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Letter From the


‘As Clifton Grows, So Do We,’ our slogan, underlines our mission to work with residents, merchants and government officials to help our hometown prosper. After 100 years, Clifton is still a city of opportunity. The Centennial Celebration in 2017 was a festive series of events. But 2018 offers even greater promise. In year 101 of the City of Clifton, that would be the new medical school and the On3 development within the former Roche property on Route 3. In total, there are 116 acres of land, which, over the next few years, will nurture new industries and bring new jobs, adding the resources of universities, medical teaching facilities, and lots of what we expect will be smart growth. The medical school, which will welcome it first class of 55 students later this year, promises to be the most significant milestone in not only Clifton and Nutley, but in northern New Jersey, in decades. As Jack DeVries wrote, there are moments in a city’s lifetime that help define it. This is the big one. Continuing that look forward, this month’s cover introduces four up-and-comers who reflect the youth and diversity of our ever evolving community.

Our writers asked them about their roles in the community, their participation in their hometown and for ideas on how we can encourage the next generation to put down roots, invest, and raise a family in Clifton. Read the stories of Ahmad Hamdeh, Daron Vasquez, Nick Surgent and Theresa Bivaletz and maybe you’ll get some ideas. Or maybe it will raise more questions, encourage you to make suggestions or open a dialog which we can continue to write about in future editions. As Clifton Merchant Magazine enters its 23rd year of publication, we share your concerns about the future and our desire to make Clifton a better place to live. Our priority is Clifton and its families. As Clifton Grows, So Do We, our slogan, underlines our mission to work with our residents, merchants and government officials to help our community prosper. I’m proud to call Clifton my hometown. As 2018 begins, I take this opportunity to say thank you for your trust, readership and advertising support. 16,000 Magazines are distributed to hundreds of Clifton Merchants on the first Friday of every month.

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Editor & Publisher Tom Hawrylko Art Director Ken Peterson Graphic Designer Natalia Dymora Business Mgr. Gabriella Marriello Social Media Mgr. Ariana Puzzo • January 2018


There are moments in a city’s lifetime that help define it. With the founding of the new Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian Graduate School of Medicine – the state’s first new medical school in 50 years – one of those moments is happening in Clifton. The area will be known as a place where education and research thrives, where lives are bettered and saved. Slated to open in 2018 on the former 116-acre Hoffman LaRoche property located on the CliftonNutley border, the Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian Graduate School of Medicine will eventually educate more than 1,000 students annually, including future doctors, nurses and therapists. “We want our students to spend time in the community,” said Dr. Bonita Stanton, the school’s founding dean. “We want them to walk in its parks, shop in its stores – to go where their patients are and know their environment.” The medical school will be a catalyst that will reinvent the property, changing it from a single company’s location to a place of varied industries. And, like before, it will continue to be a site of innovation and progress.


January 2018 •

In addition, Seton Hall will relocate its College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences from South Orange to join the new medical school. Hackensack University Health Network’s National Cancer Institute will also be part of the complex, occupying 16 acres of the Route 3 property (about six in Clifton) and leasing space in the site’s existing buildings.

Viewed from Nutley, the first iconic structure on the HoffmanLaRoche property followed by a mid-2000 view from Rt. 3. Above left, Clifton podiatrist Thomas Graziano (at right) who in 2006 at age 57 enrolled in the British West Indies Medical Program at the University of Health Sciences in Antigua to get his Doctor of Medicine. He is seen in 2008 doing an internal medical rotation with Dr. Sessine Najjar and Najjar’s associate Dr. Diana Finkel. Top, an artist’s rendering of one of the proposed buildings on the Roche campus.


1355 Broad St. • Clifton • 973-778-5566 Dr. Michael Basista, Medical Director of Immedicenter

Mon-Fri 8am to 9pm • Sat & Sun 8am to 5pm Walk-in Medical Care Weekday Appointments Available • January 2018


An aerial photo of the Roche property facing Rt. 3 with Clifton in the near background.

The site’s future was not always optimistic. In 2009, in the throes of the Great Recession, Roche acquired Genentech and began moving executives and sales and marketing divisions to that company’s San Francisco location. The Clifton-Nutley site began operating as a shadow of its former self. Instead of a dominant workplace, it was once Clifton’s largest employer, just a 1,000 people worked there. By 2012, after nearly 100 years on the site, Roche announced it was leaving the area for good. However, with an improving economy, prospects for redevelopment improved. “Attracting a medical school was beyond what I even expected, said Clifton Mayor James Anzaldi. “It adds a lot of prestige to Clifton – people should be proud.” And it makes for a very attractive neighbor. For Clifton, there are 52 undeveloped acres on the campus, ready to yield good jobs and ratables producing tax dollars. In August, Modern Meadows, a bio-fabrication company, announced it was moving to the site.


January 2018 •

Modern Meadows uses design, biology, and engineering to produce the world’s first biofabricated leather materials. Quest Diagnostics and Ralph Lauren are also considering moving some operations to the site, and a major hotel is eyeing space on the property. Prism Capital Partners, the company that purchased the property in July 2016, has christened the development, “ON3,” saying the site “…represents New Jersey’s largest contemplated redevelopment right in the heart of the Northeast’s thriving life science corridor… ON3 hopes to serve as a showplace for the ‘new urbanist’ philosophy that is driving the suburban municipalities to redesign their downtowns and commercial corridors for 24/7 convenience living.” The State of New Jersey believes in the site’s future. The Grow New Jersey Assistance Program will provide hefty tax breaks to the prospective companies and has assisted the medical school with a $10 million grant and nearly $17 million in tax credits. And defining the medical school’s vision is its dean who aims to become an integral part of the surrounding communities. • January 2018


At left, Dr. Bonita Stanton chats with students; at right, Stanton in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in the mid-1980s working with residents and being filmed by an ABC 20/20 crew for a TV segment on her work.

Founding vision Dr. Bonita Stanton, 66, developed her inclusive approach to health care in a place far from the new medical school – the slums of Bangladesh. Charged with reducing diarrhea in the capital city of Dhaka, Stanton was responsible for educating volunteers on how to make an oral rehydration solution, who in turn would teach the residents. Stanton’s group served 50-plus communities – huts surrounding a courtyard set in the midst of garbage dumps. Childhood diarrhea was a frequent cause of death. “The volunteers had virtually no education,” Stanton said. “Not even second grade. But they were so intelligent. One day they asked, ‘Why are we just treating patients? Why aren’t we looking for the cause?’” Stanton prepared a long list of ways to prevent diarrhea. “They told me, ‘None of this is possible. We stand in line for two buckets of water. We can’t possibly do all this.’ But they did say some families had almost no diarrhea. “‘Why is this?’ they asked.” Using a grant, Stanton studied those families.


January 2018 •

“One good practice we found was to make sure the mother washed her hands before serving meals. It didn’t matter if she washed before she cooked – or even if her kids washed their hands – only if the mother washed before she set the food out. Another practice was not having food sit out on the ground next to animals as there was not much space there.” Stanton’s group staged an “educational intervention” and the rate of childhood diarrhea dropped. “We made an impact,” she said. “The volunteers were wonderful and never hopeless – so resilient, so optimistic, where does that come from? They had every reason to have given up but they didn’t. And I didn’t want to give up.” That resolve has always been part of her personality. Growing up in North Haven, Conn., a bedroom community of Yale University, Stanton lived in a neighborhood where each family had its own distinctive cowbell. “When it rang, we’d go running home,” she laughed. “Including our two dogs.” • January 2018


Belief in ON3 The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), through its Grow New Jersey Assistance Program, is supporting redevelopment efforts at the former Hoffman-LaRoche site. An independent state agency, the EDA is responsible for providing financing to small and mid-sized businesses, administering tax incentives to retain and grow jobs, revitalizing communities through redevelopment initiatives, and supporting entrepreneurial development by providing access to training and mentoring programs.

Here are some of the incentives: Seton Hall-Hackensack School of Medicine – $16.9 million in Grow NJ tax credits over 10 years; $10 million state grant. Private investment is approximately $55.1 million. Creation of more than 270 jobs is expected. Quest Diagnostics – $5.51 million in annual Grow NJ sales tax and use exemptions for 10 years. If approved, Quest Diagnostics will build 250,000 sq. ft. facility on vacant land on Darling Ave. in Clifton. Quest investment will be $207 million. Company will move 754 jobs from its Teterboro location and relocate an additional 384 jobs from other states. Median job wage: $54,000. Ralph Lauren – $3.3 million in annual Grow NJ sales and use tax exemptions for 10 years. Ralph Lauren would move into existing building space. Company investment will be $28.58 million. Ralph Lauren will retain 518 employees in New Jersey and add 250 positions. Median salary: $90,000. Modern Meadow – $32 million in Grow NJ tax credits. Modern Meadow will move from Brooklyn’s Sunset Park-area into existing building space. Company funding is $53.5 million to date. Expected to have 200 jobs on site by 2020.


January 2018 •

ON3’s Eugene Diaz and Councilman Steve Hatala.

As a student, Stanton wanted to become a doctor and a lawyer, and was accepted to Yale with a program tailored for her. “I imagined myself a prison doctor,” she said, “thinking I could help with prisoners’ lives as well. I don’t know what I was thinking. Youth is a wonderful time – so much to try.” Looking to complete medical school first, Stanton was in her second year when she fell in love with pediatrics. “There are still children from my residence whose names I remember, that I think about. I loved the interaction between doctors and patients. It was never abrasive, always joyful. It was how you imagined working as a doctor should be.” After stops in the Midwest, Maryland, and West Virginia – as well as work in Bangladesh, Africa, China and the Caribbean – Stanton became pediatrics chair and vice dean for research at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. In 2016, despite living close to her daughter Rebecca and three grandchildren (Stanton’s other daughter Margaret lives in Atlanta), she agreed to lead the Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian Graduate School of Medicine. “Certainly, leaving my grandchildren was tough, but I go back once a month,” she said. “I just couldn’t say no to this opportunity. It was a chance to start a new medical school – to design the vision, set up staffing, create an entire strategic plan and work with like-minded people. If the training goes well, it’s a chance to see what your graduates (55 doctors to start and increasing to 135) bring about.” • January 2018


Stanton believes in a New York Times reported holistic approach to health “unsightly water tanks will care – carefully observing be concealed in a beautiful and listening to patients, taktower” and the main building note of their environing’s entrance lobby “would ment and resources, and have Travertine stone walls enlisting different perspecand Terrazzo marble floors.” tives to devise a treatment During the next decade, plan. the property took on great “It’s so important’” significance. Stanton said, “for our stuOn June 22, 1941, the day dents to understand the comHitler and the Nazis invaded munity. How they treat peothe Soviet Union, Dr. Leo ple will vary tremendously Sternbach stepped off the by what is available – for Portuguese ocean liner, example, are there stores Serpa Pinta, in Jersey City. with healthy foods and parks He was one of the ship’s 700 to exercise in? We want our passengers fleeing WWII physicians to understand and one of many Hoffman what families are being LaRoche employees relocatexposed to and not being ing from the company’s exposed to.” headquarters in Basel, Stanton envisions each Switzerland. Company presmedical student being ident Dr. Emil C. Barell and Dr. Leo Sternbach with a Librium molecule model. Librium is the predecessor of Valium, which was assigned to three families – other scientists also moved once the most prescribed drug in the U.S. chosen initially through to the area. Catholic Charities and Important discoveries folHackensack Meridian’s networks – and working with a lowed. The Clifton-Nutley campus became known for team of nurses and therapists to devise treatment. She isoniazid to treat tuberculosis (which Barell sold at cost also sees the school being an active participant in the “for the benefit of mankind”); chemotherapy drugs to community. fight cancer; and Librium and Valium to fight anxiety – “People will see our students active in the school two drugs developed by Sternbach. In fact, Valium was system, on their own and by invitation, talking about the nation’s most prescribed drug from 1969 to 1982. health topics,” said Stanton. “How do we open doors? Sternbach tried every drug he developed on himself, We’ll talk with school boards, maybe develop possible saying Valium made him drowsy. The chemist prepipeline programs. I’m still thinking. It’s a work in ferred blended scotch as his drug of choice. progress.” The site, which once employed 10,000 people, was also home to the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology Land with a unique history and assisted with development with HIV protease Like today, there was tremendous optimism when inhibitors, used in the treatment of AIDS. Hoffman-LaRoche broke ground for its new U.S. headIn 2012 when Hoffman-LaRoche announced it was quarters Nov. 17, 1928. Having outgrown its New closing the campus, the loss was significant. York offices, the Clifton-Nutley property provided Nutley, a town of 28,000, would lose $9 million in room for Roche’s expansion, then known for its cough taxes; Clifton, a city of 84,000, would lose $5 million. syrup and vitamins. Councilman Steve Hatala said Clifton began preparing The contract to build the original four buildings was for Roche’s leaving after its purchase of Genentech, awarded to the John W. Ferguson Co. of Paterson. The setting aside funds to cushion the expected rev-


January 2018 • • January 2018


At left, Dr. Emil C Barell, chief executive of Hoffman-LaRoche from 1920 until 1953, was forced to relocate to New Jersey during WWII; at right, a Roche scientist at work.

enue loss from tax appeals on vacant buildings. While prospects for resale were likely on highway land just 13 miles from New York City, there needed to be the right mix of businesses to enhance and add to both municipalities. Moving ahead There’s a view from Clifton that’s unparalleled. Going east on Route 3, at the crest of a hill, New York City appears in all its magnificence, looking like the Emerald City of Oz. This path, this road, leads to the world’s capital, and on either side of this highway is a fine place to set up shop and do business. Gene Diaz knows this. As Prism’s founder, he has been responsible for the acquisition and capitalization of more than 14.5 million square feet of commercial real estate during his career. Diaz sees the site attracting a wide-array of high quality industries. “Clifton and Nutley saw what happened when you have a monolithic tenant,” he said. “You run the risk of losing everything with one (company). The same from an industry standpoint. If an industry goes south, and all your ties are to that industry, you suffer broadly.” Diaz appreciates the relationship built with the municipalities. “Both are responsive,” he said. “Our main goal has been stabilizing the campus by repopulating the existing buildings and creating a foundation for the campus.


January 2018 •

“Prism has asked and they do have a point – but not 500 units. We can’t have two companies move in with housing on the rest. However, some people on the site – doctors, professors and other professionals – are going to want to live near where they work. We’ll come back on a proposal for housing.” – Councilman Steve Hatala on the issue of housing on the ON3 project Beginning next year, we’ll start more open discussions with the municipalities about what else needs to be built to make this place truly a sustainable officeresearch campus that continues to attract the best companies out there.” Diaz does not feel big box stores are conducive to attracting high-quality, broad-based companies – a belief shared by Clifton’s Steve Hatala, head of the city’s Economic Development Committee for the past 20 years. “Big box stores and a trucking distributor expressed interest,” Hatala said, “but we said no way. We wanted companies that could provide Clifton residents with decent paying fulltime jobs with benefits. That was what we were looking for, not seasonal part-time retail jobs.” • January 2018


Another issue was the property’s cleanup. As of Nov. 23, 2017, Roche, working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, has completed soil remediation. Groundwater cleanup activities are underway. “Roche was very good to Nutley and Clifton,” said Hatala. “With some of the tax appeals, they didn’t go as deep as they could have. They paid for almost all of the cleanup on the property – work we would have been responsible for as well as taking down the outdated buildings. They didn’t want to leave with any kind of ill feeling toward Roche.”


January 2018 •

Big Possibilities While the medical school (“The lynchpin where everything springs from,” as Diaz described) is helping drive growth, both Prism and the municipalities have visions of how the property will ultimately look – visions that need to mesh during the development process. Clifton is sensitive to increased housing, congestion and competition to its existing malls. Prism believes housing and retail need to be part of a sustainable community. “Most planners would tell you it’s a necessity,” Diaz said. “If you don’t have a deep staple and base of retail and service, you don’t create a sense of place for people. There needs to be an appropriate inclusion of these necessities, and that’s what’s demanded by today’s companies in order to get a commitment from them to move into your community.” Hatala understands this. For the businesses moving into or considering the property, he realizes some limited retail is needed to service their employees. But any housing on the site needs to be carefully evaluated. “I haven’t voted for any housing in 20 years,” he said. “We can’t service the people we have now. I’m very concerned about the effect on School 8 if we allowed any type of major housings. “Prism has asked and they do have a point – but not 500 units. We can’t have two companies move in with housing on the rest. However, some people on the site – doctors, professors and other professionals – are going to want to live near where they work. We’ll come back on a proposal for housing.” “Ultimately,” Diaz said, “the town controls it. Our goal as a developer is to bring in the proper professionals and have them present the • January 2018


A unique “sky bridge” connects Building 123 to Building 102 at the former Hoffmann-La Roche campus. Modern Meadow will move into the triangular-shaped Building 102.

appropriate data to the municipalities so they can make appropriate decisions. We think if you’re forward thinking and giving thought to sustainability, stable and increasing tax revenue, (and consider) info coming out of academic world, a mix of uses is a requirement.” Anzaldi, Hatala and the rest of the City Council will consider all information. “Since this is a redevelopment project” Hatala said, “the Council has the authority. If four hands don’t go up, the proposal doesn’t pass.” While questions need to be worked out, the project’s optimism far outweighs any potential impasses. “For Clifton,” Hatala said, “it’s a huge win with all new construction. We were earning $5 million with just land – 52 percent goes to the school board, 25 percent to the municipality and 23 percent to the county.

With brand new buildings including parking garages, it can be another $2-3 million. That keeps taxes stable. “It also has a nice domino effect. High end clientele does not yield as much traffic. It will create a stable ratable, stable job base with a clean operation, for decades. And there’s no question having medical school within our confines will bring positive attention and attract middle class families into the area.” “We have the opportunity” said Diaz, “to create something unique and powerful, and we need to all keep an open mind to do what’s best.”

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Everyone talked about the cake. Lakeview Bakery’s Carlos Sontamba’s sweet artwork with a dozen photos of Clifton and its people became the talk of the sold out Centennial Banquet. The 400 attendees also went home with engraved bottles of wine thanks to Shoprite Wines & Spirits of Clifton, and, plenty of memories.


January 2018 • • January 2018


A third generation volunteer, Theresa Bivaletz is truly altruistic, and shows that a little caring can make a big impact in the everyday.

By Anthony Buccino

Top, Theresa at the 100th anniversary banquet with Grandma Phyllis Bivaletz who got her involved in the social and political doings of their hometown.


Some 25 years ago, 10-year-old Theresa A. Bivaletz was part of Clifton’s 75th anniversary thanks to a mentor who’s still an active volunteer today. She recalls how her grandmother contributed time and enthusiasm in 1992 to be on the comittee that planned year long events to celebrate the city’s 75th. So when the call went out for volunteers for Clifton’s Centennial in 2017, Theresa signed up to help—and so did ‘Grandma Biv’. Pitching in and being involved is a family thing. Grandmother Phyllis Bivaletz, was “definitely instrumental in getting me involved with politics and the community. She made sure that I was registered to vote before I turned 18. She also helped me when I had to complete community service projects during Sunday school. I remember packing and carrying bags of food for the food drive that city hall used to have years ago. She was always out and about going to meetings for the city and other things she was involved with.” The thirty-something social worker explained why focused community service is important to up and comers like herself. It’s not signing up to do a million things, “as an individual you don’t have to build houses for the homeless. You can start on a smaller scale.”

January 2018 •


d • January 2018


As part of the Clifton Centennial committee, Bivaletz, found she could do little things, some behind the scenes, social media work, even planning trips, without an enormous commitment of time. While giving back to the community, she learned more about her hometown. One thing she learned was how many Clifton families had been in town for generations, “some before it was Clifton.” Bivaletz also enjoyed when folks her parents’ age told of growing up in mid-century Clifton. “All those generations stayed in Clifton … and it may have stopped a bit with my generation,” she lamented. “My generation always seems ready to move – not just in Clifton, all over, my generation is ready to move.” She is heartened, she says, of several classmates – from School 11, Christopher Columbus Middle School and Clifton High School where she graduated from in 2000 – who stayed in town and are raising families here. Her parents, Steve and Barbara, aren’t going anywhere. They live in the Lakeview house her dad moved to when he was five years old and where Bivaletz and her two brothers, Steven and Eddie, were raised. Of her parents, she says they’re “pretty comfortable where they are. Their children are close enough to visit and they like their neighbors.” Bivaletz looks back favorably on growing up in Clifton. “When I went to shop, it was to buy from familiar faces. My friends and I enjoyed the restaurants and bars, and our location is accessible to come visit, and to go into the city or down the shore.” “Some parts of town are being forgotten.” Bivaletz said, “All of Clifton is important, even the parts that might not look as they did 20 years ago. They are still part of our city. They should all be treated the same.”

Bivaletz volunteer work does not end in Clifton. She was named North Jersey Big Sister of the Year for 2016 for her years of mentoring. “My little sister is 13 and we have been together since she was 7. Any opportunity I can get to talk about this great organization and encourage others to donate or be a Big themselves, I will.” Find out more at Where does Bivaletz get her inspiration? “I can credit my mom with instilling that foundation in me. My mom can do anything and never let anything stop her. My maternal grandmother Mary Zak also showed me what it meant to be a loving yet independent, strong woman,” Bivaletz added. “She worked from age 16 until she was in her 80s in the same lampshade factory. Even with a working husband, she didn’t conform to the stereotypical trope of a 50’s housewife. She went right back to work after having children.” As far as her full time employment, Bivaletz is the Campus Victim Services Coordinator at William Paterson University. She works with survivors helping them to connect to resources, get through the legal process and, most importantly, the healing process. “I got involved with domestic violence advocacy as a volunteer first back in 2005, with the Clifton Domestic Violence Response Team. That’s how I ended up working in the field I do now. I had always been passionate about women’s issues, and equality, but wanted to do more about it, so I did.” Whether it’s volunteering for the centennial, mentoring a little sister through her teenage years or helping a university and its students dealing honestly and frankly with domestic violence, Theresa Bivaletz does it all with her heart and soul.

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January 2018 •




a • January 2018


“No other town can boast the love and diversity of Clifton,” said Nick Surgent. “It means something special to be part of this community...”

By Anthony Buccino

“I’m not going anywhere.” Nick Surgent’s family has lived in Clifton for more than 100 years. “I’m here to help out. I love Clifton. It’s the town that I love. It’s given me everything and it’s time to give back.” The 24-year-old financial reporter who recently ran for state office is not shy about his name showing up on a future ballot box. While working at a recreation center during his undergrad years at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Surgent found himself “helping people where the government failed to do enough, where the government wasn’t helping.” He said he feels the role of government is to hear the needs of residents and address their concerns. “I felt like their voice wasn’t always heard,” he said, reflecting on his work experience in Philadelphia. Returning home, Surgent said, “I want to make sure everyone in Clifton has a voice. I want to make sure the young generation, the next generation has its voice and sends someone into office to fight for them at all times. “You do need change,” from entrenched politics and doing things the same way, “you do need fresh blood.” A young Yankees baseball fan, Surgent was computing batting averages and other team statistics before he learned division at School 15. In CHS, and at Drexel University, the numbers maintained their appeal. “Running for the New Jersey General Assembly in November was a tremendous experience,” he explained. “I learned about all of the unique issues facing our city like property taxes and school funding. Solving issues like these are critical as we continue to build a brighter future for the next generations. I also met plenty of people and made friends during the process.” He is looking forward to running for office again in the future. “There are people to be helped.”


January 2018 •

Citing city activist Joe Canova’s efforts to raise awareness of what he said is the state short-changing the city on municipal aid, Surgent added: “As more and more awareness gets out there, more and more people want to get involved. It’s not a fight that’s going to end soon, we’re going to fight (the state) until we get full funding. We only get 35% of what we should get from the state. That puts the burden on homeowners.” His state seat campaign proved to be a learning experience, Surgent recalled. “Everyone has a unique story and it adds a fresh perspective to all the issues. As our leaders gather and work to resolve the issues pressing us, it’s important to take a little part of every one and create a solution that benefits us all. Most importantly though, I came to realize that the only way to create positive change is by working together and not against each other. I look forward to continuing that momentum and helping our city in any way possible.”

m • January 2018


Surgent, who ran as a Republican for the Assembly, says, “I didn’t run because of my political leanings, I ran because I’m a concerned Cliftonite who wants to help our city.” He recalled that in 2011 when he graduated CHS “I sat in those classrooms on 95 degree days without air conditioning and a $50 million budget shortfall. I can relate to the struggles our current students face. “I’d like to think I’m branded by the enthusiasm and passion I show for our city. We need a voice that will be heard and will keep fighting for us and our future.” Surgent says he’s fortunate to have “a supportive family, great friends, and a job that I enjoy. The city of Clifton has given all of that (opportunity) to me and I feel the responsibility to give back and help others.”


January 2018 •

As Clifton enters its second century, Surgent says, “I think it’s vital for the next generation to get more involved in our town.” While Clifton is one of New Jersey’s 10 largest cities, it is “really a close, tight-knit community that cares.” Despite its size, it maintains that “small town feel,” that sense of community. “Although the world around us is divided, the opposite is true for Clifton. No matter the occasion, the people of Clifton always come together as one. I have seen it first-hand. The town gathered to collect for the victims of the year’s most devastating hurricanes and to pray for those lost in the tragic Las Vegas shootings. “Groups of all kinds and all backgrounds are celebrated at City Hall with different flag-raising ceremonies. No other town can boast the love and diversity of Clifton. It means something special to be part of this community, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.” Some people may long for the Clifton of 100 years ago with its factories, farms, and fields. But Surgent is looking from this point forward, this is “The only Clifton I really know, with all the retail and development. At the end of the day, it’s significant for our town because it creates jobs, increases tax revenue. People shop small in Clifton – there are so many great small businesses, jewelers, restaurants and the like, it’s a great opportunity for our town to stay connected and support one another.” Mary and Wasko Surgent settled in Botany Village more than 100 years ago and it’s their great-grandson, Nick, taking the mantle to lead his beloved town to its next centennial. In the next 100 years “Clifton is going to be a town that always cares for its people. That will never change,” Surgent concluded, adding: “It’s time to let the next generation to begin to lead the way, to get more involved. Now is the time to rally the troops.”



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“I really don’t like attention,” said Ahmad Hamdeh. “My goal is to be effective in the career I’m in… I want to work hard and do the right thing.”

By Patricia Alex Being the newest and youngest vice principal at one of the state’s largest and most diverse high schools could be overwhelming, but not for one Mustang who appreciates what the place is all about. “If you’re not from Clifton CHS can be intimidating, but if you’re from here it’s a piece of cake,” said Ahmad Hamdeh, who became vice-principal of the South Wing this past October. “I felt like I never left, it was an easy transition.” In fact, Hamdeh wasn’t gone that long. He graduated CHS in 2008 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2011. He returned to CHS in the fall of that year to teach biology. He loved teaching, and students said he felt he had a gift for it. But Hamdeh also was intrigued by other opportunities at the school. He went on to earn a master’s degree in educational leadership from Montclair State University. At 28, he is one of the younger administrators in the district. “He’s a very dedicated young man, very diligent,” said CHS Principal Michael Doktor, who also is an alumnus, graduating in 1995. “He’s eager to jump right in and be involved. He’s a bit of a perfectionist and works very hard.”


January 2018 •

Hamdeh demurs, saying he feels lucky and blessed to have gotten a job he loves at his alma mater. He is one of five vice principals at the school. He credits Doktor with being a mentor and says the high school is undergoing a “renaissance” under the principal’s leadership. “I’ve learned a lot from him and continue to learn from him,” Hamdeh said. “With him and the other vice principals in the school it’s a great support system…You can see CHS is on a positive trajectory, I think most staff and students would agree as well.” Doktor said it’s a bonus that Hamdeh, who is a Muslim and a Palestinian-American, speaks fluent Arabic - a plus in a school with many students from Middle-Eastern backgrounds. Just over half of students at CHS now come from homes were a language other than English is most often spoken, according to recent figures compiled by the state education department. More than a third of students speak Spanish at home and almost 6.5 percent come from homes where Arabic is the primary language. The Latino and Middle-Eastern communities continue to grow in the city and that trend is certainly reflected in the students and adminstration at CHS. • January 2018


CHS Vice Principal for the North Wing Luis Ros speaks Spanish. Now, with the addition of Hamdeh, the administration better reflects the diversity of the community. In 2016 Fahim Abedrabbo, became the first Muslim Palestinian-American elected to the city school board. Like Hamdeh, he is a product of Clifton schools. Abedrabbo said Hamdeh’s high-profile leadership spot at Clifton High is important, providing both a voice and an example for the community. “It’s a great thing, he’s a role model and a leader,” Abedrabbo said. “It gives kids the opportunity to see


January 2018 •

that ‘if he can do it I can do it.’ People can recognize themselves in him. And he opens up a pipeline for future leaders.” Hamdeh is aware of his role as a “first,” and hopes he can play a vital role for the community. But he’s not really one for the limelight. “I really don’t like attention,” he says. “My goal is to be effective in the career I’m in…I want to work hard and do the right thing.” Hamdeh was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson and his family lived on Grace Ave. off Main St. near the city’s border with Passaic until he was six years old. In 1995, the family moved to a small town outside of Ramallah on the West Bank. His parents made the decision to return to Clifton in 2001, in large part for the educational opportunities it could provide their children. “Education has always been an important part of my life because my parents emphasized it tremendously,” said Hamdeh, who attended both the city’s middle schools. “They moved the entire family from one country to another in order to offer us the best education possible.” Hamdeh’s brother Yousef is an anesthesiologist in Cleveland; his sisters also have done well: Maha teaches mathematics at Montclair State University and Aulla is an engineering student at NJIT. “We came back from the West Bank around 9-11 and I was thankful to be in such a diverse city,” said Hamdeh, referring to the fact that his family suffered none of the backlash experienced by Muslims elsewhere following the World Trade Center attack. Hamdeh’s wife is also a CHS graduate, but the pair barely knew each other in high school. They have settled, with their three-year old son, in a home they bought in Downtown Clifton. “My family is here, my friends are here. It’s just so convenient; and it’s just home,” Hamdeh said simply.

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“I want to help people,” said the first generation Peruvian-American. “I want to make America the best country in the world.”

By Anthony Buccino Daron D. Vasquez wants to be President of the United States. The 20-year-old first-generation American wants to create positive change in the world and he sees civic engagement as the way to do it. “I want to help people. Politics is a way to help people.” Now completing his business management degree at Montclair State and with sights set on early graduation and a leap into the MBA program, Vasquez is keeping his eye, and options, on local politics. During summers and other school breaks, you’ll likely find him in the council chambers or attending a school board meetings. “I always find those meetings interesting,” he said. “It’s our city at work,” he said. “People my age don’t pay attention. They see it as unfashionable.” Vasquez has his eye on a seat on the city council or some other local public office in the not too distant future. “People have to realize that the government that affects us most is local. That’s the government that affects schools, zoning, variances, and that’s the closest form of government we have.” Although he’s a frequent visitor at city meetings, he says that when some elected officials see him seated as the usual group of so called gadflies file in, they ask, “What are you doing here.” They should know he’s looking for their job. Vasquez sees himself as an independent when it comes to politics, but says he leans to the left. He says both major parties are too extreme for him. They need to find middle ground. “People are not always one extreme.” As an independent he says he can “put country over party.” While attending Christopher Columbus Middle School, Vasquez developed a driving interest in Clifton history. He checked out the town’s web site and learned the history of Acquackanonk Township. Then later, he


January 2018 •

found himself involved in the town’s Centennial celebration. “I loved learning about Clifton history and also being part of it for one year.” A hundred years ago, Vasquez learned, people were hesitant to change from Acquackanonk to Clifton. The vote was almost a 50/50 split, he notes. “Even though you’re not ready for change, change will come. And change might be the best thing for you. After 100 years, Clifton is still going strong.” He grew up in Lakeview and attended Schools 12 and 17, CCMS and graduated CHS in 2015. After high school he did what few other fresh-out-ofhigh-school grads do—he studied for and earned his real estate license. He works at Keller Williams Team Realty and is mentored by Realtor Deborah L. Rivera.

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Learning to be a better test taker, and making the grade, so to speak, became something of a life lesson. “I never worried about grade point averages in high school until I was rejected by my dream colleges. I realized I can’t live life on autopilot.” He attended Berkeley College for a year and made the President’s List and the Dean’s List. “I always want to do well in school,” he said. He then transferred to Montclair State University, his dream college, where he’s majoring in business administration. He’s taken the maximum credits possible and expects to graduate a year early. He hopes those achievements will get him accepted into the MBA program. Daron is the son of Rocio and David, and has a brother Alexander. He and Alex are first-generation American. His family is from Peru. He’s been to visit his mom’s family in the capital, Lima, and his dad’s family in Chiclayo, which was founded in 1835. When he was a boy, his parents owned a dry cleaning business on Lexington Ave. He would settle in behind the cash register and pretend to run the business. “Clifton is the only place I consider home. It’s the only place I want to live.” Vasquez is active in the Peruvian community in Clifton, Paterson, and surrounding areas. “Being

To Dr. Edward Dominguez—Dr. Paternoster’s associate for the past year and who has joined the practice full time—dentistry is a blend of art and science. “Every shape, color, form and angle of restoring a tooth is another part of the journey we experience as dentists,” said Dr. Dominguez.


January 2018 •

Peruvian-American, I want to help out both sides. I want to help out the community where I was born.” He wants to see Clifton bridge the gap into the new age and be run more like the large city it is. “I’m always going to be involved in Clifton. I’ll always do my best to keep the town progressing. I grew up in this town. I love this town.” Vasquez likes that the mayor, council and other leaders are approachable. “It’s good to a have a connection to people in office. If people love the city, they’ll always be able to connect to the city, to the community.” The Centennial celebration got a lot of different groups involved and Vasquez said he would like to see more city-wide community activities in the future. “I always seem to go into things, politics, for instance, other young people don’t.” For fun, Vasquez enjoys being with his friends, volunteering and reading books. Lately, he’s reading a book about Bobby Kennedy. “He was a ruthless politician,” Daron reports, “but he really cared about people.” Vasquez is serious about becoming President of the United States. “I really want to create positive change in the world. I want to help people. I want to make America the best country in the world.”

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For decades, folks have know him as a skilled woodworking craftsman. Soon, he’s putting down the tools and picking up his trumpet.

From CHS football crowds to intimate restaurant settings to being alone in his music studio, Ralph Davella for decades has played with intensity and style. If you hear New Orleans style jazz trumpet notes this new year, double-check the source—that could be Ralph Davella’s talent in the winter wind. Growing up on Piaget Ave., Davella would practice on the trumpet for hours each day – somewhat surprisingly, to the delight of his neighbors. “The neighbors were so kind; they asked me to open the windows while I was practicing. They wanted to hear me play,” Davella said, shaking his head in wonder. “Even before I was any good. Even then, I knew that was unusual.” Davella’s trumpet playing may be better than ever today, but his neighbors on Conklin Drive behind Fette Ford needn’t fret. “I keep the windows closed; that was a different day and era,” Davella said.

Ralph Davella Got Chops.


January 2018 •

Performing at his daughter’s wedding in New Orleans.

He still plays the only trumpet he’s ever owned, produced in 1956, “the same year I was born,” Davella noted – and like many a fine musical instrument the trumpet shows both the wear of constant use and the patina of an object nurtured and cared for over several decades.




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Big names, broad impact In fifth grade, Ralph began taking trumpet lessons with Clifton school teacher Jerry Longo, a “great trumpet player. At age 15 he sent me to New York to study with world renowned trumpet teacher Carmine Caruso, who Longo knew very well; Mr. Longo convinced [Caruso] to take me on as a student. Caruso’s tutelage included an unexpected bonus: introductions and access to famous musicians, some of whom were seeking their own counsel from Caruso, which surprised Davella. “Players like Doc Severinsen, the leader of The Tonight Show band, and Herb Alpert, who at the time had songs on the hit charts with his group The Tijuana Brass. Carmine would often listen to them play for a minute, then give them something to practice, helping them get back to playing correctly,” Davella marveled. “It seemed like magic.” More magic, or at least good fortune, was in store. “Just before my 18th birthday, I was sitting watching Carmine Caruso give trumpet lessons,” Davella said. “Bandleader Stan Kenton walked into the studio and told him he would be putting together another big band and he would like a young trumpet player to just do a little backup and to play some high notes. Carmine pointed to me and said, ‘Take him.’ ” With Davella’s parents giving their approval, “In the late 1970s I was fortunate to play with the Stan Kenton Orchestra a few times. Kenton passed away at the end of the ‘70s.

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January 2018 •

Ralph with Chris Clifton who was an early protege of Louie Armstrong. “Chris is one of the last originals still playing in New Orleans,” said Ralph. At left, that’s Ralph back in 1970 in the Christopher Columbus Middle School Band.

Davella also studied under jazz musician and author Emile DeCosmo at DeCosmo’s North Bergen studio. DeCosmo’s approach to study, which included the Polytonal Rhythm Series, “really made you learn your instrument,” Davella stressed. Also counseling Davella: Trumpeter Jimmy Maxwell, who performed portions of the musical score for The Godfather movie series. “He plays one song so slowly, in a way nobody else can do. That’s talent,” Davella declared. “It’s not, and shouldn’t be, only how quickly you can play.” Family influences A family-wide interest in music gave Ralph an early start. “At a very young age I would hear my brother Ernie practicing classical music, many times from 8 in the morning to 10 at night.”





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From left: Jamie, Lauryn, Ralph, Matt, Barbara and grandchildren Isabella and Jaxson.

And per the old saw about how one gets to Carnegie Hall (answer: Practice), Ernie Davella, oldest of five children, made it happen. “When he made his piano debut in Carnegie Hall, the New York Times wrote a very nice review,” Ralph Davella recalled. “One review said he had the best debut at Carnegie Hall since [Arthur] Rubinstein. I was pretty proud of him. “Although he passed away at a young age, I realized his influence of practicing tireless hours is where I got my trumpet-practicing ethic from,” he mused. Over lunch last month at the Tick Tock Diner, Davella added, “I still practice four hours a day, something I’ve never skipped, even when I was working in construction.” Now retired (at least from his day job), Davella says meeting that four-hour demand is easier to do. “But I still want to be good,” he asserted. Ernie wasn’t the only sibling influence. “I started playing trumpet at age 5; my brother Frankie played the trumpet and, when he was not home, I would play on his trumpet,” Davella said, smiling. Putting the hammer down Like many musicians – even very talented ones like Davella – he had a day job. “I would work growing up with some of my family members who were in the construction business,” Davella recounted, “mostly tiling and remodeling bathrooms and kitchens. That is how I learned the construction business, and [it] gave me the foundation to make a career out of construction.”


January 2018 •

It became quite a career, with Davella specializing in remodeling kitchens and bathrooms. Hoboken’s renovation wave during the past 20 years offered numerous opportunities for Davella’s deft touch, with brownstone buildings begging for attention – at a pretty price. “I’ve done some crazy high-end kitchens,” Davella said. Work totaling $200,000 was “not unheard of.” But Davella’s lucrative career has carried a price. Ralph plans a phased retirement from the remodeling business. “I’m 61 now,” he said. “I hope to be out of it by age 63 and into music full time. [My work career] may last a year or two longer, but I’m definitely phasing out.” The work has been punishing, with Davella developing back problems; “I had back surgery, issues like that. I always wanted to retire into music.” Ready to play today Davella stressed that fame and fortune aren’t part of the plan; “I just want to be a player that fits in somewhere.” He enjoys local performances for senior citizens groups and, in the past, for weddings, including his daughter Lauren’s wedding held in New Orleans. Indeed, Davella reserves New Orleans for his only regular road trip, usually once per year, where he said he was “privileged” to sit in with old friends at various city venues. Often, he shares the stage backing up Chris Clifton, a New Orleans-based trumpet player, “who was a young kid who grew up with Louis Armstrong and became Armstong’s protégé. Chris holds the fort down for [the memory of] Louis Armstrong in New Orleans.”

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For his part, back home in Clifton and vicinity, “I do a lot of Louie Armstrong in my shows” as a way to preserve Armstrong’s legacy in New Jersey. Not that Jerseyans have forgotten the legendary Armstrong; “once the audience knows what I play, they often request his tunes,” Davella said. Davella himself keeps up with various musical styles, mostly jazz-related, including Dixieland and zydeco, the latter including homemade instruments such as the washboard (or “rubboard”). Both styles are still New Orleans staples, particularly during festival events. He stressed that having favorites doesn’t preclude him from listening to other music genres and styles outside of jazz. “I like to think I have a fairly open mind musically,” he offered. Excepting New Orleans, Davella today makes almost all of his musical appearances in local venues, whether playing for customers in an East Rutherford restaurant or for students in Montclair, and he explains why in simple terms. “I don’t want to stay up late anymore,” he said. “Even just playing on weekends takes away time I can spend with my family.”


January 2018 •

Ralph showing off his chops a few years back.

Mustang (musical and sporting) pride The Davella family carries on its own musical tradition hand in hand with the city of Clifton, something that Ralph Davella is delighted with. “I’m a Mustang,” he said with pride. He’s not alone. Wife Barbara (Ossi) Davella (CHS 1974) had the honor of serving as the Marching Mustangs Drum Majorette in 1974, and introduced baton twirling into the Mustang on field performances. Daughter Lauryn (CHS 2004), now a music teacher in New Orleans, followed her mother’s lead, and also served as Drum Majorette for the Marching Mustangs during her senior year. Lauryn played clarinet, and in fact was an All-State clarinet player, her father said. Daughter Jamie (CHS 2002) played saxophone for the Mustangs for two years—while also on the Lady Mustangs softball team for four years. Son Matthew (CHS 2008) was the relatively nonmusical offspring, opting for football and was on the NJ State Championship team in 2006. He also wrestled and played lacrosse during his Clifton high school days. Matthew followed a different set of his father’s footsteps through CHS sports, since Ralph for two years was both a football player and Marching Mustang, or so he claims... “I was the only person in history who went to marching band practice with a football uniform on,” Davella says with a twinkle in his eye at the half truth. For 2018, Ralph Davella is looking forward to some changes in his workday. Football is in the past; remodeling work may soon be a fond memory. He’ll be putting down that hammer and tools and picking up his trumpet. Ralph Davella got chops, indeed.

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Faces you may have seen in 2017, from left, Alicia Mazepa and Carlos Polanco. Below left: Bill Van Eck, Michelle Petrasek and Pat Meyer.

Former Secretary of State – and Vietnam veteran – John Kerry on Oct. 11 visited the VFW Post 7165 on Valley Rd. and joined Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy, and Murphy’s running mate Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, to discuss veterans’ issues. At right, 2017 CHS Hall of Famer Deanna Giordano showing her softball form in 2007.

Judith Schumacher at a fundraiser for Camp Hope. Ideal Marketplace at the 2017 Taste of Clifton fundraiser.


January 2018 •

On Sept. 10 at the Boys & Girls Club Car Show, Joe Piscopo, John Fette and Bob Foster. On March 5, Adam Levine of Maroon 5 invited Bryan Cammerino (CHS 2016) on stage in Rochester as the Cliftonite sang in American Sign Language. From cultivating worms and hanging clothes on a line to dry as well as all forms of recycling, Al DuBois met with CHS students on Feb. 24 to tell more about the environment and recycling efforts More details can be found at or call 973-470-2237.

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On his way to the CHS Prom on June 15—and eventually as the 2017 National B&G Club Youth of the Year—Carlos Polanco visited a reception at the Cuellar Family Market ShopRite Wines & Liquors of Clifton on Paulison Ave. to say thanks and share details about his journey to the national honor.

The firefighters of Clifton FMBA 21 completed their 9th Coat Drive at six firehouses and delivered over 200 new items to St. Peter’s Haven on Clifton Ave. on Dec. 2. On Sept. 29, 80 employees of ImageFirst on Kuller Rd. partnered with the Athenia Business Association and the Power of One for a Beautification Day on Van Houten Ave..


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Kindness was found all over Clifton, as this 5th grader at School 13 showed.

On March 10, School 1 students on Park Slope participated in The Great Kindness Challenge spreading good will in their neighborhood. Below, James Fusaro, hockey coach Tom Danko, Fusaro’s grandfather Marty Neville and mom Maureen. The CHS sophomore was named NJ Devils HS Hockey Player of the Month in February.

Every town wishes it had a sports historian and fan like the legendary Lou Poles. Clifton’s sports authority could easily recall members of the 1949 CHS baseball team as well as kids on the 1994 Mustang wrestling squad. He was the go to source for any fact about the Fighting Mustangs. Marius Louis Poles Jr., 82, passed away on Dec. 9, and will be missed by many. • January 2018


January 2017

in Review

The 2017 economic outlook was full speed ahead for Clifton Savings Bank’s CEO Paul Aguggia as he told of expansion, customer service and the introduction of the moniker CSBK. Bankers Ed Kurbansade of Spencer Savings and Gerry Lipkin of Valley National also spoke to positive trends for 2017. Kevin Slavin of St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center told of plans to celebrate the hospital’s origins 150 years ago. Developments on the former Roche site were outlined by Dr. Bonita Stanton, founding dean for Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. City Manager Dominick ‘Nick’ Villano addressed the city’s finances and infrastructure. We recalled former Fighting Mustang Ray ‘Ditch’ Malavasi, CHS ‘48, who carried the dreams of every Mustang player with him when he coached the LA Rams in the 1980 Super Bowl.

Some CSBK officers in 2016: Bart D’Ambra, Chief Operating Officer, Linda Fisher, Senior Loan Officer, Rich Bzdek, Enterprise Risk Manager, Tricia Hrotko, Chief Revenue Officer, Steve Hoogerhyde, Chief Lending Officer.

City Manager Nick Villano; Gerry Lipkin of Valley National Bank; Edward Kurbansade, Jr. of Spencer Savings Bank; Jack Shannon of Montclair State; Kevin Slavin of St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center; and former Mustang and 1980 LA Rams Super Bowl coach Ray Malavasi.


January 2018 •

Pat DeLora of Deluxe Cleaners (at left) with BDE’s Derick Murray, owner Bill Rooney, and Steve Bello. Clifton’s BDE Computer Services specializes in installing and managing computer systems in businesses of all sizes.

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February 2017

in Review

Love...a splendid thing in Clifton during February. As we have done for over a decade—and will do next month (it is still not too late: suggest a couple!)—we shared the love stories of Cliftonites, some of whom are pictured below. Among them: Nick Panchame who joined Homes Brewery in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as head brewer. Readers also met Ellis Berger and his wife Ronnie and kids. Berger was the driving force behind the year long Centennial music series. Members of the United Reform Church of Clifton and Passaic on Clifton Ave. celebrated their 125th anniversary. Meet Educate Entertain the Town, is the premise behind Meet Clifton, hosted by Ray Grabowski on Channel 77. Cancer survivor Bill Gibson was the speaker at the 2017 Relay for Life Kickoff. Our 2017 map featured 251 covers of Clifton Merchant, the total since our founding in 1995. Couples Joe and Margie Puskas, Rebecca Potocki and Kevin Delcalzo, Richard Mateo and Alyssa DeLiberto, Megan and Nick Panchame. Below, Stacey, Michael, Ellen and Stephen Corbo.

Richard Pitts, CHS ‘59, had a homecoming with the addition of his works Minos and Conestoga to the Sculpture Park and a dispaly of his sculpture and art at the Clifton Arts Center. With lots of yes, please and thank yous, School 13 students kept the kindness campaign going last year, another facet of the yearlong Clifton Centennial.


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March 2017

in Review

The job description may be for a part-timer but for the past for 26 years Jimmy Anzaldi has put in his own time-and-a-half style a Clifton’s mayor. Our feature detailed Anzaldi’s evolution as a city leader, beginning with his civic engagement in the 1970’s. We also met with Jean Valkenburg, the loving caretaker of her Allwood Rd. home dating from 1705. Mike Duch of Homemade Pirogis on Main Ave. had a previous life which included seeing the world and working with celebrities as a cruise ship photographer. Jackie Licata-Alectoris and Jane Maffucci of Botany Village’s Rainbow Montessori School announced plans to restore its elementary program. Municipal Recycling Coordinator Al DuBois is quick to share the accolades with his hard working employees, but his leadership is one big reason Clifton’s recycling efforts stands out nationally.

Clifton’s Recycling Program, under the leadership of Al DuBois, has reached new levels of source reduction and DuBois credits his employees. Kevin Colavitti, left, and Steve Rodrigues said they are part of a team effort making their hometown cleaner. “We take pride in Clifton Recycling,” said Colavitti. Above right, Danny Prendergast (CHS 2005) with Willie Smith, added: “We’re making a difference. We take pride in our community and the environment.”

Dennis John Benigno as a CHS sophomore in 1984 and in 2017 with his parents Dennis and Rosalind. His parents have cared for Dennis in their Hazel St. home since an accident which left him brain-injured. Rainbow Montessori’s Jackie Licata-Alectoridis and Jane Maffucci. Clifton’s pirogi man Michael Duch with America’s Rhinestone Cowboy, Glen Campbell, a guest on the Mississippi Queen.


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April 2017

in Review

Clifton, the first 100 years! Why it matters and how we got here, an essay bu Jack DeVries, told of how Clifton evolved over the decades. We created a 132 page keepsake edition to mark the 100th birthday of Clifton, which was incorporated as city on April 26, 1917. Our cover story told of a 1958 cross country bicycle journey by Claridel ‘Pudge’ Kinney and Ann Ward which began in Lakeview. We tracked down the gals in Oregon and you’ll find their today photos on the next page. Our April magazine continued our Clifton timeline, covering the 1980s with photos (some again on this page and the next) and short stories. From the opening of the new city hall in 1980, to Shulton Week in 1984, to the 1987 Morris Canal park dedication, to the 1989 groundbreaking for the Main Memorial Library, we packed a lot of history into that edition.

Our April pages reintroducded, from top left: William M. Scott, Anna Latteri, Jon Seda, Babe Ruth, Nina Arianda, Les Herrschaft, Ed Looney, Hooks Brower, Gloria Kolodziej, Elizabeth Taylor, Dr. Angelo Paternoster and Frankie Randall.

At the 2003 dedication of Joseph Grecco Athletic Field, from left: Ken Kurnath and Bob Pityo, Dick Moran, Tom Tiefenbacher, Boby Boettcher, Lou Poles, Joe Grecco, Bill Vander Closter, Jim Haraka, Bob Amoruso, and Tom Papa. At right, that’s Richfield Village mailman Joe DeLiberto who retired on n June 25, 1986 after 30 years on the same route.


January 2018 • • January 2018


April 2017

in Review

Claridel Kinney, Ann Louise Ward. Steve Dudiak, Walter Pruiksma, Henry Fette, John Samra, Michael Yury Tarlavsky. Above, Rowe Manse Emporium in Styertowne. At right, covers from our Clifton History timelines by decade.

Above, in 2000, Hot Grill owners Carmen LaMendola and Domenick Sportelli with Congressman Bill Pascrell at center. At left, Mustang Band Director Bob Morgan.

Erin Monahan, and Bill Bate, Louise Friedman.


January 2018 • • January 2018


May 2017

in Review

CHS students Carlos Polanco, Andrea Rojas and Hiral Shah have ambitious plans for themselves and their hometown, as we share the stories of Clifton’s next generation of leaders. We also told the life story of Sarah Lombardo, the now 90 year old friendly voice you heard when you called city hall. For 43 years until 1992, she was the switchboard operator, and heard about city business and social shenanigans for four decades. Karin Korb didn’t allow a broken back in her junior year at CHS 33 years ago to define her life. Looking back, she wouldn’t change a thing, “life has been very good to me.” Centennial committee members unveiled the contents of a capsule buried in Jubilee Park 50 years earlier. It included a note written in 1967 from then-Mayor Joseph Vanecek and was read by his daughters to the public in 2017. For Memorial Day, we list the 300+ names of Cliftonites who died in military service, from WWI to Iraq.

Tom Buckley of Muscle Maker Grill and Kevin O’Neil of Clifton IHOP were among the vendors who turned out for the Clifton City Employees Health Fair on May 11 at City Hall. Sharing stories on our pages: Sarah Lombardo, the voice of Clifton, Rich Deska and Terry Russo-Hudak. Former Mayor Jerry Zecker helped open the time capsule.

At left, young patriots and their mom after the May 29 Memorial Day services at the American Legion Post 347 on Main Ave. Above, aboard the Theater League of Clifton's float near the Clif in the May 21 Centennial Parade. Farewell to the Egg Platter on Crooks Ave. which closed May 31.


January 2018 • • January 2018


June 2017

in Review

2017 was a Great Year to be a Mustang. First the hopes and dreams of the 2017 Clifton grads from CHS, Passaic County Technical Institute, Paramus Catholic, St. Mary’s and other private and public high schools are shared on our pages. Then there was the Clifton Centennial Parade. And while it all began at Clifton and Colfax Aves. on May 21, the pages of photos we published in June brought hometown pride to all. In total, the parade featured 12 bands, 33 floats, dozens of organizations, and thousands of spectators for one special day. Residents from 16 Clifton neighborhoods met along the route to witness the history. Maestro Keith Oakley did it again a week later with a Memorial Day tribute at the War Monument on Main Avenue to honor those Cliftonites who died in service during WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq.

Amani Shamroukh, Carlos Taborda, Sarahi Mercado, Darwin Matos, Christina Thomas, Josh Smith, Ashley Myers, Andy Culque, Danya Mahmoud, Jose Calixto, Victoria Soltys and Nicholas Moncada, Leslie Retamozo.

The NJ Special Olympics torch relay made its way through Clifton on June 9, pictured above, as part of the 750 miles it travels on its way to The College of New Jersey. Left, Clifton’s June 10 Relay for Life raised more than $65,000 to fund research by the American Cancer Society to fight the disease. Sixty cancer survivors celebrated their triumph over the disease by walking in the Survivors’ Lap to kick off the Relay.


January 2018 • • January 2018


July 2017









in Review

Where are they now? We connected with Mustangs who graduated CHS in 1957, 1967, 1977, 1987, 1997 and 2007. We found authors, actors, drummers, rock bank leaders, softball champs and a Clifton religious leader. CHS ‘67 Peter Agnoli is founder and leader of Bottle of Bread, a band that performs in the genre of Bob Dylan and The Band. CHS ‘67 Doreen Holmes went from the drumline as a Marching Mustang to performing in the 1980s rock band The Catholic Girls. The NJ Special Olympics torch relay passed through Clifton as part of its 750 mile trip to The College of New Jersey. Clifton’s Relay for Life raised more than $65,000 to fund research by the American Cancer Society. The year’s final choices for CHS Student of the Month are sisters Nicole and Jessica Alexander who both stress the importance of speaking up for yourself.

Cuellar Family Markets hosted a one year anniversary on July 29 at the ShopRite Wines & Spirits of Clifton on Paulison Avenue. CHS grads Brittany Gaccione, Peter Stefan Tatarenko, Susanna Coan, Kevin McCarthy, Patricia Stagnitto and Dennis Hahofer.

Juggling, jousting, games and a visit by a queen from Medieval Times brought to life NJEDDA High School’s July 28 Renaissance Faire. CHS ‘57 Mike Novack and his gondola at the Centennial Parade.

Greg Komeshok with Jimmy Sturr at the Polka King’s annual July concert in Third Ward Park. The Rev. Placido Lentini at the first service on July 16 at the House of Fire Christian Church on Grove St. Imam Osamah Salhia of the Islamic Center of Passaic County in Clifton. Clifton Girls Softball on July 17 beat Freehold Township to become the New Jersey Junior League Champions.


January 2018 •

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The Allwood Diner is the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a late night dinner. Our fabulous desserts are baked fresh in our bake shop. We strive to make The Allwood Diner Something Special every day. We are committed to quality, value and your complete satisfaction. We are a family and friends oriented place, a restaurant that will make you feel right at home.

The Logothetis Family • January 2018


August 2017

in Review

Clifton History of the 1990s recapped that decade in our Centennial timeline. Among the milestones noted: a $100 million research facility at Hoffman LaRoche; rezoning of former Shulton and Athenia Steel sites for housing. In 1991, Home Depot plans a big box store in Allwood, and the Marching Mustangs take part in a NYC parade for Desert Shield and Desert Storm troops. 1992 marked the 75th anniversary of Acquackanonk Township into Clifton much to the relief of early century typesetters. 1993 was marked briefly by two, yes, two, White Castles restaurants. As the decade proceeded, Clifton evolved with an emphasis on multiculturalism as neighborhoods welcomed immigrants from Central and South America, Asia, and the Middle East. Ahead of Y2K, Clifton is named in the top 11 percent of the safest cities in the US.

Impressarios Stan Jakubczyk and Ellis Berger along with others from the Centennial Concert Series put together a homegrown concert featuring bands from the 1960s to present on the lawn of Woodrow Wilson Middle School on Aug. 23.

Tom Hawrylko Sr. launched Clifton Merchant Magazine in September, 1995. The 2017 CHS Athletic Hall of Fame inductees: Anthony Yelovich, Flo Calise, Paul Kornaszewski, Deanna Giordano, Richard La Duke, Stephen Yacykewych, the 2006 CHS Fighting Mustangs and the 2001 CHS girls soccer team.


January 2018 •

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Looking back in the 90’s, we met Fire Chief Walter DeGroot, Rev. Susanah Smith, Barry and Sherry Rosenfeld, Bob Morgan and Gene Boyle Jr., who founded and operated the landmark restaurant Gene Boyle’s on Passaic Ave.

Skip Herrschaft with his dad Les in 1999 at the 28th Annual Boys & Girls Club Golf Tournament at the Upper Montclair Country Club. Skip was the Tournament Chair for the past 18 years and owner of Ashley’s Restaurant in Styertowne Shopping Center. Above right on Aug. 24, 2017, marking the 26th year of Ukraine’s Independence at Clifton City Hall. • January 2018


September 2017

in Review

Made in Clifton is an annual theme reporting on items manufactured here. We began with the ancient art of stained glass as created by craftsmen and women at Heimer & Co on the corner of Wabash and Crooks since 1949. Meanwhile, Crystec Composites, “the Rolls-Royce of insulation materials,” has been on Clifton Blvd. since 1936 and manufactures hi tech components exported worldwide which keep trains, planes and buses moving. We profiled CHS ‘58 grad Gerry Lipkin who keeps the world moving in another way—as Chair and CEO of Valley National Bank. We also reported on the Passaic County One Stop office where residents who need an opportunity will find advocates and opportunity. We bagged some unique Clifton history, telling of Paul Bernard, who owned and operated our city’s first bagel shop, Clifton Bagel Bakery on Piaget Ave.

Beginning with the late Paul Bernard, the history of bagel making in Clifton was told by Al DiBenetto and Dean Corizzi, as well as Steve Mao, Joe Leskow, George Metri, Billy Jamhour, Marc Mauriber and Aiman Muheisen.

At right, PRAISE team is a Bambino Buddy Ball League division of CML/CJAL for kids ages 5 to 13 with physical, developmental or social challenges. This division allows for a “buddy” to help players swing a bat, catch a ball and run the bases and be a part of a team.

One-Stop directors Rev. Dr. Randall Lassiter, Freeholder Cassandra Lazzara, John Currie and Lauren Murphy. James Van Wie and Judith Hiemer Van Wie of Heimer & Co. George Flores and his son Delvis of Crystec Composites.


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October 2017

in Review

The Boys & Girls Club and Clifton High School shared our cover in October. Mike Doktor, the new CHS Principal, knows the school pretty well since he himself was a Mustang in the class of 1995. We also met with some B&G Club alumni and Director Bob Foster, who told more about how The Club does indeed shape lives and careers. Foster, his small staff and hearty volunteers raise $4 million a year to provide services to 5,300 young people. Events like the Fourth Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show and the Fifth Taste of Clifton help in that effort. Speaking of food, we profiled Richfield Farms & Gardens on Van Houten Ave and how they remain a source of good organic foods since their founding 100 years ago. The ever creative puppet lady Mandi Bevando, daughter Sadie (left), son Kayden shrouded by one of her creations.

Boys & Girls Club volunteer fundraisers John and Kristen Fette and Mimi and Rafael Cuellar with director Bob Foster.

The Morton family of Richfield Farms: Jack, Jess, Debora and Will. Marching Mustangs at Harvestfest and green thumbers at School 8 with seedlings, thanks to Clifton’s Clean Communities program.


January 2018 •

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November 2017

in Review

Life coach Kim Castellanos is out to make the world a better, healthier place, one person at a time through her own actions and the Power of One, a Clifton nonprofit with those goals. Pat Meyer works with camera in hand at community events—from the Clifton Arts Center, to the Office of Emergency Management, to the Avenue of the Flags. So often, many assume the CHS ‘74 grad is a paid city employee—which he’s not—he’s just a giving kind of guy. B&G Club Hall of Famers, some of whom are pictured below, told how The Club helped shape their lives and careers. We previewed the eight-decade Mustang and Indian football game rivalry between Clifton and Passaic. Passaic won the 2017 Thanksgiving Day meeting in Clifton, 42-35, but Clifton still holds a 47-37-5 advantage in the series which began in 1923.

Boys & Girls Club 2017 Hall of Fame inductees Charlene Gustafson and her sister Christine, Mukundha B. Maneyapandea, Kathy Dittrich, and Kevin Colluci, Albert Moubayed, Jill Pastore and Kelly Troller.

The late Clifton Judge Harry Fengya who served from 1976 to 2001, and passed on April 23, 2002, got his place in Clifton history with the installation of his portrait in the city hall courtroom in early November. Over 50 kids from Clifton Martial Arts Academy did a St. Jude Kick-a-Thon on Nov. 4. The seventh annual event raised over $5,000 to help the research hospital treat and defeat childhood cancers. “Hopefully these types of events will trigger kids to be part of philanthropic activities later in life,” said Sensei Jim Meghdir, noting that he did his first Kick-a-Thon some 30 years ago as a youth.


January 2018 •

h , r n e s On Nov. 6, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System took on the new moniker St. Joseph’s Heath. “Every aspect of St. Joseph’s is advancing into a new era of healthcare delivery, and the new logo and new names better reflect our expansion and growth as an integrated network of world-class care,” explained Kevin J. Slavin, President & CEO. Ten years after Johnny Manganiotis and his dad John opened their first location at 1216 Van Houten Ave., Mr. Cupcakes now has stores in Paramus, Hackensack, Hawthorne and Oradell. But to mark the date and place where it all started, they threw a Clifton party on Nov. 4. American Legion Post 8 at the Nov. 5 Veterans parade. • January 2018


December 2017

in Review

Clifton Cares collects, packs and ships much welcomed gifts such as cards, candy and socks to troops overseas. Since 2011, volunteers, led by Lizz Gagnon, Dona Crum and Chris Liszner, shipped over 9,000 packages and plans are on for the next shipment in February. Clifton residents care in so many ways as our pages told of numerous tidings of community goodwill. For Clifton nostalgia, we met the Lakeview Lions on their sandlot in 1949. We previewed the Mustang winter sports teams and told of the progress and achievements of Mustangs Football coach Ralph Cinque. Perhaps that was overshawdowed as fans at the Thanksgiving Day game talked down the idea of moving the Clifton Passaic game to another date ealier in the season. Most people interviewed favored keeping the game on Thanksgiving morning.

Clifton Library director Justine Tomczak, Boys & Girls Club swim coach Nadia Stavko and Fighting Mustangs coach Ralph Cinque were profiled. Top, ASPIRE students at the CHS Annex on Dec. 21 celebrated the life of Danny Listmeier who passed on July 17. The ‘02 CHS grad worked as a custodian at the Annex and staff, students and he shared a special bonds in their hearts.


January 2018 •

Carlos Polanco Day December 19th, 2017 with Mayor James Anzaldi and Bob Foster.

Assemblyman Tom Giblin, with Julie Fleming and Emily Synan of Montclair State, and Lolita Cruz at left, with hundreds of toys collected by MSU students to be distributed before Christmas.

n s h e Fifth graders at School 9 painted motifs and messages on rocks and placed them around their campus and in their neighborhood, thus spreading random acts of kindness. They ask if you find one, pay it forward, leave rocks for others to find, and help spread kindness.,

The CHS Orchestra, Choir and Mad Caps performed in December while these MSU students volunteered at Clifton Cares to help ship items to sailors and soldiers.

973-772-8451 Roofing • Siding • Gutters Ventilation • Chimneys • January 2018


Bob Menendez

Bill Pascrell

Freeholders Cassandra "Sandi" Lazzara, Assad Akhter, John W. Bartlett. Jim Daley, Larry Grasso, Tafari Anderson Acting County Clerk Walter J. Davison

With all seven council and three BOE seats up, 2018 will be a big election year. When Cliftonites go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6, they will also be selecting three Passaic County Freeholders and a Passaic County Clerk. The terms for Congressman Bill Pascrell and Senator Bob Menendez are also at stake. Photos of the current office holders are on these two pages. Clifton government is operated under a Council–Manager Form of Government. This means that a seven member Council is elected at large in a non-partisan election held once every four years. Unlike the Board of Education, all seven council seats are up for election at once. Residents do not vote for the mayor as he or she is appointed by acclimation by the seven newly elected council members. By tradition, but not law, the highest vote getter is chosen by his or her peers to be mayor. Council members are considered part time employees and receive a health and medical benefits package. They are paid $4,000 annually; the mayor $4,500.


January 2018 •

The role of the Mayor and Council is to establish policy, pass laws, approve budgets, advocate citizen concerns and set policy for of the operation of the government. The role of the City Manager, who is appointed by the Mayor and Council, is to put the Council’s policy into action and to manage the day-to-day operation of the city. The City Council meets every first and third Tuesday beginning at 630 pm at Clifton City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave. The public portion of the meetings begin at 8 pm where residents can speak for up to five minutes on topics. Meetings are televised live on Clifton’s Cable TV Channel 77 or Channel 40 on Fios. For those thinking of running, candidates need to get registered voters to sign petitions, a form available at the city clerk’s office on March 1. In total, at least 521 registered voters from Clifton need to sign these petitions, but since some names may become invalid, for various reasons, it is advisable getting at least 600 signatures. Packets must be returned by Aug. 31.

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James Anzaldi, Peter Eagler, William Gibson, Raymond Grabowski, Steven Hatala, Jr. Joseph Kolodziej, Lauren Murphy.

As far as the Board of Education, commissioners are unpaid and receive no health benefits. They serve threeyear terms, with three seats up for election each year. Run independently from the Clifton City Council, the Board consists of elected community residents. They manage the city’s 16 elementary schools including the School 12 and School 8 annex, two middle schools and CHS and its annex. With over 10,900 students and 1,600 employees, Clifton is the second largest public school district in the state of New Jersey. In addition to the kindergarten through 12th grade program, Clifton Public Schools also operates a federally-funded pre-school program for eligible three-to-five year-olds. The role of the commissioners is to set policy for the district and oversee the budget, which for the 20172018 school year will be $160,000,000, without grants, and about $10 million more with grants, which come from a variety of sources. The daily operation of the Clifton Schools is run by the Superintendent, who is appointed by the Board to

manage the day to day responsibilities, enforce policies mandated by the New Jersey Department of Education and the locally elected Board. Meetings of the Board are the second and fourth Wednesday of the month, September through June. The Board meets monthly in July and August. Meetings are televised live, from 7-9:30 pm on Cable TV Channel 77 or Channel 40 on Fios. The petition process is a bit easier for School Board candidates: all is needed are 10 signatures from registered voters in Clifton. The forms have space for 12 names, in case signatures prove invalid. Forms can be found online at under County Clerk, Election Division, under andidate’s position. For info, call the Passaic County Clerk at 973-881-4127 x 2235. Forms are due July 30.

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r • January 2018


One of the first obstacles freshman Sebastian Rodriguez faced at Clifton High School, he says, is memorizing the layout of the school. One of his best school experiences “Everything is so big and complicatwas last year when his English ed, it took me a while to even get a teacher asked him to read aloud to sense of direction when I walk out of the class. “When I finished she came class.” up to me and said that I was the best He actually picked up the pace reader she’d had in years.” quickly, figured his way around and The young thespian says his latest jumped into a significant role in the challenge is trying to balance schoolCHS spring production of work with preparing for the spring Sebastian Rodriguez Footloose. He soon found he musical. “I have to stay extra hours at enjoyed acting and developed a school which causes more stress to my fondness for musicals. parents. I’m trying my best to handle this problem by Rodriquez hopes to be involved in producing televitelling them in advance what my schedule is so they can sion series, perhaps as a writer, editor, actor or animaplan around it.” tor. He admires the work of the late animator Monty CHS History teacher Paul Hlat says Rodriguez stands Oum. “He (Oum) showed all of his followers that a perout due to his “maturity, sense of humor, respect, and he son should be grateful for where they are, they should values education for the sake of education.” The young take into consideration all of the little things in life and man is “very well-rounded, attentive, participates frehow lucky they are to have them. He was always excitquently, and has a serious mind for success. He’s a great ed to finish his current projects so that he could move role model in terms of citizenship and academics.” on and continue to produce content. His motto was Rodriguez says he would tell younger students, if ‘Keep moving forward.’ ” asked, that the best thing about CHS is the teachers. “I want to have a successful life and career. I want to “They are supporting and understanding. They always be able to provide money and food for my future famitry to help you get better grades and pass.” ly,” the honor roll students says. “My plan is to work His favorite class is history. “I like to learn about what hard now, so that when I’m older and inevitably weakhappened in the past and how everything came to be.” er, life wouldn’t be as hard. I am motivated by my willHowever, he declined to name a favorite teacher, “I ingness to achieve success.” like all of them, equally.” He says he’s interested in CHS teacher Stacey Beecham says, “Sebastian does teaching history after college. not shy away from a challenge. He’s a very responsible “I’m interested in history and literature.” Outside student who wants to excel. (He) seems like a natural school he likes to read, talk with friends, watch TV, and leader. When I assign a task, he takes it seriously. He help his sister with her homework. also looks at things in a unique way, bringing a new Rodriguez says his “home life is very calm and not perspective on what we are reading. I look forward to out of the ordinary. I live with my mom, dad, and sister. his comments.” We usually go out on the weekends to eat or to shop. I Beecham added, due to hurricanes, Rodriguez have a normal daily routine of going to school, eating, missed several weeks of school. When he returned, he doing my homework and relaxing.” made up all the work he missed. He’s one of her Yes. And lately, running through those lines and dance “biggest participants” in class. moves for the spring musical!


January 2018 •

Events & Briefs CHS Clifton Ice Hockey is sponsoring a beefsteak and tricky tray on Jan. 19. Doors open at 6:30 pm and tickets are $40 for adults or $20 for kids 5 to 12 years of age. The event is at the Boys & Girls Club. Reserve tickets or a table. Sponsors are also welcomed. For more details, contact Maureen Fusaro via email at or call her at 973-572-6009.

The 14th Passaic County Film Festival is on April 21 at 10 am in Paterson’s Center City Mall. Film entries are due on Jan. 30, 2018. Open to filmmakers in high schools, colleges and independent producers, categories include: general short film; PSAs; documentary; music video and tourism, or eco-tourism; history short film. For details, visit

Pirates of the Cure-ibbean is the theme of Clifton’s 2018 Relay for Life. To begin the team making, the fund raising and to help spread the word, a kickoff open to the community is on Jan. 27 at the Senior Barn on Well Rd. behind city hall. The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life is an event that brings the community together to help the ACS create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. The committee invites mateys, pirates and swashbucklers to join your favorite pirate fighting ship set sail for a cure. Dress as befits the day and come from 2 to 4 pm to learn about Relay, meet supporters and survivors, hear encouraging stories and imbibe in light refreshments The kickoff is the first of many preludes leading up the 14th Annual Relay for Life which is at Clifton Stadium from noon to midnight on June 16. On that day, folks come out and walk, run or simply enjoy a day in the fresh air to remember those who passed and support those who are going through cancer. Go to for more info or call Steve Cavanaugh 973-285-8025 to learn of ways you can join or help out. • January 2018


Birthdays & Celebrations

Austin Blesing turns 12 on Jan. 17. Vicky Petrovic will party on Jan. 5. Cindy Hawrylko is 27 Jan. 22. Skylar De Santis turns 13 on Jan. 17. Happy 64th Birthday to Bob Sandri on Jan. 6.

Happy Birthday to... Send dates & names... Shaun LaGala .................... Marek Rzasa ...................... Connie Zangara ................. Chrissy Cetinich.................. Matthew Delaney................ Amanda Esposito................ Kristin Reilly........................ Steven Hrina....................... Rosalie Konopinski .............. Ray Krenc .......................... Emily Zawicki ..................... James Dohm.......................

1/1 1/1 1/1 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/3 1/3 1/3 1/3 1/4

Rich Peterson ...................... 1/4 Mohamad Bekheet.............. 1/5 Missy Fazio........................ 1/5 Alexander Ortiz.................. 1/5 Jeremy Delaney .................. 1/6 Gay Eaclie ......................... 1/6 Amanda Curtiss .................. 1/9 Ariana Hryckowian............. 1/9 Joseph Perzely .................... 1/9 Emina Lukarcanin................ 1/9 Fatma Bekheet .................. 1/10 Ronald Calo ..................... 1/10

Richie DeMarco................ Michael Gorny ................. Katy Sokolik ..................... Nicole Unis ...................... Megan Duffy .................... Daisy Colman................... Olivia Dohm..................... Rob Generalli ................... Joe Musleh ....................... Ernie Rodrigues ................ Mark Stuart ...................... Kyle Santiago...................

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Alyssa Philhower & Becca Potocki share a birthday on Jan. 1. Emina Lukarcanin will be 22 on Jan. 9. Sister Yosaphata Litvenczuk, MSMG will be 83 on Jan. 15.


January 2018 •

Isabel Victoria Calvo turns 3 on Jan. 12. Susan Hernandez ........... Jennifer Montanile........... Matthew Soprano........... Anna Tatarenko .............. Kim Barilari .................... Erica Pangilinan ............. Lindsay Dueben .............. Luke Falzo...................... Payton Bogatch .............. Douglas Ciallella ............ Matthew Gorun .............. Daniel Shackil ................ Evelyn Montague............ Cheryl Vigh.................... Catherine Coloccia ......... Greg Collucci................. Jamie Mikolajczyk .......... Anna Redling ................. Larissa Unis.................... Robert Duffy ................... Ashley Gagnon ..............

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Birthdays & Celebrations

Birthday greetings to Lakeview’s Barbara Bivaletz (Jan. 5) and hubby Steve (Jan. 9) who both celebrate 63! Happy 20th birthday to Patricia Fay Baran on Jan. 26. Debbi Koch .......................... Michelle Nahass................... Karen Rice ........................... Michael Bandurski ................ Gianna Caramucci ............... Nicholas Grippo................... Scott Crawford ..................... Patrick Ferrara III...................


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Robert C. Henn..................... Stephanie Smith.................... Alexis Camp......................... Donna Chipura..................... Laura Kuruc .......................... Sean Sabo ........................... Evangeline Joy Kohler ........... Jessica Sonn .........................

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Angely Sotomba will celebrate her 6th birthday on Jan. 26.

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Clifton Merchant Magazine - January 2018  
Clifton Merchant Magazine - January 2018