robert Passero’s Aug. 30 ruling. The decision had overturned the Board of Adjustment’s rejection of a variance to build a high school annex at 290 Brighton Rd. The company said the judge completely disregarded the Zoning Board’s ability to make a well-informed decision that was directed at protecting the well-being of Clifton’s children. Despite the appeal, the BOE adopted a resolution 8-0 on Oct. 30 authorizing its architecture firm to begin construction on the school. There were problems at existing schools in Oct. as well. The district announced plans to install sinks in the boys and girls locker rooms at CCMS after a concerned parent let the BOE know that the rooms had toilets, but nowhere for the kids to wash their hands. CHS boys soccer coach Joe Vespignani picked up his 100th career victory after his team downed Belleville 2-0 on Oct. 3. The sixth-year coach finished the season with a record of 109-26-4. On Oct. 11, firefighters saved a Clifton man from the Weasel Brook after he fell in trying to rescue his dog.

The Annual Halloween Parade and Harvest Fest was held on Oct. 28. The parade began on Lakeview Ave., led by the Mustang Marching Band in full costume. From there, it turned onto Piaget Ave. and concluded with the Harvest Fest in Nash Park. 28

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Legend Bob Potts passes away Oct. 23

Clifton cop Paul Hasselberger runs Marine Corps Marathon

Elders and Deacons at the Athenia Reformed Church on Clifton Ave. celebrated the church’s 125th anniversary on Oct. 7. The original building was built in 1882. In 1950, parishioners broke ground for a new church (at right).

Hannah Anolik raises $4,500 for Juv. Diabetes

David Nossoughi was slipping into unconsciousness when firefighter Chris Divver plucked him from the fencing surrounding the water to which he had been clutching. A former CHS football player was presumed dead after the car he and his father were riding in crashed into the Caribbean Sea on Oct. 19. Louis Feliciano, 19, and his father Luis were in the Dominican Republic to see if Louis could play baseball down there. Four days later, the Clifton athletic community suffered another loss when legendary baseball man Bob Potts, 73, passed away. In 45 seasons with the historic Clifton Phillies amateur baseball team, Potts won more than 1,500 games, 32 different league and division titles and one state championship in 1959. A report released by the state Attorney General’s Office indicated that violent crime only grew slightly in Clifton in 2006, but aggravated assaults in the city went up by almost a third to 98 reported. A staph infection scare swept through Clifton after one student at CCMS and two at CHS contracted the disease. The bacteria had already killed a Pennsylvania student and infected children in Connecticut earlier in the month.

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Nov 07

Matt Ward Keeps Seat on City Council fter twelve months as an interim member of the Clifton City Council, Matt Ward finally got his mandate from the people. Ward received nearly twice as many votes as his closest competitor, George Silva, during the Nov. 6 special election. Ward also bested candidates Beverly Carey and Joe Chidiac to earn the right to permanently replace Tony Latona, whose term expires in 2010. Also on Election Day, voters rejected the creation of an open space fund. More than 60 percent of those that went to the polls said No to a ballot question that would have established a trust fund for the purchase, development and maintenance of open space lands. BOE member Michael Paitchell was at the hub of controversy again over his web site Clifton Office of Emergency Management coordinator Capt. Joseph Verderosa asked that Paitchell remove information from the site that detailed the number of students in each classroom during each period. Verderosa said the data could be used by terrorists to attack schools. Paitchell thought he was being unfairly targeted but removed the classroom numbers from the site. Meanwhile, the Board of Ed appointed residents group presented a $46 million proposal to ease overcrowding in the district. The plan is to construct two academies —


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one on the eastside of the CCMS ballfield and another next to CHS. Each school would accommodate up to 500 students. Some members of the community made a call for artificial turf at Clifton Stadium. They want to ask voters in April to foot some or all of the $1.2 million to install it. Supporters say artificial grass is safer and easier to maintain. Fire Chief John Dubravsky, 63, retired on Nov. 5 after 39 years as a firefighter and a decade as chief. He is a year away from the mandatory retirement age, but Dubravsky will use the vacation time he has stored up to take terminal leave until 2009. The Clifton Planning Board unanimously granted final site plan approval for a Provident Bank at the corner of East Clifton and Lexington. The 3,000 sq. ft. bank will be the first of its kind in Passaic County and is part of the Lexington Ave. redevelopment effort. On Fri., Nov. 9, a city worker noticed wires sticking out of a large boulder in front of City Hall. Thinking the wires could be connected to dynamite used to loosen rocks in a quarry, the worker told his supervisor, who alerted the police. The municipal complex was evacuated and city workers were allowed to return home before the bomb squad arrived at 2 pm. The whole thing was a false alarm and frustrated Cliftonites showing up at City Hall to take care of municipal business were told to return the following Tuesday. The CHS boys soccer team won its first state title since 1984, earning co-championship honors with a 1-1 tie against Manalapan in the

Mustangs beat Indians 18-13; claim Optimist Cup trophy

Marguerite Heerschap turned 100 on Nov. 14

The four candidates in the Nov. 6 City Council special election were, standing from left, Beverly Carey, Matt Ward, George Silva and, sitting, Joe Chidiac.

Group 4 final on Nov. 16. The Mustangs fell behind in the first half but evened the score in the 65th minute on a goal by Milton Gutierez. Coach Joe Vespignani’s team finished the year 20-5-1. On Nov. 29, MSU representatives appeared before the Passaic County Planning Board for an informational session regarding the university’s plan to convert Quinn Rd. into a two-way street. The road is currently a one-way entrance, connecting Valley Rd. in Clifton to the college campus. Montclair State does not need the approval of the county or Clifton Planning Boards, but it does require freeholder approval for a traffic signal on Valley Rd., which is included in the proposal. Both the city and Passaic County Freeholders have gone on record against the project. MSU is scheduled to meet again with the county Planning Board on Jan. 31.

City officials scrapped a plan to construct an auxiliary fire station, storage space and OEM headquarters on Schultheis Farm. The proposal had been met with stiff opposition from some members of the public who felt the Council was going back on its word to save the historic farm. The final night of November brought the saddest news of the month as CHS student Michael Hamade, 17, was struck and killed by a car on Rt. 46. Hamade had just left his girlfriend’s birthday party when he accidentally drove over a curb and hit a wooden fence by Vernon Ave. Neither he nor the two passengers in the car were injured. But as a police officer wrote up the accident report, Michael was struck in the left lane of the highway. About 400 people attended Hamade’s funeral on Dec. 6. January 2008 • Clifton Merchant



Clifton Police Involved in Shooting n Dec. 5, Clifton police shot and wounded a woman who they said attempted to run them over. It all began when cops responded to a report of a female slumped over in an automobile on Clinton Ave. When police tried to open the car door, the woman — former CHS softball player Michele M. Moleti, 34 — sped away. The woman is accused of attempting to ram a patrol car during the ensuing chase, which ended on Lafayette Ave. in Passaic when the car spun out. Police then approached the car and the woman allegedly tried to run them down, causing the officers to fire at her 20 times, striking her with six bullets. Passaic County Prosecutor James Avigliano said the shooting appeared to be justified. Moleti was charged with aggravated assault, eluding police and possession of a weapon. She also had an outstanding warrant in Essex County. Prosecutors said Moleti later admitted to drinking and using drugs the day of the incident. The BOE hired a superintendent search group from Illinois to find a permanent replacement for Dr. Michael Rice, who resigned in August. Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates is the same firm the Board used in 2002 when it hired Rice. Final costs haven’t been determined but the BOE paid the company $22,000 to cover costs for the last nationwide search. Gov. Jon Corzine unveiled a plan to change the way the state funds public schools. The proposal would send money to students in need no matter where they live, rather than just those in poorer districts. Under the plan, Clifton would see a 20 percent increase in state aid. The state asked for new environmental tests before construction began on the controversial Brighton Rd. school. The School Board’s attorney Anthony D’Elia said the district is complying with the DEP’s requests for new air-quality and groundwater tests. The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2009. Clifton became one of 10 public school districts in the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League to ask to pull out of the 20-team league. The request to withdraw comes because some public schools believe there is a competitive imbalance between themselves and private schools in the NNJIL. The earliest the league could vote on the matter is this month. The public districts would need the approval of 14 of the 20 members to secede from the NNJIL.



January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

On Dec. 12, the BOE held a special meeting to determine whether district schools are actually overcrowded before voting on a residents committee recommendation to build two 500-student academies. Board member Michael Paitchell made a presentation about how he believes classroom space could be better utilized. Asst. Supt. Ira Oustatcher countered with a presentation of his own, explaining how scheduling and special education classes limit the ways in which space can be used, and therefore new buildings are needed. Merchants in Lakeview united to create a community group to help bring consumers back to their stores. The Lakeview Merchants Association was actually established in October by Evelyn Malave, who owns The Corner Outlet, at Piaget and Lakeview Aves. But with only four other businesses involved at the time, the group couldn’t accomplish a whole lot. Nevertheless, by December, the organization had 20 members on its way to convincing the more than 150 Lakeview companies to join. Lakeview became the fourth neighborhood to form a business district, following those in Main Ave., Botany Village and Van Houten Ave.’s Athenia merchants.

Margaret Kaufmann celebrates her 100th

Gregg Kaulfers, 22, passes away Dec. 22

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The Action Theatre Conservatory presented a Hip Hop Nutcracker at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in December. Performers included Anna Garbus, Veronica Cuadros, Stefania Pica, Joel Robertson, Heather Diana, Antonella Pica, Nicole Stemmler, Jenna Kirschner, Victoria Richardson, Stephany Cuadros, Cristina Rinaldi, Marcella Callejas, Olivia Grace and Andrew Pica.

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CHS girls soccer goalie Lianne Maldonado verbally committed to attend the University of Maryland, where she would play soccer on a partial scholarship. The year concluded with the death of another young person with Clifton roots. CHS 2004 graduate and Rowan University senior Gregg Kaulfers, 22, died Dec. 22 after he was injured in a car accident the day before. Kaulfers was thrown from a car in Glassboro after the 21year-old driver got into an accident. Samantha Bolen was charged with driving while intoxicated and careless driving. Kaulfers was a geography major who was scheduled to graduate this spring. He then wanted to teach English to students in other countries before earning his master’s degree.

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What Overcrowding? For years, parents, BOE members and the public have discussed and debated how to handle the issue of overcrowding in our public schools. But even seven years later, there are still some who doubt overcrowding. ––– Story by Joe Hawrylko ––– In November, the Board of Educationappointed residents committee delivered their long awaited proposal, which called for two, 500-student academies. One building would be next to Clifton High School, while the other would be next to Christopher Columbus Middle School. However, before the BOE could vote on the matter, they decided to hold up to three special meetings to determine whether or not schools are overcrowded. The most outspoken dissenter on the Board is Michael Paitchell, who was elected on the 1-2-6 ticket to put a school on Latteri Park back in 2006. He soon changed his stance after claiming that he had found data that said there was no overcrowding. At the first meeting, held on Dec. 12, two powerpoint presentations were given, one by Assistant Superintendent Ira Oustatcher and the other by Paitchell. They were followed by questions from the Board and the public.


January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Oustatcher kicked off the meeting by asking residents to be more specific in their use of the word overcrowding. He contends that it is neither class sizes nor hallways that are the problem, but rather the number of classes. Clifton schools are using far too many temporary or substandard spaces, according to Oustatcher. The space that is deemed temporary is any room that is not designated specifically for academic use. This would mean gyms, an auditorium, a converted closet or cafeteria. There are 13 of these temporary classrooms in CCMS, five in WWMS and eight at CHS (the Boys & Girls Club is considered temporary). All but one elementary school utilizes non-academic rooms. “We’ve asked staff to do things that we would not want for our own children in school,” said Oustatcher. “And we’ve changed our program based on these inadequacies.” However, while the administration contends that such space demands are due to new academic requirements, Paitchell says otherwise. In his presentation, the BOE commissioner said that the space deficiency is only present because of poor scheduling. “I’m using the same data as Dr. O from last year,” said Paitchell. “We’re within one percent of our scheduling size and this

fluctuates the same amount each year. The biggest growth has been 100 students dispersed throughout the elementary schools.” After the crowd viewed the data again, the BOE commissioner then dropped the big bomb. “Our schools are one third empty and our schools are not badly overcrowded and we do not need to build,” said Paitchell, who also had the statement plastered on the the screen in his powerpoint presentation. The statement illicited head shaking and laughter from the primarily pro-school crowd. To illustrate his point, Paitchell pulled up a bar graph of second period at Woodrow Wilson that showed how many students were in each classroom. The 70 classes had varying numbers of students in them. Some special ed classes had very few, while gym classes were around 30—putting the average around 20. “Woodrow is half empty,” Paitchell concluded, once again drawing the ire of most in the crowd of 40. “It’s the same thing in first period, and it’s the same for sixth and seventh period.” The commissioner used this method to determine that all of Clifton’s schools are as much as two-thirds empty. “We just have to chop a little off of the top,” said

Case for School Space A review of dates and facts... April 11, 2001: The 11 member Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is given the task of researching an ideal site for a junior high school. May 2002: The CAC submits initial recommendation that the former Pope Paul VI High School on Valley Rd., now a Paterson Diocese Elementary School, be purchased. June 17, 2002: Paterson Diocesan Schools reject Clifton’s offer to purchase the Valley Rd. school. July 31, 2002: Supt. Liess retires after 17 years. Aug. 19, 2002: Dr. Michael Rice becomes the fourth Clifton Superintendent. 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.

Paitchell, offering his solution. The commissioner did this research for first, second, sixth and seventh periods at CHS, CCMS and WWMS. However, the way he reached this conclusion was attacked as flawed by administrators. “Yes, there are empty seats, but you can’t combine; it’s an erroneous assumption. We can’t

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1814 1814 January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Sept. 24, 2003: The CAC presents its new findings. They recommend building a 1,700-student school on Latteri Park, and a 500-student school at 290 Brighton Rd. Oct. 18, 2003: The Case For Space, an open public forum, is held at CHS. Students and teachers discuss the problem of overcrowding. Oct. 21, 2003: The Council votes 6-0 to oppose the use of Latteri Park. This is in response to growing opposition by Clifton Unite, which had collected 750 petitions. Oct. 28, 2003: The Case For Space 2 is held at CHS. This time, community members, including Clifton Unite which opposes the use of Latteri Park, are able to discuss potential solutions to the problem of overcrowding. Nov. 10, 2003: The first joint Board of Ed and City Council meeting is held behind closed doors to discuss potential school sites. Nov. 25, 2003: A second joint Board/Council meeting is held behind closed doors. They had still not reached a consensus, but were re-considering several sites the CAC had ruled out. Jan. 3, 2004: BOE and Council members go on a tour of Clifton to visit potential school sites. Jan. 9, 2004: Clifton Merchant publishes a list of potential school sites. These include Schultheis Farm and the Valley Rd. quarry, added to the list during the closed joint Board/Council meetings. Jan. 12, 2004: After a third closed joint Board/Council meeting, officials announce they have reached a consensus on a new school site, but do not disclose what it is. Jan. 12, 2004: Municipal Attorney Gerald Friend writes to Schultheis Farms, LLC: ‘The City of Clifton is interested in purchasing the property in order to maintain it as open space, for recreational purposes or for the construction of a new school.’ 36

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

combine English kids with chemistry kids for more efficient room utilization,” said Oustatcher. “It’s not about room utilization, it’s about educating children.” The statement brought about applause from those in attendance. Afterwards, commissioner Mike Urciuoli questioned if the analysis took into account that some rooms have specific uses. Paitchell insisted that 90 percent are generic classrooms. However, BOE President Marie Hakim insisted that he was down playing the significance. “Ask any educator,” the former teacher told Paitchell. “It does detract from education when you have to share a room in a different discipline.” Another solution proposed by Paitchell was to eliminate zero period and revert back to the old half period lunches at the high school. “Woodrow and Christopher do it,” said Paitchell, whose suggestion is being reviewed by the administration. “Students would sit in the auditorium, media center or other rooms. The cafe would be cut to 180 from 270. We should also disburse large classes throughout the day and even them out.” While Paitchell made it seem like his answers would be simple remedies, Oustatcher cautioned that the situation is not as it seems. “Scheduling is not a static activity,” said Dr. O, who titled this section of his presentation “Monday Morning Quarterback,” in essence saying that hindsight is 20-20. “With the exception of the five or six people at this meeting who do it on a regular basis, it’s very hard to understand. In order to understand the whole concept, you need to be involved in it everyday.”

“It’s real easy to sit here in September and say, ‘You guys did a lousy schedule,’” Oustatcher told Paitchell, whose experience in Clifton Public Schools is limited to his time there as a student 30 years ago and a short stint as a substitute teacher. “The Oldsmobile of your father is not the Oldsmobile of today.” There are numerous constraints regarding scheduling students for the 358 courses in 1,329 sections. One big limitation is contractual, in that, teachers cannot teach five classes in a row. There’s also the issue of use-specific rooms, such as chemistry and computer labs. Not to mention that scheduling is done in January and February of the previous year, not taking into account who is going to summer school and who is graduating. The bar for graduation has been raised as well. However, the biggest change from the 60’s and 70’s classes that many—including Paitchell— tout as an example of how students can succeed in a large environment, is the state requirements for students with learning disabilities. In 1973, there were only 73 of these individuals in the entire dis-

trict, using a total of nine rooms with nine teachers. In 2007, that number ballooned to more than 1,475 students, which require 135 teachers, as well as another 116 paraprofessionals, in 45 classrooms. Paitchell also blasted the current plan for three, 500-student schools, claiming that they will make the district’s already “empty” school “even emptier.” Paitchell said that if the academy plan is accepted, the district will be left with more unused space, without improving education. A major part of the problem, according to Paitchell, is that the district utilizes full size rooms for small special ed classes. “You can subdivide full size classrooms for small classes. It’s legal,” he said. Paitchell claims that the North Wing would be able to have four full size rooms divided into seven smaller ones that would fit five to 11 students. However, BOE member Norm Tahan found that Paitchell was rounding up the size of the last room, and questioned if it was even of the appropriate size. The second part of Paitchell’s proposal was to build 20 class-

rooms above the lower gym and round-a-bout. He contends that this will be much cheaper than the $46 million dollar plan suggested by the residents’ committee, and therefore, much more likely to pass. However, BOE members and those from the public pointed out several flaws in Paitchell’s proposal. “Four additional small rooms would be helpful,” said Oustatcher. “The problem is we don’t see the state supporting because we see them moving towards inclusion.” Several other members also commented that capping a room size as low as 11 students limits what can be done with the space. Overall, the meeting was much of the same bickering between the two parties, however, in a more controlled environment. “I can’t see us not having another one of these meetings,” said Urciuoli, who said another session has yet to have been scheduled. “But I think we’re going over the same old ground and not accomplishing anything. “Paitchell is under the illusion that we’re not as crowded as everyone else thinks. He fails to realize that times have changed and just because there are less kids in one classroom, doesn’t mean it’s underutilized,” he continued. “There are empty classrooms in periods four, five and six because there are kids in the lunch room.” Currently, the Board of Ed does not intend to move forward with the academies plan just yet. The next regular BOE meeting is on Jan. 9, when Urciuoli said Commissioner Tahan plans to unveil a new school plan.

March 5, 2004: The joint Board/Council releases a statement announcing its consensus selection: the Schultheis Complex and the Mayer Building, 290 Brighton Rd. May 4, 2004: Council votes 7-0 to oppose the use of Schultheis Farm., in response to a show of 300 residents with 2,661 petitions. Dec. 14, 2004: Voters pass referendum on 290 Brighton Rd. March 16, 2006: Zoning Board denies the district’s application for a variance to build the Brighton Rd. annex. April 18, 2006: The 1-2-6 ticket of Lizz Gagnon, Michael Paitchell and Michael Urciuoli are elected to the BOE, running on a platform of building a school on Latteri Park. August 2006: Paitchell says Globe Products could be a viable option for a school. November 2006: Judge Robert Passero overturns the Zoning Board’s Brighton Rd. decision, remanding it back to the board. December 2006: Voters reject Latteri Park referendum. June 7, 2007: Zoning Board once again denies the variance for the Brighton Rd. high school annex. Aug. 30, 2007: Judge Passero once again overturns the Zoning Board’s decision on 290 Brighton Rd. and approves the variance. Oct. 11, 2007: Van Ness Plastic Molding Co. Inc. files an appeal of Judge Passero’s ruling. November 2007: BOE appointed residents group presents a $46 million proposal to construct two academies — one on the east side of the CCMS ballfield and another next to CHS. Each school would accommodate up to 500 students. Dec. 12, 2007: BOE vote on new proposal is delayed as a meeting is held to determine whether or not schools are actually overcrowded. January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


The Master Plan Public Input Sought at Jan. 24 Meeting Dennis Kirwan sits in his cubicle in the corner of the Planning Department at Clifton City Hall surrounded by maps and paperwork. A four-inch thick Municipal Land Use Law Book enjoys a brief rest on the shelf to his left. It won’t be long before the book is back on his desk — serving as the City Planner’s Bible as he crafts Clifton’s first new master plan in nearly five years. The last reexamination of the plan came back in 2003, a year before Kirwan was hired. “I felt it was deficient when I came aboard,” he said. And so for the past three-and-ahalf years, Kirwan’s been tinkering with the document. He’s had input from Consultant Jill Hartmann, the Planning Board and community groups such as ACTION Clifton that have been welcomed to make suggestions at monthly workshops. All the hard work comes to a head on Jan. 24 at 7 pm, when the Planning Board is scheduled to hold a public hearing and then vote on accepting the master plan.

By Jordan Schwartz

Clifton City Planner Dennis Kirwan has been working on a new master plan since he was hired in 2004. The Planning Board votes on the plan Jan. 24.

Progress The law dictates that a municipality must reexamine its master plan and development regulations at least once every six years. Clifton’s last report was prepared and adopted by the Planning Board in 2003, with a prior one completed in 2000. Several of the goals and policies that were incorporated into the 2003 plan remain valid today.

For example, one of the goals is to encourage senior citizen housing construction. Clifton, through two redevelopment plans, has backed the building of affordable senior citizen housing with 125 units already constructed on the Athenia Steel tract and 208 units approved as part of the Van Houten Ave. Redevelopment Plan. Another goal in the 2003 master plan was to

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address ten community’s low and moderate income housing obligation in the manner set forth by the City of Clifton Housing Plan. In 2005, the city adopted its Third Round Housing Element and Fair Share Plan that proposes to meet its fair share obligation in a variety of ways, including rehabilitation of substandard units, creation of new units for both families and senior citizens, and existing credits and adjustments as per the New Jersey Council On Affordable Housing’s regulations. The proposed 2008 master plan states that Clifton has created a strategy of using infill development and redevelopment to promote the “Smart Growth” policies in the State Development and Redevelopment Plan. Infill development of vacant and underutilized properties has led to

the construction approval of more than 1,000 housing units. There are also new commercial locations such as Clifton Commons, Botany Plaza and a number of professional offices. In addition, Styertowne has been expanded and renovated, including the development of a new Acme food store. The Stop and Shop at Broad St. and Allwood Rd. has been redeveloped into a modern supermarket with associated satellite stores. Other progress made since the 2003 reexamination of the master plan includes the 2004 creation of the PD-HC zone along the Route 3 corridor from Passaic Ave. to the railroad tracks from Allwood Rd. to Route 3. The following year, the city submitted its Housing Element and Fair Share Plan to the Council on Affordable Housing. The Plan pro-

Senior Horizons Two, 208 housing units, should be completed in 2009.

vides the mechanism for Clifton to meet its fair share responsibility. In March 2006, the city adopted new storm water management rules that were recently adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection. Finally, over the past few years, the Planning Board has identified several areas in the Zoning Ordinance that it has suggested for review and enhancement.

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The master plan calls for continued preservation of open space such as the 5.8 acre Schultheis Farm (above, at left), which the city purchased in 2005. The city would also like to preserve the historic integrity of Aquackonack Gardens, where additions—some call them McMansions—such as the one above at right, are being constructed to replace older, smaller homes.

Looking Forward Despite the many steps that have been taken since 2003, Kirwan believes there is still a long way to go to get Clifton to better utilize its land. The 2008 reexamination includes many recommendations for the master plan. One is to locate new medium density senior housing zones near commercial centers such as Main Ave.,

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Clifton Ave. and Botany Village to promote nearby retail, office and related uses. Planners would also like to preserve existing farmlands by rezoning to agricultural land use that allows large lot single family residential development, farming, green houses and retail business associated with them and consider the purchase of these farms for open space conservation and park use. The master plan review also encourages the creation of an open space tax at 75 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to assist the city in preserving open space and rehabilitating the city’s recreation facilities. That tax was already rejected by voters this past November by a margin of 61 to 39 percent. The open space fund would have be used for the purchase, development and maintenance of lands for recreation, conservation, farmland and preservation. Preserving open space isn’t anything new for the city. In 2005, Clifton bought the 5.8 acre Schultheis Farm as part of the master plan’s effort to maintain Only



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green space. But last year, the city presented a plan to demolish the old farmhouse and storage building on the property and replace them with a 10,000 square foot auxiliary garage to store emergency fire vehicles. That proposal was eventually nixed due to stiff opposition from members of the public. Another recommendation for the master plan is to pass an ordinance that regulates newsracks by requiring the use of only modular newsrack box assemblies, where more than one newsrack box is located. Planners hope this will get rid of the poorly maintained newsracks in Clifton. The city would also like to preserve the road system and existing development pattern of the historic Aquackonack Gardens neighborhood, located north of Van Houten Ave. and east of Valley Rd. As far as the controversial school issue in town, planners are encouraging public and private schools in isolated industrial areas

so that they won’t have an impact on other industrial businesses. The reexamination report says a Planning Board sub-committee should be established to review the city’s Zoning Ordinance with a focus on creating the appropriate zones that can accommodate future school construction. Clifton has gone on record against Montclair State University’s proposal to convert Quinn Rd. into a two-way street and now the city is including it in its master plan. Planners want to encourage MSU to limit the Quinn Rd. access to the college as an entrance only in order to ensure the safety of residents and students. With the Planning Board’s recent rejection of the proposed Clifton Professional Plaza at 1260 Main Ave. due to a lack of parking, the master plan suggests reviewing areas within the Main Ave. corridor for additional parking opportunities. The Master Plan Reexamination Report will be

available for public review at the Clifton Library, beginning around Jan. 11. Residents are also encouraged to attend the Planning Board’s public hearing at 7 pm on Jan. 24 before the Board is scheduled to vote on the plan. Over the following pages, we take a look at some of the areas of redevelopment in town.

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1260 Main Denied...Again by Jordan Schwartz

Strike two. For the second time in less than seven months, a Clifton board rejected an application to convert a Main Ave. gas station into an office building. On Dec. 13, the Planning Board voted 5-3 to deny George Tafankaji’s proposal to turn his Exxon station at 1260 Main into a three-story Clifton Professional Plaza. Mayor James Anzaldi recused himself from the vote because he gets his gas there. The project was deficient by 27 parking spaces, which was the main reason the Board opposed the application. “I think it was a stretch of the parking demand,” said City Manager Al Greco, who voted against the proposal. “There are no municipal lots in that area for people to be directed to.” The fear is that employees and clients will park on Burgh Ave., a

The proposed project and the gas station as it appears today.

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At the Nov. 8 session, DCEDG Executive Director Angela Montague distributed a letter to Board members. In it, Downtown Chair Fernando Andrade wrote, “In addition to the numerous design criteria not met by this project, we are particularly concerned with the large number of parking spaces that are deficient in the plan.” But in early December, the DCEDG met with Tafankaji’s attorney Frank Carlet, of the Clifton law firm Carlet, Garrison, Klein and Zaretsky, to work out a compromise.

narrow residential street next to the property. Neighbors like Alice Kopacz were relieved that the project was rejected. “I truly have nothing against revitalization and certainly the gas station adds nothing to anything here, but he shouldn’t be able to make more money at our expense,” she said. The Downtown Clifton Economic Development Group originally fought to block the proposal, but did an about face between the first and second Planning Board hearings.


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“They’re politicians up there,” attorney Frank Carlet said of the Planning Board. “They create plans, but when people complain, they don’t follow up.”

How the Planning Board Commissioners Voted For the Project Kathy Lazor, Rob Stier, Ed Welsh

Andrade said the Group asked that the arches designed for the front of the building be continued around the entire exterior to create more of a uniform look. They also changed their tune on the parking situation. “We voted in favor of the project, with the condition that we would be submitting another letter to the City Council asking for some project to be developed to create additional parking on Main Ave.,” said Andrade. “The Group felt that the variances were not significant enough to stop a valuable project from going forward.” But they were, according to the Planning Board, despite DCEDG Vice Chairman Mike Andalaft speaking in support of the application on Dec. 13. Carlet said he wasn’t surprised by the decision.

“They’re politicians up there,” he said. “They create plans, but when people complain, they don’t follow up.” Zoning Board members were the first to reject the Clifton Professional Plaza application in a 5 to 2 vote on May 16. At that time, plans called for a pitched roof that reached 40 feet, exceeding the 35 feet permitted for a three-story building. The application was then amended to include a flat roof and a building height of only 30 feet. Because of this, the proposal no longer required a use variance, and therefore, didn’t have to return to the Board of Adjustment. The decrease in height also reduced the square footage of the project from 10,000 to 9,240, but only reduced the deficient number of parking spaces from 29 to 27.

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Against the Project Philip Binaso, Al Greco, Susan Kolodziej, Tom Whittles, John Withers Recused: Mayor James Anzaldi The first floor of the building would have included parking for 21 vehicles, but the size of the project dictated a need for 48. Tafankaji had offered to purchase some of the spaces from the Clifton Parking Trust, at a cost of $1,500 per spot, but that wasn’t enough to get the application approved. “Maybe if they modified the request to a two-story building, they would only need like 15 to 17 spaces off site,” said Greco. “You can’t economically make it smaller,” countered Carlet. “My client is looking for alternatives for what he can do.”

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Clifton Construction Official Joe Lotorto and Cory Genardi stand across from Genardi’s redeveloped building on Main Ave.

The Genardi Building restoration is nearly complete and several new businesses are on their way to the corner of Main and Clifton. The two-story building will house seven retail and professional tenants as well as two upstairs apartments. Already under contract for the 11,957 sq. ft. ground floor are Jackson Hewitt Tax Service on the corner and New Magazine Hair and Nail Salon next to it. Commercial Funding Corp. will be moving in upstairs. Negotiations are currently ongoing with Perkins, 44

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

a family restaurant that would be the project’s anchor. Perkins would fill a 6,215 square foot space fronting on Clifton Ave. with parking located behind the building. The project’s attorney Doug Berg said several parties have expressed interest in filling an 800 square foot lot to the left of the beauty salon. That leaves two storefronts facing Main Ave. that the developer is looking to fill with a shoe and athletic clothing business and another professional use. The project’s completion date is set for sometime this winter.

Just down the block, Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank is moving in next to Spa Roma. Their client base is mainly members of the Greek and Turkish community. The new bank’s attorney William Sala said there is a major problem with the foundation at the property and so it is being redone before the three-story steel building is erected. Sala hopes the foundation work is done by the end of this month, with completion of the entire project coming by July 1. The attorney said there is no fear of competing with First Bank Americano, which is

The grand opening of First Bank Americano was held on Dec. 5. In this photo, from left, stands Bank Manager Donna Sagui, Downtown Clifton Economic Development Group Chair Fernando Andrade, Bank President Holly Bakke and attorney Joe Ginarte, the property owner. Below, is the Genardi building last year, before it was redeveloped.

only a couple doors down, or with Wachovia, PNC, TD Banknorth and Commerce, which are all within a one-mile radius. “The more, the merrier,” said Sala, who believes banks are coming to Clifton because of its good demographics. He said they’re a good fit for the city. “Banks are the best tenants you can have; they’re quiet, well landscaped, and they

don’t take any services from the community,” Sala said. Other projects that are only in concept phase include the longawaited redevelopment of the 2.1 acre Bellin’s Swim Club tract by the Passaic border. A multi-purpose three-story building is planned for the property. The 18,000 sq. ft. structure would include nine retail shops on the first floor and 36 sen-

ior apartments on the second and third floors. There would also be gated parking. The project’s developer Peter Evgenikos also owns the Grand Chalet in Wayne. Another Main Ave. project is a one-story professional building by the Parkway entrance. The 1,800 sq. ft. structure at 1555 Main used to be an auto repair shop, but will now be filled by an accountant and a doctor.

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant



January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Little School Makes Big Investment By Jordan Schwartz

Joanne Cifelli and Michael Rice had the same idea: create enough space so kindergartners could go to school for the entire day. They each completed their plan this past September, but as any baseball fan knows, a tie goes to the runner...of the city’s public school district. When former Clifton Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice came aboard in 2002, he set out a goal to expand full day kindergarten to every elementary school. While he faced some resistance due to a lack of space and money, the owners of a day care center in town jumped at the opportunity to provide the service themselves. Joanne and Bill Cifelli, who opened the Clifton Little School at 391 Broad St. in 2001, decided in 2003 that they would add eight new classrooms to meet the demand of parents who wanted someplace to send their kindergartners all day to learn and have fun. But like Supt. Rice, the Cifellis hit many bumps in the road. The couple was forced to attend several county and municipal meetings in order to receive the approvals they needed to proceed with construction. “Every time we thought we were okay, there was another thing we had to have done,” Joanne said. The Cifellis, who have lived in Clifton for the past 20 years, finally broke ground on the 6,000 square foot addition in Nov. 2006, opening the new classrooms in September. However, that was the same time the expansion of full day

Joanne Cifelli and her husband Bill are nearing completion of their expansive renovations at the Clifton Little School on Broad St.

kindergarten was completed in Clifton Public Schools. As a result, the Clifton Little School only has four kindergartners among its students this year. But the Cifellis didn’t let their million dollar investment go to waste. They increased their focus on bringing younger kids to the school and enrollment has doubled between last year and this year. More than 120 families, mostly Cliftonites, send their children to the Clifton Little School. Kids six weeks to two-and-a-half years old can attend for $210 per week, twoand-a-half to five-year-olds are

$195 per week, and kindergarten students are $130 per week. The school offers a developmentally appropriate curriculum that includes art, computers, field trips, music and outdoor play. The yearround operation also gives families vacation credit if they take their little ones on a trip with them. With the expansion from two to ten classrooms, the number of staff has also grown, from 15 to 38, but Joanne is still there everyday. “I want the parents to feel comfortable when they drop their kids off,” she said. “We get to know the kids on a personal level.” January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


New Bank, Professional Buildings, Possible Catering Hall

Lexington Avenue The Lexington Ave. Redevelopment Program is finally starting to have substance, according to Clifton Economic Director Harry Swanson. There are three main projects in the works as the New Year begins. The only one that is actually under construction is a twostory professional building at the corner of Mina Ave. Developer Fadi Salim has done extensive renovations to convert a three-store cluster, into the company headquarters for his calling cards firm, Millennium Telecards. The project should be completed in the first quarter of 2008.

Above, a three-store cluster at the corner of Mina and Lexington Aves. is being converted into a company headquarters. At left, plans are in the works to tear down the old Capa D’Anno restaurant and build a professional building in its place. Below, the old lanmark tiki bar, Lee’s Hawaiian Islander, has been in disrepair since a fire in 2003 (see inset). The tract, at Piaget and Lexoington Aves., may one day be home to a catering hall with a parking deck.


January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Above, this long vacant lot, once home to Mike Duch’s Homemade Pirogi store and other retailers, will soon become the first Provident Bank in Passaic County. At inset is a photo of one of the bank’s recently completed branches.

The first Provident Bank in Passaic County is coming to the corner of East Clifton and Lexington in Lakeview. The Clifton Planning Board unanimously granted final site plan approval for the project on Nov. 8. The 3,600 square foot, one-story building will have three drive through lanes. Completion is scheduled for this fall. Right next door, a professional building is in the approval process for a plot of land between Hamilton and Arlington Aves. Century 21 Casa Real Latino wants to tear down the old Capa D’Anno restaurant and construct a 8,300 square foot, two-story building on the same footprint. Legal and financial services would be located on the first floor and Casa Real, a real estate firm targeting the Hispanic community, would be on the second floor. The application is scheduled to come before the Clifton Planning Board this month.

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Two other Lexington Ave. projects are still in the concept phase. The first deals with what to build on the Hawaiian Islander burnout. In Sept., Developer Fadi Salim withdrew his proposal without prejudice for a restaurant/catering hall on the 1.265 acre plot of land at 635 Lexington Ave. The Castle, as it was called, would have been a three-story, triangle-shaped building with a two-story parking deck. Salim’s attorney William Sala said his client is now considering bringing forth an application for a smaller two-story, box-shaped catering establishment with a twostory parking deck. There has also been talk of possibly locating a strip mall or a drug store on the property that does not already have a location in Clifton. Next to School 17, plans are to demolish a portion of an industrial building at the corner of Lexington Ave. and Russell St. and build a laundromat.

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Dad’s Hardware on Lakeview Ave. is becoming Artistic Beauty Salon

Hardware to Hair

By Jordan Schwartz

The shelves are becoming bare at Dad’s Hardware on Lakeview Ave. in Clifton, and no one’s about to restock them anytime soon. The store at the Christie Ave. intersection, which Adam MacNeill has owned for the past seven years, will soon be gone, replaced by Artistic Beauty Salon. “If you don’t do hair or nails, you’re dead,” MacNeill said of today’s marketplace. Artistic Beauty Salon will be moving into MacNeill’s 1,500 square foot store once he closes for good on Jan. 15. The salon’s owner Ava Alvarez has purchased the space


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The sign taped to the counter reads: “Cash Only, No Returns.” Owner Adam MacNeill will be closing Dad’s Hardware on Jan. 15, replaced by a hair salon.

so she can move her budding business across the street into a structure which offers parking in the back. The time was right to sell for MacNeill. He said big box stores like Loews and Home Depot are making it difficult to survive, but not for the reason most may think. “I can out service them any day, but they killed the middle man.” MacNeill said independent wholesale suppliers, from which he buys his merchandise, are disappearing because they can’t compete with the national chains. Five mechanics used to be among MacNeill’s clients. That

number is now done to one. Manufacturers in Passaic and Paterson that used to patronize Dad’s Hardware are fading away. Macnaill blames it on NAFTA, which has sent many manufacturers to Mexico, where labor is cheaper. But don’t feel too bad for MacNeill. He said he got a nice offer from Alvarez and he doesn’t plan on opening a new place anytime soon. “It’s the older people that will miss me,” he said, sharing a story of how a woman began crying when he told her he was moving away. “Old people want a good hammer, young people want a cheap hammer.”

Growing Latino Population Attracts Restaurant & Streetwear Shop

Lakeview Avenue Several Latino business owners are finding a home in Lakeview. One of them is Luis Durango, 28, who opened Canoas Latino Grill on Dec. 17. Durango, a Lakeview resident, has taken his 10 years of experience as a chef to the kitchen at Canoas. That’s where he cooks up classic Spanish dishes such as arroz con pollo, punta de anca al llano, and bandeja paisa. Durango’s business partner and friend of more than 10 years, Brian Sadowski, may be Polish, but his wife is a Latina. He said Lakeview was the perfect spot to open this business. “We felt that this would be a nice location to put in a Latino concept,” said Sadowski, 36. The Wayne resident has worked in the corporate world of chain restaurants and felt it was time to finally open up his own place.

Luis Durango (left) and Brian Sadowski show off one of their creative dishes— served in a canoe— at their new restaurant, Canoas Latino Grill on Lakeview Ave.

“The reception has been positive so far,” said Sadowski. “Every one that comes in says it’s the most beautiful restaurant in Clifton.” The entire rustic decor was painted and designed by hand, creating a very unique atmosphere. Some of the food is served in canoe-shaped dishes and there’s even a 14-foot canoe hanging from the ceiling over the nine tables. Durango and Sadowski purchased the location from the previous owners — a Mediterranean cafe called Butterflies — in September. It took them three months to remodel. Canoas Latino Grill is located at 327A Lakeview Ave. Omar Fernandez in front of his new store Black Flag at 244 Lakeview Ave. Teens can constantly be seen hanging out at the streetwear and lifestyle shop.

Just down the block, Leslie and Omar Fernandez have opened what they dub, “the newest select streetwear and lifestyle shoppe in Jersey.” Black Flag at 244 Lakeview Ave. is the place to go for anyone involved in the skater or biker culture. They sell apparel, skateboards, footwear and much more. The Fernandez couple, currently living in Pennsylvania, have owned a similar store in their hometown of Paterson for the past five years. Omar said expanding to Clifton was the logical next step. “The diversity of the community was one of the main reasons we opened up here,” he said. “We’re trying to promote a melting pot culture where the skating, biking and hip hop communities can all come together.” January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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Clifton Super Stop & Shop. The proposed expansion would encompass 70,000 sq. ft., eliminating all of the current stores. “The layout would basically be a duplicate of the Clifton Commons store,” said Swanson. Inside would be a liquor store, coffee shop, bakery, deli and garden. 1074

At the old Buick car dealership tract on Allwood Rd., near the Clifton Ave. intersection, things are taking shape. The original bank plans were cancelled in favor of a two-building medical center that should be completed in March. One structure will be a one-story building, while the other will consist of two floors, for a total of 23,000 sq. ft. Jeff Cupo of Rhino Development says the building will be a medical condominium. “We have nine doctors and they are all from different fields. There’s no repeats in the building,” he said. “Some of them have been on Clifton Ave. for 10 or 15 years. Now they have a chance to own property.” Further down the allwood Rd., the former Shorewood Packaging plant is under construction. Sandwiched between Rt. 3 and Allwood Rd., the Promenade Shops at Clifton, will feature over 140,000 sq. ft. of space. Up to 45 ‘lifestyle’ tenants will occupy the buildings. “There’s going to be two massive buildings of upscale retail stores,” said Clifton Economic Director Harry Swanson. “There will also be a pedestrian promenade between the two buildings.”

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There’s a little bit of Damascus at the corner of Crooks Ave. and Lee Pl. in Clifton where Radwan Shurbazi and his partner Abdoul Rahmon recently opened up their impressive Middle Eastern restaurant and catering center. Sultan is a two-story, 2,700 square foot building that resembles a small palace. It holds about 200 customers and there is plenty of parking on site. Shurbazi, who is originally from Syria but now lives in Washington Twp, said he decided to locate his restaurant at 429 Crooks Ave. because of the large Middle Eastern population in that part of town. This is the second business venture for Rahmon, who used to own a smaller eatery in Paterson.

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Hospitals Closing Doors What impact will Clifton feel? By Jordan Schwartz While North Jersey hospitals continue to close their doors, Clifton is yet to feel any substantial impact, according to city Health Officer John Biegel. “I’m sure eventually there’s going to be an impact,” he said. Other parts of the state have already felt the affects of these closures. About 7,000 New Jersey hospital workers have been laid off over the past decade, according to the New Jersey Hospital Association. But employees in North Jersey have been fortunate enough to find jobs with nearby hospitals or with the hospitals that are taking over operations at bankrupt facilities. Donna Warren, 45, of Rolling Hills Rd. in Montclair Heights was let go in Oct. 2006 when PBI Regional Medical Center in Passaic closed its maternity unit. “It was a very sad situation,” said the nurse of 23 years. “As a nurse, I never would have expected to get laid off. I thought I had a stable job.” But Warren wasn’t out of work for very long. St. Mary’s Hospital hired her just two months later and

four months after that, St. Mary’s took over operations at PBI. Valerie Gagnon of Hazel St. kept her emergency room nursing position when PBI became St. Mary’s. “The transition was hectic in the beginning because we changed doctors groups,” said Gagnon, who’s been a nurse since 1979. “But eventually, everyone made the transition to the new ownership.” “As long as St. Mary’s is there, most of the people are able to hold jobs,” said Clifton Nursing Supervisor Jane Scarfo. “Most of the people I know suffered no hardship with the closing.” The people that may be suffering are patients. Gagnon said while the decrease in the number of hospitals has had no affect on critical care, fast track care patients are waiting longer. Between 1987 and 2007 there was a net decrease of 20 full service, or acute-care hospitals, in the state, from 99 to 79. Of those 20 hospitals that either closed or transformed into something other than full service, 13 were in North Jersey. In fact, over the past two years, three area hospitals have experienced financial difficulties. PBI

R.N. Donna Warren of Rolling Hills Rd. was let go from her nursing job at PBI in Oct. 2006, but then hired by St. Mary’s.

closed in 2006 and became St. Mary’s, Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood shut its doors in Nov. 2007, and Barnert Hospital in Paterson has filed for bankruptcy but remains open while it seeks a buyer or enough state and federal money to continue operations. NJHA spokesman Ron Czajkowski said the closures are due to a combination of factors. “Decreasing reimbursement from programs like Medicare and Medicaid and the increasing cost of caring for charity care patients,

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2007 Financial Status of New Jersey Hospitals • Operating margin of 0.6 percent, down 1 percent from 2005. • Average total margin, which includes income from restricted and non-operating funds such as grants and endowments, was 3.1 percent in 2006, up from 1.4 percent in 2005. • The average number of days a patient’s bill was in accounts receivable was 48 days, down slightly from 49 days last year. • The average number of days hospitals had cash on hand to operate if all other funding sources stopped was 45.1, relatively unchanged from the 45.3 days calculated for 2005.

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which are patients that don’t qualify for Medicaid, but don’t have health insurance,” he said. Czajkowski said the state reimburses hospitals about two-thirds of the $1.3 billion cost of charity care, but the remainder comes from hospitals’ bottom lines. These facilities spend another $300 million per year treating undocumented immigrants. “It has a downstream impact,” said Czajkowski. “The average New Jersey hospital employs about 2,000 people, so not only is there a loss of jobs, there’s a loss of buying power in the local community for places like restaurants and convenience stores. The hospital itself is a purchaser in a town or a region with fuel oil and janitorial or food services,” Czajkowski continued. “The financial status of all New Jersey hospitals is fragile at best. Nearly half of state hospitals are operating in the red.”



Publishing in the March 7 edition of Clifton Merchant Magazine. Advertisers: call Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400 for info. January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Passing the Torch ––– Story by Joe Hawrylko ––– As the Municipal Prosecutor for Clifton, Blanche K. Goldstein claims she had a sound system for salary negotiations. “I’d sit there and count how many agencies we handled, how many highways came through town” laughed Goldstein, who also deals with automobile cases from all of Clifton’s six highways. “That was always my way of going for a raise.” Goldstein got her start in Clifton back in 1983 after she passed the Bar. As the mother of three children, she did not even begin her law career until her husband of 30 years, Fred, passed away. After her youngest son graduated from college, the Syracuse graduate decided to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer. Fast forward 24 years and now Clifton’s representative for all cases in the Municipal Court will soon end her tenure. Goldstein’s successor Thomas F. Brunt assumes the head role after being the assistant for the past six years. “I’ve seen lots of interesting cases over the years,” reflected Goldstein, who held the position for the past 24


Assistant Clifton Municipal Prosecutor Thomas F. Brunt is replacing retiring Municipal Prosecutor Blanche K. Goldstein.

years. There was the case about the carnival that came to town with a two-headed calf and its promotoers were charged with animal cruelty. Then there was the time that Clifton Police responded to a call about a

loud screeching noise. Residents thought someone was being murdered. When the cops arrived, they found a group conducting a ritual, in which they were beheading a live lamb with a dull knife.

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January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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Above, Jan. 22, 1984: A photo and story in the Sunday Bergen Record explained how “Blanche Goldstein, a Clifton housewife in her mid-40s and mother of three grown children, gave up being a cook and bottle washer and went to law school and then on to be named Clifton’s city prosecutor. She was appointed by Joe Lynn, City Manager, acting on the recommendation of Sam Monchak, City Counsel.” “The cops took it down to a vet, who actually sewed it back together,” recalled Goldstein. “Ultimately, they were all charged with severe animal cruelty and had to pay all of the legal fees, as well as the medical care for the animal.” “I tell my grandkids about these cases,” she laughed. However, most days, Goldstein deals with the more common DWI and drug cases. “The consequences for drunk driving can be so tragic, it’s almost like you’re playing Russian Roulette,” explained Brunt. “It is a pressing issue. There’s pressure from the federal level to hear them quickly, so DWI cases take priority over all others.” Another type of case that has become much more common over the years is domestic abuse. The duo agreed

that the changing of laws—cops are required to file a report if they are called to a scene and witness anything indicating a domestic dispute—has led to more cases. “It’s really not one particular spectrum,” explained Goldstein. “It often involves alcohol or a marriage that has begun to go bad.” Brunt said that courts are not adequately equipped to deal with the bevy of domestic violence cases since Clifton does not have a full time marriage counselor. “Every municipal court judge has terrors in the back of his mind that the situation he’s hearing might not be an isolated case,’ he said. The mandate changes in the law have bolstered the workload of the municipal prosecutor, with a typical week consisting of a couple hundred cases. “It’s not really a full time job,” said Goldstein. “But when [former municipal judge] Harry Fengya was here, it was almost full time.” In talking about the challenges of being a municipal prosecutor, both Goldstein and Brunt agreed that among the toughest of duties is remaining fair. “One of the hardest things is not siding with police officers. Sometimes you’ve got to tell them they’re wrong,” explained Brunt. “At some point in time, there’s an exchange of trust that you have to develop with police. “You have to make sure they know that you’re not giving away the store to move cases,” he continued. “You’re trying to satisfy both the police and the defendant. “About 90 percent of the people in municipal court are neighbors, friends and ordinary Joe citizens, not criminals. They don’t want to leave without feeling that they got a good shake,” Brunt said. “The city is going to be very lucky to have a guy like Tom,” concluded Goldstein. “He knows about municipal law and loves doing it.” Ready to lose weight? We have a way to make weight loss easy... patches to a New You. to find out more go to January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


A Community Cop Officer Jim Flanagan gets his dream job ––– Story by Joe Hawrylko ––– As Jim Flanagan enters his 20th year on the force, he will have a new job title: Crime Prevention Officer. It’s the perfect job for the talkative 1981 CHS grad, who has been a Clifton bike cop for the past 12 years. Becoming a Clifton Police Officer had always been Flanagan’s goal. Following high school graduation, he worked a couple jobs around town before becoming a Reserve Officer—now known as a Clifton Special Police Officer—in 1983. “I had always wanted to become a cop,” he said. “Joining the Specials was kind of a way to get into law enforcement.” SPO’s, just like full time officers, must attend Police Academy. Following his graduation there, Flanagan worked as a reserve officer until 1988, when he decided to join full time and went through the Academy again, even though he didn’t need to. “Chief (Edward J.) Kredatus could have waived me, believe it or not,” he said. “But I’m glad I went to the Academy again anyway.” Flanagan insists the training wasn’t too hard. “It really depends on where you go,” he said, adding that State Troopers have the hardest time. “I went to the Union Academy actually. There were no openings for other academies, and Passaic County didn’t have one yet. Now, you at least go to the county you’re going to work in.” 58

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

The new Clifton Crime Prevention Officer Jim Flanagan.

Technically, Flanagan was already a Clifton Police Officer before he graduated in June 1988. Before going to the Academy, all officers are sworn in at the department that they will be working at. Flanagan was sworn in on Feb. 5, 1988. Since joining the force, he’s met many interesting people and has had plenty of interesting situations, most of which are documented in a

thick scrapbook that Flanagan keeps. The contents include the first ticket he issued, which was given out for making a left hand turn at Clifton and Paulison Aves. (at the time, this was illegal). He’s also got photos of when former Senator and Presidential candidate Bob Dole and thenGovernor Christie Whitman came to town during a campaign stop on Memorial Day in 1996.

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Flanagan was among those assigned as security for the day and got to meet the politicians. And while he’s not an actor, Flanagan has also been around some Hollywood Stars. He’s met James Gandolfini of The Sopranos during the many times the show was shot in Clifton. Flanagan also caught an early glimpse of Johnny Depp in Donnie Brasco as he provided security for the set. He’s also met 20/20’s Diane Sawyer. But while he found all of this interesting, his favorite work was as a bike patrol. Officer Jim Flanagan in 1997. The photo was taken in front of the Van Houten Ave. Community Policing Station.

“It’s more of a grass roots patrol. You’re getting to know the residents in the neighborhood and store owners,” he said. “It’s actually really cool. You get to know a lot of different people.” On Nov. 20, 1995, Flanagan joined the bike patrol as a part of ‘The Original Six,’ although the unit actually started out with just two people. “Some of the times when we had bad weather, we would be in cars,” explained Flanagan, who had requested to join the bike cops. “I had a lot of business cards of people, so if the police computers ever went down and something happened, I was able to call them.” Citizens responded well to the bike cops, who had stations on Lakeview, Main and Van Houten Aves. They looked out for residents and helped the community with restoration projects like the one Flanagan took part in at Hillside Park. The Clifton Bike Patrol in Oct. 1998. From left, is Carmine Petrone, Joseph Klein, Thomas Campbell, Sgt. Gerry Wyhopen, David Kishbaugh, Jim Flanagan and John Michael. 60

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

“I got new swing equipment, park benches and that stuff,” he said. “We kind of spiffed it up a little bit.” While at one point there were up to 17 officers on staff, according to Flanagan, the number has since shrunk to six. The funding for the highly regarded program is near dry. And now, with Flanagan moving over to the crime prevention unit—which is still under community policing—he is going to see less time on his bike. “I’m going to be doing followups on break-in entries, both residential and commercial, assessing the damage done,” said Flanagan, who plans to continue teaching Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE). “I can also provide the home or business owner with tips so that it doesn’t happen again.” While he will primarily spend most of his days at the Main Ave. Community Policing post, Flanagan still will be a friendly and familiar face to locals. Hopefully if you run into this police officer these days, it’s just to say hello, not him following up on a burglary.

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CHS ‘05 grad Nikki Krzysik is HIGH one ofSCHOOL the best soccer players in the country. That 191 Rutherford female Placecollegiate • North Arlington, NJ 07031 fact was confirmed on Dec. 16 when the National Soccer Coaches Association of America named Krzysik to the First Team All-American NCAA Women’s Soccer team. The honor came after a spectacular junior season at the University of Virginia, during which Krzysik not only excelled on defense but opened up on offense scoring a number of game winning goals. “It’s such an honor to be named to the All-American team,” said Krzysik, in a recent interview at the Hot Grill during her winter break. “I have played international soccer with most of these women and I am amazed at the way they play. It’s a privilege just to be in their company.” Krzysik anchored a defense that only allowed two goals during a 13-game undefeated streak this fall. “Many people look at the defense at Virginia and talk about how awesome it was this year, but it took time for us to gel. We have three juniors and one senior on defense, and when we started playing together, we were atrocious. A good defenClifton High School 2005 graduate Nikki Krzysik is an AllAmerican soccer player at the University of Virginia. sive line needs to stay together.”

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January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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Krzysik went to Virginia to start her junior year after playing on the U-23 USA soccer team that defeated Germany for the 2007 Nordic Cup. “People say, ‘You must have been tired to start the season,’ and it’s true, the season is pretty exhausting. Everybody comes into camp in shape. We have certain fitness tests that we take all season long,” Krzysik said. “But knowing the game and understanding what is going to happen and how you should


January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

react in a certain situation is probably more important and can compensate for a deficiency in fitness.” The season began with Krzysik being nominated for the Hermann Trophy, soccer's equivalent to the Heisman. As a result, she was watched and scrutinized all season. “I am used to being under the microscope, people assessing my every move,” said Krzysik. “When I go to the U.S. training camps, all the judges are there lined up look-

ing at every move, so I was not really concerned about the trophy nomination affecting my play.” Meanwhile, Nikki’s college coach moved her to center back, allowing her to concentrate on defense, but also gave her the freedom to move around the field. “Coach Swanson (a three time National Championship coach) allows me to make my own decisions and place myself wherever I think I should be,” Krzysik said. So after a Nordic Cup Championship and four exhibition games, Krzysik and Virginia were ready to start the 2007 season. In the team’s second game, a 3-0 win over West Virginia, Krzysik scored her first ever NCAA goal. “It was an unbelievable feeling, especially since my parents were at the game,” she said. Krzysik’s parents Joe and Linda still live in Clifton along with their two other children Joey, 16, and Johnathan, 14, who both attend Paramus Catholic. After a loss to Stanford and a tie with Santa Clara, UVA went on a streak that propelled them to being ranked 8th in the country. From Sept. 14 to Oct. 25, the Cavs went 9-0-3. But Krzysik’s most memorable moments would come in the postseason. Virginia played Miami in the opening round of the ACC tournament. The teams were still scoreless after two overtimes and so the game went to penalty kicks. Krzysik was the last player to shoot, and if she could get the ball past the goalie, Virginia would win and move on in the tournament. “I used to hate penalty kicks,” admitted Krzysik, “When I was nine years old, I missed a penalty kick and we lost a game. I remember my father was there and I was

Nikki Krzysik (front row at left) with her 2004 CHS girls soccer teammates.

so upset. Ever since then, I would not take penalty kicks. “Then when I was on the Under 19 year old USA soccer team I didn’t want to take a penalty shot in a championship game against China. We lost the game and I decided that I need to control my own destiny and not let others score for me so I overcame my fears and practiced penalty kicks.” With the ACC tournament game on the line, Krzysik had no idea how important her kick was. Standing out on the field thinking about her missed penalty shot at age nine, Kryzsik scored the winning goal. “I had no idea that my kick would win the game. I was concentrating so hard on my kick, so when everybody came rushing onto the field after the kick I yelled, ‘Get back it’s not over!’ but it was and we advanced in the tournament,” she said. The Cavaliers lost their second round match to North Carolina, in a game that was also decided on

penalty kicks. But the team’s great season earned them a spot in the NCAA Tournament. In the first round against Loyola, UVA won 4-1, with Krzysik scoring the first goal. “Loyola came right back to score after that,” said the Clifton native. “That’s what happens in soccer and a good player needs to be aware that most goals are scored within five minutes after a goal is scored. Everybody has to adjust how they play and a good team will take advantage of that and not wait until somebody adjusts, but just attack.” But the second round of the tournament was when Krzysik really made her mark. With 14 seconds left, UVA and William and Mary remained scoreless. “Once again, it’s the little things that count,” said Krzysik, “Becky Sauerburn got the ball off a corner kick and the entire William and Mary team went left to protect the goal. I saw that and I went to my right and

got down on my knees so Becky could see me and pass the ball low. She passed perfectly and I headed the ball in for the winning score.” The goal moved the Wahoos into a national quarterfinal matchup with UCLA. That’s where the season ended with an overtime loss to the Bruins. “I don’t let a loss effect my life. It’s an experience and I realize that I am doing what I love to do, I love to play soccer. I enjoy going out and watching other players play probably more than I enjoy scoring goals,” said the All-American. During this amazing season, Krzysik continued to maintain high academic standards at UVA. “I am majoring in government, and I hope to go onto law school. I take my courses seriously, and the school insists that we maintain a high GPA to play sports, so being in the library at 3 am isn’t unusual for me.” Krzysik has come a long way since missing that penalty kick at age nine. She insists that it is the influence of others and not her own hard work that has brought her to this plateau. “My family means so much to me,” she said. “I [had] a very good friend playing football in the Gator Bowl on News Years, but that day is special to be with my family and I [wanted] to be here in Clifton with them. A person can only succeed with the help of other people, and the people of Clifton have been so supportive.” The book on Krzysik is far from closed. This month, she travels to Los Angeles to start training with the USA U-23 team. She is modest about her chances of playing in the 2008 Olympics, and feels that 2012 will be her Olympics. Nikki Krzysik may be playing for UVA or USA, but in her heart, she will always consider herself a Clifton Mustang. January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Agents: Want to join our team? Call Carl at 973-519-1470

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January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Our Hermann Trophy Winner ––– Story by Joe Hawrylko ––– He’s been a champion soccer player at Clifton, St. John’s University in Queens and won the Hermann Trophy for being the top player in the nation at Clemson. Now, the next challenge in Wojtek Krakowiak’s life is to right the ship of the Rutgers-Newark Women’s Soccer Team. Since immigrating to America from Poland in 1993 as a 16-yearold, Krakowiak has used the world’s favorite sport as a way to assimilate into his new homeland. “I came here because of my family. My uncle already lived here,” explained the former forward and attacking midfielder. Already a bright prospect in Poland, it was pretty easy for

Krakowiak to make the transition on the pitch with the Mustangs under legendary coach Fernando Rossi. The large presence of Polish athletes on the team also helped him make friends and build chemistry within the squad, setting the team up for its state title run in 1994-1995. “It was great, and I really didn’t realize it was such a big deal until afterwards. You only get one shot; you either win it or you don’t,” said Krakowiak, who works at Coldwell Banker in Clifton. “That was my senior year, so if it didn’t happen then, I’d just be thinking about it next year.” Following his short, but stellar career at Clifton—he was named to the CHS All-Decade Team and 2002 Mustang Hall of Fame Class—

The 23-0-1 Clifton Mustangs in the fall of 1994, after winning the Group 4 State Title over favored Kearny by a score of 3-0. Krakowiak, above, is number 20.

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Krakowiak was awarded a full scholarship to St. John’s University. “It was a big deal and definitely helped me with choosing a college,” he recalled. “I also chose St. John’s because my brother almost got a full scholarship there. He’s a year older and it was close to home so my parents could come watch us play.” But while he was quick to adapt to life in Clifton, college was a little bit different. “In Clifton, I had Polish friends, so I really didn’t have to speak English a lot. In college, I had to adjust,” said Krakowiak. “But our team was still very international, so it helped that everyone was in the same boat. I think we had 10 guys that weren’t born in the United States.” After redshirting his freshman year due to an ACL tear, Krakowiak returned to the pitch and claimed Rookie of the Year honors, as the Red Storm won the Division I NCAA Championship with his brother Paul. “I went from one championship to another; it doesn’t happen very often,” he laughed. “Yeah, you’ve got to be a little lucky, I guess. Got to be in the right place at the right time. But it was great winning the championship with my brother, Paul.” However, after just one season in New York, Krakowiak decided to transfer to Clemson University. “It was mostly the weather,” he explained. “I wanted to be outdoors 10 months a year. We always trained outside and barely went indoors. We’d only do that if the weather was really bad.” While in South Carolina, Krakowiak’s team would not achieve the same success as St. John’s, only making it to the Elite 68

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Krakowiak as a Clemson Tiger.

Eight in his final year. However, as a junior, he would receive college soccer’s version of the Heisman: the Hermann award. “There’s only one other guy at Clemson who won it,” Krakowiak said proudly. “Honestly, I had no idea I was in the running at first. But by the end of the season, I knew I was in the top five, but didn’t think I’d get it because my team wasn’t in the Final Four.” However, the Tigers play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is regarded as one of the best in the NCAA. His performances against tough opponents—31 goals and eight assists for 70 points in 24 games—was proof of his skill and the coaches selected Krakowiak as the recipient of the Hermann. Following that stellar season, Krakowiak opted not return to Clemson, deciding to go pro instead. Originally drafted by the San Jose Clash of U.S. Major League Soccer in 1998, Krakowiak left and went to Germany. “The competition is totally different from here,” he recalled. “People come from all over the place and you’ve got to prove yourself again.”

However, after less than a year, Krakowiak returned to the Clash and played two years there. He then went on to the Tampa Bay Mutiny before injuries derailed his career and he found life after soccer. Krakowiak returned to St. John’s to receive his degree in sports management and also worked full time in real estate. However, the Poland native knew that soccer would still be in his future. “I always wanted to coach, that’s why I went back to school,” said Krakowiak, who worked as a varsity assistant and JV head coach at Wayne Valley, in addition to running some club teams. “If you don’t have a degree, you can’t coach in college.” The opportunity arose last year when the Rutgers men’s team was seeking an assistant. Krakowiak’s friend Kevin East had just taken the head coaching job and brought him on as an assistant. At the end of the season, East took his friend to see the Athletic Director to inquire about the opening for the struggling girl’s squad, which has had five coaches in the last eight years. “Kevin’s a really good guy. I know if I need anything, I can always ask him,” said Krakowiak of his friend, who previously molded the New Jersey City University boys into a premier squad. “He’s always helpful with recruiting, which is important now. Anywhere else and I’d be on my own.” To bolster his roster, Krakowiak plans to return to some familiar grounds to scout talent. “I really want to get out there and recruit local players that want to stay close to home and go to a good school,” he concluded. “Clifton has a great team and there’s lots of other good teams around. Rutgers is one of the cheapest schools around and the education you get is very good.”

M r. Clean at FDU ––– Story by Bill Kennedy ––– Stewart Pruzansky has lived in Clifton for 24 years. Long before he became a resident of the Horseshoe City, however, he was well known to some residents. Pruzansky’s reputation came by way of Passaic, where he was a championship scholastic wrestler before graduating from Passaic High School in 1967. After that, he had an even more distinguished wrestling career at Fairleigh Dickinson University, which in September made Pruzansky only the second wrestler in its history to be inducted into its Division I Hall of Fame. During the 1960s, Clifton and Passaic High School were very competitive in wrestling, with both schools producing a number of championship wrestlers. Richard Davis and Mark Stein were the Mustangs who faced Pruzansky on the mat in dual meets, invitational competition and NJSIAA sectional tournaments.

From the March 21, 1971 edition of The Record.

Pruzansky, who started as a 98-pounder and “bulked up” up to 106 as a senior, never lost to a Clifton wrestler. That did not mean they were enemies, but rather pretty friendly rivals. “At the parties we attended in those days,” said Pruzansky, 58, “there were a lot of Clifton guys and a lot of Passaic guys. They all used to come to our matches.” And over the years, some of those friendships have lasted. “I'm still very good friends with Gary Redish and Jack Whiting,” he said of Clifton wrestlers he befriended. “I go to some of the clinics and programs at Clifton High that Jack runs. I show the kids some of the moves that I had when I was competing.” Pruzansky, whose high school wrestling scrapbook contains many photos of him looking like he’s not old enough to be in grades 10-12, never won a state or regional championship. “I wasn’t big or strong,” he said. But he could wrestle and possessed technique, which was good enough for him to win invitational, conference and sectional tournaments. “I was just a little kid. Hey, I didn’t shave until I was 21.” Wrestling was a family thing (there was a wrestling mat in his Passaic home), which is how Stewart, the third of four brothers, became involved. His oldest brother, Joel, now 65, never wrestled as a high school athlete because the Hebrew school he attended did not have the sport. But Joel did pick it up and joined the team at Yeshiva University. “Joel had no previous experience, but won about 90 percent of his matches in college,” Stewart said. “My brother Dave was the best in the family,” he said of the 60-year-old who was a state champion at Passaic and a national champ at Temple. He paused, and then said with a wry smile: “Lenny (now 56), the youngest, was pretty good, too. But I was better than him.” When Stewart Pruzansky got to college, he was undefeated in freshman competition, so he was asked January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


At his induction into the FDU Athletic Hall of Fame, Stewart Pruzansky, at center with his wife Hermyne. Also pictured, from left, his brother Lenny, their dad Sidney, daughters Robyn and Heidi and brother David.

by varsity coach Bob Metz to compete at different weights, depending on what division the opposition's best wrestler competed in. “I was as low as 115 pounds, but my normal weight was 125,” he said. “I wrestled against guys as heavy as 148.” Metz, now 81 and residing in Maine, confirmed this, stating, “I always had Stewart wrestle against the others team’s best. It helped our team and it’s what made him so good.” Because freshmen were ineligible for varsity then, Pruzansky had only three collegiate varsity seasons, but during that period, he was undefeated in dual meets, which was a long-standing record when FDU dropped the sport. In 1972, his senior year, Pruzansky was the Eastern regional champion and NCAA Tournament runner-up at 125 pounds, which earned him AllAmerica honors. But that’s just part of his wrestling resume. In addition to high school and college accomplishments, Pruzansky won New Jersey State AAU Greco 70

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

and freestyle wrestling championships, seven times each between 1965 and 1972. He was national YMCA freestyle champion in 1968, runner-up in the National AAU Tournament in 1972, and Maccabiah Games freestyle champ in 1973, plus being a member of the Maccabiah team championship squad in judo. He also competed in the U.S. Olympic trials in 1968 and 1972. Even today, Pruzansky’s Garden State reputation is so great in wrestling that earlier this year, he was appointed to the selection committee of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s New Jersey Chapter. A balky shoulder prevents Pruzansky from serious wrestling these days, but he loves to play pingpong and takes on all challengers. But his real adult sport is racquetball, which he plays at the Classic Athletic Club in Fairfield, where this year, he won a state tournament title for men older than 55. “It was the first tournament I ever entered,” said Pruzansky, still clearly a very competitive man.

Unfortunately for CHS, there have been no Pruzansky offspring to compete in the wrestling program. Stewart and his wife Hermyne have two daughters, Robyn, 26, and Heidi, 24, who live in Los Angeles and New York, respectively. Robyn was a member of the state fencing championship team at Montclair Kimberley Academy 10 years ago, and Heidi was a CHS wrestling team manager. “That’s the best I could do for Clifton wrestling,” Pruzansky said. But professionally, Pruzansky has done something for Clifton. Pruzansky Plumbing in Passaic, serves thousands of homes and businesses in the two cities. Stewart's grandfather Henry founded the business in 1910. Stewart’s father Sidney eventually took over, and after a short career as a research analyst, Stewart joined the firm in the late 1970s. And for those who are familiar with them, it would be difficult to say which is greater, the legend of Pruzanskys in plumbing or wrestling. Both have championship records.

The Opposite Way ––– Story by Joe Hawrylko ––– Rob J Carpentier, 52, had always wanted to write his own book, but actually getting it printed was much harder than he imagined. “When I tried to sell this or give it to publishers and literary agents, I kept getting rejected,” the Cliftonite said of his WWII novel, The Opposite Way, which is now available online. “Your chances of getting published are so small. After a bunch of rejections I tried another route.” Unable to broker a deal with other publishing companies, Carpentier decided to contact Dog Ear Publishing, where he would have to pay them to do the publishing. However, this meant that funding was now an issue. Short on cash, Carpentier assumed his dream was over. However, his father, Robert L Carpentier, stepped in to make sure that his son would be able to fulfill his dreams. “My father, right before he passed away, said I want you to get that book published,” said The Bergen Record employee. “If you have to use my money to do it, so be it.” And with that vote of confidence, Carpentier had the money needed to get his novel published. Carpentier added that publishing a book was also a goal of his father, which makes his accomplishment much more meaningful. “He was sort of an entertainer, comedy writer and he always wanted to write a book himself and he never got to do it,” he explained. “When I tried to do it, he became my number one advocate. Even when I became depressed after the rejections, he pushed me to do it. He’s been gone two years now, so it’s my promise to get it done.” And that’s just what he did. Carpentier’s WWII novel was finally released this year by Dog Ear Publishing. The story is set in December 1941 aboard

Rob Carpentier with his self-published book, The Opposite Way.

a Pan American Flying Boat that had just left San Francisco for Honolulu. However, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor forces the crew to an alternate site, ultimately bringing them to New Zealand. To get home, the crew of the Caledonia Clipper must circumnavigate the globe under radio silence during the outbreak of World War II. “The book is a historical novel based on a true story,” explained Carpentier, who added in a storyline on the home front to augment his book. The Opposite Way is available for $19.95 at and You can also call Carpentier for a copy at 201-646-4267. Insurance Since 1939

Allwood-Forlenza Agency 482 Notch Road, West Paterson, NJ 07424 973-256-5500 x28 Serving Clifton and the North Jersey Area. Specializing in Auto Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Business Insurance, Employee Benefits, Life and Health Insurance. January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


The CHS Prom Fashion Show will be held on Feb. 10 at 2 pm in the JFK Auditorium at Clifton High. Among the students who will participate include those pictured above, from left: Casey Hawrylko, Christopher Papademetriou, Lindsay Berberich, Connor Steinfeldt, Ritchie Movilla, Ashley Parsons and Robert Harsaghy. Fashions are provided by Deluxe Formal Wear and Angelica-LaFaye Fashions. Proceeds benefit Project Graduation, the school’s annual drug and alcohol free trip for seniors following graduation. Recently, Youth Based Services donated $2,000 to the cause, and Assemblyman Tom Giblin provided $100. To find out how you can help, call Project Graduation Coordinator Maryann Cornett at 973-779-5678. The Clifton Fire Dept. will be awarded $30,935 for a chemical detection kit, thanks to Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Pascrell was able to secure $87,645 from the Dept. of Homeland Security for Passaic County under the Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program, which helps first responder programs. For info, call Caley Gray at 973-523-5152.

Clifton Deputy Fire Chief and former longtime Cliftonite Tom Lyons, whose two sons have been involved in the Pequannock H.S. Band, recently got the band’s bus “pimped” by MTV’s Pimp My Ride. The show typically only does work on vehicles in California, but after Lyons offered to drive the bus cross-country, the show’s Mad Mike flew to New Jersey to spruce up the bus, which is used to transport the band’s instruments to games and parades. 72

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Boys & Girls Club will host a tricky tray on May 9 at the Club. The Ladies are seeking prize donations. Cash donations will also be accepted and will go towards prize purchases. All proceeds for the event will benefit the Boys & Girls Club. For more information, call Lori at 973773-2697 ext. 52 or Lesia at 973773-2697 ext. 50.

Helping Our Soldiers & Sailors: Between Nov. 8 and Dec. 4, Bill Van Eck (below) shipped 20 boxes of personal items—from magazines and candy to Christmas decorations and toiletries—to U.S. Army soldiers serving in Camp Liberty and Camp Torch in Baghdad. He and his daughter Elizabeth Eille, also a Clifton resident, collected from their friends and coworkers, including items donated by students at West Essex Regional High School, where Van Eck has worked for the past eight years. He also noted that Jodi Neumann of the Clifton Adult Opportunity Center donated a fully decorated Christmas tree. Van Eck knows how important a ‘care package’ is when stationed overseas: he served in Vietnam as part of C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery, also known as the Proud Americans. “I’ll be collecting stuff for our guys until they pack up and leave,” said Van Eck. He said the current need is for non-aerosol personal items such as soaps, deodorant and oral hygiene products. Call him at 973-478-5362. Free care to all U.S. military personnel: Dr. David Moore of On Track Chiropractic at 850 Clifton Ave. offers free care to U.S. military personnel who served in Afghanistan and Iraq for a year upon completion of their tour of duty. The move is not a symbol of his stance on the war, but a sign of respect to those who put their life on the line everyday, according to Moore. “Having been deprived of sleep and food for so long, the body is unable to operate efficiently,” he said. “We’ll evaluate a patient’s sensory nerve irritation, range of motion, motor and autonomic nerve function, as well as heart rate variability. These tests identify areas of disturbance within the body and allow for more precise adjustments.” For details on the program, call 973-253-7005 or visit

This column was originally started by our founder, the late Murray Blumenfeld. In his spirit, we continue its publication.

First and foremost, we would like to wish all of our readers and customers a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. May all your dreams come true in 2008. We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and what a busy season it was here at Morré Lyons! Thanks to our staff for a job well done. We could not have done it without them. It was so nice seeing all our regular customers and such a pleasure meeting all of our new ones. We hope everyone loved the presents they received. We thank you for your continued confidence and loyalty. This January marks the start of a new and exciting Swarovski trilogy, ‘Endangered Wildlife’. The first animals portrayed are the Pandas, accompanied by their main food, bamboo, both beautifully rendered in black diamond and clear crystal. Swarovski also offers a members only charm bracelet. This year’s member gift is a beautiful bamboo window ornament. A Panda cub similar in size complements the annual edition and is only available in 2008. Suggested retail is $450 for the pandas & $180 for the panda cub. Please come visit our little Pandas; it will surely be love at first sight. As Valentine’s Day draws near, we look forward to receiving all the new and exciting pieces we’ve ordered for this romantic holiday, We have something for everyone in all price ranges so come on in and treat your Valentine (or yourself) to something special this year. January’s birthstone is Garnet which has been treasured for thousands of years. This lovely red gemstone was prized for it’s ability to cure fevers, promote good health, and provide protection from danger for travelers. Have a “Joyous January”!

JEWELERS RICHFIELD SHOPPING CENTER 1354 CLIFTON AVE • CLIFTON • 973.777.4329 January 2008 • Clifton Merchant



CHS Varsity Cheerleaders (above) host a clinic on Jan 19 from 9:30 to 11:30 am at School 12. Come learn to cheer and dance then show off skills at a CHS Varsity Basketball game. For info, call Coach Michele Rodriguez at 973-470-2404. CHS classes of 1958-1959 host a joint 50 year reunion on April 25 at the Bethwood, Totowa. For info, go to or write or call Marie Hakim at 973-246-7440. St. Brendan School’s Tricky Tray is Jan. 27, 1:30 pm at the Bethwood, Totowa. Dinner and a sheet of tickets is $30. Call at 973-772-1149 or go to

Clifton’s polar bear: Edward Dyle. 74

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

CHS junior Eduardo Quinteros was cleaning out the basement of his home when he found this clip from the Nov. 15, 1947 edition of the Herald-News. Cheering on the Fighting Mustangs before their first ever meeting with Montclair were, from left, Catherine Stefanacci, Lois Cross, Jean Hushler, Irene Ostlin, June Lutern and Lorraine Lawrence. Montclair won the game 18-0.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car at 1316 Main Ave., Clifton thanks Fette Ford, Auto Body 2010, Nash Park Auto Body, Crane Chevrolet and Armando’s Body Shop for participating in this year’s toy drive. The Clifton Lakeview AARP Chapter 1995 meets on Jan. 7 (snowdate Jan. 16) in St. Brendan’s Church Hall, 154 East 1st St., at 9:30 am. The guest is Eddie Feliciano of the Lincoln Park Renaissance Rehab Facility. Info: 973-345-2637.

63-year old Edward Dyle took the plunge in the famed Polar Bear Club’s Coney Island swim on New Year’s Day for the second straight year. He does it to raise funds for Camp Sunshine, a retreat in Casco, Maine for kids with life-threatening illnesses. To sponsor Dyle, drop off a check at Foodies in Richfield Shopping Center made payable to Camp Sunshine. For info, call Dyle on his cell at 973-632-0156 or visit

Bring a Towel & Bathing Suit to the

Clifton Family Super Bowl Party at the Boys & Girls Club

Sun., Feb. 3, 5 pm Swimming! • Open Gym! • Family Fun! • Great Food! Big Screen TV’s! • $5/family • $2/person!

Call for Tixs! 973-773-0966 Contribute $100 & Become One of our 21 Sponsors

21 Club

Your Support Is Needed! Checks should be made payable to:

Boys & Girls Club of Clifton

1) Jim & Rita Haraka & Family 2) Passaic County Surrogate Bill Bate 3) Steve & Ellen Corbo & Family 4) Optimist Club of Clifton 5) Barbara Dougherty in memory of Henry Dougherty 6) in memory of George H. Trinkle Jr. & George H. Trinkle III 7 ) St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic School

note: Super Bowl Party


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Tom Hawrylko @ 973-253-4400

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2 1 S p o n s o rs a re n e e d e d ! P le a se ca ll o To m H a w ry lk 0 0 4 9 7 3 -2 5 3 -4

15) CASA-Clifton Against Substance Abuse January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Botany Blues: Hot Music for a Cold Night

Howling out of Wayne, Big Mike & the Perpetrators (above) drive their harp and blues machine into Botany Village to serve up hot music for a cold night on Jan. 26. Dean Shot and Rob Paparozzi (at left) will also perform at the Co-op.

Hot Music for a Cold Night is the theme of the Jan. 26 Botany Blues concert at the Italian Cooperative Hall, 282 Parker Ave., in Clifton’s Historic Botany Village. Presented by the Historic Botany District and the North Jersey Blues Music Cooperative, the concert features two two distinctive sets of topnotch Blues entertainment, Big Mike & The Perpetrators, and Dean Shot. Doors open at 7 pm. Purchase tickets before Jan. 15 for $10 and $15 thereafter. For tickets by mail: make check to CHBD c/o Johnny’s Tavern, 315 Parker Ave., Clifton, NJ 07011 (973-546-8787) or J. Michaels Florist, 315 Parker Ave., Clifton, NJ 07011 (973-5468787) or write to John Muller at For more info, visit The 2008 St. Peter’s Haven Summer Sunset Blues Cruise has set dates and tickets are now on sale. St. Peter’s Haven for Homeless Families in Need of Clifton is the beneficiary of this fund raiser, now 76

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

in its sixth year. For $50, enjoy beer and soda (bring your own food) on a two-and-a-half hour cruise in New York Harbor on the deck of the A.J. Meerwald as you enjoy live blues bands. Boarding takes place in

Liberty State Park, Jersey City, at 5:30 pm and cast off is at 6 pm. The line up is as follows: July 11, the Chuck Lambert Band; July 16, the Victoria Warne Band; July 18, the Chaz DePaolo Band. Only 40 tickets are available each night, so reserve early. The event is dedicated to the memory of Rev. Hank Dwyer and Bernie Brausewetter. For info, call John Muller at 973-546-3406 or e-mail him at

Chaz DePaolo, at right, and his band return to the AJ Meerwald on July 18 to cruise the Hudson River as one of floating blues concerts to benefit St. Peter’s Haven for Homeless Families in Need of Clifton. Photo: Captured Reality Photography.

Clifton’s Kenny Barilari Jr. will sing in a talent show in Harlen on Jan. 9.

The Clifton Arts Center presents Interwoven Influences, an exhibit by the New York Tapestry Artists and sculpture artist Miklos Sebek from Jan. 23 to March 1. A reception is on Jan. 26. Admission is $1. For info, call 973-472-5499.

Kenny Barilari will be singing “Puppy Love” at the Showtime at the Apollo talent show at 7:30 pm on Jan. 9. The Clifton middle school student was selected from among 300 people who auditioned on Dec. 8 at the Harlem theater. His family is running a bus from Mario’s Restaurant that day to take people to the show. Tickets are $25 and transportation is free. For details, call 973-777-1559. The 13th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Jazz Festival and Dinner presented by Shabazz Productions is from 6 pm to midnight on Jan. 12 at Church of the Assumption, 35 Orange Ave. Several artists will be performing such as Malcolm Cobb and Six Shoes, Ron Foster and Kindred Spirits, Keith Lee and the Ultra Band, Lady Cici and Just Us Band, and singer Loretta Bradley. Advanced tickets are $35 or $40 at the door. Admission includes dinner and soft drinks. Call Seifullah Ali Shabazz at 973-478-4124.

The 2008 Passaic County Student Film and Video Festival is April 12 from 10 am to noon at the PCCC Public Safety Complex, 300 Oldham Rd., Wayne. Deadline for entries, which are judged separately in high school and college categories, is Jan. 31. Call 973-569-4720 or e-mail

Clifton resident Seifullah Ali Shabazz produces the 13th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Jazz Fest on Jan 12.


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08’ Optimist Club Awards on May 4 The Clifton Optimist Club’s annual Friend of Youth Beefsteak will be on May 4 at 4 pm at the Boys & Girls Club on Colfax Ave. Clifton High School football coach Ron Anello and softball coach Cara Boseski (pictured back to back below) will receive the Friend of Youth Award. In the fall of 2006, Anello led the Fighting Mustangs to a 9-3 record and their first state championship since 1973 with a 26-0 win over Eastside at Giants Stadium. Head Coach Cara Boseski followed that up by leading her softball team to a 30-3 mark and a state championship in the spring of 2007. Boseski accomplished the feat in just her second year at the helm.


January 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Ralph Eodice (below right with a copy of our Dec. edition) will receive the Community Service Award. For the past 50 consecutive Decembers, he has played an important volunteer role in Clifton. Retired Clifton Fire Chief John E. Dubravsky (below left) will get the Respect for Law Award. He retired on Nov. 5 after a decade as chief and

39 years with the Department. Dubravsky, who turns 64 next month, joined the CFD in 1968. For tickets, donations or membership info, write to Clifton Optimist Club President Mike Gimon at or call him at 973-779-5810, or members Joe Bionci at 973-472-1707 or Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400

Your Future Begins




Adult Education

45 REINHARDT ROAD • WAYNE Adult High School:

Adult students are able to complete their High School education and receive a High School Diploma. This program is fully approved by the New Jersey Department of Education and the Passaic County Technical Institute Board of Education. FREE to all interested adults. Call 973-389–4101.

Apprenticeship Program: Carpentry, Electrical, Machine Shop, Plumbing and Heating are available. For information call 973-389–4101.

GED Testing Center: Take the State GED Tests at Passaic County Technical Institute. For information call 973-389-4388

Adult Learning Center: We offer Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, Civics Education, and courses to earn a GED. For information call 973-684–0106.

Child Care Services Available: Reasonable Rates

Licensed Practical Nurse Program: Passaic County Technical Institute also sponsors a year long full–time days Practical Nursing Diploma Program which prepares the student to sit for the New Jersey Board of Nursing Licensed Practical Nursing Exam. Call for brochure... 973-389-2020.

Evening Career & Continuing Education Courses: • ACCA Refrigerant Handlers Certification • Accounting I • Administrative Medical Assistant • Advertising Art and Design • Aerobics • Auto Body I & II • Automotive I & II • Blueprint Reading I & II • Computer Aided Drafting Basic & Advanced • Computer Keyboarding • Computer Repair Certification • Computer Survival Toolkit • Culinary Arts-Pasta,Pasta,Pasta • Do-It-Yourself Home Improvement • eBay • Engineering Drawing • Entrepreneur • Electricity I & II • Excel • Fireman’s Black Seal Licenses • Food Service • Golf • Heating

• Home Remodeling & Improv. • House Framing I & II • Housewiring • Industrial Wiring I & II • Intro to the Internet & E-Mail • Intro to Computer Programming • Intro to the Web Page Design • Machine Shop I, II, & III • National Electric Code • Networking for Home & Small Business • Nurses Aide • Nutritional Cooking • Personal Computer I, II & III • Plumbing I & II • Plumber’s License Prep • Power Point • QuickBooks • Real Estate Salesperson Licensing • Refrigeration I,II & III • Small Engine Repair • Sign Language • Skin Care • Stained Glass • Swimming • Welding Basic or Advanced • Word 2000 / XP

More Than 300 On-Line Courses Are Offered Each Month: Visit

In-Person Registration Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 6:30 - 9 pm January 15, 16 & 17 22, 23 & 24

For Info, Call 973-389-4101 CLASSES BEGIN JAN. 28TH January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Birthdays & Celebrations! send us dates & names... Larry Homsany . . . . . . . . . . 1/8 Theresa Albanese . . . . . . . 1/9 Amanda Curtiss . . . . . . . . . 1/9 Ariana Hryckowian . . . . . . 1/9 Joseph Perzely . . . . . . . . . . 1/9 Fatma Bekheet . . . . . . . . 1/10 Ronald Calo . . . . . . . . . . . 1/10 Richie DeMarco . . . . . . . . 1/10 Katy Sokolik. . . . . . . . . . . . 1/11 Nicole Unis . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/11 Megan Duffy . . . . . . . . . . 1/12 Daisy Colman. . . . . . . . . . 1/13 Joe Musleh . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/14 Mark Stuart . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/14 Ariana Hryckowian turns 20 on Jan. 9.

Delaney Brothers Birthdays! Matthew on Jan. 2 Jeremy on Jan. 6

Shaun LaGala . . . . . . . . . . 1/1 Connie Zangara . . . . . . . . 1/1 Chrissy Cetinich . . . . . . . . . 1/2 Amanda Esposito. . . . . . . . 1/2 Kristin Reilly . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/2 Steven Hrina . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/3 Rosalie Konopinski . . . . . . . 1/3 Ray Krenc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/3 Emily Zawicki. . . . . . . . . . . . 1/3 Mohamad Bekheet . . . . . . 1/5 Missy Fazio . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/5 Alexander Ortiz . . . . . . . . . 1/5 Gay Eaclie . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/6

Kyle Santiago . . . . . . . . . . 1/15 Susan Hernandez. . . . . . . 1/16 Jennifer Montanile. . . . . . 1/16 Steve Nikithser, Jr. . . . . . . . 1/16 Matthew Soprano . . . . . . 1/16 Kim Barilari. . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/18 Erica Pangilinan . . . . . . . . 1/19 Lindsay Dueben . . . . . . . . 1/20 Luke Falzo . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/20 Payton Bogatch. . . . . . . . 1/21 Douglas Ciallella . . . . . . . 1/21 Matthew Gorun . . . . . . . . 1/21 Cindy Hawrylko . . . . . . . . 1/22

FREE With This Coupon Coupons May Not Be Combined.


2 00 OFF

Any Size Ice Cream Cakes Coupons May Not Be Combined.

Anthony E. Dittus celebrated his second birthday on Jan. 4.



194 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell • 973-403-9968 –– 2 Union Ave., Paterson • 973-595-1647


January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


FREE SUNDAE Buy One Ice Cream or Yogurt Sundae, Get Another

Daniel Shackil . . . . . . . . . . 1/22 Catherine Coloccia . . . . 1/24 Jamie Mikolajczyk . . . . . . 1/24 Larissa Unis . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/24 Susan Angello. . . . . . . . . . 1/25 Robert Duffy . . . . . . . . . . . 1/25 Ashley Gagnon . . . . . . . . 1/25 Debbi Koch . . . . . . . . . . . 1/26 Michelle Nahass. . . . . . . . 1/26 Karen Rice . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/26 Nicholas Grippo . . . . . . . . 1/27 Scott Crawford. . . . . . . . . 1/28

Visit us in Downtown Clifton: 1103 Main Ave • 973-473-4999

We Don’t Sell Parts… …We Sell Service Lisamarie Poveromo and Joseph Musleh were engaged and a winter 2008 wedding is planned. Robert C. Henn . . . . . . . . 1/28 Stephanie Smith . . . . . . . . 1/28 Donna Chipura . . . . . . . . 1/30 Laura Kuruc . . . . . . . . . . . 1/30 Sean Sabo . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/30 Jessica Sonn . . . . . . . . . . . 1/31 Happy First Birthdays! Gianna Caramucci on Jan. 27 Evangeline Joy on Jan. 31


Machine Shop On Location No Order Too Large Or Small FREE DELIVERY

Two Stores In Clifton 973-473-1997


802 Van Houten Ave • Clifton Mon-Fri 8-6pm • Sat 8-5pm • Sun 9-1pm

1103 Main Ave • Downtown Clifton Mon-Fri 8-6pm • Sat 8-5pm • Sun Closed

Our Other Locations: 201.843.8040


136 Essex St • Rochelle Park Open Sundays

101 Route 46 West • Saddle Brook Open Sundays



5 Hawthorne Ave • Park Ridge New Location

614 Pompton Ave • Cedar Grove New Location

201. 261.0411 59A E. Ridgewood Ave • Paramus New Location

Bar & Grill

973.338.9292 1278 Broad St • Bloomfield New Location

166 Main Ave •Clifton

Dinner Buffet

973-694-2228 1168 Hamburg Turnpike • Wayne New Location

973-423-1700 93 Goffle Rd • Hawthorne New Location 1036

Fri-Sun, No Extra Charge

Steamed Lobster & Century Sushi


$ 95 Lunch Buffet

All-You-Can-Eat All-You-Can-Eat Mon-Fri Mon-Fri 11 11 am am to to 33 pm pm or go to



We Deliver • Order Online...

Visit us in Athenia: 802 Van Houten Ave • 973-473-1997 January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Clifton’s Big Show: May 28-June 1

After a successful inaugural outing in 2007, the Clifton Middle Schools Carnival will return to the CCMS field from May 28 to June 1. The grass of Main Memorial Park will be transformed into a fair ground with a midway, plenty of rides and lots of attractions. Last year, the HSAs of Christopher Columbus and Woodrow Wilson each earned around $15,000, used for extra student activities. Sponsors and volunteers are needed: call Joanne Berthold at 973-819-6965 or Lucy Pavan at 973-978-1576. Watch Dr. David Moore on Health Talk, Clifton Channel 77 Friday 9:30 pm & Sunday at 8 pm

Dr. David R. Moore, Chiropractor/Director

David R. Moore, D.C. 850 Clifton Ave., Clifton 973-253-7005 82

January 2008 • Clifton Merchant


• Rock Salt • Sand • Chloride

Ice Control Products

From Lakeview Ave • Enter on Mina Ave

Athenia Mason Supply • 973-253-0570


Tomahawk Promotions 1288 Main Avenue Clifton, NJ 07011







973-859-2270 CALL TODAY!

Call to use this Moving Truck!


CLIFTON Montclair Hts. $729,000


MODERN SPLIT IN GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD Offers you large LR with fplc., formal DR, ultra modern eat in kitchen with breakfast bar, 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, full fin. bsmt. with ceramic tile, garage and more.

GREAT LOCATION NEAR MONTCLAIR HEIGHTS This 3 bedroom ranch with large living room, dining room, eat in kicthen & den, full bsmt. & large yard. Very conveniently located off Grove St. A lot of charm. Needs little T.L.C.



LOOKING FOR A QUICK CLOSING This home is vacant, it offers you large liivng room, dining room, modern kitchen, 3 bedrooms & full bath. Corner property. Call today! Won’t last!



LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION...! Extremely quiet area, offers 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths, immaculate hardwood flrs, central air, central heat, plenty parking spaces, facilities to routes 46, 19, 3, 80 Parkway. Ask for Jose Gignoux.



Very well kept home offers living rm, formal dining rm, modern eat in kitchen, 3 BR’s, partially fin. bsmt., and 2 car gar. Above ground pool, pond, underground sprinkler systems, alarm system.





2 FAMILY HOME IN NICE NEIGHBORHOOD Offers you living room, dining room, eat in kitchen and 2 bedrooms on each floor. Full open attic, separate utilities, 1 1/2 car garage. Call today.

ALLWOOD SECTION House built in 80’s. One of a kind 3 BR ranch in Allwood Scetion with large living room, formal dining room, mod. eat in kitchen, family room, enclosed deck, jacuzzi, full finished basement. Possible Mother & Daughter.




VERY NICELY UPDATED 1 BEDROOM CONDO Low taxes & maintenance $193. One assigned parking space. Easy to show. Great for commuter. Call Sophia Constandinou.


BEAUTIFUL 2 FAMILY HOME Excell. curb appeal. Perfect for extended family. Nice size rooms. Needs some updating. Exterior completely upadted. New siding & windows. Central air conditioing. Ask for Armen Azarnia or Wendell Maki.

Profile for Clifton Merchant Magazine

Clifton Merchant Magazine - January 2008  

Clifton Merchant Magazine - January 2008