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Clifton Merchant Magazine • Volume 13 • Issue 3 • March 7, 2008

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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

…on our cover




Candidates for Board of Education . . . . . . . . .11 Optimist Award Recipient Ralph Eodice

. . . .23

Runner & Former Retailer: Joel Pasternack . . .32 St. Mary’s Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Clifton’s Rising Star: Dani Marco . . . . . . . . . . .81 CHS Vice Principal Sue Peters . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90

Dr. Alphonsus ‘Ricky’ Doerr, Jr., a Clifton hand surgeon, is profiled this month. The youngest son of the late Dr. Alphonsus L. Doerr, Sr. has accomplished a great deal in his life, despite being paralyzed from the waist down for the past 16 years. Page 40 PAGE

85 Super Bowl

Project Graduation Fashion Show . . . . . . . . . .92 Bygone News of 1908 and 1958 . . . . . . . . . .104


49 Back to School 16,000 MAGAZINES are distributed to hundreds of Clifton Merchants the first Friday of every month. SUBSCRIPTIONS $15/year in Clifton $25/year out of town CALL 973-253-4400 entire contents copyright 2008 © tomahawk promotions

There are about 12,000 podiatrists in the United States, but only five hold both a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) and a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. Clifton podiatrist Thomas Graziano is about to bring that total up to six. Page 49

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


Hungarian Meat Center 189 Parker Ave (half block from Botany Village) Passaic 973-473-1645 • • M-S 8am-6pm • Pork - Beef & Meat Products • Home Styled Smoked Sausage • Salami & All Kinds of Cold Cuts • Easter Hams & Holiday Foods • Hungarian Delicacies • Spices & Sweets Greetings Friends and Happy Easter! First things first: I do not own or run a huge meat conglomerate. Instead, my products are sold from a small family-styled butcher shop which I have run for 20 years at 189 Parker Ave. in Passaic, a half block from Botany Village. I prepare pork, beef and meat products, home-style hickory smoked ham, sausage, salami and all kinds of cold cuts. My family and I also sell ground poppy seeds and ground walnuts and many traditional Hungarian food ingredients. I also have to tell you a very important thing: I love my work and all my products are prepared with know-how and tender love and care. In my store, you will receive the best— foods which praises the tastes and inspires the soul. Please visit my store or go to Best Regards, Owner Mike Jozsa pictured with Marika and Andrew


March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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Letters to the Editor

I enjoyed reading the article about Bill ‘Kilroy’ Ramoth in the latest issue of your magazine. I grew up down the block from Mr. Ramoth. As kids, we were told he had been a boxer and had been a boxing double in the movies but we never knew his whole story. It was really interesting to read. For quite a few years growing up, we never knew his real last name. To us, as kids in the neighborhood, he was always known as Kilroy. I remember him as being a nice man. He always said hello with a smile and talked to us as we rode our bikes down his way. We haven’t seen or heard about him in years. I’m glad to see he is still doing well. Evelyn Gouveia Clifton

A Valentine’s Present: Thank you so much for the beautiful article you wrote about us. It really gave us a thrill to see our little life play like a real exciting adventure. You never really think about it until someone else writes about you. It turned out to be a real Valentine’s present. Nothing like true love! Helen and Roy Berkenbush Clifton

Blues Cruise Thank You: Tom Hawrylko and the folks at Clifton Merchant Magazine have done an outstanding service for both the Botany Concert Series and the St. Peters Haven Blues Cruise Sails. Thanks to all the Clifton Merchant family for their constant support.

Fritzy Pruden, Cook Van Dorn and Angelo ‘Skeets’ Santin in an undated photo from a PBA picnic.

I got melancholy when I saw the story about Billy Kilroy... oh my heavens! After reading it, I went and dug out all of the tapes of the PBA picnic and it was sad seeing all the guys who aren’t here anymore. But it’s okay, I’m 78 now and it’s been a good life. Angelo ‘Skeets’ Santin Clifton

Subscription Renewal: I enjoy reading your magazine very much and appreciate you keeping us informed as to what is going on in our great and lovely city. Mary E. Tiberi Clifton

John Muller Blues Cruise Organizer

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Name: __________________________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip ______________________________________________________ Email: _____________________________________Phone: _______________ PLEASE MAKE CHECKS TO TOMAHAWK PROMOTIONS, 1288 MAIN AVE., CLIFTON, NJ 07011 March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Friends of Billy Kilroy have called to thank us for the story in last month’s magazine. One caller, Andy who did not leave his last name on the voice mail, said he got a two-fer from the Feb. edition. He noted that as a Passaic High School Indian, he played football against Moose Bosson. He also noted that we incorrectly identified players in the East West game photo. Mike Ditka was number 72, not 62. Your monthly publication is a trip down memory lane. The picture of Bill Masley in the Feb. issue brought to mind the days we, including his brother Pete, were in Russian school together on a store front on Milosh St. I was born at 77 Lakeview Ave. and lived next to Gilda Belli Vander Closter. We are deeply sorry to hear about the passing of Bill. Jack DeVries’ article really hit the mark. Gilda and I grew up together, went to School 12 and played punch ball on Mina Ave. It was a great place to live and grow up. Your articles about the Lakeview section again stirred up memories about what a wonderful city we had. My wife Rose Marie (Muha, a former Garfield H.S. cheerleader) and I raised our family of three great girls from our home on Haddenfield Rd. As with me, all three girls—Michelle (now Mrs. Robert Morgan), Nadine and Denise—are products of the We received several responses to last month’s cover story Clifton school system. The latter two don’t live in Clifton about Billy ‘Kilroy’ Ramoth. Kilroy was a boxer, Clifton cop, but they do, as former members of the Mustang Band, actor, poet and U.S. Marshal. He now resides in Toms River. attend the football games to watch the kids perform. Clifton Merchant Magazine • Volume 13 • Issue 2 • February 1, 2008

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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

As former band parents, our hearts swell with pride as we read about their accomplishments and about the new youth carrying on the tradition of the Band. I was a member of the football Chain Gang, with Emil Orey, Bill Sichel, Jim Reddington and Bob Bartke. All good things come to an end, and in 1991, I decided to retire. That daily DeCamp bus ride into the city just got me as did the cold weather. We pulled up the stakes, which was difficult, and now reside in Fort Myers. New Jersey is our summer destination for about two months, when we visit the old town to fill up on Hot Grill, two all the way! From there, we then head over to Botany Village for Stefan’s kielbasa, and all the other good stuff you find nowhere else. After the summer is over, your magazine carries us through the other 10 months. Keep up the good work and as the old song goes, thanks for the memories. Bill Chabay Fort Myers, FL

You and your magazine have been so good to me that I think of you as my ‘agent’. I was just interviewed on CBS Radio on their website for my book, Everything Will Be Alright. Your ‘People’ magazine is great and it is read near and far. Finally, congratulations to you and Cheryl on your 27th wedding anniversary!

Glory Read Clifton

I am dismayed by the lack of response from Washington to the unconscionable use of two mentally disabled women as human bombs in a vicious terrorist attack in Iraq last month. The absence of an official denouncement of this heinous act is disturbing. I have written to Senators Lautenberg and Menendez, and to Congressman Pascrell telling them of my severe disappointment at this oversight. I have also written to the presidential candidates asking them why they continue to remain silent about so despicable a deed. The lack of an official response from Washington should be remedied immediately through a congressional resolution harshly denouncing the use of helpless, mentally impaired people as bomb mules. Such a gesture may, in all likelihood, have no tangible effect on the loathsome and repulsive scum who devised and executed this horrific attack. However, remaining silent about the sheer depravity of their deed is shameful and does a disservice to developmentally disabled people everywhere. An official congressional response would signal to me and to civilized people everywhere, that the members of the United States Congress are as repulsed by this evil as are we. Joseph R. Torelli Clifton

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Thanks to the students in Mrs. Stuart’s 4th Grade class at School 13 on Van Houten Ave. for sharing an afternoon with me on March 3, Read Across America Day. Your questions were great and I enjoyed reading and discussing The Lorax with all of you. Tom Hawrylko

Board of Education Election on April 15 4 Candidates Vying for 3 Seats • Profiles by Joe Hawrylko John Traier To John Traier, the biggest priority facing the Board of Education these days is finding a new superintendent to lead the district. “Our first goal has to be to find leadership. We’re going to have two interims, one for superintendent and one for assistant superintendent,” said Traier. “We currently have resumes collected and the search firm will be presenting some candidates to us.” Currently, Dr. Anthony Barbary is the interim superintendent through July, and his contract is open for extension for one year. However, he has indicated that he does not wish to return. “I want to move up the timeframe. Originally we were supposed to do first round interviews in April,” said Traier. “I think it would be best for us to get someone by July 1, if that is at all possible.” The next priority to the six-year BOE commissioner is to finally solve Clifton’s overcrowding prob-

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“People fail to realize that our job is to educate children. If we wanted to make money, we have a lot of real estate on Colfax Ave.” Traier said, referring to the CHS complex. lem in the schools. That means, until the Board can come up with a better solution, Traier doesn’t want to sell 290 Brighton Rd. “People fail to realize that our job is to educate children. If we wanted to make money, we have a lot of real estate on Colfax Ave.,” he laughed. “I think that Brighton Rd. is an important piece to solving overcrowding in our schools.” The BOE commissioner indicated that he is committed to the project, both mentally and legally. At the Feb. 23 Board meeting, the members voted seven to one, with Mary Kowal abstaining and Michael Paitchell as the dissenter, that they reject the buyout proposal for 290 Brighton Rd. However, Traier feels that the site selection

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School Board Elections April 15th • Polls Open 1:30 PM - 9 PM “I like the concept of academies. I could support the current proposal now, however, I am still uncomfortable with the Columbus piece,” he explained. “It’s already an overcrowded location and the school may need to be replaced sometime in the near future. I think it was built in 1927.” Outside of these two topics, there’s other issues that Traier would like to tackle in his third term on the Board. “There are two other initiatives I’d really like to work on, one being to increase the courses and teaching for math in the school system,” Traier explained, adding that he was looking specifically at children in K through 8. “I want us to teach kids to think analytically and to be better in math.” He specifically singled out Woodbridge as a com-

munity that has shown significant improvement after changing its curriculum. The modifications include an online program that kids can use. “The state is going to mandate a more rigorous curriculum in math,” said Traier. “I think we need to be ready for that.” The commissioner also wants to provide before and after school programs for students. It would be funded by grants and low fees from the parents who utilize it. “It would alleviate parents worrying about after school care, and we can have a tutoring service or enrichment program,” explained Traier, who added that preschool care could be a possibility. “We have the space after hours and we should use it. It adds to the value of education in our town.”

Marie Hakim Marie Hakim is the longest tenured of the Board candidates, having served Clifton for six terms. She feels that education is a lifelong process, which is why she is passionate about serving on the Board of Ed. “Education is my goal and my passion,” said Hakim, who has 45 years in education and is currently an adjunct at William Paterson University in Wayne. “With each year, we need greater levels of accountability and greater levels of performance.” As the President of the Board for the last three years, Hakim has led the charge for a new school to alleviate overcrowding. However, she is not entirely sold on the site selection committee’s plan for three small academies. “I’ve always been in favor of academies for small-

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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Federal Mortgage Offers Senior Citizens A Reverse Mortgage


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

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

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

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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School Board Elections April 15th • Polls Open 1:30 PM - 9 PM

“I don’t favor (the proposed academies) because it adds more students to already crowded areas,” Hakim said of the plan to add onto CHS and build on the field at CCMS. er learning environments, but what they’ve proposed isn’t the same concept,” explained Hakim. The BOE President says that true academies are much more specific and deal with only certain topics, such as the Rosa Parks School of Performing Arts in Paterson. “I am supportive of any plan that will reduce our high school and middle school population,” she explained. “This, in my opinion, isn’t a true academy proposal.” Hakim is also unhappy with the location of the proposed academies. At CHS, parking spaces behind the east wing and possibly some land from City Hall would be compromised. At Christopher Columbus, some of the field space would be used. “I don’t favor it because it adds more students to already crowded areas,” said Hakim, who also cited parking concerns. “If presented as is, I would be against it. The Board first has to decide if they accept the

entire plan or any part of it, and then they would go for a Dec. referendum.” The Board President said that there still may be other areas of town that could support a school. “I would still love to be able to get the Globe property for a large school, but it’s not for sale and I realize that,” she said. “There are probably smaller sites that we can build on. I have some ideas—some were looked at by the site selection committee and discarded—but I still think they are viable.” However, should her peers band together and approve the plans, Hakim says that she would fully support it. “Just like 290 (Brighton Rd.), I was against it, but after it passed, I supported it,” she recalled. “You have to support what the majority supports.” Hakim is still behind the Brighton Rd. project today, despite all of the recent setbacks. She said

that the city wouldn’t gain money by selling their asset because of the time spent at Zoning Board meetings and the contracts. “People blame the Board for that, but in reality, it was the Zoning Board spending tax payer money,” claimed Hakim. “They didn’t have to take 17 meetings to do this and require us to bring in so many professionals.” Still, the BOE President believes that residents think there’s a problem. But she said it’s up to those within the schools to plead their case to the public.

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School Board Elections April 15th • Polls Open 1:30 PM - 9 PM

“Now that I’m retired, I want to give back to the community by running for the Board and help them move forward into the next decade,” said Fraulo, who worked at CHS for 33 years. Lou Fraulo Lou Fraulo differs from the other three Board of Ed candidates because of one thing: he’s spent a majority of his life in the Clifton School System. “For 33 years, I’ve had what I consider to be the best job anyone can ever have, and that was working with kids,” said Fraulo, who was a counselor at the high school. “Now that I’m retired, I want to give back to the community by running for the Board and help them move forward into the next decade.” Fraulo has made it a point to attend meetings regularly since

retiring last June. The lifelong Cliftonite also severed on the second site selection committee this past summer to find a school. “We asked ourselves, ‘What do we already have that we can use?’” said Fraulo, who credited Debra Gretina with the current plan for three academies. “We wanted to use existing resources without taking park land and to keep our expenses as low as can be.” And while he is behind the committee’s plan for three academies, Fraulo said that, if elected, he plans to go with what the people want.

“If they come up with a better plan, I’d piggy back that,” he said. “The community has to have a say in this and if they say no to our plan, we have to work to find a new one.”

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Working closely with the community that he would be serving is an important aspect in Fraulo’s platform. He also feels very strongly that BOE members must also work well with their elected peers to be effective. “I’m the type of person that believes that you have to work with everyone,” explained Fraulo. “You might not always agree, but in every idea, there’s always a grain of truth that you can take away and build on.” The fifth generation Cliftonite believes that, despite the many critics at meetings, most residents believe the schools are overcrowded. Convincing the public isn’t really the problem. “I don’t know that you’re ever going to convince everyone. If I can use the presidential term, silent majority; most of the people think there’s a need for space,” he claimed. “So do we build the academies? Or do we find other ways,

maybe using space at the high school? Maybe (Commissioner Michael) Paitchell’s idea isn’t so far out there?” One thing that Fraulo is dead set on is the proposed school on Brighton Rd. He said residents voiced their approval for the plan and it is the duty of the Board to fulfill that. “The people who came out to vote voted for us to build a school there,” said Fraulo. “It would be a real slap in the face of the people who voted for it to say, ‘Things have gone rough, let’s sell the property.’” “There’s 10 hurdles in a 100 meter race. We’re at hurdle nine going into the home stretch,” continued Fraulo, a retired CHS track coach who is in the Clifton Hall of Fame. “We need to see this to fruition. We’ve got to decide who is going to go there... is it just ninth graders? Where are the kids going to come from? I think being an educator, I have some ideas.”


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School Board Elections April 15th • Polls Open 1:30 PM - 9 PM

“If I become a member of the Board, they’re going to have to show me the material that they have regarding the overcrowding problem,” said Graupe, who questions the need for a new school. Paul Graupe Of the four candidates running for a BOE seat, Paul Graupe is the only one who is not convinced that the district needs a new school. “If I become a member of the Board, they’re going to have to show me the material that they have regarding the overcrowding problem,” explained Graupe, who was on the Zoning Board for six years and had previously voted against the Brighton Rd. school. The Board hopeful claims that the enrollment numbers, which have leveled off in recent years, show that there is no need to build. Graupe also has questions about the need to change zero period, which has recently been discussed by the BOE.

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“I understand that when the children get out, there’s over 600 students in the program,” said Graupe, who added that he would like the next superintendent to at least be familiar with Clifton, if not already from the district. “How are you utilizing the classrooms in the afternoon? That would be something I would want to inquire about.” Still, despite his reservations, Graupe indicated that his mind is open to change on the subject, and he would follow the wishes of voters if they indicated that building was what they wanted. “If a school is needed, make sure that the property is environmentally clean and safe,” said Graupe. “I am against any further industrial property being taken from our tax rolls, unless it is absolutely necessary.” “I am committed to giving students from Clifton the space they need,” he continued. “If the education pros say the best way to educate kids is with the academies, then I will support it. I will support anything that will help the kids.” And although he remains a minority amongst the Board candidates, Graupe’s take on overcrowding has attracted many voters. In last year’s Board of Education election, he placed

fourth behind Norm Tahan, losing by only seven votes following an appeal process. “I decided to run again after being urged by many citizens of Clifton,” explained Graupe. “I came very close to winning last year, losing by seven votes, and I haven’t seen any change in the last year that has made the Clifton education system better.” One way that he figures to improve the quality of education in town is by encouraging teachers to get their Master’s degree. “Put money in the budget—if it’s not there already—for teachers to get advanced degrees,” said Graupe. “I’m not against spending money as long as it reaches the kids,” the former Zoning Board member continued. “If the people are satisfied with the incumbents, side with them. Otherwise, I’m an alternative who will properly represent the citizens of Clifton.”

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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


“The Refreshing Remodel” Looking to redo your bathroom sometime soon? There’s no need for it be a messy, expensive headache. Trust the experts and use Re-Bath with Pruzansky Plumbing and Heating.

Why tear up your home and disrupt your life with several weeks of laborers, dust, debris and noise when it can be done in one day? For the last four generations, the master plumbers of Pruzansky Plumbing and Heating have remodeled countless bathrooms. Combined with the quality name of Re-Bath, there’s no other company to trust. Call to make an appointment and owner Stewart Pruzansky and his staff will come by to give a free, in-home estimate. Financing is also available. Call 973-778-1176.

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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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Frozen foods manager Jaime Taranto, above, along with John Forminio, Marco Arroyo, Alejandro Lozano and Wilbert Kennedy, remind you that during March, you’ll find great savings in the three frozen foods aisles at the Paulison Ave. ShopRite. For coupons and to enter the $10,000 Freezer Favorites Sweepstakes, go to

Always Fresh Seafood You might recognize Pasquale Castaldo. He’s a part-time Clifton Special Police Officer, a job that he takes much pride in. Likewise, he treats his full-time job at the Paulison Ave. ShopRite the same way. As the head of the Seafood Department, it is Castaldo’s job to ensure that only the freshest fish and seafood are offered daily. Like the rest of the store, his department is spotless, so there is no doubt that you are getting the day’s catch. For the upcoming holidays, Castaldo has a variety of traditional seafoods on hand, including shrimp, lobster, baccala, scungilli, calamari and pulpo, all of which can be combined into a platter. Castaldo also welcomes any special orders you may have. 22

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Optimist Awards


Ralph Eodice, retired Clifton Fire Chief John E. Dubravsky, and CHS Coaches Ron Anello and Ralph Eodice showing one of the hams that he Cara Boseski are to be honored used to give away on May 4. Story by Joe Hawrylko during Christmas at Few things make Ralph Eodice happier than Christmas. For the last 50 years, he has played his role as Clifton’s Santa, spreading joy and good will around town during the holiday season. However, all good things must come to an end eventually. Following this Christmas past, Eodice hung up his big red suit for good after a half century of service. “This is the finale,” he laughed heartily in his ‘exit interview’. “For age reasons, I’m retiring.” For putting a smile on the faces of young Cliftonites over the past five decades and his other deeds, the Clifton Optimist Club is recognizing Eodice with the Stanley Zwier Community Service Award His service began with a call. “Many years ago, I was asked if I’d do Santa Claus for the city,” recalled Eodice, who owned Alexander Barber Shop on Valley Rd. until 2003. “I’d have never guessed that it would have last this long.” In fact, Eodice didn’t even think he would return for a second time because he thought it was just a one time thing. “But I kept getting letters from the city,” he recalled. “They kept on thanking me, saying they wanted me to come back next year.” Sure enough, Eodice was back in costume the following year, and soon, it became a tradition. “I originally started going as Santa to City Hall. But I also

his landmark Valley Rd. barber shop, which is shown below.

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Ralph Eodice, at right, with his late father Alexander in a photo from 1978.

did it for special ed children. The Recreation Department had a Friday night social that I would attend,” said Eodice, who also was Santa for the Knights of Columbus, 11671,

where he is also a fourth degree knight. “One year, they gave me a beautiful gift...a plaque with Santa Claus on it. I cried almost the whole way home.” Eodice has had plenty

of other fond memories from his time as the jolly old St. Nick. “One time, a kid came up to me to give a letter to Santa that had a little weight to it. It ended up being change—less than a dollar,” recalled Eodice, who also was a Clifton Special Police Officer for several years. “He said something to this effect: ‘Santa, I want the poor kids to have this,’ and I went and dropped it off at the St. Philip’s collection basket.” And even when he wasn’t donning the iconic red suit and beard, Eodice made sure that the Christmas spirit was always present. At Alexander Barber Shop on Valley Rd., the store he owned for almost 50 years until 2003, Eodice would regularly give out hams to the needy, customers and friends. The store was also the source of many memories as well. “When I cut hair, I face the mirror. So when I was cutting this kid’s hair, he was looking at my

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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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face,” explained Eodice, who has been married to his wife Anne for 55 years. “When he left, the kid said, ‘When I looked at Ralph’s eyes, he looked just like Santa.’” Over the years, the way that he would make his annual Christmas rounds about town would change. Santa didn’t always use the fire trucks or flat beds that have driven him around Clifton the last few holiday seasons.

Above is CHS football coach Ron Anello and softball coach Cara Boseski, this year’s recipients of the Friend of Youth Award. To the left is Fire Chief John E. Dubravsky, who will receive the Judge Joseph Salerno Respect for Law Award.


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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Many remember the late Joseph James Salerno, at left, as the honorable Passaic County Superior Court Judge, a position held until his death in 1992. But to Cliftonites, Judge Salerno, a longtime Optimist, was also respected for his contributions to his hometown. To commemorate his association with Clifton, Judge Salerno’s name will forever be associated with the Clifton Optimist Club’s Respect For Law Award. The Clifton Optimist Club’s Community Service Award is a fitting tribute to the late Clifton Mayor and longtime Optimist Stanley Zwier, at right, because Zwier was involved in many community events, even up until his death in 1999.

“Santa Claus arrived in different modes over the years,” said Eodice. “He’s been driven around in an ambulance, DPW truck, a flatbed with hay and a hook and ladder. He’s even came off of the roof at City Hall in a hook and ladder.” So come next Christmas, who will resume his role as Clifton’s Santa? Eodice has at least one name in mind.“Our Mayor, Jimmy Anzaldi,” he said. “He would love to do Santa Claus. He’s done it in the past.”

The Annual Friend of Youth Beefsteak is on May 4 at 4 pm at the Boys & Girls Club on Colfax Ave. Sponsored by the Clifton Optimist Club, those being honored include Ralph Eodice, Retired Fire Chief John E. Dubravsky, and CHS coaches Ron Anello and Cara Boseski. Tickets are $40. Call club president Mike Gimon at 973-779-5810 or members Joe Bionci at 973-472-1707 or Dennis Hahofer at 973-835-2474 or go to Bringing Out the Best in Kids is the theme of Optimist Clubs worldwide. The Clifton Chapter, while small in number, is involved in positive service projects aimed at providing a helping hand and being a Friend of Youth. By believing in young people and empowering them to be the best they can, Optimist volunteers make this world a better place to live.

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Mario’s Restaurant 710 Van Houten Ave. • 973-777-1559

Thursday Gourmet Pasta Night Unlimited salad & fresh-made garlic bread with choice of Penne Vodka, Rigatoni Bolognese, Angel Hair Pomodoro with Shrimp, Orrechietta Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage, Linguini with Red or White Clam Sauce, Spaghetti with Meatballs or Sausage. $10.95

Friday Night Seafood Specials See our board for the Catch of the Day but try our freshly made Tilapia stuffed with Crab Meat & Shrimp. It’s Delicious! $13.95

Saturday Night Steak Specials Includes 16oz. sizzling boneless New York Sirloin with fresh, spicy garlic shrimp, garlic herb mashed potatoes & onion rings. Choice of vegetable or salad. $15.95

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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

VFW Post 7165 on Valley Rd. hosted its latest monthly breakfast on March 2. The next two breakfasts will be April 6 and May 4 from 8 to 11 am. A $5 donation includes a full breakfast of eggs, choice of meat, home fries and beverages. The public is welcome to attend. For info, call 973-523-9762 or write to Allen Tuske Sr. Vice Commander at From left: Jim Pangaro, Bob Mantz, Carol Ference, Ed Nibbling, Jackie Rhinesmith, Jerry Ference, Walter S. Rudolph and Mike Freeman.

Tiger Cubs from Cub Scout Pack 74 visited the worldwide headquarters of Tomahawk Promotions on Feb. 5 to earn their communications badge. The seven scouts learned how photos are taken and stories are written during their brief visit to the Clifton Merchant Magazine. Den leader Karen Harris and other parents were also on hand. The pack is affiliated with First Presbyterian Church on Maplewood Ave. The kids are six years old and attend Schools 2, 5 and 16. For more information on scouting, call 973-744-6855. Some members of Cub Scout Pack 74, who meet at First Presbyterian Church on Maplewood Ave., include Alexander Velazquez, Pablo Dubbels, Danny Habal, Nicholas Peragallo, Christian Oriwa, Zachary Garcia and Tommy Harris. March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin, who is also the Honorary Chir of the Clifton Boys & Girls Club’s “It Just Takes One” fundraising effort, presented a $1,000 donation from the International Union of Operating Engineers of West Caldwell, where he serves as business manager. Pictured here, from left, is Club Executive Director Bob Foster, Board of Trustees President Elaine Robertazzi, Giblin and One Campaign Committee Chair Francis Calise. To see how you can contribute, call 973-773-2697. The campaign, which will run through October, has a goal of raising $50,000 to help meet the city’s need for after school and summer programs. Last year, the Club served 5,184 children.

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Clifton resident and CASA President Tom Whittles was elected to serve as Chair of ASIS International - Northern New Jersey Chapter. ASIS International is the largest organization for security professionals with more than 35,000 members. Whittles is the Regional Manager of Summit Security Services’ New Jersey Region, one of the New York region’s leading providers of security services. The CHS class of June 1948 is holding its 60th anniversary reunion on Oct. 18 at the Valley Regency. Contact Dom Puleo at 973-470-0587. St. Peter’s Haven will be holding its annual fundraising Tricky Tray and Dinner on May 8 at 6:30 pm at the Brownstone in Paterson. Call 973-546-3406. The Mental Health Clinic of Passaic holds its 2nd Annual Beefsteak Dinner and Tricky Tray Auction Fundraiser on May 7 at the Brownstone. Doors open at 6 pm and dinner is at 7 pm. Tickets are $45 and benefit the specialized children’s programs of the Mental Health Clinic. Call Lori Dhuyvetter at 973-473-2775 ext. 109 or e-mail her at


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his year we are “springing ahead” on March 9th. How welcome the longer daylight will be! For all those people who have trouble changing the time and date on their watches, don’t hesitate to stop in. We will be happy to do it at no charge. In addition—to welcoming spring—we would like to offer our readers a special service. Bring in your favorite diamond ring and we will check your setting to make sure all your prongs are secure, followed by a professional cleaning. This is something you should do regularly. If you ever wanted to own a Concord watch, this is the time, we are offering deep discounts because we are currently overstocked. There are other close-outs available in Raymond Weil & Roven Dino. Now a jewelry update! Yellow gold is showing up in all the lines we’ve been seeing. It has been quiet for the last decade - but it’s warm glow is a welcome change. Combinations of all metals are being coupled with a huge variety of semi precious stones. The cuts and colors are truly unique. If you add one thing to your jewelry wardrobe, think color for this spring. White gold is still dominant but keep your eyes on yellow and pink too. The birthstone for March is Aquamarine, which is found in refreshing shades of pastel blue. The myth: Universal symbol of youth, hope and health, this stone ensures a long and happy marriage. Have a “Memorable March”. We’ll talk to you again next month.

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Harry Glackin was the 2007 Friend of Recreation Awardee. He is pictured here with Annmarie Menconi of the Menconi Music School on Lakeview Ave.

Msg. Peter J. Doody, former pastor of St. Philip’s RC Church on Valley Rd.

The Easter Bunny will be in Main Memorial Park from 1 to 3 pm on March 15. Presented by the Downtown Clifton Economic Group, this free event offers crafts, photos and fun. Call 973-253-1455 for info. The Bunny Bash, sponsored by the Clifton Rec Dept., will be held March 22 at 9:30 am at Nash Park for children ages three to 12 and dogs. For more info, call 973-470-5956. From March 7 to April 3, save 10 percent on regular and sale priced merchandise at any Modell’s location during Clifton’s Team Week. Call Clifton Rec for details.

St. Philip’s Knights of Columbus 11671 created a scholarship fund named after the founder of their council, Monsignor Peter J. Doody. The fund will help students attend a catholic high school. On Feb. 16, $45,000 was raised for the fund at a dinner in St. Philip’s auditorium. For info, call Grand Knight Raymond Lill at 973-472-1756. The Geraci Citizen’s League’s 78th feast of Sicilian culture, food and music is at 6 pm on March 16 at the Valley Regency. Call Nina and Frank Corradino for $80 tickets at 973-278-0356 or 973-470-8982. The League was first organized in 1930 by Passaic residents from the Sicilian village of Geraci Siculo. Skate Paddy’s Day is on March 15 at the Clifton Skatezone, located at 85 Third St. Wear green and receive $2 off open skate or bike session. The Tri-Star Basketball Skills Contest, sponsored by the Clifton Optimist Club, will be from 6 to 8 pm on March 12 at WWMS. Open to boys and girls ages eight to 13 Awards will be presented to the top two boys and girls in each group. Call 973-470-5956 to register.

The Clifton Rec Department held its Installation Dinner on Jan. 31. Those re-instated and sworn in included President Doreen DelancyWilliams, V.P. John Pogorelec and Board members Joe Bionci, Kristen Fedorchak, Tom Fieldhouse, Robert Foster, Jeffrey Hoey, Tom Mullin, Anna Torres and Anthony Yannarelli. Staffers of the Year went to Barbara Powers and Richard Hanle. Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge #657 was the sponsor of the year, Joe Jeffers won the Recreation Service Award and the Friend of Recreation was Harry Glackin.

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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant 1642

School #16 in Clifton will be holding its annual Tricky Tray on March 27 at the Valley Regency. Doors open at 6pm and tickets are $45. The school is also celebrating its 50th anniversary on May 13 at its annual Spring Concert. All alumni are invited to attend. For more info on either of these events, call 973-470-2420.

CHS track star Susan Martinez recently signed her letter of intent to attend the University of Pittsburgh on an athletic scholarship. She is pictured above with long time CHS Track Coach John Pontes.

IHOP of Clifton employees gave away 423 stacks of pancakes on National Pancake Day on Feb. 12 and raised $853 for children’s hospitals through the Children’s Miracle Network.

The Claverack Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution will present awards on April 27 to the winners of the American History Essay Contest titled “I Spy Espionage During the American Revolution.” Winners include seventh grader Catherine Ann Bradshaw of St. Andrew’s School, WWMS eighth grader Clarence Reyes, and CCMS eighth grader Trina Wijangco. Call 973-777-0028.



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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


The Lakeview Merchants Association holds its first Sidewalk Sale on March 22 from 9 am to 5 pm. Organizers promise great bargains and food offered by shops and services on Lakeview Ave. between Crooks and Clifton Aves. For info, call Evelyn Malave at 973-928-1696. George Silva who has organized events in Botany, attended a meeting of Lakeview Ave. merchants to discuss a March 22 sidewalk sale. Also pictured are Gloria Batchelor, with Anthony and Evelyn Malave.

Clifton School Nine has its annual tricky tray on March 28 at 6 pm at The Bethwood in Totowa. Tickets are $40 and include dinner, dessert, soda, beer and wine. There will also be a cash raffle and gift baskets with prizes such as a Wii, designer handbags and a patio set. For tickets call

Lina Ros at 973-473-2027 or e-mail A Palm Sunday Bake Sale will be held March 16 at Holy Apostle Church, 17 Platt Ave. in Saddle Brook. Nut rolls, poppy seed cake, babka, and rice cake will be on sale. Call Peter Eagler at 201-745-7554.

The Pirogi Ladies of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, some of whom are pictured below, offer homemade potato pirogi and babka for sale in their school’s kitchen at 212 President St. in Passaic, Mon.- Fri., 8 am to 3 pm, and Sat., 8 am to noon. For more info, call 973-778-9734.


March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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Send your community news to or to Clifton Merchant Magazine, 1288 Main Ave., Clifton, NJ 07011. Please provide the information at least 30 days in advance of the publication date requested. We publish info and photos on a space available basis. Call 973-253-4400 with any questions. The 5th One Heart International Festival of music, dance and drama, presented by New Jersey Music and Arts , will take place at 5:30 pm on April 6 at the WWMS auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. The theme of the festival is Beauty in Diversity, a celebration of world cultures. There will be a free pre-performance lecture at 4:30 pm by Stephen Sprague on Visual Arts and Modernity. Among the performers are the AJU Dancers, the New Hope Players and the AKBA Folk Music & Dance Ensemble. There will also be an art exhibit by Prof. Sompohi Baya. For info, contact producer Franceso Santelli at 973-272-3255 or

Producer Francesco Santelli brings the One Heart International Festival to WWMS on April 6. Pictured above: the AKBA Folk Music & Dance Ensemble

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 in

Jimbeau & The Retrocasters will perform at Rossi’s Tavern on March 13 at 7:30 as part of the Thursday Night Botany Blues Series. From left, George Shater, drums Jimbeau LeMaire, harmonica, guitar and vocals; Jeff Moore, guitar and vocals; Steve Giordano, bass and vocals. More dates and info at 34

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

its sixth year. For $50, enjoy beer and soda on a two and a half hour cruise in New York Harbor on the deck of the A.J. Meerwald as you listen to live blues bands. Boarding begins at 5:30 pm in Liberty State Park, Jersey City, and cast off is at 6 pm. The lineup 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. For info, call John Muller at 973546-3406 or e-mail him at Thursday Night Botany Blues continues on March 13 from 7:30 to 10 pm with Jimbeau and the Retrocasters at Rossi’s Tavern, 254 Dayton Ave. On March 20, Johnny Fed and Da Bluz Boyz make their exciting area debut at the ItalianAmerican Cooperative, 282 Parker Ave. Big Mike and the Perpetrators

The Flying Mueller Brothers headline the CliftonPassaic Chapter of UNICO’s Annual Fundraiser on June 6 at Bliss, 955 Allwood Rd. Doors open at 7 with other performances by The El Supremo, Rubber Souls, and Brookwood. Call 973-773-2110 or visit

The Mueller brothers, at Clifton High, from left: Bill Mueller CHS ‘74, Carl Mueller CHS ‘74 and Don Mueller CHS ‘76. They headline the UNICO fundraiser at Bliss on June 6.

return to Johnny’s Tavern on March 27. And coming up in April, the Pub Crawl is on April 19 with other Thursday night gigs TBD. The Music Fest is made possible by members of the Clifton Historic Botany Business District and the North Jersey Blues Cooperative. For more on the district or the music series, call Joe Nikischer at 973-546-8787 or visit Eclectic Visions, an exhibit and sale of the works of members of the Clifton Association of Artists, will be on display at the Clifton Arts Center March 12-19. The exhibit includes various works in oil, acrylic, pastels and mixed media. A reception is on March 15, from 1 to 4 pm. Gallery hours are Wed. through Sat., from 1 to 4 pm. Call 973-472-5499 or visit

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973.777.3111 737 Broad Street • Clifton, NJ 07013

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Our Nuevo Latino menu

created by Chef Luis Durango merges food cultures from across Central and South America, Mexico & the Caribbean, blending the best flavors & styles of each cuisine is served with flair in a canoe, thus our name! Our prices are fair & our portions are generous. Some menu samples... • Steak Canoas

Our style N.Y. Strip topped with a mushroom sauce. Served with mash potatoes & vegetables.

• Grilled Chuleta Del Sur pork chops topped with fried onions. Served with rice, black beans and sweet plantains.

• Fresh Pollo Con Championes chicken breast topped with a mushroom sauce.

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Served with rice & sauteed vegetables.

• Grilled Filet Piragua Red Snapper with a creamy seafood topping.

Our menu is creative, our prices are fair & • Tomatoes Ensalada De Canoas / Canoas Salad and fresh mozzarella served with fresh basil & olive oil, our portions... chicken, green apples, almonds, avocados and our house dressing. Generous! Served with mash potatoes, vegetables & plantains.

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Runner & Former Retailer A distance runner for over 40 years, Joel Pasternack has logged 110,000 miles on the streets • Story by Gary Anolik Go to any track meet in North Jersey. As the participants cross the finish line, you can see the excitement on their faces as they’ve achieved their goals. And if you ask some of the top finishers who got them into shape, a good many may mention Joel Pasternack. The 1968 CHS grad has more than 40 years of experience in the field, having started running as a sophomore at CHS. These days, after owning a few running stores, Pasternack is a personal trainer, a coach at Glen Ridge High School and has collected running memorabilia that could rival any Hall of Fame athlete. “I began running in 1965 with Clifton coach Ed Zak,” said Pasternack, who has run more than 110,000 miles in his life. “I really enjoyed running, everybody was able to participate, and it was a close knit group. I was far from the best, but enjoyed running.”

Joel Pasternack, CHS Class of 1968. 36

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Pasternack’s best time was in the 1974 Boston Marathon, where he placed 28th overall with a time of 2:25:03.

Pasternack would also run at Franklin Pierce College, where his life took a real turn in the fall of 1968 after visiting his friend Ron Rakowski at Boston University. “Ron was on the cross-country team and took me on my first 10 mile run, and I thought this was the greatest thing,” said Pasternack. “I decided to transfer to Monmouth College in spring 1969 so I could

run track and cross-country. I had a new attitude for running and began running 40 miles per week.” In the spring of 1971, while a student at the University of Miami, Pasternack decided to try and qualify for the Boston Marathon in a 15 mile time trial around the college campus. After qualifying, he left for Boston with his father and placed 227th out of 875 with a time of 2:59:06. This began a streak of amazing marathon results. “I knew if I trained more and was consistent and dedicated I could improve my time,” recalled Pasternack. With that attitude he made a drastic improvement in the 1972 Boston Marathon placing 53rd in 2:34:35, which was only 4:35 from qualifying for the 1972 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. On a warm day six weeks later in Yonkers, New York, Pasternack tried to break 2:30 on a hilly course. He came up two minutes short finishing in second place with a time of 2:32:06. Still wanting to break the 2:30 barrier, he increased his training to 100 miles a week to prepare for the January 1973 Jersey Shore Marathon. “There everything came together,” said Pasternack, who would go on to place second in the fabled race, with a time of 2:25:08. Pasternack next ran Boston in 1974 representing Paterson State College. He would end up placing 28th overall, with an astounding time of 2:25:03. Throughout his running career, Pasternack achieved success wher-

Since then, the track coach has had a long list of talented student athletes that he has taken under his wing. Jen Croghan from Nutley ran a 4:59 mile and a 10:48 two mile race as an eighth grader. She also won the Essex County Championships as a freshman, and the State Parochial B championships. Jen Ennis, whose grandparents live in Clifton, was a state two mile champion and won many other awards. She went on to run at the University of North Carolina. In her two years with Pasternack, Rona Killins became an All-American in indoor and outdoor track at Ramapo College. Joel and his wife Bonnie in a recent photo, holding a list that documents each of the 110,000 miles that he has run. The two have been married for 34 years.

ever he raced. He was the New Jersey State College six mile track champion, with a time of 30:53. In the fall of 1976, in the first New York City Five Borough Marathon, Pasternack placed 25th overall in 2:27:37. Soon, he was giving out training tips to people on the job. “I was working at Herman's World of Sports selling running sneakers, and people would come in and ask me advice because they knew about my running,” said Pasternack, sensing a business opportunity “I decided to do it on my own.” In 1978, Joel went into New York City and, with a partner, opened up the Athletic Attic in the Village. After a few years there, Pasternack returned to Clifton to open Joel’s Sports, in 1985. For 15 years, the track guru operated out of his Styertowne Shopping Center store before closing in 2000. Around the same time of the opening of his first store, Pasternack started coaching crosscountry at St. Mary’s High School in Rutherford. “I train people based on what I have learned, based on mistakes I made in training and tailoring the workouts to the person’s goals,” said Pasternack.

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Pasternack’s latest phenom is Kristen Traub of Wayne, whom he has coached for five years. She has been ranked nationally in the 1,500m and 3,000m distances and has been undefeated for three years in Eastern Middle School competition. To train young athletes like Traub, Pasternack has developed a specialized program for children six to 15 year olds. “I started a program for kids so they could start a fitness regiment. Obesity is a major problem and kids need to start a fitness regiment early in life,” said the coach, whose daughter Amy is also an avid runner and a 1999 CHS grad. Pasternack also trains adults, having coached the North Jersey Masters Club and the Essex Running Club for the past five years. “I’ve helped adults with different goals from losing weight, like one client who lost 30 pounds in a few years, to qualifying for the Boston Marathon,” he said. “I won’t train anyone who just wants to run a marathon and has only been running a short time,” continued Pasternack. “Running a 26.2 mile race has to be part of your lifestyle. So once a person completes the marathon they should not stop running. I recommend not running a 26.2 mile race until building up with races from 5 to 15 miles. Give yourself at least three years.” And if anyone wants to run 110,000 miles, you may Pasternack in 1974, accepting a trophy after finishing a 25K consider giving yourself 40 years. road race in a Long Island.

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Dr. Alphonsus ‘Rick’ Doerr, Jr. holding a painting of his father, and at right, at the helm. He will compete this September in the Paralympic Games in Beijing.

Story by Jordan Schwartz

You have to work hard to become a hand surgeon. First, there are four years of college, then four years of grad school, and finally four years of med school. After all that, you can become an intern. Then, you graduate to a resident and finally a fellowship before you can actually go out and open your own practice. You have to work harder to become a world champion sailor. First, you have to train, purchase a boat and assemble a team. Then, you can take to the sea to compete in some small-time local regattas. If you’re lucky enough to win a few of those, you can move up to bigger events on a regional and national level. Win all those, and you can compete at the World Championships. Then, all you have to do is beat the best sailors in the world. Clifton doctor Alphonsus ‘Rick’ Doerr, Jr. is a hand surgeon and a world champion sailor. He’s also been paralyzed for the past 16 years.

The Family Trade Doerr grew up in the shadow of a legend. Dr. Alphonsus L. Doerr, Sr. was a well-respected Clifton physician, who was always busy helping people. “We saw him at dinner time and occasionally on weekends and once in a while in the morning,” remembered Alphonsus, Jr., who was the sixth of seven children. So, in order to spend some time with his father, Rick would often tag along on house calls in the ‘60s. “I’d eat cookies and watch football games while he treated the patients,” recalled Doerr, who attended School 16 and Montclair Kimberly Academy. 40

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

But Ricky was more interested in athletics than medicine growing up. At MKA, he played lacrosse, football, hockey and water polo. Rick’s older brothers John and Joseph both followed in their father’s footsteps by attending medical school, but the youngest boy didn’t decide he wanted to become a doctor until he was in college. “There was always external pressure coming down from them,” said Doerr, who got his undergraduate degree in 1983 from New England College in Heniker, New Hampshire. “I had to declare a major after my second year and so I chose Biology. I shared text books with my older brothers.”

Doerr attended the University of Colorado for graduate school before pursuing his M.D. at the University of Health Sciences in Chicago. He returned home in 1989 for a year-long internship in general surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark. That’s when he met a girl named Joanne whom he began to date. The relationship became a long-distance one when Doerr went back to Chicago for his residency training.

Life in a Chair After more than a decade of schooling, Doerr was finally on the precipice of becoming a surgeon. But on July 19, 1992, Doerr’s life changed forever. Rick and a fellow resident were driving in Chicago when another motorist cut them off, attempting to make a left turn across three lanes of traffic into a shopping mall. Doerr, who was heading the opposite direction, swerved to avoid the collision and his vehicle ended up


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rolling before slamming into a pole. Doerr’s passenger escaped without major injury, but Ricky was left paralyzed from the waist down. “That was a tough time,” said Doerr’s younger sister Debra Larsen, who now lives on Mt. Prospect Ave. “Everyone came together quickly, though, and we alternated going out to Chicago to be with Rick.” “I dwelled on the injury for a while,” said Doerr, 47. “You’re angry and pissed off, but the people who cared for me never let me go back there; they were always telling me to look forward.

“A lot of people with spinal cord injuries dwell on a cure and that slows you down,” he continued. “The sooner that you accept what you got, you can move forward.” Doerr’s tough skin came from being raised in a house with six siblings. “We beat each other up so we never got any sympathy,” he said. “It was survival of the fittest.” Following the accident, Doerr was left with the decision of whether or not to continue his pursuit of becoming a surgeon. “I couldn’t really complete general surgery at the time, but I found

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In the summer of 1965, Debra, 4, and Ricky Doerr, 5, on vacation at their family’s Seacrest Beach home.

out that hand surgery could be done sitting down,” he said. Incredibly, Doerr only missed six months of his studies, and in 1994 (the same year he married Joanne), he began a fellowship in hand surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. “The good thing is that hospitals are set up for wheelchairs, so the work environment wasn’t that tricky,” he said. From 1995 to 1998, Doerr was a plastic surgery resident at Tampa General Hospital in Florida. In 1998, Clifton’s son returned home to join his brother John, a radiologist practicing at the Allwood Imaging Center on Broad St. The brothers later moved to their current location at 914 Clifton Ave., across from City Hall. They renovated the inside of the building to include state-of-the-art equipment needed for the older brother’s practice.

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On Debra Larsen’s wedding day in 1990. Ricky Doerr is in the back left, Dr. John Doerr is sitting holding the baby on the left, Dr. Joseph Doerr is standing to the left of the man holding the child, and Debra and her husband Jan Larsen are in the middle.

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nership for us,” said Ricky, whose other brother Joseph is also a physician but in Westport, Mass. Doerr, meanwhile, has been able to use his disability to his advantage. In working with patients who have injured their hand or face, the surgeon can empathize with the frustration they are experiencing. “I find myself helping people who are in a similar situation that I was in, so I use what I went through to help them,” he said. “You have to distance yourself from the accident.” But not every one is too keen on being treated by someone in a wheelchair. Doerr also works at the emergency rooms at St. Mary’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center and Saint Barnabas Hospital, and some of the patients there are a little taken aback when they see Doerr roll up. For the most part, though, the injured are more worried about what the doctor can do with his hands rather than with his feet. While making his rounds at St. Mary’s, Dr. Doerr is approached by a number of employees who tell him that he looks so much like his late father who also worked at the hospital. “There aren’t too many days that go by that someone doesn’t mention dad,” said Rick. “There’s no cutting corners around here when people expect you to live up to him.” But Doerr isn’t burdened by his father’s legacy. “I am who I am because of dad,” he said.

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Ship Captain Following his car accident, Doerr began participating in sports such as wheelchair tennis and basketball as part of his rehabilitation. Rick, who taught skiing in Colorado with his sister Susan Dell prior to his injury, also returned to the Rockies to take part in an adaptive ski program. He wasn’t able to continue playing lacrosse, but he remains involved in the game by coaching at Ramapo High School. But the activity that caught Doerr’s attention the most was sailing. Having already spent some time on the water prior to his injury, Rick was a natural. By the summer of ‘93, he was starting to do a lot of racing and the following year, he bought his own boat. In ‘95, ‘99 and ‘03 Doerr competed in the selection trials to qualify for the Paralympic Games. He didn’t make it on his first three tries, but the surgeon and his Team Odyssey

“Even the most able athletes don’t accomplish what he has,” said Ricky Doerr’s sister Debra Larsen. “It really blows you away that he can do these things.” finally came in first at the trials in Newport, Rhode Island this past October. That means Doerr, along with crew mates William Donahue and Tim Angle, will be heading to Beijing, China this September to compete in the Paralympic Games. “Rick’s a demanding captain, but you have to be in order to get what you need out of a boat and a crew,” said Donahue, a Brick resident who’s known Doerr for more than two years. “He’s an excellent skipper.” But the sailing captain is no stranger to international competition. Doerr’s team recently won the Sonar Class event at the 2007 World Championships in Rochester, NY. “Winning that is harder because every country sends multiple teams, but in the Paralympics, you only send one,” said Doerr.

The Clifton native’s recent success earned him a nomination for the 2007 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award, an honor bestowed upon the country’s best sailor. While Doerr didn’t win, he was the only disabled athlete on the list. “Even the most able athletes don’t accomplish what he has,” said his sister Debra. “It really blows you away that he can do these things.” “When I grow up, I want to be like him, and he’s my younger brother,” seconded Susan. While Doerr is a tough competitor, he always brings his cheerful attitude to whatever he does. Charles Zusman, who has been writing about sailing for The Star Ledger for the past ten years, confirms this with an anecdote describing how he first met Doerr in 2000.

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Dr. Alphonsus Doerr, Sr. If you want to know where Ricky Doerr gets his good bedside manner from, look no further than his father Dr. Alphonsus L. Doerr, Sr. The Clifton doctor was making house calls up until the day he died of a heart attack on Oct. 21, 1997. Following his death, hundreds showed up at the Bizub-Quinlan Funeral Home on Van Houten Ave. to pay their respects. The elder Doerr was described by many as an “old school” doctor because of the way he cared for every one of his patients. Dr. Doerr was always more than willing to hop out of bed in the wee hours of the night to assist colleagues in need over at Passaic General and St. Mary’s Hospitals. In his more than four decades of practice at his Allwood Rd. office, Doerr delivered thousands of babies that he continued to care for as they passed through the Clifton and Passaic schools, where he served as the districts’ physician. Doerr, who died at the age of 71, was married to the former Esther Rizzo for 47 years. They had seven children: John, Joseph, Carol, Mary, Susan, Alphonsus ‘Ricky’ Jr. and Debra. Following his death, Dr. Doerr was featured on the cover of the March 1998 edition of the Clifton Merchant Magazine in a painting created by Clifton artist Jacquie Kiernan.

“I was at a boat club with my wife waiting for a race to end on the Hudson River,” remembered Zusman. “Rick was sitting in a wheelchair in his hospital garb and I thought he was just some hospital worker fooling around in the chair. He was laughing, trying to hop a curb until he finally fell over and asked me to give him a hand. That’s when I realized he was really disabled and he was just having a good time.” The surgeon’s full time job helps him put his hobby in perspective. “When things go wrong on the water, I can tell my team that it’s only sailboat racing,” said Doerr. “I say to them, ‘You should see some of my patients whose lives have been turned upside down by injuries.’” Doerr’s own life has also made him a better sailor. “Dad would never let me dwell on the bad,” he said. “In sailboat racing, you have to stick to the plan because there are always things changing. In the end, consistency pays off.”

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Back to School –– Story by Jordan Schwartz –– There are about 12,000 podiatrists in the United States, according to the Department of Labor, but it’s believed that only five hold both a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) and a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. Clifton podiatrist Thomas Graziano is about to bring that total up to six. As a young kid growing up on Mountain View Dr. in Clifton, Graziano always knew he wanted to be a doctor. “I’d get biology kits as a boy and I was always intrigued by medicine,” he said. After graduating Clifton High School in 1968, Graziano attended William Paterson University in Wayne, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology in 1973. He then received a Masters in Human Physiology from Fairleigh Dickinson University before earning his D.P.M. at the College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago. “I chose to become a foot doctor because I could make my own hours and run my own practice while still having time for other things,” said Graziano. Those other things include playing lead guitar in a blue band called Shades of Blue, achieving a second degree black belt in the martial art of Vadha Kempo, and going to the gym every day at 5:30 am. But Graziano hasn’t had much time for hobbies lately. After more than two decades in private practice, the podiatrist decided he wanted to return to school to get his Doctor of Medicine.

Clifton podiatrist Thomas Graziano (at right) spent three months last year doing an internal medicine rotation with Dr. Sessine Najjar (at left) as he studied to earn a Doctor of Medicine degree. Also pictured here is Najjar’s associate Dr. Diana Finkel.

“It was to enhance my knowledge and to make me a better physician as a foot doctor,” he said. “If I have a diabetic patient, I want to be able to understand exactly what they’re going through.” So, in Sept. 2006, Graziano enrolled in the British West Indies Medical Program at the University of Health Sciences in Antigua. He took all the courses online so he could continue his podiatry practice at 1033 Clifton Ave. Graziano, 57, was one of the oldest people in the program, which was mostly made up of dentists returning to school to get their M.D. But the Clifton native was also the most ambitious of his peers, choos-

ing to complete the coursework and his rotations at the same time, all while still operating his practice. “It’s been difficult juggling 12hour work days and then going home and studying,” said Graziano. But this was probably the perfect time for the podiatrist to take on the challenge. Now that he’s divorced and his one son Michael, 26, is no longer living at home, Graziano can focus soley on achieving his degree. “I don’t think I could have done it with anyone in the house,” said the doctor, who moved from Churchill Dr. in Clifton to a home in Ramsey seven years ago. Graziano completed his coursework in December, and has March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Graziano as a 1968 CHS graduate.

just a few more elective rotations to complete before he becomes fully certified. He’s currently working with Dr. Ahmed Mekkawy, a pulminary specialist located at 925 Clifton Ave. The podiatrist also spent three months last year shadowing Dr. Sessine Najjar, an internal medicine specialist at 975 Clifton Ave. Graziano likens him to Dr. House of the Fox TV program, for Najjar’s ability to diagnose any sickness. “These mentors have been unbelievably supportive,” Graziano said, adding that it hasn’t been strange learning from doctors who were around his same age. The only time he may have felt a little old was when he was doing rounds with pediatric residents at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, and Graziano had about 30 years on everyone there. Graziano has just four months left until he becomes only the sixth podiatrist in the country to also hold an M.D., but the doctor doesn’t really think about all that. “I really didn’t consider the significance of being one of only six,” he said. “People like the idea that their doctor is so well-trained. That’s what I really care about.”

Chiropractic Care –– by Jordan Schwartz –– Cathy Williams had been suffering from chronic neck pain for six years before finally deciding to go see Clifton chiropractor Michael Magwood. “I tried other modalities including other chiropractors and nothing else worked substantially for any length of time,” said Williams. So, towards the beginning of last year, the Third St. resident started seeing Magwood at his old Clifton Ave. office. “He does a consultation with you and then works up a plan of action and he asks you to sign a ‘contract,’ or a personal commitment,” she said. After six months, Williams wanted to give up, but she stuck with it and two months later, she was able to resume her hobbies of sewing and knitting. Williams’ experience with Dr. Magwood was so successful that she signed her daughter Jonica up for some adjustments. The CHS senior is a competitive dancer who had a bulging disc problem that was getting to the point where she might have been forced to stop dancing. But after working with Magwood, she’s been able to continue her favorite activity. And since Williams signed up for the family plan, her husband John has been seeing Dr. Magwood for his lower back pain and his health has improved as well. “Dr. Magwood is very intuitive and gives a real personal investment in people,” Cathy said. “He doesn’t do the same adjustments every time. He really senses the body.”

Dr. Michael Magwood (top left) with some of his favorite patients — the Williams family of Third St. in Clifton. They are John, Cathy and their daughter Jonica.

But Magwood isn’t the only chiropractor in town. In fact, there are dozens in Clifton. “I don’t feel like we’re competing,” said Dr. Lou Schimmel of the Chiropractic Center at Styertowne. “Clifton is such a good marketplace. I wish there were more good chiropractors in town.” Dr. David Moore of On Track Chiropractic at 850 Clifton Ave.

agrees. “Not that many people are using chiropractors, so our goal is to have everyone use them so their nervous system can be free of problems,” he said. Statistics vary as to what portion of the population is seeing chiropractors. Some practitioners say only four percent, while others say the number is closer to 14. March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Either way, most chiropractors agree that the best way to get more people to take advantage of the service they provide is through education. “The reason we have a utilization problem is because people don’t know what we do,” said Dr. Moore. “Most people have a misconception of chiropractic care, so one of the key things is to educate and empower the community.” Moore does this by holding monthly discussions for patients. He also has his own public access show during which he talks about chiropractic care and wellness. Health Talk airs on Channel 77 every Friday night at 9:30. With a plethora of chiropractors in Clifton and the area, Moore said he is seeing a growing number of patients for wellness. He emphasizes the concept of ‘wellness’ at his office, even employing a Wellness Coordinator, Michelle Berckes. “I’m interested in the potential of the human body and


March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Dr. David Moore of On Track Chiropractic at 850 Clifton Ave., along with Wellness Coordinator Michelle Berckes and Office Manager Rania Abughanieh.

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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


addressing not only the nervous system, but the things that cause interference in the nervous system such as chemical, emotional and physical stress,” said Moore. Dr. Schimmel makes his practice unique by billing it at as a ‘family operation.’ And that’s exactly what it is with Schimmel working alongside his wife Jackie Paz and her brother Joe. They treat patients of all ages, from infants to adults. Dr. Magwood, meanwhile, uses an ‘open concept’ at his office. “My tables are out in the open so people can come in as guests and watch what goes on,” he said. “The stigma is the ‘cracking’ terminology which is scary to people.” Magwood, whose new office is at 1425 Broad St., said he hopes one day all families choose to be like the Williams’. “Several of us chiropractors are working together to promote the profession more than ourselves,” he said. “There’s more people around than we know how to help.”

When you see a medical ad in a paper or a degree on a wall, it usually has abbreviations with it. Below are keys to some medical titles: PCP: Primary Care Provider MD: Medical Doctors FNP: Family Medicine PNP: Pediatrics ANP: Adult Care GNP: Geriatrics PA: Physician Assistant LPN: Licensed Practical Nurses are state-licensed with a two year degree

needs, including prenatal care, labor and delivery, and care of a woman who has given birth CRNA: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists have training in the field of anesthesia AN/PAN: Anesthesiology PS: Plastic Surgery DO: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

RN: A Registered Nurse is graduated from a nursing program, passed a state board exam and is licensed by the state.

OB/GYN: Obstetrics and Gynecology

NP: Nurse practitioners, which are nurses with graduate training.

DPM: Doctor of Podiatric Medicine

APN: Advanced Practice Nurses have education and experience beyond the basic training and licensing required of all RNs

DC: Doctor of Chiropractic

CNS: Clinical Nurse Specialists have training in a field such as cardiac, psychiatric, or community health

FACFAS: Fellowship of American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons

CNM: Certified Nurse Midwives have training in women’s health care

FACG: Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology LAc: Licensed Acupuncturist DPT: Doctor of Physical Therapy DDS: Doctor of Dental Surgery

FACC: Fellow of the American College of Cardiology AuD: Doctor of Audiology

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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Relief with Pins & Needles Acupuncture is making scores of people feel better every day ––– by Joe Hawrylko ––– Do you suffer from chronic back pain and seek an alternative medical solution to compliment your more traditional care? If so, perhaps you should check out acupuncture. It is a traditional Chinese medical practice that has been used in Asian culture for thousands of years. Acupuncture involves stimulating the body and skin by piercing it with thin, metallic needles. It became popular in the States during the ‘70s when a New York Times reporter had the procedure done. “Most people use it for pain management in the joints, back, shoulders and knees,” said Marina Doktorman of Relief Acupuncture P.C., 1030 Clifton Ave. There’s also other potential uses. “Not only that, but it’s very effective for headaches, migraines, infertility and gynocological problems,” she continued. “It’s also helpful with asthma and allergies.” The theory behind the procedure is that the body is seen as a delicate balance of two opposite and inseparable forces: yin and yang. Within the body, there is a force called Qi, which is roughly translated to vital energy. The counterbalance to Qi is Blood. This concept works by regulating the flow of Qi and Blood through the body by stimulating specific acupuncture points. The needles have the ability to speed up or slow down the flow of the energy for patients. “There are limitations. There are people that respond really well and might just need one treatment,”

Marina Doktorman in her Clifton Ave. office practicing on an unidentifed patient.

said Doktorman, who has been in the field for almost seven years. “Relief usually comes the next day. If the patient feels no change in the first five treatments, it won’t help.” The acupuncturist also says that patients should see their physician first before coming to her. “The acupuncturist should never recommend for you to stop taking your medication,” Doktorman stated. “Users can have any other treatment because they’re not going to feel worse from acupuncture.”

Still, like any good doctor, she asks for a detailed medical background before anything is done. “The only precautions are for people with pacemakers,” explained Doktorman. “We don’t use electrical stimulation.” These days, as more studies show the benefits of acupuncture, most insurances are willing to cover the costs, which start at about $85 for a basic procedure. “All of the major companies cover it,” said Doktorman. March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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“Even some insurances that I’ve never even heard of, they cover it.” Even some of her patients decided to vouch for the alternative care practice. Richard Ulan of Passaic has come for the past three years for pain relief in his knee that needs to be replaced. “The doctors told me I needed surgery, but I didn’t want to go under the knife,” said the 63-year-old, whose ACL and cartilage were badly damaged due to a high school sports injury. He has since developed crippling arthritis that had previously made him walk with a limp. “The doctors gave me two years before I needed the surgery,” said Ulan, who was told to delay surgery for as long as possible, since the repairs would not be permanent. “It’s going on three years now.” He now goes two times a week to Dr. Doktorman and says that the pain has subsided to levels that enable him to do exercises meant to help stabilize his joint. Prior to this, Ulan has never used acupuncture. “When you’re in the corner and up against it, you’re open to new things,” he laughed, adding that he has also had relief from his allergies. “I had nowhere to go.” However, like Doktorman, Ulan said that while helpful, you shouldn’t use acupuncture exclusively. “It’s just a piece of the puzzle,” he said. “It’s one component that you can use to improve your health.”

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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Giving Your Feet a Facial By Dr. Jeffrey Miller and Dr. Eugene A. Batelli, Affiliated Foot and Ankle Specialists

We at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Specialists have introduced the “foot facial” to Clifton. Many Americans suffer from dry, cracked skin which is just too stubborn for emollients and creams. Previously, these patients would try pedicures in nail salons with little to no success only subjecting them to fungal infections.

It’s unfortunate to see patients with severely dry skin and fungal infections come through the office. In many cases, these patients have tried pricey creams and have spent hours in salons with little results. On more than one occasion, we have had patients present with very bad fungal infections they acquired at a nail salon, requiring oral drug treatments which have been proven to effect the liver. There is no reason for patients to have to deal with cracked, dry skin, sun spots, blotchy patches, fine lines and scarring. We have introduced SilkPeel Dermalinfusion to the practice. SilkPeel provides “wet diamond” microdermabrasion as well as deep delivery of skin specific solutions to improve and revitalize the skin.

When you go to a Podiatrist…

SilkPeel has enabled us to provide a service to patients which was once frowned upon by the medical community. We now can provide patients with a sterile foot facial which actually works. A thorough history and physical examination is mandatory before beginning the treatment. We take into account skin types, dermatologic conditions, medications and products used to provide an optimal result. Shedding excess skin layers is not the only function of the SilkPeel. After the “wet diamond” microdermabrasion portion is complete, skin specific solutions are infused to correct the skin conditions and smooth and brighten the skin. For info about SilkPeel, contact us at 973-365-2208. Specializing in Medical & Surgical Foot & Ankle Correction

You Expect Three Things: Achieve this & more 1: Friendly Competent Treatment. with Dr. Miller & Dr. Batelli 2: The Doctor to Listen to You. 3: Your Feet & Ankles to Feel Better. • Bunions • Hammertoes • Ingrown Toe Nails • Fractures • Foot Deformities • Dancer’s Feet • Ankle Sprains • Sports Injuries • Arch Pains • Skin Conditions • Arthritis • Corns • Laser Surgery • Pediatrics • Heel Pain • Endoscopic Heel Surgery Dr. Jeffrey Miller of Affiliated Foot and Ankle Specialists is a board certified foot and ankle surgeon.

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Help for Those Suffering from Chronic Pain By Dr. Michael Basista, Medical Director of Immedicenter Most pain is fleeting but some pain is continuous. There are physicians who specialize in reducing or even eliminating chronic pain. Chronic pain lasts for more than three months and it has no protective role, and is not necessarily associated with tissue damage. It can affect a person’s functional, psychological, and affect his or her social life. Types of Pain Somatic pain is caused by the activation of pain receptors in the skin, muscle, or skeletal tissuesusually as a result of surgery or laceration. Skin pain is usually sharp, with a burning or pricking quality. Musculoskeletal pain is dull or aching. Visceral Pain is pressure-like and deep. It is usually related to cancer, bone fracture, or bone cancer. Neuropathic Pain is caused by damage to nerves that carry pain information. “Shooting,” “electric,” or “burning”, it may travel from the spine into the arms and hands, or into the buttocks, legs, or feet. Narcotics (morphine or codeine) and anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen or naproxen) are usually not effective for neuropathic pain. Treatments include nerve “block” injections, and medical interventions. Disc Pain can result from injury or irritation. It can spread away from the source, usually along the back or neck or down the arm or 58

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

leg, and can be accompanied by weakness or tingling. Feeling pain in an area away from the real source is called radiation of the pain. It is common for spine and disc problems. Joint Pain involves inflammation of the joints and ligaments and is very common, especially for women following pregnancy. In most cases, the causes are mechanical. Symptoms of joint pain include: • Pain either to the left or the right of your lower back. The pain can range from an ache to a sharp pain that can restrict movement. • The pain may radiate out into your buttocks and lower back and will often radiate to the front into the groin. Occasionally there may be pain into the thigh, leg, or foot that can be mistaken for sciatica. Classic symptoms are: • Difficulty turning over in bed • Struggling putting on shoes and socks • Pain getting your legs in and out of the car. • Stiffness in the lower back when getting up after sitting or laying down for a long time. • Aching on one side of your lower back when driving. The final type of pain is Facet Joint Pain. Facet joints are spinal joints that contain joint fluid and are lined by cartilage. They can become diseased, most commonly by arthritis, which results in loss of joint cartilage, bone overgrowth, erosion, and joint instability.

Sometimes standard pain treatments fail, and the doctor can then refer the patient to a pain management specialist who has access to a greater variety of treatments including: • Neck and Lower Back injections • Spinal Nerve Steroid Injections • Facet Joint Anesthetic Injections • Anesthetic/Steroid Nerve Blocks for the Sacroiliac Joint (where the pelvis joins the spine) • Radio Frequency Ablation (damaged tissue is internally electrically burned away non-invasively without surgery). • Discography- a diagnostic tool used to determine which spinal disk is causing pain. For more information, contact Pain Management Specialists Drs. Allan Weissman and Eugene Gorman who are located in the Clifton ImmediCenter facility, 1355 Broad St. Phone: 973-7785566. ImmediCenter also has family health/urgent care facilities in Bloomfield and Totowa.

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


The Cost of Insurance For Doctors & Consumers, dealing with Insurance is Painful –– by Jordan Schwartz –– Anyone who has sat reading a month-old magazine in a physician’s waiting room has wondered why it takes so long to see the doctor. What are they doing back there? Seeing other patients? Maybe not. The doctor could be on the phone with an insurance agent, trying to get a procedure pre-certified before performing it on another patient waiting in his underwear. “It takes a good 45 minutes to an hour with an insurance company for every procedure,” claimed Podiatrist Eugene Batelli of Affiliated Foot & Ankle Specialists of Clifton. “We have our secretarial staff that does it, but a lot of the times, the clinical case manager wants to speak directly with the doctor.”

And even after all that, it doesn’t always mean that the procedure will be approved. “I have a patient with a herniated disc,” said Dr. Kazimierz M. Szczech of the Clifton Wallington Medical Group. “I knew the patient needed an MRI, but I had to ask the HMO to agree to this. They didn’t, saying they wanted the patient to have an x-ray first and physical therapy for two weeks. “But an x-ray doesn’t show a herniated disc and physical therapy just causes more pain for someone with a herniated disc. So, we do the x-ray, which is just garbage, and after two weeks, I finally get the pre-certification to do the MRI, which of course shows the herniated disc.”

Dr. Jonathan Gold, a dermatologist on Clifton Ave., said the headache of dealing with managed care groups is even worse in a working class community like Clifton, because most people can’t afford to go to a doctor without insurance. “The insurance companies have contracts with labs, some of which aren’t reliable and they lose specimens, but we’re still obligated to use them,” said Gold. But Scott Paterson of Hanson and Ryan Inc., an insurance company in Totowa, says his people shouldn’t have to shoulder all of the blame. “The doctor’s offices often don’t provide the correct codes for the insurance companies to identify

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what procedures they want done,” he said. “Nine out of 10 times the reason a medical bill has not been paid by an insurance company is because the doctor’s office has not coded it correctly.” Al Zollo has been on both sides of the debate. He worked for 20 years as an administrator with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield before becoming a vice president at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson in 1991. Zollo now heads up the Health, Life and Disability division at Hanson and Ryan. “Many of the doctors I go to today are much better dealing with insurance than they were when managed care first came out 10 years ago,” he said. Zollo said doctors also have to worry about medical malpractice insurance. “The majority of the claims are because of a minority of doctors and it’s the remaining physicians that pay the price,” he said. “The difficulty is the rising cost of malpractice insurance,” said Dr. Batelli, adding that declining Medicare reimbursements make it difficult to pay the increasing premiums. Dr. Szczech said he hasn’t had any personal experience with malpractice suits, but he knows several good doctors who were forced out of service because they couldn’t afford to pay the insurance. “There was a surgeon who was willing to take all the really bad cases, but now he’s doing hair transplants,” said Szczech. “He’s very happy because he doesn’t have to work at night, but what a waste for the community when such a good surgeon is gone.”

Making Sense of Health Insurance By Alan P. Zollo, Hanson & Ryan Insurance Agency Today, there is an increased emphasis on the role of consumers in managing their own health care and health care finances. Many of us who have health insurance are enrolled in a managed care plan, such as a health maintenance organization (HMO) or a preferred provider organization (PPO). Others get health insurance through our employer or government programs including Medicare and Medicaid. If your employer does not offer health insurance, you can purchase individual coverage directly from an insurance company. Whether you are eligible for group insurance or have an individual plan you need to make sure you understand how your plan works. Don’t wait until you need care to ask questions. Spend the time necessary to acquire an understanding of your plan’s coverage, its doctors, hospitals, and other providers, including emergency care, out-of-pocket costs (coinsurance, co-pays, and deductibles) and of course any exclusions and/or limitations. How do you access services or obtain specialty care? What types of services are covered by your plan? What steps do you need to take to get the care you and your family need? Do you need prior approval to ensure coverage for ambulatory surgical procedures, diagnostic test such as MRIs? If your employer offers a choice of plans or if you are purchasing individual health insurance, read the brochures and policies before you choose a plan. While tedious, the time you invest can make a big difference, not only in how much you pay out-of pocket, but also in how easy it is for you to get care. Compare plans to find what is best for your situation. Call and ask questions if something is unclear and determine if your doctor or a doctor participates in the plan. Those purchasing individual insurance can contact Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey, Oxford Health Plans or Aetna directly. Those carriers currently write individual health insurance in New Jersey and they have customer service staff that can answer questions about plan options. We at Hanson & Ryan Insurance Agency can also assist individuals or business owners in need of assistance when purchasing health insurance or understanding your current health insurance plan. Our employee benefit specialist can tailor your health insurance to meet your needs and answer any question you might have. Hanson & Ryan can help you to make the right decisions for you, your family and your business. Our offices are located at 87 Lackawanna Ave. in Totowa. Call us at 973-256-6000 or visit our web site at March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


St. Mary’s Hospital A year after consolidating from three facilities into one, St. Mary’s embraces its role as Passaic’s only Hospital ––– by Jordan Schwartz ––– While a number of hospitals in North Jersey are closing, St. Mary’s in Passaic continues chugging along thanks to its mission of responding to the changing healthcare needs of the Clifton, Passaic and South Bergen communities it serves. The new St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic is a consolidated facility made up of itself, Passaic Beth Israel Hospital and the General Hospital Center of Passaic. “We’re just a year old,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Robert C. Iannaccone. “We got pregnant on Dec. 19, 2006 when

we got approval from the courts to consolidate PBI. We began operations on March 1, 2007.”

Clifton nurses and patient care assistants in the critical care unit at St. Mary’s Hospital. From left, Karen Isleib, Lilia Amorillo, Evangeline Feliciano, Maria Luisa Chioco and Gela Maria. 62

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

At least a third of the doctors on staff have offices in Clifton and many of the hospital’s patients are Clifton residents as well. “Clifton has some of the most talented doctors in the state,” said Iannaccone, a veteran of the hospital business since 1991. At one time, Passaic had more than 800 beds between the three facilities. That number is down to just the 307 at St. Mary’s, but Iannaccone said that’s enough. “The trends in medicine show that outpatient care is increasing and people aren’t getting as sick as they used to,” he said, adding that the patients who do come to St. Mary’s are more severe cases. “What’s happening is that the need for hospitals is declining,” said Dr. Daniel Conroy, Clifton cardiologist and V.P. of Medical Affairs at St. Mary’s. “Patients need less time in the hospital due to advancements in technology.” “Of our maintained beds, 25 percent are critical care beds,

which is very high for a community hospital,” said Iannaccone. “But our critical care unit is one of the best in the state.” Another area of excellence at the facility is its Eastern Heart Institute, a cardiology program providing both invasive and non-invasive procedures and cardiovascular surgery. The Institute is recognized as one of the first in New Jersey to perform electrophysiology, bypass surgery and off-pump surgery. Opened in 2005, St. Mary’s $8 million Cancer Center provides infusion and radiation therapies and a variety of oncology services and other specialities. SMH is also known for its accredited Behavioral Health Program, which offers psychiatric inpatient services along with crisis, outreach, residential and treatment programs. Finally, with almost 1,400 births a year, the Women and Children’s Center is touted as one of the fastest growing fetal medicine centers in the state. The hospital

“We walk the halls in the footsteps of Christ,” said St. Mary’s Hospital Public Relations and Marketing Director Vanessa Warner

Cancer Center nurse Evelyn Machado and Billing Department employee Debbie Egipciaco are both Clifton residents.

Fredrick J. Paternoster, D.D.S. Clifton’s Downtown Dentist with 60 years in practice, from father to son

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

Preventive Dentistry Digital Radiology ZOOM! Whitening 296 Clifton Avenue Downtown Clifton corner of Clifton & Getty Avenues



March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


The mission of the hospital, founded by the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth in 1895, is based on six core values: Dignity, Charity, Justice, Service, Excellence & Care. is also working to open a new pediatrics center on the same floor. But Iannaccone believes St. Mary’s has to do more than just provide outstanding facilities in order to compete with other hospitals in the area. “We’re in the shadow of New York City and there’s a lot of great medicine across the river,” he said. “But we are distinguished by our great service.” St. Mary’s has been able to recruit skilled nurses from some of the defunct facilities such as Columbus Hospital in Newark. “An important part of bringing new nurses on is to get them acclimated to our mission,” said Public Relations and Marketing Director Vanessa Warner. The mission is based on six core values: Dignity, Charity, Justice, Service, Excellence and Care of the Poor. But providing for the indigent can be an expensive proposition.

Medical coders Lisa Cumings, Gabriele Adbelhady and Joann Garcia, all of Clifton.

A number of hospitals have been forced to shut their doors due to decreasing medicare reimbursements from the federal government. “Our reimbursement is low too, so we struggle day to day in balanc-

Clifton residents Diana Quintero, Gloria Sanchez, David Bulwin and Meena Rana all work in the medical records department at St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic. 64

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

ing our revenues and expenses,” said Iannaccone. “When we’re looking to bring aboard specialists from local hospitals that are shutting down, we’re very careful to make sure it’s a financially viable move.” But the hospital never turns away a medicare patient. St. Mary’s dedication to helping the poor comes from its 113-year history with the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth, who founded the hospital in 1895. When SMH combined with the Jewish-based PBI and the nonsectarian Passaic General, the new St. Mary’s retained its Catholic affiliation. That means the hospital does not provide services like abortion that go against the Catholic faith. However, physicians will refer patients to local providers of these procedures. Members of the hospital’s administration are proud of the facility’s religious background and its mission, which is based on service. “We walk the halls in the footsteps of Christ,” said Warner.

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Standing left to right are Dover Business College Surgical Technology Branch Coordinator Anbalagan George, CST; Surgical Technology Clinical Coordinator Stephanie Williams, CST; graduates Ana Alejandro of Newark, Jennyfer Velasquez of Kearny, and Shonurell Roundtree of Irvington; and Surgical Technology Dept. Chair Karen Chambers, CST. Seated graduates left to right are Llyleka Walters of East Orange, Nicole Willis of Paterson; and Dannevan Jones of Teaneck.

Health Careers People seeking a career with healthy potential for growth should look to the field of health care where job prospects are promising for well-trained professionals. PCCC offers outstanding programs in Nursing, Radiography, Health Information Technology, Human Services and Exercise Science. The PCCC Nurse Education Program emphasizes the aspects of community-based health care and includes classroom lecture and clinical training at some of the region’s most advanced hospital facilities. Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for licensing as an RN. Currently, the PCCC Nursing Program enjoys the benefits of a threeyear grant from the NJ Dept. of Labor. The “Skills To Work” grant enabled the Nursing Program to double its enrollment, develop a patient care assistant program for acute care settings, and initiate a program for already-employed RNs to continue their training in a specialty field. PCCC’s pre-professional studies are for people who want to pursue a career in chiropractic, podiatry, dental, and related health care practices. They can earn a degree that prepares them for entrance to med school. Radiography is one of the most desired and competitive fields in health care. Students learn to operate medical imaging equipment, observe radiation safety and deal effectively with patients. 66

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Graduates of Dover Business College’s first Surgical Technology Program took part in a pinning ceremony during at the Clifton campus of the school. At the event, students also participated in a number of surgical tech “races” and raffled off prizes that helped raise $6,500 to benefit The Smile Train. The not-for-profit organization provides free cleft surgery for millions of poor children in the U.S. and developing countries. The Surgical Technology program enrolls 160 students who will become members of operating room teams, able to perform a variety of tasks before, during and after surgery. For more info, call 866-Go Dove (463-6837) or visit

“Our graduates are trained as x-ray technologists,” said Prof. Eileen Maloney, Radiography Dept. Chair. “They are well prepared for jobs in hospitals, imaging centers, orthopedic clinics, and doctors’ offices, and many go on to study specialized forms of radiography.” PCCC offers specialty training in mammography to students who have earned a certificate in radiology. “Our graduates have been employed at St. Joe’s, St. Mary’s, Chilton and other local health care centers,” said Maloney. “Many work as managers and rise steadily on the career ladder.” Health Information Management is ideal for people who have a flair for business and computers, but are not attracted to patient care. These professionals work with medical records, insurance data, computer systems, and other important info that can affect the quality of patient care. Health Information professionals are sought for hospitals, doctors’ offices and insurance companies. Prof. Lisa DiLiberto noted that students who pursue these careers in a college setting often have a wider range of career options as well as greater earning potential. “Another plus is that these positions are often flexible and permit the option to work from home,” she added. All the Health Information programs at PCCC are also available online. CHS grad Janet Ippolitto, a student in the Health Information Management Program since 2005, said, “The

Behind every good doctor is a great staff. You can hear it when you call. They make you feel like a person, not just the next patient. They get along and make the office a pleasant place to visit. They understand what you're going through and reach out to help you along. They are happy when you achieve your goals. They make you smile… I dedicate this ad to my staff… NJ Specialty # 3684

ease and flexibility of taking courses online appealed to me.” With online classmates from across the country, Ippolitto said, “The fact that people from so far want to take the PCCC course proves it is a good program.” Human Services may appeal to people who are interested in careers in psychological or social counseling. PCCC offers an AS degree or certificate with concentrations in Addictions or Gerontology that can lead to jobs in the “helping professions” or in the field of criminal justice, including addiction treatment centers, day care programs, and hospitals. “Many of our graduates work in places like DYFS, the Paterson Dept. of Human Services and many other area agencies,” said Prof. Michael D’Arcangelo. Exercise Science and Fitness draws students with a love for physical activity and nutrition. Developed by Prof. Ann Deblinger, it includes courses in health and nutrition, exercise physiology and injury prevention. Dorota Palen, a second year student in the Exercise Science and Fitness Specialist Program, is a CHS grad. She aims to become a nutritionist and confesses she was unaware of the Fitness Specialist program when she chose PCCC. “I received a scholarship, so I decided to come here and then transfer to a college where I could study nutrition,” she said. “When I saw this program here, I decided to stay.”

Elaine has helped three generations of orthodontists take care of her patients. If you were treated by my Dad 30 years ago, she would remember you. She has two grandchildren.

Melissa has been with me since the second year of my career. She knows how to make your treatment run smoothly, start to finish. Her daughter Nicole is 7 years old.

Adele has been with me nearly as long. She has the hands and heart of an angel. Her young son, David, is active and spunky.

Traci wears many hats in our office. She is our sunshine: warm and bright and full of laughter. Her young son, Kevin, keeps her on her toes. Carmen is new to our team, but a veteran in dentistry. She joined us because she wants to provide people with personal attention. She will be a grandmother momentarily. Me? I'm just the orthodontist... And the luckiest guy in the world to have this great staff behind me.

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Is it Alzheimer’s or Hearing Loss? By Granville Y. Brady, Jr., Au.D., Doctor of Audiology A study by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America revealed that almost half of the respondents in a survey delayed getting diagnosis and treatment for a suspected Alzheimer’s condition for as long as six years. These findings correspond with Better Hearing Institute’s studies showing that Americans with a hearing loss put off getting help for up to seven years from initial detection. Many of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s appear in people with untreated hearing loss. Of the 10 warning signs for Alzheimer’s, six of the symptoms also appear in someone with a moderate to severe hearing loss. Although Alzheimer’s is characterized as being a loss of cognition, untreated hearing loss results in many of the same behaviors exhibited by Alzheimer’s patients.

What do hearing loss and Alzheimer's have in common? Memory loss is a benchmark of Alzheimer’s, but people who do not hear well often don’t get the message straight and seem to show signs of forgetfulness. In reality, the person hasn’t forgotten the message— he or she simply didn’t hear it. For example, memory loss is a benchmark of Alzheimer’s, but people who do not hear well often don’t get the message straight and seem to show signs of forgetfulness. In reality, the person hasn’t forgotten the message— he or she didn’t hear it. Language problems are found in both Alzheimer’s and hearing loss. Although the cause is different, an inability to comprehend speech is a symptom to both diseases. So are personality changes and loss of initiative. An Alzheimer’s patient may be irritable because of deteriorating skills. A person who does not hear well is irritated when they need to have

Dr. Granville Brady with a patient at his office at 1135 Clifton Ave. 68

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

everything repeated. In some cases, a person with a hearing loss exhibits difficulty in reasoning. Because the loss interferes with communication, that person may say things that aren’t consistent with the conversation. An example is someone with hearing loss riding in a car. The driver says, “Let’s go east.” The person with a hearing loss may respond, “Nah, I’m not hungry.” The difference between sounds in the words “east” and “eat” is subtle but the meanings are different. Parallels between Alzheimer’s and hearing loss becomes closer as the hearing loss worsens. Since doctors rely on questioning a person to determine mental status, the hearing loss can lead to a possible misdiagnosis. Likewise, people with hearing aids that are obsolete may also experience problems or confusion. Hearing should be retested every couple years and hearing aids need to be examined to determine if they have a malfunction. Those that whistle, turn off unexpectedly or do not seem to be loud enough need attention. Poorly functioning aids might be worse than having none at all if the sound is weak or distorted. Anyone over 55 experiencing hearing loss should have an audiological exam. Medicare and insurance plans cover the cost. A comprehensive exam takes less than an hour. The results could be the difference between a treatable hearing loss and a debilitating cognitive disease.

Taking Care of Your Kids To Vaccinate, and other health decisions, related to Children It is a vaccine to prevent the spreading of the genital human papillomavirus (HPV) but it has caused some controversy in homes. Named Gardasil, the vaccine protects against all four types of HPV. Together, these strains cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and 90 percent of genital warts. The vaccine is recommended for 11 to 12 year old girls, but can be administered to children as young as nine. Women ages 13 to 26 who have not had it yet are also encouraged to vaccinate. The vaccine is most effective before girls become sexually active, which is why it is recommended that girls get it while young. “Many parents are concerned that their kids will begin to start having unprotected, casual sex afterwards,” said Dr. Robert Jawetz of Tenafly Pediatrics, 1135 Broad St. “Most studies have shown that it is not true.” Since the vaccine is new, not much testing has been done in terms of its safety on women over the age of 26. To date, there is much testing still going on in the field. Currently, the vaccine is known to give at least five years worth of protection and further studying will confirm if a booster is needed. There are three shots, given over the course of six months. To get full protection, all three vaccinations are needed.

The Flu The fever chills, the body aches and all the other symptoms make for a miserable few days if your child gets the flu. Thankfully, there are vaccines available.

––– by Joe Hawrylko ––– The flu season runs from Nov. until April, with most cases occurring between late Dec. and early March. Doctors will typically offer the shot between Sept. and midNov. Even if your kid misses their

ceptible. Also, any children on longterm aspirin therapy should get the shot annually, as should anyone who has infants under six months old. There’s also a new treatment on the horizon for those who are hesitant for an injection: Flumist. Just like nasal sprays for allergies and cold relief, this vaccine is taken in through each nostril, said Jawetz. “Flumist was released about three or four years ago,” he added. “It’s given once a year and children under two get two doses.”

Broken Bones

shot, it’s still better to get it late than never. “The flu vaccine is certainly important in the sense that anyone with a chronic illness can get very sick from the flu,” said Jawetz. “It’s safe and it’s been around for a while. Even if it’s just keeping your child in school instead of home for seven days, it’s still worth it.” The vaccine is especially important for children ages six months to 59 months, since their young immune systems are much more sus-

Kids will be kids. That means roughhousing, sports and the like. So from time to time, someone is bound to get hurt. Helmets and safety gear can only protect so much. While it’s nice to take preventative measures to see that this doesn’t happen, sometimes it will. That’s why parents should know what to do in the event of an injury. In children, most breaks happen in the upper extremities, since it’s instinct for them to throw out their arms when falling. While compound fractures (the type where the skin is broken) are typically easy to diagnose, not all breaks are easy to spot. Some tell tale signs that your child has broken a bone could be hearing a loud crack or grinding noise when the injury happens. While swelling is also common for sprains, if it is accompanied by intense bruising or tenderness, it should be cause for concern. Any type of deformity is also a sign of a fracture, as would the inability to put pressure on the area. March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Still Making Home Visits Medical, Social needs met by Clifton-Wallington Medical Group The days of doctors making regular house calls are few and far between but one group of physicians continues to carry on the tradition. Physicians and other healthcare providers associated with the Clifton Wallington Medical Group on Clifton Ave. visit over 50 home bound patients in Clifton, Wallington and other towns in the area. Dr. Piotr Imiolek of the Medical Group visits Katherine Rembisz of Sipp Ave. in Clifton on a regular basis. Ms. Rembisz suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, which in addition to dementia, also gives the woman contractures and spasms. “It is very difficult for the caretakers to help her hygienically,” explained Bonnie Foti, administrator of the Medical Group. So in addition to medical care, the group also coordinates hygiene services. “No agency from any home health care will do this kind of work but nurses from our office will.” Another Clifton patient, who Foti said was uncomfortable with her appearance because she was a beautiful woman for all of her life, cannot leave the house to get her hair or nails done, due to a medical issues. So in addition to medical home visits, Dr. Krystyna Szewczyk-Szczech arranged for a a beautician to visit her regularly. “While we offer the latest technology in our offices, we find the human touch is so critical in all aspects of health care,” said Foti. For info, call 973-473-4400.

Irena Bordych of Lodi, who will turn 88 this month, has been a patient of the Clifton Wallington Medical Group since Jan. 1999. Dr. Krystyna SzewczykSzczech has provided homecare since her hospital stay in March 2005.

Dr. David A. Testa Board Certified • Family Practice Medicare & most insurances accepted.

Welcoming new patients! 524 Clifton Ave • Clifton • 973-478-3556 HOURS: MON 9-4 • TUES 2-7:30 • THURS 12-6 • FRI 8-12 • SAT 8-12 70

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Grinding Your Teeth? By Fredrick J. Paternoster, D.D.S. In my 28 years of practice of General Dentistry in Clifton, I have become greatly aware of a very under-diagnosed and under-treated cause of a large variety of dental complaints, many times serious. And many times, this cause affects a wider range of symptoms, such as headaches, muscle spasms and TMJ or temporomandibular joint dysfunctions. This entity would be the subconscious habit of teeth clenching (bruxism). I have practiced throughout my career with a population of private middle and working class patients in North Jersey who I would generally classify as hard working responsible adults. In the simmering cauldron of life in this competitive and high energy area, they know all too well the meaning of stress. This stress is handled well by individuals to varying degrees, but often it is manifested by this subconscious teeth clenching habit, especially during sleep. The chewing muscle system is pound for pound the most powerful in the body—it’s naturally intended for chewing activity during meals, say 20 minutes three times a day. Thus, I will often ask a suspected clencher if they notice this tendency while driving in traffic.

Dr. Fredrick J. Paternoster says a night guard can prevent people from grinding their teeth. Bruxers, many times without symptoms, can exhibit unusually heavy loss of tooth structure on the front teeth. This can contribute to periodontal infections of supporting gums and bone around the teeth, especially when the bite is not ideal. Night-time clenchers have muscular pain, TMJ joint dysfunctions, tooth hypersensitivity, fractures of teeth and fillings and even a tendency to develop cavities. The gum tissues, especially in the back teeth, will bleed and accumulate tartar that attaches to root surfaces, leading often to serious periodontal disease.

Stress is handled well but often manifested by this subconscious teeth clenching habit, especially during sleep. This night guard acts not only to protect the tooth surfaces from harmful forceful contact, but places the jaw musculature at a position of stop that is opened from the normal clench position, which subconsciously discourages the harmful tendency.

Greater dental nerve sensitivity can occur and can lead to root canal treatment. But often the habit can hurt the chances of root canal therapy from being successful. The most common bad result of bruxism is the fracture of tooth structure, especially in cases of teeth already filled which would require costly crowns. Clench during sleep is the most damaging and common, thus, I recommend a removable hard plastic biting surface to be worn over upper teeth during sleep. This night guard acts not only to protect the tooth surfaces from harmful, forceful contact, but places the jaw at a position of stop that is opened from the normal clench position, which discourages the harmful tendency. If you suspect that you may tend towards this habit, tell your dentist. I have seen many cases dramatically improve with consistent use of a night guard. March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Heart Disease is a Mental Problem they in fact have the metabolic syndrome. The good news is Heart disease remains the numthat weight loss will often correct ber one killer of all men and the abdominal obesity, which women in this country. Yet, it markedly impacts on the hyperseems that with all the technolotension and diabetes. gy we possess, and the miraculous Unfortunately for most, the impact medications have had on dietary control and institution of the outcome of the disease this exercise is not accomplished shouldn’t be the case, right? because there is no pill that will Wrong. Our physicians, hospiaccomplish those therapeutic tals, and the way we treat corogoals. It is up to the patient. nary artery disease aren’t the According to the medical litproblem; for most the issue is a erature, depression, anxiety dispsychological one. orders including panic and post Having practiced cardiology traumatic stress disorder, and for more than 16 years, I have chronic stress all contribute to an come to the understanding that abnormal physiological state that most of what we do as cardioloenhances dietary noncompliance gists is put our finger in the dyke. and worsened cardiac outcomes. Our treatments lower patients’ These emotional maladies cardiac risk, however, do not cure often result in behaviors that fuel them in any way. Like many chalthe atherosclerotic process and lenges in life, the resolution is up worsen clinical outcomes. to the individual. Physicians, ther- Dr. Elliot Brown of the Cardiology Center of North Jersey in his Clifton Ave. office. Classically, those behaviors apists and the like can lead us to include medicine and dietary non-compliance, smoking the water, but the patient has to do the drinking. and excessive alcohol intake. While this just by itself Why do people continue to smoke cigarettes after will tend to worsen traditional cardiac risk factors, it is having their chest cracked open? How does somebody not the whole story. who is 50 pounds overweight with diabetes and continPatients suffering from chronic stress, depression uously elevated blood sugar come into the office and and/or anxiety disorders are found to have increased insist they are eating nothing but salad, oatmeal and stimulation of their unconscious nervous system. This grilled chicken? We are suffering from “intellectualhyperactivation results in excessive noradrenaline emotional mismatch.” release, which increases heart rate and blood pressure. We know what we should do, but often make impropIt also makes the heart more likely to suffer an er choices. America is not lacking in the availability of arrhythmia, and in patients with coronary artery disease information for those interested in learning. We just can’t increases the likelihood that heart muscle cells will expepolice ourselves properly and make the proper adjustrience insufficient blood flow. ments necessary to implement the intellectual plan. The sympathetic nervous system is the part of our There is a well-known syndrome, the metabolic syndrome that is manifesting in epic proportions in our unconscious nervous system that functions in the acute society. It consists of a constellation of factors, that stress response and releases the excess noradrenaline. If when present imparts extremely high cardiovascular risk a person is in danger, for example, the increased heart to the individual involved. Abdominal obesity, hyperrate and blood pressure would provide the circulatory tension, diabetes mellitus, elevated triglyceride level, output necessary to run from the stressful stimulus. In and low HDL cholesterol comprise the syndrome. If a addition, it leads to increased release of cortisol, which patient possesses three out of five of the above criteria, functions to increase blood sugar levels in the acute By Elliot Brown, M.D., F.A.C.C.


March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Why do people continue to smoke cigarettes after having their chest cracked open? How does somebody who is 50 pounds overweight with diabetes and continuously elevated blood sugar come into the office and insist they are eating nothing but salad, oatmeal and grilled chicken? We are suffering from “intellectual-emotional mismatch.” stress response in order to provide energy for the body to avert danger. Very often, in order to insure increases in blood sugar, carbohydrate craving ensues. Once the acute stress response is over and blood sugar levels rise, the noradrenaline and cortisol levels return to normal. Patients suffering from chronic stress are found to have chronic hyperactivation of the sympathetic nervous system. This leads to chronically elevated levels of noradrenaline and cortisol. The result is a chronic stimulus in the body to increase heart rate and

blood pressure, and also to increase cortisol levels and blood glucose concentrations. Because of the chronically elevated cortisol levels, chronic carbohydrate craving becomes common, and this leads to excessive calorie intake and obesity. Patients in this situation may try to diet properly, but find the carbohydrate craving is too much to resist. They often don’t realize the craving is physiologically based, and may not be due to poor impulse control after all. However, a vicious cycle gets set up whereby the patient continually

fails, loses self-esteem, and becomes very pessimistic with regard to their outlook. Stress is a matter of perception by the individual. Some individuals, when presented with similar circumstances do not perceive the situation in the same way. The take home message here is that when we notice we are reacting to our environment in a way that translates into stress, we must realize that we need to impact on our reactivity, and not immediately look to change the environment. By dealing with our emotions in a healthy manner, we can change the way in which our bodies internalize the ill physiologic effects of the emotionally stressful situation. If you find that in your life you are participating in behaviors that are detracting from your health instead of contributing to your health, you have intellectual-emotional mismatch and need to look inside carefully as to why you aren’t taking better care of yourself.

Senior Health Partners

871 Allwood Rd., Clifton


At all ages and stages of your life, we can be your Health Partners.

Michael P. Lewko, MD Tatyana Grinchenko, MD Adult Rheumatology Geriatric Rheumatology


Cheng-An Mao, MD Geriatrics, Acupuncture Family Medicine

Gamil Makar, MD Geriatrics Family Medicine

Drs. Lewko & Grinchenko specialize in Arthritis, Rheumatism & Osteoporosis in Adults of All Ages Drs. Mao & Makar specialize in Geriatric Assessment, Aging Wellness, Alzheimer’s & Related Disorders March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Surgical Centers ––– by Joe Hawrylko ––– You can say that the Clifton Surgical Center is a trail blazer. Founded by a group of Clifton area physicians some 15 years ago, the center, located in a medical building on Route 46 East, was the first of its kind to open in our city. Used five days a week by over two dozen physicians ranging in specialities from podiatry and pain management to urology and OB/GYN— and staffed by a team of nurses and other healthcare providers—visits to the center are scheduled so as to get both patient and physician in and out in a timely and efficient manner. “We are all about the patient,” said the center’s Administrator Michael Graziano. “Complimentary transportation service is always available to our patients,”

From Main Ave. in Downtown Clifton to office suites on Route 46—and in locations throughout the city—small, personal surgical centers offers options to patients. Above, Dr. Shams Qureshi of the Bergen Passaic Ambulatory Surgery Center on Main Ave. performs a Cervical Endoscopic Discectomy (CED) on a patient. At left, some of the staff at the Clifton Surgery Center on Rt. 46 East. From left: Edith Marquez, Madeline Reyes, Scott Muttel, Nursing Supervisor Samantha Kennedy and Administrator Michael Graziano. 74

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

N O T J U S T H E A LT H C A R E .


At St. Mary’s Hospital, we know that cutting-edge technology is crucial to a patient’s well-being. But, then so is a hand for them to hold. Someone to listen. Understand. And care. That’s why we not only treat our patients with the latest medical advancements, but also with a sense of dignity. And respect. Come visit the new St. Mary’s Hospital, conveniently located right by the Passaic Park area. And see how a simple smile can sometimes work miracles.

   b o ul e va r d , pa s sa i c , nj     


main () -


fi n d a d o c to r (    ) smh - d o c s


s mh - pa s sa i c . o r g

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


For both the physician and the patient, ambulatory surgery centers are designed to be efficient and customer-oriented. Graziano noted that there are 23 doctors who have privileges at the center. They specialize in 10 different fields and the three procedure rooms are scheduled from 7 am to at least 3 pm, five days a week. The doctors have access to two operating rooms and one procedure room. The larger operating rooms are for more complicated procedures that require anesthesia. The procedure room is for surgery that doesn’t require general anesthesia or only light sedation. “Each physician has their own office, whether it’s in Clifton or the surrounding area,” explained Graziano. “Then they come here to do their procedures.” So with just three rooms for doctors to actually work in, what makes this choice better than a hospital? “Personal service, speed, efficiency and convenience for both the doctor and the patient,” explained Graziano. “You completely avoid the wait at the hospital. They (the doctors) love coming here just as much as the patients. For the physician, it is pretty much set up for them, ready to go when they get here.” At traditional hospital-based operating rooms, routine cases and non-emergency surgeries can get bumped if an emergency arrives. Other times, surgeons can be left waiting for staff to arrive or return from breaks or lunch.

That’s pretty much why Dr. Shams Qureshi decided to invest and custom build a three story medical center on Main Ave. in the heart of Downtown Clifton back in 2002. “We knew doctors want to get into their surgery, complete their task and keep moving,” said Qureshi. “I knew that if we could get a great staff in place and have a state of the art facility, the doctors—and their patients—would come.” The Bergen Passaic Ambulatory Surgery Center has a full time staff of 10 specialized healthcare providers who are trained for surgeries related to pain management, spine, orthopedic and sports medicine. In addition to Qureshi, Dr. Mirza Beg and Dr. Neville Mirza are housed at the facility where they offer cutting edge technology for back pain relief, such as herniated cervical discs. In one of their more popular pain-relieving procedure— Lumbar Endoscopic Discectomy—the only incision made is covered by a Band-Aid and the patient is home in a few short hours. The procedure is so popular that Dr. Mizra recently conducted a workshop at the center. Expansion is planned for the near future: Qureshi said the center is so busy, a third operating room will be added as well as an urgent care center, a sleep lab and a radiology facility next to the Main Ave building.

Conscious Living Care Pat (Ayo) Hinds-Bankole, C.H.N.P. Certified Natural Health Professional

973-223-3144 • wellness consultations & relaxation techniques w/ therapeutic essential oil therapies • workshops & demos (detox/fasting, essential oils, oils of the Bible) • theraputic essential oils kits (wellness care, personal care, pet care) 76

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Just Get it Done

At Premier Endoscope on Brighton Rd., getting a colonoscopy was simple. Pictured from left, anesthesiologist Dr. Juan Giraldo, nursing administrator Donna Mitchell, R.N., Steven Gronowitz, M.D. and Jennifer Filiberty, Endo Tech.

––– by Tom Hawrylko ––– The worst part is the prep. Since I just turned 50 and I had a bout with cancer a few years back, I thought it was good idea to get a colonoscopy. The procedure itself, done by Dr. Steven Gronowitz at Premier Endoscopy on Brighton Rd. was quick—I was in and out of there in less than two hours. No discomfort, no pain whatsover. The hard part is the day before. You have to fast and at the same time drink a few pints of a coloncleaning cocktail. It was fast acting and somewhat violent. That meant spending lots of time near a bathroom, preferably one in a quiet corner of your home. Other than that, it was easy. So go get it done, because most colorectal cancer arise from polyps, which can be detected and removed during this procedure. By the way, Dr. Gronowitz said I was clean, no polyps, a perfect ... patient.

Watch Dr. David Moore on Health Talk, Clifton Channel 77 Friday 9:30 pm & Sunday at 8 pm

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Learn the Art of the Ukrainian Easter Egg

The Folk Art of Pysanky. Take a class with Natalie and you’ll have two completed Pysanky to take home and the knowledge to do more! Classes are $50 and include a full kit of dyes, kistkas or writing tools, bee’s wax and a design booklet. To sign up for a class, please call St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in advance at 973-473-7197 or email On Thursday, March 13 from 6 to 9:30 pm, she’ll be at Holy Ascension Church on Broad St., Clifton. On Sunday, March 16 from 1 to 3:30 pm she’ll be at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church on President St., Passaic.


March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Clifton’s Natalie Warchola first learned how to ‘write’ Pysanky as a young girl at the Ukrainian Center in Passaic. The word comes from the verb pysaty, ‘to write’, as the designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax. Natalie explains: “This batik method of decorating eggs is done by applying hot wax on the egg and dipping it in a succession of dye baths after each layer of wax is applied to the design of the egg— it sounds difficult but it is really very simple— then all the wax is melted off the egg and all the colors are revealed... magic! The result... spectacular! This simple folk art started well over 2,000 years ago to praise pagan gods and it was adopted by Ukrainian Christians in 988 to celebrate Easter and Christ’s resurrection.

It is an art I love to share, and I can teach you our folk art.”

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Clifton’s Rising Star She’s paid her Dues... Dani Marco is ready to Launch By Jordan Schwartz Elly Marco thought her daughter was being hurt. Three-year-old Danielle’s screaming and crying were so realistic that they sent her mother sprinting into the living room to see what was going on. But when she got there and asked Dani and her older sister Monique what the problem was, Mrs. Marco received a surprising response. “We’re acting!” the sisters replied in unison.

At right, Dani today, as pictured on her website At left, Dani and her sister Monique in June 1999.

While Dani might have gotten her dramatic start at a very early age, her true passion growing up was dance. A veteran dancer herself, Mrs. Marco was her daughter’s first instructor when Dani was just a pre-schooler at the Clifton-Passaic YMCA on Scoles Ave. in the late ‘70s. Dani continued dancing for private companies throughout her childhood and teenage years, but she never got involved with dance or drama at CHS. High school was more about academics for Marco, but she did participate in extracurricular activities. “I was class president my freshman, sophomore and senior years,” she said, adding that her interest in the position wasn’t all about politics. “I think it had more to do with acting and public speaking. I remember emceeing graduation and I fell in love with the nerves of it.” Clifton High also satisfied Dani’s love of art. She took classes like AP Studio Art and Art History, and after Marco graduated in 1994, she went to William Paterson University to be an art major. Following a short tenure studying in Wayne, Dani decided she wanted to experience a different part of the country, so she enrolled at the University of New March 2008 • Clifton Merchant




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Mexico. Marco really got involved in the dance program there, performing flamenco and African dance in Albuquerque’s Popejoy Hall. It was also at UNM where Dani began her acting career. “I got asked to be in this Nature and Technology class and we had to make movies, and so I started being in other people’s productions and it all made sense,” said Marco, who then appeared in several independent films and productions. When she returned to New Jersey, Dani continued acting and dancing for a little while before deciding to change course and take a job in the creative department of Lowe Worldwide, an advertising agency in New York City. “It was interesting, but I decided my life couldn’t be spent in a cubicle,” she said. “She really didn’t like the behind-the-desk work,” echoed Dani’s mother. “She wanted to be on the other side of the ads.” So Marco returned to acting and has had major roles in more than 40 national and international commercials. Her latest effort is a Macy’s spot featuring celebrities such as Mariah Carey and Carlos Santana. Dani appears in a scene with Martha Stewart. She’s also acted in episodes of “The Sopranos” and “Law & Order,” as well as Chris Rock’s latest motion picture I Think I Love My Wife. But Marco got her big break this year when she began appearing as one of only three series regulars on the new truTV hidden camera show “The Real Hustle.” The first season included eight episodes and Marco is waiting to hear if the show will be renewed for a second campaign.

The Marco family on Sept. 9, 1994, the day Dani left for a year-long trip to Israel following her graduation from CHS. From left, Elly, Dani, Monique and Eli.

Dani has also been cast in several roles thanks to her talents as a dancer. She was the lead swing dancer in the popular music video for the song “Dance, Dance!” by Fall Out Boy. Marco was also a lead dancer on MTV’s 14th Annual New Year’s Eve telecast in Manhattan. “Growing up in New Jersey, I never went to Times Square for New Year’s because I knew how awful it was standing out in the cold for hours, so it was cool to be able to experience that from the warmth of the MTV studios,” she said. As Marco gets set to turn 32 this month, her career is on the rise. She would love to continue her work on independent films, but certainly wouldn’t say no to a major studio production. “My goal is to be able to turn down scripts,” she said. Until that day, Dani’s mother will continue to

record all of her daughter’s appearances, editing them onto DVDs to send out to managers. Elly Marco is still able to watch Dani act in the living room, but these days, it’s via the television.

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‘08 Clifton Family Super Bowl Party Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008 Boys & Girls Club

Now in its 10th year, the Clifton Super Bowl Party attracted more than 400 people to this tobacco, alcohol and gambling free event thanks to Clifton Against Substance Abuse (CASA), the Boys & Girls Club and a host of sponsors. Those who came entered free but made a donation of canned goods, which were deliv-

ered to Clifton’s St. Peter’s Haven. For those not interested in watching the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots, there was an open pool and gym, as well as plenty of hot dogs, pizza and dessert. The photos on the following pages are of some of those families and volunteers who attended.

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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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Thank You Sponsors • Optimist Club of Clifton • Rotary Club of Clifton • Jim & Rita Haraka & Family • Steve & Ellen Corbo & Family • Clifton Police PBA Local 36 • Clifton Firefighters FMBA Local 21 • Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin • Clifton Moose Lodge 657

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• St. Andrew R.C. School 55th Anniversary • John M. Traier • On Track Chiropractic: A Creating Wellness Center • The Bassford Family JSK Landscaping & Construction • Carlet, Garrison, Klein & Zaretsky • Clifton Merchant Magazine • Boys & Girls Club of Clifton • St. Philip the Apostle 1671 Knights of Columbus • Mayor, Council, City Manager, City Attorney & City Clerk • in memory of Henry Dougherty by Barbara Dougherty • in memory of Murray ‘Moe’ Abill by Vito & Carolyn DeRobertis • in memory of Elisa Leib-Schneider by Doris Leib & Mark Schneider • in memory of Florence, George H. Trinkle Sr., & George H. Trinkle III

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A People Principal CHS Vice Principal Sue Peters oversees the annual event that honors the school’s brightest students • Story by Gary Anolik The people and the working environment around her is important to Sue Peters. That’s why, in 1993, she decided to leave her teaching position at Cranford High School to return to Clifton. “I missed Clifton,” said Peters, who began her career teaching world history at Paul VI from 1987 to 1990. “I missed the multi ethnic surroundings of Clifton. I missed the students of Clifton.” The Nutley native was inspired to become an educator by two of her former history teachers, Ray Champan and Greg Catrambone, who is now the Principal at NHS. “I always wanted to be a teacher, and then I had two history teachers in high school that inspired me,” said Peters, who graduated from NHS in 1983. “The two were so dynamic in the classroom and just really made history come alive.” After seven years of teaching world history, the Nutley girl decided that she would get her Masters and become a Vice Principal. Luckily, Peters once again had two sources of inspiration, then Vice Principals Bill Cannici and John Meyer.

South Wing Vice Principal Sue Peters in her CHS office.

“They were the principals at the time and said to me, ‘if you want to do it, do it,’” she recalled. “They basically walked me through my first few years of grad school.” Peters said that Cannici, who eventually became the CHS Principal before retiring in 2006, was the one who really pushed her to succeed.

Distinguished Academic Awards Dinner The 19th annual CHS Distinguished Academic Awards Dinner will be on April 10 at 7 pm at the Westmount Country Club in West Paterson. The affair will recognize all students, regardless of what level courses they are taking, that have maintained a 90 or better average for the school year. All students who have met the qualifications have been invited to the event as guests of honor. Donations to support the event are encouraged. Checks can be made payable to: The Distinguished Academic Awards Committee, Clifton High School, 333 Colfax Ave., Clifton, NJ, 07013. For more information, call Chair Sue Peters at 973-470-2297. 90

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

“Bill used to say, ‘If I didn’t feel you could do it, I wouldn’t push you to do it,’” said Peters, who returned to Seton Hall University to get her MA in Administration and Supervision. In Jan., 2001, she was named Vice Principal to replace Mike Chomiak. “No doubt, Bill Cannici was definitely my mentor.” As the Vice Principal of the CHS South Wing, Peters oversees all attendance at the school. She is also in charge of one of the school’s most prestigious academic events, the Distinguished Honors Awards. “It’s an event that honors the potential of Clifton. We’ve raised the bar in the past few years. The award went from students earning an 88 GPA to 90 GPA,” explained Peters, who stressed that any student, regardless of course level, can

be recognized. “These are students that work really hard at school.” Handing out awards to the seniors that have maintained a 90 average for four years is one of Peters’ favorite activities. The Awards also brings back an accomplished CHS grad to serve as the featured speaker at the event. “Each year, we invite an alumnus of Clifton High who is about 10 years removed from high school,” explained Peters. “To see what they have become is just glorious.” Besides the Distinguished Honors Awards, there’s plenty more about her position that Peters enjoys. When she speaks about her job overseeing the school’s attendance, Peters refers to the students as ‘my kids.’ Still, there are times when she has to enforce her role as a disciplinarian. “When I see these kids, they are in a crisis situation. I need to put my emotions aside and coach,” said Peters, who has a BA from Seton Hall University in History with a minor in Secondary Education. “The kids need to be coached about making better decisions. They don’t have any mature life experience at this point, so they need to develop a coping and decision making strategy.” But overall, Peters says that CHS is filled with kids with big hearts. She recalled the story of a student whose house recently burned down. The Vice Principal said that classmates, many who had nothing, came in with donations of food for the displaced family. There are also other lighter moments of students helping classmates.

Sue Peters with, from left Stephanie Magaster, Kristin Gaela and Jacqueline Pete at the 2007 Senior Prom.

Peters recalled a time about two years ago, when she saw a girl about five feet tall, that was too scared to cross the ‘mosh pit’ at the South Wing intersection. “This really tall student reached down and picked her up and carried her through the mosh pit. He did it every day for the remainder of the year,” she recalled. “I asked her who the boy was and she didn’t know his name. It was just someone who comes to her every day and helps her out. That’s the kind of good hearted kids we have here.”

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The CHS Prom Fashion show was held on Feb. 10 in the JFK Auditorium. Deluxe Formal Wear and Angelica-LaFaye Fashions, both on Main Ave., provided fashions. Proceeds from the event will go towards Project Graduation, a supervised all-night party for our CHS seniors on their graduation night.

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March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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The auditorium was decorated thanks to AGL Welding and Mille Fiore Floral Design on Lakeview Ave.

DJ Chris Bachman Spins House • Hip Hop Hits • 80’s • Classics


Saturday Nights Perfect Mix Dance Party Saturday March 15 • A-List DJ Unique Bliss Venue & Lounge 955 Allwood Rd., Clifton 973-773-2110 •

Saturday March 29 • Bliss Fever 6

Alisha & Shannon Live

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Clifton-Passaic Chapter of

UNICO National Annual Fundraiser Friday Night, June 6 (doors 7pm) @ BLISS

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10pm Brookwood

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9pm Rubber Souls Doors 7pm • $10 Donation $15 at door with Advance Ticket Available from: Danny Pugliese - Brookwood 973-919-8495 Joe Gaccione - The El Supremo 973-725-8024 Michael W - The Rubber Souls 973-610-4570 or Joey Barcellona @ Bliss 973-773-2110

UNICO is “Service Above Self” Total Net Door & Bar Proceeds to Benefit • Clifton Junior Mustang Booster Club • Clifton HS Project Graduation • Clifton HS Mustang Marching Band • Passaic HS Marching Band • UNICO Italian American Scholarship Fund

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Educator • Coach• Parent • Lifelong Resident I’m running for the BOE because we need to:

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Hair designs by Guy Anthony in Richfield Shopping Center, Salon Ilona on Clifton Ave., Santa Fe on Clifton Ave. and Lunar Eclipse on Market St.

Twice Honored as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

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191 Rutherford Place, North Arlington, NJ 07031 201-998-8227 •

• Student to Faculty Ratio 15 to 1 • Total Enrollment 625 • Affordable Tuition • Academic Scholarships • Award Winning Theatrical Program • Accelerated AP Courses & College Programs • Golden Griffins offer 20 Varsity Sports • Private Bus Service from Clifton at no out-of-pocket expense Queen of Peace is a Catholic, co-educational, affordable college prepatory high school. Our school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and has twice been honored as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Come see and feel the excitement generated by our students 98

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Dr. Level @ 3/14 Project Grad Benefit CHS PTSA’s hypnotic comedy night is on March 14 at 7:30 at Holy Assumption Orthodox Church at the corner of Huron and Orange Ave. As a hypnotist, entertainer and magician, headliner Dr. Level will help make it an interesting evening. Proceeds benefit Project Graduation, Clifton’s annual all night party for seniors

which immediately follows commencement. Tickets to the comedy night are $15. No one under the age of 18 will be admitted. Guests may bring their own food or liquor. Table reservations for parties of 10 or more. A silent tricky tray and raffle will be held. For tickets/more info, call Judi Bassford at 973-278-6496. March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Thursday Night Botany Blues • April Pub Crawl go to

100 March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Performances at CHS on March 28 and 29 at 7:30 pm and on March 30 at 3 pm. For tickets, call 973-470-2311.

With plenty of music and dancing and a large cast, pictured here, the CHS drama department will stage 42nd Street on March 28, 29 and 30. Lead roles are performed by Victoria Waumans, Adam Zaccone, Schuyler Schrickel, Jake Wilson, Tricia Torley, Michael Purdy, Vikki Van Riper, Jose Lamarque, Ariel De Leon and freshman Ryan Berthold. Other cast members include Jenna Liberto, Sarah Robertson, Danielle Maglente, Cassie Porter, Christine Diaz and Kim Chimento. Male roles are performed by Dean Scordilis, Marcial Zaldivar, Tony Vega, Matt Wilson, Brian Bender and Kurt Irizarry.

102 March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

The show is produced and directed by Elizabeth Eisenmenger, Robert Morgan is the Musical Director, Lois Manzella is the Choreographer and Vocal Direction is by Barbara Novak.

Singing and dancing girls include Jenna Lo, Marlenny Fabre, Selenny Fabre, Exstacy Morales, Camille Buscar, Amy Macalino, Nicole Rojas, Justyna Felusiak, Laurie Hallik, Katherine DeLaCruz, Kiara Santiago, Bryana Arlington, Raven Bryant, Chelsea Barrett, Courtney Schriebner, Krissy Trujillo, Paige Sciarrino, Beata Gabriela Koziol and Marisol Lozano. Robert Harsaghy is playing the rehearsal piano and stage manager is Michelle Sauerborn.

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Bygone News As collected & edited by Clifton Historian Don Lotz Bygone News provides a glimpse into the events occurring in Acquackanonk (now Clifton) 100 and 50 years ago. While topics illustrate the evolution of a rather rural Acquackanonk Township into the Clifton of today, no doubt readers will also notice how some issues seem timeless. These articles of Acquackanonk and its villages of Clifton, Delawanna, and Athenia appeared in the Passaic Daily News and have been condensed.

March 1908 Construction was prevalent. August E. Fornelius, the manager of the Athenia Steel Wire Company, transferred 11 parcels of property to employees of the steel plant who would be building new homes on the property. The Claverack Rd., mentioned in the official record of these transfers, is what is now known as Clifton Ave.

Prospective home owners could have a new house built to their own plans for a minimum down-payment and small monthly installments in “Roosevelt Park Clifton, One Block From [the] Erie Station.” Work commenced “on a handsome house on the site of the old sawmill, recently torn down, in Main St.” At the March 3 Acquackanonk Township Committee meeting, the treasurer reported a cash balance of $1,190.11. A Highland Ave. resident complained of the flooding caused by the Weasel Brook. As a result, “a motion was made and seconded that all water complaints receive a thorough investigation.” Clifton Firemen marked St. Patrick’s Day with a dance: “The firehouse was tastefully decorated with green and even the electric light pole at Passaic and Main Aves. was decorated with green

On Jan. 1, 1908, William J. Coughlan became Clifton’s first Police Chief.

gauze, as a guide to those in search of the hall.” The hall contained “rosy checked maidens dressed in pretty green costumes, while men in knee corduroy breeches, carrying shillelaghs painted green, strutted around the hall like Irish knights of yore.” Prizes were awarded to those in the “prettiest Irish costumes,” with the first prizes going to Miss Mildred Pendlebury and W. Lowrey. The loss of “landmarks of the old (horse) racing days in Clifton” made note of the fence along Main Ave. being torn down, the “old Tribe house had burned down,” and the “training stables, which stand next to Judge Maybury’s, are being torn down.” Manufacturing concerns were also in the news. “The Valvoline Oil Company is now actively at work moving its plant from Ackerman Ave. to its new site near the Clifton depot.” It would be a year later, on June 22, 1909, that these maids—Nellie Brown, Grace Burroughs, Mabel Libbey, Bessie Velders and Agnes Weller— would comprise the first class of CHS.

104 March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

In Delawanna, thieves broke into a coop on Franklin Ave. stealing 17 chickens and a bushel of corn. The intruders in this case and at least three others “chopped off the heads of the fowls, leaving them as a memento of their visit.” Consumer fraud appeared when state health inspectors fined a Clifton grocery-man $100 for selling “oleomargarine” as butter. Under the law oleomargarine, called ‘fictitious butter,’ required advertisement stating that it was not real butter. In 1908, the former Clifton Race Track, the 25-acre property—where Main Memorial Park and the Clifton Library stand today—was converted from horse racing into a velodrome for bicycle and motorcycle races.

A new building for the manufacture of cement blocks was erected at Clifton Ave. and Sixth St. because a “sand pit extends through the tract and the supply is apparently unlimited.” Hohenstein’s hall was where the monthly Acquackanonk Township Board of Education meeting was held. Three trustees were elected and they passed four propositions: (1) to purchase land to erect a new school to replace old School No. 4, (2, 3, 4) authorize additions to Botany School No. 7, School No. 10, and Delawanna School No. 8. The student population went from 1,604 in 1907 to 1,933 in 1908 with 56 teachers. The 1907 receipts were $119,048.28 with expenditures of $95,170.13. A merchant was found injured and unconscious by his wagon— missing his horse—near his home on Hazel Rd. “Clifton authorities are investigating the case and have set out to locate the missing horse, if possible.” March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


CHS was “placed on the approved list by the State Normal School” and the student newspaper, “The Amateur” had “a decided improvement over their first issue is noticed.” Weekly fire drills confirmed that “the schools can be emptied in less than one minute without the least sign of excitement.” A notice concerning

the newly constructed School No. 11 on Central Ave. reported that the building was “in a rather lonely section” and that a group of boys had locked the teacher inside until the janitor came an hour later and released her. A scarlet fever outbreak closed the Richfield School for a week with a Princeton St. resident con-

The Cliffs at Great Notch in Winter as seen from Richfield Center in an illustration by Lauren Smith and published on an undated greeting card from The First National Bank of Passaic County. Courtesy of Bob Naletko.

fined to her house for over a month. Multiple instances of the grip appeared in the papers with one couple “slowly recovering from a severe attack of the grip.” Not to mention an East Clifton Ave. resident being “confined to her bed with a bad cold.”

March 1958 As it was 50 years earlier, new construction made headlines in March 1958. City Manager William Holster recommended “a tract of city-owned land on Allwood Rd., bounded by Clifton Ave. Extension and Richfield Terr.” as the site for the new Allwood Firehouse. The Council voted 4 to 3 to adopt a zoning change to allow high-rise apartments “on Hepburn Rd. opposite the Upper Montclair Country Club.” The vote was a reflection of neighborhood opposition to the ordinance. The Clifton BOE named “Arthur Rigolo, of Clifton, as its architect for the proposed high school.”

Join us on our Journey! Who hasn't taken the journey with Judy Garland as Dorothy as she makes her way down the yellow brick road in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ Or the trek with Moses to the top of Mount Sinai in Cecil B. DeMille’s ‘The 10 Commandments.’ The Christian seasons are all about journeys -- not unlike those of Dorothy and Moses. What you might not know is that actress Judy Garland and director Cecil B. DeMille were also Episcopalians. They were in good company: So too were George Washington; Betsy Ross, the famed flag maker; Natalie Cole, daughter of vocalist Nat ‘King’ Cole; Buzz Aldrin, who stepped on the Moon right after Neil Armstrong in 1969, and Clifton's first mayor, Clarence Finkle. Come join St. Peter's Episcopal Church -- Clifton's only Episcopal parish -- as it marks the celebration of Holy Week and Easter.

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

380 Clifton Ave. Sunday services at 8 and 10:15 a.m.; Sunday School at 9 a.m. 973-546-5020 106 March 2008 • Clifton Merchant

A 1958 article states: “Berra Vetoed Stengel’s Offer of Loan for Alleys, ‘He Wanted Too Much Interest,’ says Yogi...” The Berra-Rizzuto alleys will open soon in Clifton and Yogi frankly admits they cost more than either of ‘em figured, it continued: “Casey offered to loan me up to $90,000 from his bank,’ said the catcher, “but he wants a lot of interest.”

Yankee greats Phil Rizzuto and Yogi Berra did open their 40-lane bowling alley on April 28, 1958. At top left, that’s their manager Casey Stengel.


Talkin’ History? Federal researchers from The Library of Congress American Memory Project cited The Hot Grill as the most authentic of the region’s Hot Texas Wiener restaurants. Stop in and give it a shout:







Serving the best since ‘61

The BOE ran into a snag when the City Council rejected the motion “that the city-owned portion of the Athenia quarantine property be turned over to the BOE for school purposes.” The Council instead passed an amended resolution that proposed “certain conditions” had to be met, one of which included the study of “a plan for expansion of the present high school.” Resident Joseph W. Kastetter “had a hand in getting the Navy’s Vanguard missile off the ground at Cape Canaveral.” A grad of Newark College of Engineering and “a senior engineer with the Martin Company, Kastetter had been working at the missile site since January;” reported George Homcy on March 22. The Berra-Rizzuto bowling alleys in Styertowne Shopping Center made national headlines with a conversation between Yankees catcher Yogi Berra and Manager Casey Stengel and a reporter in Miami at spring training. The discussion arose because of Casey’s comment that Yogi wore white gloves during a photo shoot because “he’s gone upstage since he’s built that bowling alley with Phil Rizzuto!”

“Once at Death’s Door, Clifton Man Celebrates 90th Birthday,” wrote George Homcy about August Bloomquist. His near death experience with pernicious anemia in 1929 was recalled in a column. “When they took me into the ward, they said I would never come out alive,” but his seven week stay in the hospital and ultimate recovery fooled many. Bloomquist moved to the U.S. from Sweden in 1900 and soon settled in Clifton. In 1939, Bloomquist retired from Athenia Steel, having been “one of the 22 men to work at the Clifton firm when it was just a small machine shop in 1907.” And in March 1958 it was announced that the CHS Marching Mustangs would participate in the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Cal. the following New Year’s Day.



The Hot Grill

669 Lexington Ave.


9 am - 1 am • Fri & Sat till 2 • March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Celebrations! send b-days & names:

18 Candles for Casey Marie Hawrylko who partied with family and friends on March 2.

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

FREE With This Coupon Coupons May Not Be Combined.

Belated birthday greetings to Chickie Curtiss who celebrated on February 15

Victoria Crudele . . . . . .3/9 Jenny Sichel . . . . . . . . . .3/9 Pamela Culque . . . . . .3/10 Tiffany Sabo . . . . . . . . .3/10 Teddy Harsaghy . . . . . .3/11 Eddie Gasior, Jr. . . . . . .3/12 Mike Pesaro . . . . . . . . .3/12 Victor Berdecia . . . . . .3/13 Elaine Sassine . . . . . . . .3/15 Laura Lee . . . . . . . . . . .3/15 Suzanne Ciok . . . . . . . .3/19 Caitlin Lotorto . . . . . . .3/19 Colleen Murray . . . . . .3/20 Holly Sorenson . . . . . . .3/20 Nenad Vuckovic . . . . .3/20 Monica Ahmed . . . . . .3/21 George Andrikanich . .3/22 Pat Hiller . . . . . . . . . . . .3/22 Elisabel Reyes . . . . . . . .3/24 Carmen Rivera . . . . . .3/24 Kyle Hooyman . . . . . . .3/24 Michele Andrikanich . .3/27 Happy 45th Birthday Eric Sudhalter (on March 1) from the Van Houten Saturday Youth Bowlers & their parents.


2 00 OFF

Any Size Ice Cream Cakes Coupons May Not Be Combined.

Congratulations to Corey and Michelle Genardi on their 16th wedding anniversary on March 28.

Gianna Rose, daughter of Paul and Sherylee Caramucci, turned one on January 27th. She celebrated with friends at a rubber ducky themed party.



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

108 March 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Meaghan Franko . . . . .3/1 Kathleen Pocoek . . . . . .3/1 Kenzie Lord . . . . . . . . . . .3/3 Valerie Godowsky . . . . .3/5 Alice Paxton . . . . . . . . . .3/5 Carol Crudele . . . . . . . .3/6 Ted Grzybowski . . . . . . .3/6 Joe Rusnak . . . . . . . . . . .3/7

Visit us in Downtown Clifton: 1103 Main Ave • 973-473-4999 Happy 2nd Birthday to Bianca Eda Genardi who celebrated on March 2 with her mom & dad and sisters Ava Nicole & Gia Camille.

Jennifer Mondelli . . . . .3/27 Nicholas Surgent . . . . .3/27 Muriel Curtin . . . . . . . . .3/28 Andreas Alectoridis . . .3/30 Francis Salonga . . . . . .3/31 Paul McVeigh . . . . . . . .3/31 Chris Kolodziej . . . . . . .3/31

We Don’t Sell Parts… …We Sell Service 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: Join us St. Patricks Day Corned Beef & Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread & more

CENTURY BUFFET 166 Main Ave • Clifton Bar & Grill


$ Family Easter Dinner Lamb & Fresh Ham



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

973.338.9292 1278 Broad St • Bloomfield New Location

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

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


$5 0ff Dinner Buffet $35 or more before tax. Cash only. Limited time only. Cannot be combined w/any other offer. Not good on any holiday.

And on Fri to Sun, No Extra Charge for Steamed Lobster or Steamed Jumbo Shrimp We Deliver • Order Online... or go to


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


Renee LaPeter has done it again. The 14-year-old Cliftonite, who now attends St. Mary’s High School in Rutherford, has donated her long, thick black hair to Locks of Love, an organization which makes real wigs for children who have lost their hair due to cancer or other illnesses. This marks the fourth time that she has cut her hair for the cause, once again going to Salon Ilona on Clifton Ave., where stylist Victoria Buie gave her a new look. We’ve photographed her three of those times. For more details on Locks of Love, see

Renee LaPeter, age 14

Renee LaPeter, age 10

Renee LaPeter, age 11

110 March 2008 • Clifton Merchant





‘Imagine Your Clifton Home with Cultured Stone’



973.253.0570 973.253.0570

From Lakeview Ave • Enter on Mina Ave


Tomahawk Promotions 1288 Main Avenue Clifton, NJ 07011




1624 Main Ave. Clifton, NJ 07011

Office: 973-340-1202

973-859-2270 973-859-2270



CLIFTON /MontclairHeights

$599,900 CLIFTON $319,900 NICE STARTER IN EXCELLENT You’ll love more space from the LOCATION super sized kitchen, eating area to Walk to NYC bus. Good size a liberally-sized family room, enjoy bedrooms. Gas boiler 5 years. life more in this gracious 4bdrms in New windows, new Pella sliding Montclair Heights. Room for glass door. Could get small table hobbies in this 2 car garage too! in kitchen. Priced to sell. Ask for Ask for Sophia Constandinou Dave Kelley GORGEOUS SUPER SIZED HOME

CLIFTON $399,900 BEAUTIFUL HOME WITH GREAT CURB APPEAL Offers Living Room, Dining area, 3 bedrooms, modern eat in Kitchen, 1½ baths, master bath with Jacuzzi Tub, full basement with rec room, 1 car garage.

CLIFTON $399,900 LOVELY SPLIT LEVEL HOME With a great curb appeal, located in a Great Location offers large Living Room, formal Dining Room, nice family room, 3 bedrooms, 1½ bath. 1 car garage.

CLIFTON $489,900 BRAND NEW CUSTOMIZED HOME With many upgrades, cherry wood cabinets, hardwood floors, tile baths, Living Room, Formal Dining Room, Kitchen, 3 bedrooms, 2½ baths, large rooms. Ask for Dave Kelley.

CLIFTON $339,900 TUDOR COLONIAL Needs some updating. Offers deck with hot tub, storage shed. 2 full baths, den addition. All appliances are included. Floors just sanded & stained. Great area of Allwood section. Must sell. Ask for Dave Kelley.

CLIFTON $399,000 WONDERFUL 2 FAMILY HOME ON QUIET STREET Features 5 rooms, 2 bedrooms, bath on 1st floor. 2nd floor offers 6 rooms, 4 bedrooms and bath

CLIFTON $345,000 IMMACULATE & COZY CAPE Features 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, Living Room with fireplace, formal Dining Room, Sunroom & Office Pavers in Driveway leading to 1 car garage. Updated electrical. Ask for Nancy Rodriguez.

Bank/Lender approval required for Short Sale.

Having trouble making your Mortgage Payments? Call us 973-859-2270 We have several options we can offer you.


Profile for Clifton Merchant Magazine

Clifton Merchant Magazine - March 2008  

Clifton Merchant Magazine - March 2008