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Clifton Merchant Magazine is published the first Friday of every month at 1288 Main Ave., Downtown Clifton • 973-253-4400

Remember Iwo Jima Clifton’s Jon Seda to appear in HBO’s The Pacific Story by Rich DeLotto Sixty five years ago, over 100,000 US servicemen were in the midst of a bloody battle on the small Japanese island of Iwo Jima. Though severely out numbered, the estimated 18,000 Imperial troops were heavily entrenched, hiding amongst the many caves on the volcanic isle. Starting on Feb. 19, 1945, the Americans pounded Iwo Jima with artillery strikes, eventually overwhelming the Japanese on

March 26. That victory, 65 years ago, was forever immortalized in the iconic flag raising photograph by Joe Rosenthal, which embodied the spirit of the US Marines as they continued to march towards Tokyo.

Nearly all of the Japanese on Iwo Jima were assumed to be killed in action or missing. However, in conquering the island, the Americans suffered great losses. The Imperial troops ferociously

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March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

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defended their territory, claiming the lives of over 6,000 Marines, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen and injuring 20,000 more. The valor demonstrated by the American troops on Iwo Jima is one of the many battles covered in The Pacific, HBO’s 10 part mini-series that will begin airing on March 14

at 9 pm. Cliftonite Jon Seda, who was profiled in the November Clifton Merchant, will portray Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone. Basilone, a Raritan native, was the first Marine in WWII to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. After his actions on Guadalcanal, Basilone served stateside for two years before returning to combat duty on Feb. 19, 1945, the first day of the invasion of Iwo Jima. He was killed while assaulting an enemy position on the island. Clifton, which supported the war effort with over 5,500 servicemen and woman, was well represented in the Pacific Theater. Lt. George Linzenbold, who received a the Silver Star for his heroism at the Battle of Saipan, was shot in the throat at the Battle of Iwo Jima. Linzenbold went on to survive the war and would eventually return to his hometown and serve 25 years as a Clifton Police Officer.

But many Cliftonites went to Iwo Jima and unfortunately never came home. Among the Marines who gave their lives on Iwo Jima were: S/Sgt. Andrew Kacmarik of Lexington Ave., Sgt. Wayne Wells of Valley Rd., Pfc. Donald Freda of Burlington Rd., Pfc. Edward Hornbeck of Harding Ave., Pfc William Hrominak of Lexington Ave., Pvt. Frank Urrichio of James St. In total, more than 200 Clifton residents made the Supreme Sacrifice during WWII. Last May, this magazine printed short biographies of those men as a tribute to their memories, their families and their service. As our community plans this year’s Memorial Day services, perhaps we should ask Jon Seda to come back “home” and be part of that tribute on Monday, May 31. Clifton Merchant is also asking anyone who has Iwo Jima and WWII related stories that they’d like to share to call us at 973-253-4400.

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


In our April 2 edition, we’ll be telling you a bit more about Cassandra Higbie, Patryk Kornecki, Melissa Ayers and Corey Meyer. They are some of the CHS students who balance a life of extra curricular activities while still keeping high grades and receiving Distinguished Academic Awards. We’ll also preview Mustang sports, cover topics related to health and medicine—along with our usual mix of politics, history, arts and social news. For advertising information, call Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400.


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant












March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


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March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Council Race Heats Up

Twenty one candidates have now pulled petitions to run for City Council in May. This month, we interviewed six additional challengers vying for a seat, for a total of 12 Council stories to date. The remaining candidates, as of our publication deadline, are as follows: Anthony Genchi, Steven Goldberg, Matthew Grabowski, Raymond Grabowski, Joseph Kolodziej, Kristopher Perovic and Joan Salensky. One noticeable omission from our Council coverage is Mary Sadrakula. The candidate was called nine times between Feb. 5 and Feb. 19, and did not return messages before our deadline at the end of the month. The rest of the candidates will be interviewed as space permits in our April and May editions. Unsure of who you will be voting for in the Council and Board of Education elections? Then come to the Meet the Candidates Night on March 12, from 4 to 9 pm at Bliss Lounge, 955 Allwood Rd. Owner Joey Barcelona and members of the Clifton Licensed Beverage Association have sponsored this informal event, with support from Clifton Merchant Magazine. No speeches, no grandstanding. Come meet the people who may become your elected officials.

With all seven seats up and two incumbents not running in the May 11 City Council election, the field is growing. Thus far, we’ve interviewed those pictured. Top from left: Mayor James Anzaldi and Councilmen Peter Eagler, Frank Fusco, Steve Hatala and Matt Ward. Middle: Challengers Dan Brown, Joe Chidiac, Dave D’Arco, Roy Noonburg and Suzanne Sia. Bottom: George Silva and Andy White. All candidate profiles written by Joe Hawrylko

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


One & Done: Joe Cupoli Out The Councilman won’t seek re-election, assesses his tenure, takes some shots and opines about Clifton’s future Story by Joe Hawrylko When explaining why he would not defend his seat this May, Joe Cupoli recounted a story from the summer of 2006, shortly after the Councilman had been elected. While watching a Little League game at Surgent Park, a resident complained that the nearby 12 foot bridge which traverses a dry water creek at the edge of the city owned property off of Valley Rd. was in serious disrepair. The following day, the Councilman set out to address the situation, not knowing that it would be a four year battle. “It should have been an Eagle Scout project,” said Cupoli. “I spoke to [City Manager Al Greco] and we had to send an engineer. Then we had to go to the DEP (NJ Department of Environmental Protection) because it’s across a river. A river? It’s a dry creek most of the year.” “Then we had to get State approval, get a bond for it... we’re not crossing the Hudson River. And four years later, there’s still no bridge,” he continued. “I could have got that bridge done if I drove down to Trenton every day for a week, but that’s a week I’m not at work or with family.” What it boils down to is the lack of efficiency in government. Cupoli said that the bureaucratic nature of City Hall prevents swift resolutions, and because of that, Council members need to be full time politicians. In addition to being a husband and father of three children, Cupoli owns and manages 14 P&AAuto Parts stores. The Councilman said he simply can’t make the commitment he felt was necessary to be an elected official at this time. “You can’t change it. That’s government. Government works slow—I don’t work slow, I work fast,” he said. “And because I’m busy, I can’t put the time into government that government deserves.” In a frank and wide-ranging interview, the Councilman detailed his experiences in elected office and gave his assessment about the future of Clifton. Cupoli said that while the bridge was a relatively small project, it illustrates serious issues that permeate through all levels of government. Another frustrating project has been Athenia Steel, which was purchased by the previous Council back in 1999. The long vacant factory site was known to be contaminated, but the Council at the time thought that 10

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

remediation would be the obligation of the seller. Only now, after years of wrangling with the NJ DEP, has any progress been shown on the property, with the Council currently reviewing bids for construction on a proposed park. “I think you had to buy the property. I think it’s going to be a key recreational piece for the community, even if it did take 10 years,” said Cupoli. He lamented his inability to see the project through to completion during his tenure, and said that a quick resolution was simply not an option. “You’re waiting for the State to approve the remediation, then engineering, then it’s money,” he stated. “It’s just a huge, huge project.” Cupoli said he’s used to doing business in the private sector, where morning meetings result in afternoon action. He said that most business owners tackle long

term planning issues, something that doesn’t happen in government. Cupoli explained that voters are often shortsighted at the polls, and in the interest of self preservation, politicians may eschew plans that may not initially have tangible results. “People talk about wasteful spending but you really need to invest in planning and people at the government level,” he said. “The government—our Council included—are so afraid to spend money because they don’t understand return on investment. A business person does. If I need to invest $5 million on Athenia Steel to make it Athenia Park, that’s a good investment. People in the community don’t always see the good.” Cupoli, who had no experience as an elected official prior to 2006, said that residents also have a large impact on government. He said that support or resistance by citizens can be the determining factor in a decision. However, certain members of the community go out of the way to create a schism that prevents any progress. “The Mayor put it best when he spoke at the last meeting. He said that people come up to the mic to tear down, not to build up,” said Cupoli. “It goes a long way towards speaking to the negative influences in the community. Mary Sadrakula, John Salierno and Carmen Foti come to the mic week after week after week and really tear down and don’t build up at all.” The Councilman said that he welcomes opinions at municipal meetings but that there is a certain decorum expected of speakers. Those who come up, wag fingers, yell and make accusations only use the podium as a platform to generate controversy and muddle progress. Cupoli referred to Sadrakula, who is running for Council this May, as one of the most abrasive commentators. He said the candidate is incapable of keeping her emotions in check, citing her unruly behavior at both Board of Education and City Council meetings, and that such outbursts prevent progress within Clifton. “She absolutely should not be running for Council,” Cupoli stated. He said that Sadrakula only complains and shouts, never proposing a solution, and, if elected, would be incapable of working with her colleagues. The Councilman said certain residents utilize the media to cause divide and promote an agenda. “It’s really sad that the hatred festers in the community and grows to be such a negative influence,” Cupoli continued. “[Clifton Insider Publisher] Nick Velicky’s Open for Business, during the whole Dr. [former Superintendent Michael ] Rice era was just a terrible column that really just cast ill on people. There were very disparaging remarks.”

The Councilman noted how Velicky would often derisively address the former Superintendent in print as ‘Mikey’ and said that the overall demeanor of the column was unprofessional and caused a rift in the community. However, despite the obstacles and negativity, Cupoli said he enjoyed his four year tenure. “I have absolutely loved every day that I’ve been on Council,” he said. Cupoli cited Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej as his mentor. “I think [the Council members] are all good people. They all brought something to the party and there wasn’t any mudslinging.” Cupoli stated that the cohesive nature of the Council enabled the elected body to address major budgetary issues which arose during the economic crisis. He said that the seven member elected body properly handled the 2009 layoffs, setting a precedent for the future. “It’s nothing that I’m proud of, not something we wanted to do,” said Cupoli. “But we showed unions that we can’t afford this anymore and the union eventually came back to us and gave us the concessions that we were looking for.” The Councilman also praised his colleagues, as well as CFO Jonathan Capp, for implementing the controversial sewer tax. Prior to the change, the sewer usage was included in the normal tax bill, and was tied to the assessed home value. “Jonathan has just been an asset to the Council and the city with his knowledge of finance,” said Cupoli. “It got us a one year reprieve on the cap. It allowed us to figure out how we’re going to deal with [the budget shortfall] the next year. There are somethings that can be done to tweak the system and that will be for the next Council to decide.” In addition to the CFO, the Councilman said that the City Manager, as well as members of Clifton’s legal department, have been instrumental in assisting the City Council in decision making. “Al [Greco] is doing an admirable job with the staff he is given,” he said of the City Manager. “And I know the law department has taken a beating too. You don’t know until you work hand-in-hand with these people, but the law department does a wonderful job for a city of 80,000 people.” Cupoli said that if Clifton is to keep its current form of government, changes need to be made to give the city’s most important employee more flexibility. “The problem is, it funnels everything across the City Manager’s desk. There’s one person, and if you count his assistant, two people run everything,” he said. “That should be the office where you have six people, not the other offices in the building. Al Greco should not March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


have to answer the phone and talk to a resident about a person getting their garbage picked up late.” Cupoli said that he’s unsure if a change in the form of government would have a profound improvement in the day to day operations, but he said he regretted that there was never a study commissioned to detail the available options during his tenure. “I’m not saying the current government doesn’t work.” Cupoli explained, adding that Clifton is free of corruption. “I’d just like to know what the different options are.” The Councilman said whoever replaces him will have to be primarily concerned with fiscal responsibility, and voters should be careful about who they elect. “When looking at people that are running for Council, look to people who are not public employees,” he advised. “I think it would be terrible to have a public employee sitting on Council. As much as people want to say that they’re not an advocate of the pension system, you’re dealing with so many personnel issues, it just spills over.” The Councilman noted that unions, government officials and arbitrators look at negotiations in other cities as a precedent. Cupoli said that a favorable contract for the unions in Clifton could affect an elected official who is a municipal employee in another town. Though he said there are many worthy candidates, the Councilman endorsed Suzanne Sia and Dan Brown.


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

“I think she’ll be a wonderful addition to the Council,” Cupoli said. “Suzanne was born and raised in Clifton, and brings a wonderful business mind to the Council. She’s very energetic, very passionate and certainly doesn’t have any ties with any groups in the community. Dan Brown is a very, very nice person, well educated and he’s committed to giving back to the community. I think those are the type of people we need on the Council.” Cupoli said that, unlike the 2006 Council race, the advantage goes to the incumbents. “The Council has stayed out of the political mud. People get angry when there’s political mud,” he said. “I think with two seats being open, there’s a real good chance all five people get re-elected, based on name recognition.” Cupoli said he’s not ending his political career, and may run for the Board of Ed next year. “There needs to be a change of presidency on the Board,” he said. “I think that [President] Jim Daley, from my point of view as a member of the public watching the meetings, has really stifled anything other than his agenda in getting done. Anger has really overtaken the ability to find common ground.” As for the Council, Cupoli said that he won’t rule out a return in 2014. “I said I was going to do it this time and then let someone take a shot,” he explained. “I think you do get stale, you do get wrapped up.”

New to the Scene Daniel Brown wants to add a fresh voice, continue reform at City Hall Newcomer Daniel Brown said that his desire to run is not to usurp a sitting Council member. The candidate said that the elected body has done an admirable job in light of the economy, and he said that electing him would be a continuation of the progress that started four years ago. “With two Council members not seeking re-election, I started to contemplate what role I could play on the Council,” said Brown. “I want to carry on the reforms that have already begun to a greater extent, while coming up with new approaches and ideas.” The political newcomer identifies taxes as his chief concern heading into the election. “We have to figure out new solutions to our budgetary problems that are real,” said Brown, specifically citing health care and pensions as issue points for the new Council. The candidate said that changes in Trenton will likely impact Clifton. He fears that Governor Chris Christie will cut aid to municipalities, but Brown is hopeful that the Governor will bring about positive changes in union negotiations. Brown also said that he feels many of the budgetary problems that Clifton faces are due to decisions levied in Trenton back in the 1990s. “I think what you’re seeing right now is the coming to fruition of what started under (former) Governor (Christine) Whitman,”

said Brown. “She cut the income tax, and that started a move towards increasing property sales. When she borrowed against the pension fund, it put a burden on municipalities. It forced them to contribute more towards pensions.” Although he said the Council shares some of the blame, Brown said that the city’s elected officials performed well under pressure. “As far as the Council approached it, I think they did the best they could with a bad situation,” said Brown. “They considered the problem to a great extent. I can promise that I would consider it as much as I possibly could before making a tough decision.” The candidate said he’s also hopeful that the NJ League of Municipalities will have an influence on the changes that will be passed down from Trenton. But beyond stabilizing the budget and reducing waste, Brown said the biggest challenges for the Council will be keeping Clifton affordable and addressing quality of life concerns. “We need to help get people back to work. Unemployment is a great concern,” said Brown. The candidate practices law in Clifton with his wife, Suzannah, representing indigent clients in appeals on behalf of the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender. He also previously worked as an Assistant Prosecutor for Essex County, but is currently unemployed. “I recently got laid off from a firm in Paramus, so I understand

what people are going through out there,” said Brown. He said the Council must encourage new businesses, which will bring new jobs to Clifton. The candidate expressed dismay at McDonalds backing out of a deal to take over the Jubilee Diner on Allwood Rd. Faced with local opposition, the franchised pulled the proposal. “I think that dialogue broke down there a bit. People got angry without understanding all the benefits such a business as McDonalds would bring in terms of employment, business tax and ratables,” said Brown. “We need to have more of a dialogue with our citizenry, so that they understand the need for more business instead of less in Clifton.” The candidate said that it is the duty of the Council to look out for the interests of residents. Brown said that his peers should look to use their influence wherever possible. “Councilman (Peter) Eagler said the Council needs to be the March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


cheerleaders for Clifton. I agree with that wholeheartedly,” said Brown. “There’s a lot of great things about Clifton, a lot of positives.” However, at the same time, the candidate noted that even the best cities evolve to better satisfy the needs of residents. Brown said that it is essential that the Council recognize that Clifton’s population is increasing, and that the city’s demographics are undergoing a major transformation. “I was looking at some statistics that said we are up over 70,000 and approaching 80,000. I think we need to look at some governmental reform,” said Brown. “I’m a proponent of it, and I would be supportive of undertaking the studies to see the long term and short term effects. The population has grown in such a way that I think it’s time.” The candidate also indicated that he would consider voting to move the Council elections to November to save money. “I believe politics are present in non-partisan elections,” he said. “I think candidates should talk about the issues.” Despite living in Clifton for just under six years, Brown said that he’s been actively involved in the city. He’s a member of the NJ Regional Chamber of Commerce, and is active in St. Brendan’s Church. WEEKEND SPECIAL



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“If you look at my background, I have great attachment to the community through volunteer work, the church and from my time in Clifton,” said Brown, who also tutors students at the Clifton Public Library. Overall, Brown said he’s pleased with the way that the Council has dealt with tough decisions. “I think if you asked someone running for City Council four years ago, how will you deal with a drastic economic condition, I don’t think they could have predicted it,” said the candidate. Brown said he would like to continue the restructuring and work closely with his colleagues to guide Clifton. The candidate explained that his resume will allow voters to see that he’s a qualified candidate. “My best attribute is that I’m very hard working,” said Brown, who graduated from Rutgers University School of Law in Newark in 2001 while working full time for Merrill Lynch & Co. as a computer applications developer. “One of the most important things for a public servant is intellect and ability. I think I have both of those things.” “Voters need to make decisions based on who they think has the ability to deal with the unexpected situations, on who has the ability to work as a team with the existing members of the Council and the new ones that will be elected,” he added. “I think I am that person.”

Political Integrity Joe Chidiac says his dedication will win over voters on Election Day In 2006, less than 400 votes separated Joe Chidiac from the seventh and final position for a Council seat. The candidate managed to pull nearly 3,400 votes enroute to a 11th place finish without any fundraisers. Now retired from his Postal Police job, Chidiac is fully able to dedicate himself to the city. That, combined with his encouraging results from the 2006 Council race and November 2007 runoff election, led to Chidiac’s decision to run for office this May. “For (accepting) no money and no time, to come on top of three incumbents with little time...” he said in reference to the 2006 City Council election. “The outpouring I got this time was great. I was thrilled with petition requests and responses.” Chidiac believes that voters were receptive to his grassroots campaign because he comes into the election without any political affiliations. “I am free of all baggage. I’m an independent,” said Chidiac. “I have the highest level of integrity. It’s not that they (Council members) don’t, but I had a background check on me.” The candidate admitted that that the current elected officials did an admirable job during their tenure. However, Chidiac said it’s time to see what newcomers can do. “There’s only three ways things go: they get worse, they stay the same or they get better and that’s what we’ll have to see,” said Chidiac. “They’ve all had the opportunity to prove themselves and

voters will go based on actions and results.” Chidiac believes that his door to door campaign and insistence on spending only his own money will resonate with citizens on election day. “This has almost been a life long commitment,” he said. “That’s why I’m not going to South Jersey or Florida. I’m here to stay. I want to be a happy senior.” “Right now, I’m not a happy senior because of what I see going on on a day to day basis,” added Chidiac. The candidate said that the quality of life has declined while taxes continue to rise annually. Chidiac claims that if the Council were more proactive, it could have mitigated the effects of the recession. “The layoffs could have been avoided. I’ve done this, I have an inside edge with this,” he said. “Restructuring should have happened a long time ago. But this Council did inherit a lot of problems.” He said that, although the Council’s efforts are noble, there’s more that can be done. The candidate said that it’s ideas sometimes as simple as encouraging businesses to go the extra mile, like a gas attendant wiping a windshield, to generate more income, and in turn, more taxes. “Yes, you can reduce the waste and the taxes,” said Chidiac. He said cost cutting, combined with grants or shared services, can stabilize the budget. “I don’t know if they (the Council) know where to go and what to do. I don’t know if

it’s a lack of effort. Everyone will say we really can’t do that... well, you have to come up with something.” Chidiac said he would like to review the city’s contracts to see if savings can be realized. He referenced construction crews from Newark placing signs and doing other work for Clifton. “Who are these people coming in, putting down our signs? Who are these people coming in and doing our sewers?” said Chidiac. The candidate said he was told by DPW employees that the previous company from West Paterson was cheaper, but admitted he did not know the exact figures. “Some of this, we have the capability to do with our DPW.” While he wasn’t sure of the accuracy of Recycling Coordinator Al Dubois’ claim that $1.5 million in savings can be realized at the DPW, Chidiac said that there are areas in the department that can be trimmed. He said replacing some DPW plows with smaller Chevy S10 pickup trucks would make snow removal more efficient and save money. March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


In a wide ranging list of topics discussed in an interview, Chidiac also criticized the recycling program. “This city is not recycling to its potential,” he said. Chidiac said he would like to look for empty plots in other areas of town to place bins to encourage residents to participate. He believes that the Police Department could benefit from the Council’s restructuring plan. Chidiac said that officers should be stationed on Kuller Rd. to catch litterbugs and speeders. He would also like to look into man power distribution and would like to see changes in the way negotiations are held. “In the 60s and 70s, Clifton was the number one leader in the State of New Jersey,” said Chidiac. “We set an example with dual fire and police patrols. The State and the unions ruined that relationship. They (current politicians) think it’s something new and it took 30 years for this to come back.” The candidate said if the Council were to implement firm policies and procedures for advancement in the Police Department, it would alleviate many issues. He specifically mentioned the search for the replacement of Chief Robert Ferrari, who recently announced he would retire effective March 1. Chidiac said that if there are less than three active captains on the force, the option to hire a lower ranking officer exists. “You have to stay with the captains,” he said, noting his preference toward promotions based on seniority. “You can’t have a back door open. Close the window.” Chidiac believes policies can be applied all over the city, resulting in greater efficiency. He referenced students leaving the Brighton Rd. Annex walking in the street, and said that a protocol would result in action, regardless of who is responsible for the children. “If you start when they’re fresh and you read them the riot act, believe me, you can change things,” said

Chidiac. “If you create a conscious awareness in youth, you can change them. We’ve lost control of the streets.” Chidiac also believes that the Council should have more influence over Zoning and Planning Board matters. He said projects like the proposed synagogue on Dwasline Rd., and the recently terminated plans for a McDonalds on Allwood Rd. should either be approved or dismissed in one meeting, not drag out for months. “The Council should do everything. There are no limits,” said Chidiac. “We have to get together with citizens and use our clout. We don’t have to follow. No more following blindly. Question everything.” Chidiac referenced the Council on Affordable Housing mandates, as well as the NAACP settlement that allows non-residents to apply to become a firefighter as other policies he’d like to challenge. Within the city’s own government, Chidiac said he’d like to see a spending limit. The politics, in all honesty, has become a circus,” he said. “Last election, there was more signs than votes. Isn’t that ridiculous? Sheriff (Jerry Speziale) was reaching out and supporting candidates.” However, the candidate isn’t interested in changing Clifton’s government. While open to ideas from residents, Chidiac believes the current system provides a check and balance on power. And he thinks a dedicated candidate like himself can bring change. “Perseverance and time—I am endless. I go right to people’s face and right to the issue,” said Chidiac. “This is where I want people to look over the candidates carefully. Don’t overlook things like they’re busy and got young kids, like Obama watching his kids on the swings.” “My daughter is now 18 and independent,” he continued. “I’m retired. This is my dream. If I’m elected, I’m going to town like they never saw. I’m probably the hardest worker in the 100 year history.”

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Zoned into Clifton Roy Noonburg serves on Zoning Board, spent a quarter decade patrolling streets After his unsuccessful 2006 City Council run, Roy Noonburg made it a point to stay active in Clifton and gain a little more experience in anticipation for 2010. Now, having served on the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the past two years, he feels he’s a complete candidate and voters will recognize that at the polls. Noonburg said he believes that residents will take notice of his involvement in the community, allowing him to improve upon the 3,577 votes he received in the last election. The candidate was just 200 votes away from the seventh and final Council seat in 2006. As a Zoning Commissioner, Noonburg had to make decisions on the fate of various projects around town. He said that the notion that residents and voters are apathetic is untrue. The passion is there, but it must be cultivated in a more productive manner. Noonburg cited the recently defeated McDonalds proposal, which would have replaced the Jubilee Diner on Allwood Rd.

“They (Allwood residents) were unified and strong,” said Noonburg. “They came out and made sure executives at McDonalds were cognizant that they weren’t too happy about that plan. (That spirit) is a positive, but it should be throughout the city.” The candidate explained that the speakers at the podium at City Council and Board of Education meetings by and large always seem to be the same residents speaking. “Right now, I think it’s communication,” said Noonburg, adding: “A lot of residents don’t want to get involved with the city because they don’t want to deal with politics.” The Luddington Ave. resident said that citizens become involved when an issue affects their neighborhood, but often get discouraged in the process. Noonburg said the key is to ensure that when citizens interact with their government, things operate smoothly, whether it’s a complaint or something as simple as leaf removal. “As a Councilman or Mayor, service should be your number one

platform,” he explained. Noonburg said that the first step to improving this process is the ongoing restructuring efforts by the City Council. The candidate praised the plans to hire quality of life officers for zoning violations and said that the fines imposed by those employees will help bring in revenue. Noonburg said that the city should consider raising the cost of fees for pool permits and other services. “Unfortunately, it’s going to hit the taxpayer,” he explained. “But there’s no where else to generate money. The city can’t wave a magic wand and money will appear.” A comprehensive review of all departments is in order to

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improve services and make things more fiscally stable. However, the candidate cautioned that the savings may be slim. “In the DPW, having a full time director is very important,” said Noonburg. “But street cleaning, leaf cleaning... they’re almost running on barebones. With police and fire, I really don’t see anything. As a taxpayer and retired police officer, I feel they’re running pretty close to the chest. Do I have the magic wand and say that I have the magic answer? I don’t at this point,” he added. “But I

know taxes are the primary issue and that would have to be your primary investigation.” Noonburg said that even the smallest savings will be beneficial in the coming years, and moving the Council election to November to save money is a necessity. Emergency cost cutting measure by this Council hampered its ability to bring about much change, and Noonburg said that the next elected body must learn from the past. “Unfortunately, due to the economic times, I really don’t know if

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much has been accomplished,”he stated. “It’s not because of [the Council]. It’s because of the time. We’re in big, big trouble.” While he praised the overall ability of the Council to act under duress, Noonburg said that some decisions were ill advised. “The sewer tax was supposed to alleviate some of the property tax increase and cover some of the shortage that the town was facing,” he explained. “At times, I feel like the taxpayer is saying, how much is going to be enough? I would rather them raise my property tax, because then I can deduct it at the end of the year.” In addition to keeping a balanced budget in tight economic times, Noonburg said other looming issues on the horizon must be addressed. “There’s a lot of aging infrastructure in this town,” he said. “And illegal homes, three or four renters out of a two family. I think that’s the biggest way of ripping off the city.” Noonburg said that he’s in touch with the issues—he’s lived here for nearly half a century and has seen the city evolve. The candidate’s presence on the Zoning Board and involvement in other city functions shows his dedication to the position. “I’m honest, willing to work with the Council and I’m willing to work for the people,” said Noonburg. “How can I spend all this money when some of these people are laid off. People are losing their homes. Do they want a politician coming in there to spend a million dollars like (NYC Mayor Mike) Bloomberg did?” “I’m a big believer in change. We ran on the same premise four years ago,” he said. “I feel that if someone were to vote for me, it’s due to the fact that I have much experience in this town. There has to be something different.”

An Average Resident Suzanne Sia works for Merck, says its all about process, procedure, efficiency For Suzanne Sia, the decision to run for City Council came down to a lifelong observation of the community in which she grew up in and the matter of timing. “The past five to ten years, I started noticing that this wasn’t the Clifton I was used to growing up,” she said. “I just about spent my whole life here and I’ve love it. I grew up on Thanksgiving Lane.” However, Sia said deteriorating services, schools and taxes began to change the city. Many families, ones that lived here for generations, started leaving for places with lower taxes and better quality of life. She said that if the situation isn’t corrected, the slide will continue. “The question becomes, can I retire here?” Sia explained that her top priority is to stabilize the budget and ultimately reduce taxes. The quickest route to fiscal responsibility is to evaluate each department to reduce inefficiency. While Sia praised the Council’s plans to review the departments, she said that a crisis shouldn’t have been the catalyst for change.

“Revamping of City Hall should have happened last term,” she stated, adding: “If we don’t start examining these other areas, it’s going to go down faster. We have to get a handle on it.” “You can’t do the things the way you did 50 years ago. But change takes time,” said Sia. “You have to look to the future too. It’s not just here and now,” she continued. “It’s almost negligent not to do so.” Sia stated that the biggest service disappointment has been the DPW. Though she praised the response to recent storms, Sia said that snow removal hasn’t been satisfactory overall. She believes that the problem extends throughout the whole department. Sia recalled a situation five years ago, when a tree in front of her house began to lift the sidewalk that had been recently set. The city had planted young saplings on that road just a few months prior to the streetscape improvements, and at the time Sia said she expressed concerns that the trees would soon grow and raise the

concrete. Not long after the construction was completed, the roots began to push the sidewalk up DPW came down and raised the concrete so that it could accommodate the growth of the tree. “I felt a little more should have been done,” said Sia. “It wasn’t well thought out and it wasn’t the customer service I would like to see.” The candidate explained that she would like to see a DPW director hired to ensure longterm planning. If elected, she will make sure that any changes to the way the government operates has a lasting effect and will remain in the structure of the municipality after the recession is over. “It’s all about process,

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


procedure and efficiency. That saves money overall,” she said. “You also have to have common sense.” But as an outsider with no political experience, Sia said her ability to pinpoint areas money can be saved is difficult. However, she’s confident in her abilities and believes her experience will allow her to smoothly transition into her new role. Sia is a program manager in information technology at Merck, and routinely deals with budgets. She said she’s different from career politicians. Sia considers herself just an average resident who has the background and ability to make a difference. “I do think it’s a positive. It adds a freshness to the Council,” said Sia. “Asking questions isn’t a bad thing. If there’s too much [long term politicians on the Council], there’s a little complacency.” “A lot of people in Clifton don’t feel they’re heard,” she continued. “I think I represent those people.” Changing the way that residents are represented is something that Sia would like to explore down the road. “Our government structure is very different from any other township or city,” she said. “You have to question why Clifton is set up this way. It’s something to look at.” Sia is also a proponent of of shifting the Council race to the November general election. “Honestly, I think all of the elections should be on the same day. It’s going to get more people voting,” said Sia.


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

“Easy savings, that’s the type of thing we need to look for.” The candidate said that such actions are necessitated by the economic conditions the city faces. While she praised the Council’s ability to make tough and at times, unpopular decisions for the betterment of Clifton, Sia said that the need for drastic action is because of a lack of foresight. “It was a lack of planning,” she explained, referencing last year’s municipal layoffs. “That $7 million (shortfall) didn’t appear overnight.” The lack of accountability permeates throughout City Hall. Sia said that the responsibility for the Ameripay scandal that took place this summer ultimately falls to the Council. “Don’t you look at your own checkbook?” she said. Such situations can be remedied with more oversight. Sia also said that the Council needs to interact with government in other cities, borrowing concepts or even sharing services. “I don’t know if I see much of that going on in Clifton,” Sia said. Though not as experienced as other politicians, the candidate feels that her background and determination will allow her to make an immediate impact if elected. “What do these people on the Council have that I don’t have,” Sia stated. “If you look at the factors, I feel I’m really qualified.”

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant



March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

An Involved Citizen George Silva believes he’s the most experienced of all challengers in race This marks the third time that George Silva will run for City Council. But moreso than past elections, the candidate believes that residents are more familiar with him. Silva has been a tireless advocate for the city, particularly Clifton’s east side, and his dedication is yearround, not just near election time. “I’m a concerned citizen. I’ve been around, I attend the meetings, think tank meetings, budget meetings... I always say, I’m not a Johnny come lately,” said Silva. “And I didn’t drop out after I wasn’t elected [in the 2006 race] and I didn’t drop out after I wasn’t elected [in the 2007 Council runoff race] either.” Although running for the 2010 race was on his mind for a while, Silva said it was Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej’s decision to not seek re-election that convinced him to pull petitions. “I had been thinking about it for maybe six months,” he said. “It’s very difficult to beat seven sitting Council people at the same time. They know a little bit more than the other people running.” Silva explained that it’s almost impossible for a challenger to have as much knowledge as an incumbent on day to day business or budgetary items in the municipality. The limited flow of information makes it difficult to give an opinion on issues or recommend changes. Even as a member of ACTION Clifton, Silva, a representative for Dutch Hill, said that he doesn’t have access to everything he would like to.

The candidate cited Bruno Associates, the grantwriting firm under contract with the city, as an example of instances where there is too little information released from City Hall. “As an outsider, we only hear what he’s done. We don’t hear what’s in the works,” said Silva. He added that a lack of communication with residents about grants, the sewer tax or the Ameripay scandal causes citizens to lose faith in their government. Silva said that the Council’s restructuring plan may help repair that relationship, but it shouldn’t take an economic disaster to bring about fiscal responsibility. “[The recession] made [the Council] look into it, but maybe it should have been done in the first or second year,” he explained. “Right now, I think all the departments are basically down to the nitty gritty. There’s not much more you can take away. The Health Department is down to basic people. Housing is down to basic people. Maybe the quality of life officers can help Housing out.” Still, the candidate was encouraged by early ideas, specifically the quality of life officers. Silva said the service provided by these employees pays for itself and simultaneously helps the city, and the Council should look into bolstering the department’s roster. “We’re so diverse now, maybe we should be hiring a Muslim or a Latino,” said Silva, who would like to see more diversity in all city

departments. “In different areas of town, residents would respect them a bit more or they would understand their way of living.” The candidate welcomes changes in the DPW and is eager to see what savings are produced from restructuring in the department. “They did a heck of a job with the snowstorm without a super,” said Silva. “When we had a supervisor, everyone was complaining about their street. Maybe we could hire one of [the four DPW department heads] to be acting DPW supervisor, or leave it the same way and have all four report to the city engineer [who would then answer to City Manager Al Greco].” The candidate would also like to see an increased police presence throughout Clifton. Silva said that with the economic downturn, crime will rise. To save money, he would like to ask Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale to expand patrols beyond the city’s east side. “Putting [police] towers in Botany for us was great,” said Silva. “We’re grateful, but we need it all around, especially in the shopping centers.” March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


Mentioning Botany Village, the candidate reiterated his desire to see a ward government implemented; Silva was an advocate for such change in the 2006 Council race, but doubts it would happen soon. “It seems like this city is not ready for that type of change yet,” he said. Silva noted that he would support a move to have a study about the different forms of government to generate interest. He said he would also be interested in taking advantage of the new law that allows municipali-


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

ties to have non-partisan Council elections moved to November. “The outside influence happens anyway,” Silva explained. He said political parties and special interest groups are present in any election. “The only thing you’re going to get is more people out in November to come to an election and we’re still a non partisan group of citizens. If it’s $100,000 [in savings], maybe we could hire one or two cops.” Amongst both the legislators and state residents, the passing of the law

was controversial. However, Silva said he’s comfortable making tough decisions that will benefit residents. The candidate referenced the municipal layoffs in 2009 and praised the Council’s decision, saying he too would make such a choice. “I don’t believe any of those seven Council members would fire someone for no reason,”he said. “It’s not an easy job. If I was on the Council and I had a decision to make for 80,000 compared to one or two people, we have to look at the whole picture. With the situation they were in, they had no other choice.” Silva said his decision making ability and involvement in the community make him an ideal candidate. “I want Clifton to get better and I feel with my knowledge and the work I’ve done in Botany, Dutch Hill and the Lakeview area, I feel I have a lot more experience than others,” said Silva. “The only thing I’m not going to know is what goes on behind closed doors.”

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March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Preserving Services Taxpayer First, Passaic Police Officer Andy White has the Big Picture View Andy White’s motivation for running comes down to his desire to see new City Council representatives. “I think we need a change,” he said. “We need to get some younger people involved in the city on the political side. I’m 43, but I think we need to get some new, fresh ideas on the Council.” With virtually no political experience, White will embark on his first campaign. “My [platform] is that I want to move the city in a positive direction. I want people to work together to make Clifton a better place to live,” said White. “I don’t want to dwell on negatives from the past. I don’t think it’s healthy. We need to dwell on the future.” Looking forward, the candidate said that the most pressing issues are taxes and quality of life. “I want to hold the line on taxes. My ultimate goal would be to lower the taxes from what it was last year,” he said. “We’d have to look at the budget line for line and see where we could make cuts.” White, a Passaic Police Officer for 20 years and former Clifton Emergency Dispatcher, said he’s encouraged by the Council’s restructuring plan. The candidate said he would like to take a long look at the Department of Public Works. “We need to have a DPW director that knows the city,” said White. “We should be looking to hire from within, someone that knows the system and knows what’s expected of them. In the past, that had been lacking.”

Though he praised the removal during recent snow storms, White said that the DPW needs a permanent replacement for the director. He noted the problems with snow removal last year and said that such a move would make the department more efficient and possibly lead to savings. White said he was also pleased with the concept of quality of life officers, but he would like to see those employees be aggressive when hired. “They can tackle all complaints to unkempt properties, garage sales signs that are illegally posted and illegal housing,” said White, who expressed his desire to see the officers work in the evenings as well. “At night, there’s the element of surprise. Visit people on weekends.” With increased patrols, White believes that officers would not only pay their own salary, but start generating more income for the city. In a city fresh off of a budgetary shortfall, saving every penny counts, but White said that the Council must balance savings with quality of life. “I don’t want to do anything that will hurt the quality of services for tax payers,” said White. He pledged to maintain current senior citizen and recreation programs, and expand where possible. White was said that many residents were unhappy with how the 2009 budgetary shortfall affected their services. “Layoffs have hurt the city,” he said. “You see the complaints with the DPW. They’re working with less people.”

He considers fire, police and DPW services vital to the city, and that the sewer tax seemed to be necessary to preserve those services. However, White considered the temporary closure of Fire Station 2 and the subsequent layoffs a mistake. His opposition to those cuts was based on the reduction of critical services, and not a sign of support for local unions. “I will have knowledge of how their contracts work and everything,” said White. “But I want residents to know that just because I’m a police officer doesn’t mean I’m not my own person. I’m going to do what’s best for the citizens of Clifton.” For certain departments, the candidate said he would like to increase the ranks if possible. “I think we need more [cops],” stated White, noting that crime in the region has increased during the recession. “Anybody can buy a scanner and listen to it to see all of the officers in Clifton go from call to call to call.” Because the department is understaffed, he said the police cannot be proactive. March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


While he acknowledges that the economy will prevent any new hirings, White said that it’s important to at least replace retiring officers. The candidate said that funding may be available through grants. For seven years, White has been writing grants for the Passaic Police Department and would be willing to assist the city’s grant writing firm, Bruno Associates. “We should look at everything. Any types of grants that are out there we should apply for,” he said. “A lot of it is just gathering information and putting it together.” The City of Clifton is accepting applications without regard to race, color sex or ethnic origin, from residents of Passaic & Essex if you want a job County, for the part time position of School Traffic Guard. Several positions now open. Starting rate $12.92 per hr. Paid Prescription plan after 1 year of service + vacation. Interested individuals may apply at the Personnel Office at Clifton City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave. Clifton, NJ, 8:30 AM -3:30 PM. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis for this position. City of Clifton is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

As far as where to make cuts in the budget, White said that it would require a comprehensive review. He said he would like to study garbage pick up frequency. White would also like to look into hiring part time or seasonal personnel to maintain City Hall and other properties. The candidate said that he feels money is being squandered at the Wellington Ave. emergency communication center. The leased building off of Main Ave. is not being utilized properly, he stated, and necessary upgrades are costly. He feels that the building should have been built on the DPW site or other city-owned property. White also said that a similar lack of accountability cost the city some $900,000 in the Ameripay scandal this summer. “I feel that somebody should have been held accountable,” he said. “No body was manning the store. $900,00 and nobody knew about this. It’s pretty hard to believe that nobody knew about it. There’s no checks and balances there. I don’t know if it’s the Council, but it’s under their watch.” Still, despite his criticisms, White feels that the Council did an adequate job in the past four years. “With all the mandates that are put forth by the state with the four percent cap and everything else, it ties your hands,” he said. “The government has to look to take some of those mandates off of cities.” White said he would also like to see more involvement from our County and State representatives. “We have to get our Senator and Assembly people more actively involved in Clifton,” said White, who is favor of moving the Council elections to November to save money. “Shiela Oliver’s our speaker now. We need more help from (her). They should come to Council meetings and speak and let the citizens of Clifton know what they’re doing for the city. They’re our reps.” If possible, White said he would like to see those officials or members of the NJ League of Municipalities come to Clifton to give a no-cost presentation about the different forms of government. Though personally in favor of Clifton’s Council-City Manager form of government, he is intrigued by ward representation and staggered terms. White, a former Dutch Hill representative for ACTION Clifton, would also like to include input from residents in any study. He said that feedback from citizens is something the Council must consider with any decision. “I think we need to realize that Clifton is not what it used to be in the 60s, 70s and 80s,” said White. “We have to face reality that things are changing... We need to deal with these changes more appropriately in order for the city to run more positive and efficiently.”

Board of Education Election The field of candidates includes some new and some old faces. Can they bring harmony & progress to the BOE? Almost overlooked due to the brewing City Council race is the Board of Education election, which will take place on April 20. The nine member board has been particularly maligned in recent months, awash in controversy as commissioners engage in verbal spats at most every meeting. The Board oversees a budget in excess of $150 million, and its members must juggle the needs of the students with fiscal responsibility in an increasingly turbulent economy. At least one new commissioner will be elected, with Jim St. Clair opting to not defend his seat after just one term on the Board of Education. That vacant spot could potentially be a swing vote in meetings, as the Board is essentially split into two ‘factions’. Incumbents Kim Renta and Norm Tahan—considered part of that majority group with St. Clair—will seek re-election. Challengers include Philip Binaso, former Board of Ed commissioner Wayne Demikoff, Joseph Fazio, Jr., John Houston, former BOE commissioner Mary Kowal, Barbara Novak, Gary Leonard Passenti and Gina Marie Scaduto. All candidates will be interviewed in the April Clifton Merchant. You can also meet these individuals at the Clifton Licensed Beverage Association’s Candidate Night at Bliss, 955 Allwood Rd., on March 12, from 4 to 9 pm.

Commissioners Norm Tahan and Kim Renta will attempt to retain their seats in April. Jim St. Clair (right) will not.

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


Optimist Club Friend of Youth


Labriola Story by Carol Leonard


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


n May 2, the Clifton Optimist Club will hold its annual awards dinner at the Clifton Recreation Center, recognizing four Clifton residents for their contributions to the community. Among those who will be honored is Jeff Labriola. The 30 year-old Christopher Columbus Middle School art teacher and founding member and chairman of the Clifton Arts Center Advisory Board will be presented with the club’s highest honor, the 2010 Friend of Youth Award.

Hanging on the wall in Jeff Labriola’s classroom at Christopher Columbus Middle School is a framed remembrance of his days as a second grader at School 16. The students were asked by their teacher to write about and illustrate with a drawing what they wanted to become when they grew up. It’s an assignment that pretty much every adult can remember having to do in one form or another during his or her years in school. With a steady hand and penmanship more advanced than most children his age at the time, Labriola clearly stated on the white lined paper, “When I grow up I will be a teacher and show the class how to make some art projects.” Little did Labriola know at the time that his dream as a young boy would actually become his life’s work. His colorful illustration shows a classroom with a calendar and alphabet and number chart on the wall, a neatly arranged teacher’s desk with a box of tissues and a red apple at the far end, and what appears to be an art table in the center of the room. Labriola can’t quite remember why he also included a smiling blue octopus with its numerous outstretched limbs in the picture, but he says that it symbolizes for him today the many roles he plays in his whirlwind life as a teacher and advocate of the arts in the community. Labriola hung the piece in his classroom to be an inspiration to his students to follow their own dreams

for the future. “I always tell them, if you have a passion for something in your life, you need to use your education to get what you want,” he said. As a young child, while most of his friends were playing with toy trucks, and bats and balls, Labriola was busy drawing and creating other works of art around his home. “As soon as I was old enough to pick up a pencil, I was drawing all the time,” he said. “I was never much of an athlete or a video gamer,” he went on. “My artwork gave made me feel good about myself and gave me a sense of identity.” Labriola continued to develop his artistic talents throughout his middle school days at Woodrow Wilson, where he got involved with the stage crew and helped create the sets for the school’s annual musicals. At Clifton High School, he took advantage of the wide variety of course offerings in the visual arts, taking classes in just about every art form, including advanced placement courses in art history and studio art. Labriola credits teachers Carol Harmon, now retired, and Maryann Baskinger, now supervisor of visual and performing arts for the school district, for instilling in him an excitement for art that he tries to bring to his own students today. “They made art come alive and made me feel that I wanted to do that for other kids someday,” he said of his former teachers.

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In addition to his coursework in art at the high school, Jeff served as art editor of the yearbook and as director in his senior year of The Gallery, a quarterly show of student artwork. As a senior, he also participated in Officials Day during the city’s celebration of Youth Week and was assigned to shadow Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej. “With our mutual interest in the arts, we talked a lot about the need for arts related programs in the community,” Labriola said of his day with Mrs. Kolodziej. After graduating from CHS in June 1997, Jeff enrolled as an art education major at Montclair State University. The following summer, he was hired as the first summer art intern for the City of Clifton. His job included doing surveys and other background work to help establish the Clifton Arts Center, which opened in 2000 in one of the old federal animal quarantine barns on the rear of the municipal complex. Labriola helped form the Arts Center Advisory Board later that summer, and was chosen by the other members to serve as chairman. He also served as the center’s interim director for several months, while still an undergraduate at Montclair State. One of the goals of the Arts Center’s Advisory Board was to develop a partnership with the school district, so

that the center would be a place where Clifton students could display their artwork as well as attend workshops given by local artists. “We wanted to get as many people in the community as possible interested in coming to the center,” Labriola said. “We knew that the best way to do that was to get kids involved in our programs.” And get kids involved they did. With the convenience of being located adjacent to the high school campus, the Arts Center serves as an extension of the school’s art classrooms and provides a professional atmosphere for the students to hold their annual spring Gallery exhibit for all community residents to enjoy. It also offers a nearby field trip experience for students from the talented and gifted (TAG) art programs at the two middle schools and elementary schools. “I’m so proud of my involvement in this project for the community and our students, Jeff said of the Arts Center, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary this spring. Labriola completed his degree at Montclair State in May 2001 and was hired to fill an art teaching opening at Christopher Columbus Middle School the following September. “I always thought that I would teach in high school,” Labriola said. “My own middle school years were awk-



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% 10 S




ward for me trying to fit in socially, so I never thought that I would ever want to return to middle school to teach. But within the first month, I loved it.” Labriola said that teaching art has enabled him to form a special bond and relationship with many of his students and their families. “I try to make my class a comfortable and relaxed place,” he said. “Kids today are so caught up in technology, but they also need to learn to use their brains and their eyes to create something with their hands that they can be proud of. Many of them are unaware of their talents.” In addition to teaching seventh and eighth grade art cycle classes, which meet for one marking period, Jeff teaches an enrichment art homeroom. The special class for selected students with an interest and talent in art begins at 7:45 am every day and runs through the regular homeroom period. “It’s a very enjoyable part of my day,” he said. “It’s very exciting for me to work with kids who are so passionate about art. We get to do more in depth projects and I have them for the whole year instead of just one marking period.” In 2004, Labriola was instrumental in bringing a chapter of the National Junior Art Honor Society to Christopher Columbus to recognize qualifying students

for their artistic talents, good character and community service contributions. As faculty advisor to the Student Council for the past seven years, Labriola works with student leaders on fundraising for school activities and community service projects, including a Teddy bear collection for the holidays. Over the years, the students at Christopher Columbus have collected donations of more than 2,000 Teddy bears that were distributed to pediatric patients in local hospitals and, this past holiday season, to children enrolled at the Cerebral Palsy Center on Main Ave. Labriola always sets up a grand display of the donated Teddy bears in the main office at the school to help publicize the project. Arguably Labriola’s most masterful and heartfelt work happens every June, when he coordinates with parent volunteers to turn the lower gymnasium into a magical dancehall for the eighth grade Farewell Dance. The theme is different each year and is kept secret until the eighth graders come down the stairs on the night of the dance. “Hollywood,” “Around the World” and “New York, New York” are just some of the themes Jeff has dreamed up for the elaborate decorations, which take many volunteer hours of his time to design and put together with the parents. The latter theme included a huge replica of the Statue of Liberty.

Since 1960

NJ License 13VH00726700

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


“It’s my gift to the eighth graders and it gives me a wonderful chance to get to know the parents better as we work to put it all together,” Labriola said. For the first time this year, Labriola is also working with student members of the stage crew at Christopher Columbus, designing the set for the spring musical, Aladdin. “It’s a Disney show and I’m a Disney freak,” Labriola said. “I was looking for a new way to get involved with other kids in the school, especially those who weren’t selected for art homeroom, he said. “I think it’s essential to kids’ academic success to become involved with the school and their community.” Although still in the early years of his career,Labriola’s dedication and hard work are appreci-

C.Genardi Contracting Inc • Clifton




March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

ated and acknowledged by his colleagues, supervisors and students. “He’s a natural at what he does,” Mrs. Baskinger said. “He’s passionate about his job and that translates into how he is able to motivate the students. That’s what you want to see in a teacher.” Last year his students successfully coordinated a drive to have him voted “Favorite Teacher” in a competition sponsored by North Jersey Media Group, parent company of The Record and Herald News. “Mr. Labs is the best teacher of all time,” one of his students wrote on the Web site Rate My Teacher. “Super cool,” is how many others describe him. In 2006, he received an Excellence in Education Award from the Clifton Teachers Association and a NJ Governors Teacher Recognition Award. He has also been nominated for Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and for a Golden Apple Award from the Herald News. More important to Labriola than awards, though, is the knowledge that he has had an influence and impact on the live of his students. He especially enjoys it when former students come back to visit and express their appreciation for the time spent in his classes. “That’s when you know that you’ve made a connection that will last a lifetime,” he said. “It’s something that you can’t get working in the business world.”

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy Speeds Rehab One Hour Procedure Uses Your Own Blood to Hasten Healing, Relieve Pain Dr. Thomas Graziano is helping patients get rid of debilitating pain with a treatment that uses your own blood to help you heal. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, relieves pain by promoting true healing of musculoskeletal conditions such as plantar fasciosis and Achilles tendonitis/tendonosis. The method, the New York Times reported, “centers on injecting portions of a patient’s blood directly into the injured area, which catalyzes the body’s instincts to repair muscle, bone and other tissue. Most enticing... is that the technique appears to help regenerate ligament and tendon fibers, which could shorten rehabilitation time and possibly obviate surgery.” Dr. Graziano said PRP has been used for years in surgical centers to improve the success of bone grafting (especially in dental surgery) and also by cosmetic surgeons for speeding healing time and decreasing the risk of infection after surgery. Only in the last few years have doctors and surgeons like Dr. Graziano been experimenting with injecting PRP for the treatment of chronic pain—and he has found it especially effective. “After a repetitive stress or soft tissue injury, it’s normal for the body to increase blood flow to the injured area and send cells to clean up damaged tissues and initiate the healing process,“ said Dr. Graziano. “The goal of PRP injections is to intensify your body’s efforts by delivering high concentrations of platelets to stimulate the body’s natural healing response.” Achilles heal, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff tears, meniscal tears, osteoarthritis and chronic low back and

neck pain are all being treated with the injection of PRP—and getting people of all ages back to enjoying their life, pain free. To create PRP therapy, a sample of blood is drawn and placed into a centrifuge which separates the platelets from the rest of your blood. “The concentrated PRP is then injected into and around the point of injury, jump-starting and significantly strengthening your body’s natural healing response,” said Dr. Graziano. Because the patient’s own blood is used, there is no risk of a transmissible infection, he continued. PRP therapy is less risky and more effective than cortisone injections, which actually blocks the healing process. The procedure takes about one hour including time to spin your blood in the centrifuge. Performed safely in Dr. Graziano’s office or in an out-patient setting, PRP therapy relieves pain and heals the injury without the risks of surgery, general anesthesia, or hospital stays, and without prolonged recovery time. In fact, most patients return to their jobs or usual activities right after their PRP treatment. For more information, call Dr. Graziano at 973-473-3344 or visit March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


From a Childhood Dream to a Lifetime of Satisfaction Story by Irene Jarosewich As a young boy on Manhattan’s West Side, growing up near 105th and Amsterdam, Robert Rowan admired the beat patrolmen that worked for the New York City Police Department. He saw that the officers took pride in their post and the sector where they worked.

Buy a $5 raffle to win a $500 TREK, thanks to our friends @ Allwood Bicycles. Call Tom Hawrylko for a ticket—973-253-4400. 38

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Now, some five decades later, that Irish kid from the old neighborhood is often the recognizable face and voice of Clifton when news related to police business or emergencies from our city is broadcast across the region during the nightly news. Detective Captain Robert Rowan, who has served with the Clifton PD for more than 35 years, recalls that these childhood impressions inspired him into his career in police work—nearly four decades of public service that he says he has really enjoyed, and one for which, over the years, he has earned seven commendations. His commitment to excellence and his service to the community are among the reasons that Capt. Rowan has been chosen by members of the Clifton Optimist Club to receive the 2010 Judge Joseph J. Salerno Respect for Law Award. Currently, as commander of the Investigations Bureau of the Clifton Police Department, Capt. Rowan has a truly wide range of responsibilities, stuff that he has literally learned on the job. Among his task are the managing of all the divisions of the investigations bureau, detective, juvenile, narcotics, as well as being the police spokesperson for the police department, giving news briefings on a daily and weekly basis to all media outlets. “Everything we do is crime-related,” said Rowan of his current position, “and the detectives who perform the investigations are very dedicated. They do a great job, which makes my job easier. Our

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


detectives are very professional, and through their efforts, many crimes have been solved and many criminals taken off the streets.” He began as a police officer in

the patrol division of the Clifton PD in 1974, then was promoted to sergeant and in 1985, to lieutenant. He was assigned as a training officer, and in 1997, when promoted to captain, moved to managing the administrative services of the department. In 2002, he came to his current position. Each position, said Rowan, was interesting in its own way. “There’s a definite excitement to being a first responder,” noted Rowan, reflecting on his time in the patrol division, responding to what police know as “hot calls” – crimes in progress. As he moved up, however, work became more management, and this is where his education – an undergraduate degree from St. John’s College in Queens and an MBA from Iona College – helped with contracts and budgets. Rowan married his high school sweetheart Joyce, who is now a teacher in Passaic. The Clifton residents have been married 40 years, and the couple has three children: Patrick, a psychiatrist at Somerset Hospital; Mike a lieutenant with the Clifton Fire Department, and Kerry, a Capt. Bob Rowan and his wife Joyce with their grandkids: Liam, Jimmy, stay-at-home mom to three of the Rowan’s Aoife, Felicia, Shawn and Pierce. six grandchildren.


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

With 35 years in Clifton, Rowan acknowledges that he has seen changes in the city. Notably, because of the development on Route 3, the nature of policing has changed. Another change over the years is the SROs—School Resource Officers. These are cops who are now stationed in CHS and the two middle schools. Rowan said the officers are there to deal with issues and head off problems. Being in the school gives the police a chance to interact with students, develop a rapport with them, a system that makes both the teachers and students happy. However, he adds, despite the changes, “Clifton remains a town of hardworking people, maybe the ethnic composition has shifted a bit, but the crime rate has stayed stable, which is relatively low for the size of city that we are. And the mission of the PD has remained the same, keeping conditions safe for society.” Over the years, The Record newspaper of North Jersey has conducted surveys and twice in recent years, the Clifton PD was voted the top police department in the region by the people surveyed. In fact, according to the City of Clifton website, Clifton was listed as the 45th “Safest Place to Live” in the United States. This information appeared in the 14th edition of Crime City Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America in 2007 and was based on the FBI’s crime statistics report. The report looked at 378 cities in America

with 75,000 residents or more. Rowan’s philosophy of crime enforcement is practical. “Unfortunately,” he said, “you can’t and never will eliminate crime altogether. It is just part of human nature. The key to keeping crime low is enforcement, nipping things in the bud. If you tolerate minor infractions, then people will think that’s OK and eventually this will result in increased crime. I believe in the broken windows theory – that if you see a broken window and it is not fixed, it sends a message that no one cares. It is important to send a message that someone cares and to keep matters under control by enforcing city laws and ordinances. This is the strategy employed by Mayor Giuliani in New York in the 1980s and it worked. It’s a lesson that can be learned by all police departments.” Rowan also believes that is important to keep public informed with regard to criminal activity in their communities, primarily for their own protection, but also so that the residents know what is going on in their community and how their department is serving them. “I’m genuinely very appreciative of having been chosen to receive the Optimist Award,” said Rowan. “It has been my good fortune to serve the city of Clifton and the police department for 35 years. I really cannot see myself doing anything else. I enjoy the camaraderie of the men and women I work with, all of whom are very dedicated professionals.”

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


The 2010 Clifton Optimist Awards is on May 2 at 4 pm at the Clifton Recreation Center, 1232 Main Ave. Tickets, which include a sit-down dinner and beverages, are $32.50 (checks to Clifton Optimist Club). For info, call Optimist members Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400 or Ted Munley at 973-473-2200, ext. 112. On the previous pages, we featured Jeff Labriola who will receive the Club’s highest honor—Friend of Youth—and Police Captain Robert Rowan who will receive the Judge Joseph J. Salerno Respect for Law Award. In last month’s magazine, we profiled Community Service Award winner Barbara Watterston and Jack Kuepfer, who will receive the Clifton Optimist Lifetime Achievement Award.

Judge Joseph J. Salerno


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Mayor Stanley Zwier

Barbara Watterston

Jack Kuepfer

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 town. To commemorate his association with Clifton, Judge Salerno 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 because the former Athenia resident was involved in many community events, even up until his death in 1999.

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


Diversity Through


By Irene Jarosewich

A dancing dragon led by a masked monk ushered in the New Year celebration at China Garden on Main Ave. in Delawanna on Feb. 20. The characters and their entourage of performers danced into the Hong Kong style restaurant, greeting guests to annouce the Year of the Tiger. So Gung Hay Fat Choy!... which translates to ‘best wishes and congratulations... have a prosperous and good year!’ 44

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

ost people I know choose a restaurant, go see what’s on the menu, and then decide what to eat. Not us. Nope. My husband and I are what I call “urge eaters.” One of us gets an urge and we get into our car and head out to the restaurant that will scratch that itch. Over the years, we have developed some pretty specific tastes. So through trial and error during our eight years here in Clifton, we’ve developed a short list of our go-to places for well-prepared, reasonably priced meals. In late fall, the first urge of the winter season usually strikes for a basket of really good fish ‘n chips. That’s when we go to the Shannon Rose. It’s definitely a stretch to call the Irish pub in Clifton Commons an ethnic restaurant, despite its Irish moniker. And the cavernous size feels more like a chain eatery than a cozy mom-and-pop. But then, hey, we’re here for the pints of Harp and the beer batter. And the staff has always been friendly and cheerful. The sad truth is that good fish ‘n chips are hard to find these days. Most of the stuff out there being passed off as the classic seafood and potato duo is some combination of pre-battered minced fish patties and frozen French fries dumped in hot oil. The taste is complete yuck, enough to make a Gaelic wharf man weep. At The Shannon Rose, they do fish’n chips proper. Proper requires whole fillets of cod, and fresh beer batter,


and somebody who’s paying attention to hand-dip and then fry the fish without over or under doing it. The fillets need to be served immediately and eaten hot and crispy with malt vinegar and salt, followed by a cold beer. I say skip the Shannon Rose tartar sauce (good tartar sauce is tangy, made with healthy amounts of lemon juice and/or mustard, ingredients that seems to be completely missing). Unless you like really boisterous crowds with your meal, you can also skip Friday and Saturday nights if all you want to do is eat. And no doubt, there are other tasty items on the menu at the Shannon Rose, but good burgers and sandwiches can be ordered easily elsewhere. Not so, good fish ‘n chips. It’s also a stretch to call Italian an ethnic cuisine in Clifton. It’s more like home-cooking, except that in restaurants, somebody else is doing it. However, for decades I lived outside of New Jersey where the typical choice of Italian food was between doughy pizza and spaghetti, with or without the meat sauce. So I still get giddy when I eat luscious lobster ravioli, tender veal piccata or a real Made in New Jersey pizza that tastes like perfection. But oddly enough, the urge that gets me out the door most often in Clifton is not one of the more elaborate Italian dishes—rather it’s the humble eggplant rollatini at the casual and cozy Taste of Tuscany found on the lower level of Styertowne Shopping Center.

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant



8 Market St., Clifton


Spanish Grill

Mon-Sat 11-8 pm (Wed till 6 pm) Closed Sunday

Lunch • Dinner • Free Local Delivery ($10 Minimum)

Catering of Authentic Puerto Rican & Caribbean Foods If you think the Empanada Spanish Grill is all about the variety of the delicious baked items owner and chef Abel Alicea prepares daily, you are only half right. It is true that Abel, a self taught chef, prepares over 20 varieties of empanadas, with at least five daily flavors cooked from scratch and sold six days a week. And it is also true that he bakes his empanadas, a healthy switch to the classic stuffed dough comfort foods. He explains: “Several years ago when my wife Madeline became ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was told she was not allowed to eat fried food, frying was eliminated from the Alicea household menu. This was the inspiration for our baked not fried empanadas.” But the tasty truth is that Abel and his team spend Monday through Saturday preparing a variety of slow-cooked Puerto Rican and Caribbean classics, ready for take out or dine in his casual and comfortable restaurant, located on Market St. near the intersection of Brighton Rd. A Clifton resident for 14 years, Abel established his business in Clifton in order to share his love for food and culture with his community. He said while the foods of Puerto Rico tend to be misrepresented as fried, Abel is introducing daily slow cooked specials so that residents can taste cuisine from the Island that is nutritious and tasty. All served with rice and beans, they include: Monday: Choice of spare ribs or chicken stew Tuesday: Choice of pepper steak or broiled quarter chicken Wednesday: Choice of chicken wings or beef stew Thursday: Choice of Spanish baked chicken or bacalou (Cod fish with onions and green peppers) Friday: Choice of pernil or fish Saturday: Choice of ropa vieja or chef special Empanada Spanish Grill also has a selection of classic sandwiches, such as the Cuban with roast pork, ham, Swiss and pickle prepared on a panini press and the Riki Raki, which is toasted ham and cheese with lettuce. A graduate of Ramapo College with a degree in Accounting, he was employed in the computer technology field for nearly 20 years. After the company he worked for was sold and his position eliminated, he decided to pursue his lifelong passion and to open his business late last year. 46

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Owner and Chef Abel Alicea His passion for food, family and culture was the inspiration. “I began to cook at age seven,” recalled Abel. “Growing up with a mother that was unable to care for her family, I learned to feed myself and others at a very young age. I love to cook and Empanada Spanish Grill is really a dream come true for me. I’m delighted to say that Clifton has welcomed me and our family restaurant.”

For lovers of eggplant, a good rollatini is the tip off to a good place to eat. Honestly, anybody can throw together a decent ratatouille or moussaka. But a good rollatini has to be crafted and the end result has to plump and sturdy, not soggy (which is when you know you’re eating the reheated frozen kind). While it has no liquor license, Taste of Tuscany has been full, even crowded, each time we’ve gone. And though we’ve experienced long waits, the staff makes an extra effort to be accommodating, with the host or hostess often bringing out trays of food samples for those waiting in line to munch on. The restaurant is small, seating is tight, but the place always feels upbeat, probably one of the reasons for its popularity. As spring tumbles into the dog days of summer, I get an urge for cool and simple ceviche. A fresh, well-balanced ceviche, a cold marinated fish dish, along with a drink like a pisco sour and a light salad is a great summer meal—and yes warm weather will soon come! Discovered by us only last summer, Con Sabor a Peru on Lakeview Ave. is one of those terrific little restaurants that can comfortably be called “a find.” The Peruvian food is fresh and tasty, the prices are great and the staff is super nice. And they have a choice of not one, but several different types of ceviche. Popular in Spain and Portugal, as well as Latin American countries, the basic components of ceviche

To get started in an Arabic or Turkish restaurant, begin with the classic mazza— a sampling of hors d'’euvres.

are raw seafood and the juice of citrus fruits – lemons, oranges and principally limes. The seafood is immersed in the juice and marinated for several hours – sometimes longer, the acidity of the citrus juice “cooking” the fish. Ceviche recipes are numerous, mixing different types of seafood and juices or adding ingredients such as minced onions, herbs such as cilantro or different peppers. The end result of any ceviche is that the seafood must be firm. Marinated too long and it becomes mushy, watery and too acidic. Once I was served a ceviche mixto – mixed seafood – that I

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


Michelle Diaz is a Registered Dietician at the Paulison Avenue ShopRite. She will answer your nutrition questions and help you select nutrient rich foods!

National Nutrition MonthÂŽ is a nutrition education and information campaign created by the American Dietetic Association. Paulison Avenue ShopRite supports this effort and reminds you of the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. Nutrition from the Ground Up reminds you to eat right and stay close to the basics. Choose nutrient rich foods, those lower in calories and filled with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Steer away from foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, sodium, cholesterol and sugars. For more info, ask for Michelle at our Courtesy Counter. Remember:Variety from all food groups is key to healthy eating.

Paulison Avenue 7 am to Midnight ShopRite 7 Days A Week 503 Paulison Ave., 973-471-0868 48

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Cuellar Family Markets

thought was overdone and the staff at Con Sabor a Peru cheerfully exchanged the dish immediately. During our years in Clifton, we’ve developed new food habits. I’ve shed my fear of bad pizza and have become a fan of extra thin crust. For my husband, it’s Mario’s house Italian salad. Mario’s, a Clifton landmark in Athenia, has become a regular stop-off for us. I prefer my small thin crust Emma’s-style pizza simply with cheese and fresh tomatoes, hold the sauce. Mario’s isn’t the only place I go to for thin crust – the Nona, or Grandma’s Pie, at Taste of Tuscany is also one of my favorites for thin and extra crispy. Mario’s, however, holds a special place on our taste buds since it is one of the first restaurants where we came to eat when we moved here, the first being the Tick-Tock Diner. Waiting for our kitchen to be remodeled, we began to get to know Clifton through Mario’s. The Van Houten Ave. restaurant is still family-owned, and the food, some of which is great, some of which is not (give up already on the clams casino – gummy, gummy, gummy!) has more or less remained the same for three generations.

Mario’s remains popular because it has something for everyone in the family, and a lot of the dishes are still served family style. It’s the kind of place where you can go with a friend, whittle away a couple of hours talking in a back corner, eating your way through appetizers, entrees, deserts and no one will chase you out. And then there’s the salad dressing, the house Italian. My sister thinks it just packets of Good Seasons dressing made by the bucketfuls in Mario’s kitchen, but I don’t know, I’ve tried to imitate the flavor at home and failed. My husband swears it’s the best Italian dressing, even the best dressing – ever! At Mario’s, he orders the mixed salad, which to the uninitiated simply looks like a large plate of shredded lettuce with some other vegetables thrown in, takes the dressing and then douses – no, I’m sorry, drowns the lettuce. A couple pieces of bread to mop it up, a bowl of soup and some iced tea and he’s a happy camper. So when I hear the words, “you know, I’m in the mood for a really large salad,” I know that’s the code for “let’s go to Mario’s.”

The Original of Botany Village is back in at...

1132 Route 46 West Across from Fette Ford, Just past the Hearth

Homemade Pasta FAMILY OWNED SINCE 1953

Made Fresh Daily

Over 50 Varieties

We’re Here 7 Days a Week Mon - Fri : 10 am - 7 pm Sat & Sun : 10 am - 4 pm

See our Menu, Order Online! Grand Opening Special Lobster Ravioli $9.99/lb Save $2 per lb, through March 31. Back in 1953, Maria Leonardi opened a small shop on Parker Ave. in Botany Village called Maria’s Ravioli. There she made and sold a a variety of pasta products and sauces, all from fresh ingredients. Dishes enjoyed for generations in villages throughout Italy—and in North Jersey—inspired her menu. It is a tradition carried on today, through a third generation of the Leonardi family, giving today’s Nonna Maria’s its authentic Italian fare.

Take Home Meals • Over 50 Homemade Pastas • Ravioli • Sauces March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


Diversity Through


From Delawanna to Downtown and in all neighborhoods of our community, Clifton is a city of dining diversity. Turn towards Paterson from our Downtown Clifton office (near the landmark White Castle) and find restaurants serving cuisines from Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. My favorite is the original Toros, an open, casual restaurant where the house speciality is the lamb shank. Head towards Getty Ave. to your shortcut to Newark's Ferry St.—the Portuguese Tavern. Across from the famous Egg Platter, your white haired host Silvio makes sure all is done right, from the Sangria to the house fish specialities. So go out and explore some new culinary adventures.

Some Dining Options...

Amy Barkalow of Jamie’s Restaurant & Cigar Bar on Bloomfield Ave. (973-779-8596). Along with Kamils on Main Ave., they are Clifton’s two restaurants where smoking is legally permitted.

Alexus Steak House 973-746-6600 955 Valley Rd

Bogey’s Sports Pub 973-523-4653 103 Valley Rd

China Garden 973-773-7633 306 Main Ave

IHOP 973-471-7717 680 Route 3 West

Aji Limon Peruvian 973-272-3660 1239 Main Ave

Bruno’s Pizza & Restaurant 973-473-3339 1006 Us Highway 46

Con Sabor A Peru 973-340-0008 109 Lakeview Ave

Jamito’s Chinese-Peruvian 973-546-2549 389 Lexington Ave

Al Jannah Restaurant 973-340-0005 1462 Main Ave

Buco Ristorante 973-779-3500 953 Allwood Rd

Djerdan Burak 973-513-9050 223 Parker Ave

Kamils Restaurant 973-772-1972 1489 Main Ave

Al Khayam 973-772-0050 1543 Main Ave

Cafe D' Amici 973-777-6070 1131 Bloomfield Ave

El Mexicano 973-546-2348 1293 Main Ave

Karpaty Deli 973- 546-4659 457 Clifton Ave

Angelo’s Pizzeria 973-777-5599 72 Market St

Century Buffet 973-471-8018 166 Main Ave.

Fitzgeralds Harp & Bard 973-772-7282 363 Lakeview Ave

La Piazza 973-478-3050 150 7th St

Baranda Cafe 973-246-1844 1551 Main Ave

Clifton Buffet 973-478-6888 79 Ackerman Ave

Foodies Cafe 973-773-3062 1348 Clifton Ave

La Riviera Trattoria 973-478-4181 421 Piaget Ave

Baskinger's Deli & Catering 973-546-3700 353 Crooks Ave

Chengdu 46 973-777-8855 1105 US 46

Hungarian Meat Center 973-473-1645 189 Parker Ave

La Riviera Gastronomia 973-772-9099 429 Piaget Ave


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Established in Botany Village in 1953 by Maria Leonardi on Parker Ave. in the old Italian section of Botany, Nonna Maria’s Homemade Pasta is a third generation company which reopened in a strip mall on Rt. 46 West. “I’ve opened up my grandmother’s business again,” Joy Langevin said proudly. “I spent a lot of time with Nonna,” recalled the 38 year old. The 3,400 square foot “factory” which opened in Feb. has modern equipment to create some 50 or so varieties of pasta, sauces and other traditional foods. While much is modern, the secret is in Nonna’s Old World recipes. Maria’s Ravioli was established 56 years ago and Langevin’s father, Joseph worked there and bought the business from his parents in the ’70s. After Maria passed away in 1988, he relocated it to Wayne. “I’m excited to move back to Clifton because that’s where our clientele is,” said Joy. “The customers that came to Wayne remembered my grandmother.” Customers will find take-home items such as pasta, ravioli, and lasagna, all made fresh daily on the premises, with no preservative. “This is a family business with a lot of pride and tradition attached to what we do,” said Joy. “It’s not just a job.” She added they chose to locate Nonna Maria’s Homemade Pasta on Rt. 46 instead of in Botany because the highway offers accessibility and greater visibility.

Luxor Restaurant 973-772-2700 341 Crooks Ave

Seasons Chinese Cuisine 973-777-5538 Styrertowne Shopping Center

Mario’s Pizza & Restaurant 973-777-1559 710 Van Houten Ave

Stefan & Sons Meat Store 973-546-3288 246 Dayton Ave

Milano Restaurant 973-614-0408 561 Van Houten Ave

Sultan Restaurant/ Banquet 973-772-1995 429 Crooks Ave

Osaka Sushi 973-815-0801 116 Market St

Taste of Tuscany 973-916-0700 Styrertowne Shopping Center

Peluso’s Italian Specialties 973-471-3991 76 Market St

Tick Tock Diner 973-777-0511 281 Allwood Rd

Polonia Meat Market 973-777-7355 785 Van Houten Ave

Toros Turkish/ Mediterranean 973-772-8032 489 Hazel St

Portuguese Tavern 973-772-9703 507 Crooks Ave

Troops Subs 973-365-1544 1212 Van Houten Ave

Red Cat Martini Bar 973-928-4951 1168 Broad St

Young Bros Deli & Grill 973-777-6644 606 Van Houten Ave

Rick’s American Bar & Grill 973-778-7100 550 Allwood Rd

Zen Sushi 973-253-7788 433 Piaget Ave

Write to change/update a listing.

CHS ‘72 Reunion, March 13. No Cover. Contact Bill Geiger @ 973-557-3613 or on Facebook

We Party 365 • 7 am to 3 am

605 Clifton Ave.

973-365-2060 Kitchen Open 11 am - 2 am Daily

Beers On –Tap Guinness • Bud • Coors Light • Yuengling • Bass Sierra Nevada • Seasonals


Facebook for Nighly Specials search ‘The Clif Tavern’

It’s a St. Patrick’s Day Feast! Wed., March 17 from noon... Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinners $7.50 Clifton’s Biggest Corned Beef Sandwich $5.00

7 Days A Week Great

Lunch Specials March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


The Clifton Arts Center presents A Taste of Primavera, an art exhibit and sale of artwork by the members of the Clifton Association of Artists. The exhibit is on view from March 10 through April 17. There will be a reception open to the public on March13 from 1 to 4 pm. Admission donation/fee is $3 for non-members. The exhibit will include works in various art mediums such as oil, acrylic, pastels and mixed-media by professional and amateur artists from Clifton and the area. The Clifton Association of Artists was established in 1963 by a group of eleven individuals. The mission of the Association is to promote the advancement of art and culture in Clifton by creating an environment for the expression of the visual arts. The Clifton Arts Center and Sculpture Park in association with the Clifton Public Library seeks to preserve, enhance, interpret and extend the reach of its programs for the benefit and well-being of citizens. Events are supported, in part, by a city-funded operating budget combined with the financial and in-kind donations from the non-profit board, Clifton Arts Center, Inc. The Gallery first opened to the public in January of 2000. The Clifton Arts Center is located on the grounds of the Clifton Municipal Complex near the intersection of Clifton and Van Houten Aves. Gallery hours are 1 to 4

Photo by Kim Basile

pm, Wed. through Sat.; group tours are available by appointment. The CAC meets at 7 pm on the first Monday of the month at the Lester Herrschaft Center behind City Hall. The Association also sponsors annual art shows and sales. Call President Tom Dzubina at 973-546-8977 or via

Clifton Arts Center Director Roxanne Cammilleri will present a lecture entitled: Picturing Health: Medicine & Art at Chilton Memorial Hospital in Pompton Plains on April 21st at 2 pm. The presentation addresses the relationship between medicine and art. Paintings viewed will explore the subjects of the doctor/patient relationship, physical fitness and health and healing across generations. Also, the history of art and the development of medicine from the ancient Greeks to the present day are highlighted. The presentation is meant to help view not only paintings, but ourselves and our physicians with optimism and present the notion that health is affected as much by our emotional lives as by our physical well-being. The lecture is at the Collins Pavilion of Chilton Memorial Hospital. Call 973- 831-5367 or go to Photo of Roxanne Cammilleri by Christopher Gore


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


Mariel Vasquez portrays Dorothy (what, no casting for Toto?) when CHS presents the classic musical The Wizard of Oz. on March 19-21. Cast members include Dominick Marrone as The Wizard, Jake Wilson as The Gatekeeper, Tricia Torley as Auntie Em, Juan Beltran as Uncle Henry, Michael Sunbury as Hunk/ Scarecrow, Brian Bender is Hickory /Tin Man, Ariel De Leon is Zeke/Lion, Sarah Robertson is Almira Gulch/Wicked Witch of the West while Amanda Zaccone is Glinda the Good Witch of the North. The Osians include: Adriana Shaw, Allsion Green, Bhavin Shah, Carol Fattal, Cassandra Lee, Fernando Cerezo, Gabby Punalas, Gabrielle Cabacab, Jennie Sekanics, Kristen Stanford, Ileana Ramos, Mario Godoy, Matthew Louie, Michael Sconzo, Mike Tecza, MiSook Mandonca, Peter Adamo, Rachel Gutierrez, Robert Kozielec, Sorab Kochhar, Sue Ellen Lian, Trina Wijangco,

CHS senior Ivan De Dios created the Five Faces of Oz (above) which is the poster to promote the show. Another design by fellow senior Kathy Lopez, also in the Design Applications Class, created the art for the t-shirts.

Yesserette Cardenas, Jon Salen, Jonas Avncema. Directed by Liz Eisenmenger, other staff members include Bob Morgan conducting the pit, Alyn Heim on vocals, choreography by Mrs. Marzella while the rehearsal

pianist is Matthew Wilson. Posters and artwork were under the direction of Cynthia Sauchelli. For tickets, times and more information, call CHS at 973-470-2310. Admission is $7 for students and seniors; $10 general admission. Clifton’s Kayla’s Krew (left) was showcased at the 2010 NJ DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) convention in Atlantic City. DARE is a national program that provides skills kids need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs and violence. Krew members are lead vocalist Kayla Bariliari, a fifth grader who attends St. Andrew’s the Apostle School; guitarist Adam Kosecki, a 7th grader at Woodrow Wilson Middle School; School 14 5th grader Trevor Rokosny on bass; Briana Sista, a 5th grader at School 14 on keyboards; Patricia Baran, a 5th grader at St. Andrew’s on tambourine and Jared Stein, a School 14 5th grader on drums. The Krew has performed at various Clifton street fairs and fundraisers; they are available to perform at events by calling 973-779-7464.


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Blame It On The Movies is a musical cavalcade of wonderful songs and themes from some of the world’s favorite films and it will be staged by Theater League of Clifton in April. Dates are April 16, 17 and 18; April 23, 24 and 25 with performances at the theater at School 3, 365 Washington Ave. Info: Beauty in Diversity: A Celebration of the Cultures of the World. The 7th One Heart International Festival of music, dance and drama (right) is March 28, 7:30 pm on the stage of the YM-YWHA, 199 Scoles Ave., Clifton. Admission is $10; $8 for students and seniors. Produced by New Jersey Music & Arts, performers include the WAIT Dance Team and the New Hope Players. For info, call 973-272-3255 or go to The 2010 Passaic County Film Festival is on April 17 in the Passaic County Public Safety

Complex, 300 Oldham Rd., Wayne. The event is a showcase of college or high school film students who are residents of Passaic County. This is the fifth annual events and is presented under the auspices of

the Passaic County Economic Development Dept., 930 Riverview Dr., Totowa. For info, call Deborah Hoffman at 973-569-4720, write to her: or see

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


A Nurse’s Journey Nancy Read: A Good Shepherd to People in all Stages of Life

In March of 2001, a profile of Nancy Read began on the cover of this magazine. What follows is an update of her story (the picture here is current) as she continues her journey.


ancy Read’s first job as a young nurse was in a maternity ward’s nursery, cradling newborns. “I held those precious little lives in my arms wondering what sort of life they’d grow into and with whom they’d live it,” she recalls of those days at Dover General, not long after her 1978 graduation from Mountainside Hospital’s School of Nursing. Today, she has come full circle. Read–who as a girl growing up in Ridgewood aspired to be a nun and who today is a registered nurse who lives in Clifton and serves as an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church—is a hospice nurse. The terminally ill are her new charges. “To walk with the dying to the edge of their life, and gently hand them over to yet another journey, is a gift that they share with you,” she said. “A hospice nurse needs to recognize that helping ‘birth’ their patient into death is just as important as the day that person was born into this life.” Death, though, is a matter of timing for this nurse, a vegetarian whose first generation 2002 Toyota Prius has 99,378 miles on the odometer from trips to those on their end journey and stickers reading “Episcopal Clergy” and “Support Peace.”


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Since 1905, We’ve Been Helping Families & Friends


ituated on 80 acres, East Ridgelawn Cemetery and Memorial Park are among the most beautiful sites in northern New Jersey. Through the center of the park is a plateau facing east where we now offer prime plots. Nearby is our Mausoleum where visits are unlimited and unaffected by the weather. Crypts are located in the building and convenient for the elderly and handicapped. To discuss these options or those below, call or visit. • •







March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Texas and Louisiana, Her husband Phil’s friends, when told about her proorganizing a field team to reach those in rural areas. fession, most always respond: ‘That must be so hard – Two years later, she was appointed the archdeacon so depressing.’ “But it’s really not,” he tells them. “In of the diocese, a post she held for two and a half years. Nancy’s mind, she doesn’t think it’s a coincidence that Her latest pastoral assignment is she’s involved with hospice.” at Grace Episcopal Church in “I think it’s very much a Nutley, where her husband life’s calling that I have chosen sings in the choir. She, too, was to listen to and to follow out,” just named to the board of Nancy said. “My own sense of trustees of The House of the spirituality has deepened to an Good Shepherd in extent that I don’t think it could Hackettstown, a continuing care have without having done hosretirement community. pice nursing.” In the past two years, her She has grown to love nursjourney has taken her to the road ing the souls of those in crisis, —literary. She joined the Clifton whether they be actively dying Roadrunners Club and ran her or, as she says, “slowly dying.” first marathon, in Philadelphia. By that, she means those She’ll be running in the Jersey who she ministered to years ago Shore Marathon in May. as a visiting nurse on the streets It’s a path not unlike someone of Paterson and Passaic, those she bears a physical likeness too, suffering from substance abuse, namely the most Rev. Katharine poverty and neglect. Jefferts Schori, the first woman It’s a journey of her own that elected presiding took her to CPE, or bishop of the Clinical Pastoral “To walk with the dying to the edge of their life, Protestant Education, at and gently hand them over to yet another journey, Episcopal Church Christ Hospital in is a gift that they share with you.” in America. The Jersey City to furMost Rev. Schori, in fact, was featured in the January ther strengthen her “call” to what she calls soul nursing. 2008 issue of Runner’s World. Both are trim. Christ Hospital is affiliated with the Episcopal Church in Rev. Read, as she is called, lost 45 pounds on her the Diocese of Newark. In 2005, she left for a 3-week running journey. stint with the Red Cross to help those in need in the wake


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


In the here and now, she faces death each day, making rounds at homes and long-term care facilities for Homeside Hospice, a small nurse-owned operation based in Clark. “I love hospice nursing more than any other kind of nursing I’ve ever done,” she said. “I think the reason for this is that I get to care for the whole patient, not just the physical aspects.” After all the years, she has also noticed some similarities between the comings and goings. “Tears surround births and deaths, yet we feel joy at one and sadness at the other,” she said. “It shouldn’t have to be all sadness at the time of death.” Read, like so many parents, saw the Disney movie The Lion King years ago, listening with her children to the song Circle of Life. It is a case of art imitating life. “Life to me is very much circular,”she said. “Each phase transitions toward another, leading us further along in our journey. We need to view death as part of that circle in the journey. I don’t necessarily view death as the ‘end’ of anything.”


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Death, she said, is perhaps just an end to how we’ve experienced ‘life’ in the past, moving on to a ‘kind’ of life that goes on beyond that which we call death. A person’s perspective—religious or spiritual beliefs —affect this. Nancy has been at the bedside of many a dying patient and friend. She has come away with the view that death is a continuum. “I believe no one ever truly dies alone,” she said, noting that almost every dying person somewhere along the way sees his or her mother. A mother is present at birth, she said, returning to help re-birth a now-grown child into death and beyond. “Can you see the beauty of the continuum of the circle in this?”she asks. It’s no mistake, those words spoken by a dying soldier in Saving Private Ryan. “Momma, Momma,” the soldier says while cradled by his buddies. Accompanied by the “vision” of the mother at death may be several of the dying person’s deceased family and friends.

These events, unseen to the caregivers, comfort and excite, in a good way, the dying, she said. This is the point, she said, where forgiveness and healing takes place, something that was not somehow possible earlier in life. She treasures these words from Emily Dickinson: This world is not conclusion; A sequel stands beyond, Invisible, as music, But positive, as sound. It is words likes these are allow her to stand with compassion and calm while others might weep in panic, she said. Nancy operates in a day when there are nurses who never have to “touch” patients—working in insurance, research or case management. She considered herself from the old school. “I wanted to help people in need,” she said. “I was drawn to and still am, to hands-on nursing.” Death, though, is a constant. It is also frightening. To deal with it all, the hospice nurse needs to be centered and grounded in her own sense of faith, she said. There are issues of life after death, heaven and hell, the existence of God and being reunited with predeceased loved ones. And there’s the strength needed to say the “Final Four:” “I love you, I forgive you, I thank you and goodbye.”

Mustangs Soccer Coach

Fernando Rossi An educator and legendary coach, Fernando Rossi is assured of a place in Clifton History. But for his family, friends and neighbors, the former Luddington Ave resident will be remembered as the husband of the former Cleonilde Petrocelli and the father of Tina and Giuseppe.

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


Carla Perino received Childhood Development Associate (CDA) Credentials from the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, DC. She earned the certification by spending over 480 hours working at the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton, a state-licensed child care setting, with 120 hours of formal child care education and observation. By passing the oral and written examinations, the 2009 grad of Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI) in Wayne who now attends Bergen County Community College, is authorized to own, manage or operate a day care center. She is the daughter of Gary and Debra Perino.


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Mike Kester received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Montclair State University on Jan. 31. While he is pursuing career opportunities in law enforcement or public service, Mike worked his way through college at Clifton’s ACME Markets, where he is still employed. He is a 2005 grad of Clifton High School and the son of Robert and Cynthia Kester. School 16 on Grove St. will hold its Tricky Tray on April 15 at 6 pm at the Valley Regency. Tickets are $45 and include a deluxe buffet. Prizes include Coach bags, big screen T.V.s and more. Call 973489-8323 for info or email

St. Mary Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church Easter Bazaar is on March 14, from 1 to 4 pm. Ukrainian crafts and arts, including traditional embroidery and decorated eggs (Pysanky) will be sold at the church hall, 81 Washington Ave. Additionally, the church kitchen will be open for lunch. Purchase homemade poppy or lekvar rolls ($8 /roll) but orders must be placed by March 5; leave your name and order on 973-546-2473. All proceeds to benefit ongoing church repairs. Support the Clifton Boys & Girls Club Seahawks swim team by dining at Mario’s Restaurant on March 15. The Seahawks are fundraising for their trip to the B&G Club nationals in Florida. Mario’s is donating10% of all orders, eat-in or take-out, from 4:30 to 9:30 pm— mention Seahawks when ordering.

The 80th Annual St. Joseph’s Dinner Dance hosted by the Geraci Citizens League is on March 13, 6:30 pm at the Brownstone. Tickets are $90 and includes dinner, dancing and an open bar. Organizer Nina Corradino said the Geraci League first organized in 1930 by the residents of a small town in Sicily, Geraci Siculo. “This is our 80th anniversary—come and continue our tradition to celebrate the feast of St. Joseph. We welcome all to share the feast day. Bring your friends and family—the more the merrier.” For tickets: 973-470-8982 or 973-278-0356. A St. Patricks Day Dinner Dance is at St. Andrew’s RC Church Hall on Mt. Prospect Ave. on March 13 at 6 pm. Tickets are $35 or two for $60 and include a corned beef and cabbage traditional Irish dinner along with performances by Jimmy Bryne and The Late Show. Call 973-473-3711 for tickets.

Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej (with student Natalie Pych) was honored at St. Andrew’s on Jan. 31 for her years of support for the Catholic Schools of Clifton. She was a frequent guest at St. Andrew’s during Catholic Schools Week and the staff, students and parents wanted to recognize Kolodziej’s service prior to the Councilwoman's retirement from elected office on July 1. March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


SS. Cyril & Methodius Church Fish & Chips Dinner is on March 10 at 5:30 pm at 218 Ackerman Ave. Tickets are $15 and includes cake and coffee. Take out is available and there is a raffle. Call 973-772-3448 or 973-772-8806. School 11 HSA’s Tricky Tray is March 19 at 6:30 pm at the Boys & Girls Club. Admission is $10 and includes a sheet of tickets and a $200 mystery prize chance. For info, call 973-546-5111 or 973-546-0758. The CHS Prom Fashion Show/ Tricky Tray is on March 10 at the Venetian in Garfield. This is the largest fundraiser for Project Graduation—the safe, all night party held on graduation night, at an undisclosed resort. To help raise funds, senior Mustangs will be walking the runway showcasing tuxedosfrom Clifton’s DeLuxe Formal Wear and prom gowns from La Faye/ Angelica Fashions. Admission is $40. For tickets, to make a donation or to provide a prize, call chair Maryann Cornett at 973-779-5678.

North Jersey Federal Credit Union offers an Organic Banking program to help Generation Y members reduce their carbon footprint and build their credit. Transactions are done electronically or remotely, and mobile banking applications allow access via computer or mobile device. Members get a discount on a Credit Builder Loan in which they can borrow up to $3,000 at a 7.99%, 30-month term. Borrowers can also save money when they open a CD at a matching term to the loan. There is no membership fee to join NJFCU. For details, go to 64

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


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 973-779-0249 or email

On Palm Sunday Weekend she’ll hold classes in the School Cafeteria of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, 223 President St. in Passaic. Classes are on Saturday, March 27 from 2 to 6 pm or Sunday, March 28, from 1 to 4. Attend either!


March 2010 • 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.”

Candidate Dan Brown with his wife Suzannah. The couple has lived on Cambridge Court since 2005.

Elect Dan Brown for

Clifton City Council

Hello, I’m Dan Brown, a candidate for one of the seven open seats in the Clifton City Council election on May 11, 2010. As an attorney with my own practice, I put myself through law school by working a full-time job during the day and attending classes at night. I’ve worked hard all my life to achieve my goals and I will be equally committed to serving our city. As a Councilman, I would bring a fresh, positive outlook to leading our city and solving the issues which confront our community. That includes seeing that our tax dollars are spent wisely and that our hometown remains an affordable place to live. My wife, Sue and I bought our home about five years ago and look forward to raising a family here. We believe in the future of Clifton and want to be a part of what makes our community tick—that’s why I decided to enter this campaign. For those of you who have already shown me your support by signing a petition so that I can get on the ballot, thank you. For those who I have not yet met, invite me to one of your group’s meetings—I would like to share my opinions, hear your concerns and the positive things you have to say about Clifton. Write or Call me: or 973-859-0054 Paid for by Daniel Brown for Clifton City Council, 101 Cambridge Ct, Clifton, NJ 07014

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant



March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

CHS Student of the Month Story by Joe Hawrylko

Jennie Tietjen’s motivation to become a speech pathologist stems from her experiences as a student at School 2 on Van Houten Ave. It was there that she was enrolled in speech therapy courses under Mrs. Sobota, who worked to correct a speech impediment she had developed as a child. Now, as a senior deciding on her future, the CHS Student of the Month looks back at her time in that classroom as her main motivation to pursue a career in speech pathology. “When I was little, I had speech and Mrs. Sobota taught me how to speak,” recalled Tietjen of her time at the Van Houten Ave. school. Looking forward to her adult years and a future career, she’d like to pass the experience forward. “If I can change one other person, I’d be happy.” Ranked 77th in the class, Tietjen said her choice of college has been narrowed down to either William Paterson University in Wayne or Kean University in Union. “Those two have the best programs in the state,” she explained. “If I go to Willie P, I’ll commute. If I go to Kean, I’ll live there.” Tietjen’s acceptance to her schools of choice was due in part to her You’ve spent years saving and investing for the day when diverse background at CHS. Tietjen is enrolled in honors English “Nicholasyou and enjoy the things you youwith canMiss putHamilton. work behind Sparks is my favorite author,” said Tietjen. She listed The Notebook and DREAMING UP THE IDEAL love. ButTietjen the has only thing that should change on that day is Dear John as her favorite works by the writer. been studying sign your strategy. language with Ms. Schmidt, a discipline which could prove useful in her IS YOUR JOB. HELPING career after graduating. YOU GET THERE IS OURS. simple, really. How well you In addition to her strong grades, Tietjen is involved in many At Edward Jones, weextracurricucan create aIt’sstrategy to help ensure retire depends on how well you lar activities. For the past three years, she has managed the volleyball team the money you’ve saved will be there for Whether you throughout plan today. retirement is after playing in her freshman year. She has also managed the boys tennis down the road or just around the your retirement. So you may look forward to a steady, stable squad each year while at CHS. corner, if you’re working toward The senior is active in the conservation club, having joined in her sophoincome for years to come. your goals now, the better off you’ll be. Preparing for retirement means more year after encouragement from her teacher, Mrs. Dutch. “Now I have taking a long-term perspective. We Mrs. Sternsack,” she said. “I liked To it, so find I just stayed out with whyit.”it makes sense to talk with recommend buying qualityyour investOutside of school, Tietjen volunteers at the North Jersey Developmental ments and holding them because Edward Jones financial advisor about your retireCenter, where she writes cards for patients, since the NJDC guidelines do not we believe that’s the soundest way call with today. permit volunteers to visit those underment its care.savings, She also assists the youth we can help you work toward your goals. To find out more, call today. group at her parish, St. Timothy’s, a Lutheran church in Wayne. On top of her academics and volunteer work, Tietjen holds two jobs. The Cy Yannarelli Cy Yannarelli, CFP, CLU Financial Advisor 18 year old has spent the last two years as a cashier at StopAdvisor & Shop, workFinancial . 730 Broad Street ing some 20 hours over a five day work week. Tietjen is also a secretary for Clifton, NJ 07013 730 Broad Street Suite 2 Quality Construction. No matter what college she attends, she plans on havClifton, NJ 07013 973-777-9620 ing some source of income when she continues her education. Open 8 AM - 6 PM 973-777-9620 Member SIPC “If I stay home, I’ll probably stay with these two jobs,” she said. “At Sat. 9-1 school, I’ve got to see what I can handle. I’ll probably apply for a job on Member SIPC campus to keep myself busy when I don’t have class.” Because of her active volunteer activities, employment and the academic challenges she took on at CHS, Tietjen isn’t intimidated by the rigors of college. “I just like to strive for the best and challenge myself,” she said.




March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


2010 Clifton Family Super Bowl Party On Super Bowl Sunday, hundreds of kids and their parents enjoyed a family night of activities at the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton. With open gym and swim, plus hundreds of pizzas, hot dogs and soda, those who attended watched the Game on two big screen tvs...


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Thanks to our sponsors, admission was a canned good which were donated to St. Peter’s Haven. The 12th Clifton Family Super Bowl Party was sponsored by...

• 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 • Passaic County Surrogate Bill Bate • The Bassford Family / JSK Landscaping & Const. • Mayor & City Council, City Manager, City Attorney • CASA: Clifton Against Substance Abuse • Daniel & Suzannah Brown • in memory of Murray ‘Moe’ Abill by Vito & Carolyn DeRobertis

Benjamin Moore Paints and much more...

Able Hardware 745 Van Houten Ave.

973.773.4997 Mon.-Fri. till 7pm Sat. till 5pm


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

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

1814 1814 March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


2010 Clifton Family Super Bowl Party Sponsors (cont’d)...

• in memory of Florence, George H. Trinkle Jr., & George H. Trinkle III • in memory of Ben & Sylvia Delancy by Doreen Delancy-Williams • in memory of Henry Dougherty by Barbara Dougherty • Carlet, Garrison, Klein & Zaretsky • Thomas Miller & Estelle Palko • TD Bank • Frank Gaccione • Knights of Columbus St. Philip the Apostle Council 11671 • Boys & Girls Club of Clifton • Clifton Merchant Magazine

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March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


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Name: __________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________________________________________________ City: ____________________________________________State: _________________________________________ Zip:______________________Phone:_____________________________________________ Email:________________________________________________________________________ PLEASE MAKE CHECKS TO TOMAHAWK PROMOTIONS, 1288 MAIN AVE., CLIFTON, NJ 07011 March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


Gary Giardina: Clifton’s 9th Police Chief Captain Gary Giardina has been named Chief of Police effective March 1 by City Manager Al Greco. The 52 year old, who grew up in Clifton but now lives in Wayne, replaces Robert Ferreri, who has served in that capacity since June 1, 2002. A 1976 CHS grad, Giardina became a police officer in 1978 under the CETA program and was permanently appointed to the force on Sept. 2, 1982. He and his wife Cindy have two sons: Gary and Vincent.

Chief William J. Coughlan Jan. 1, 1908 - Dec. 13, 1931

Chief Tunis Holster Dec. 16, 1931 - April 13, 1934

Chief James N. Marsh Aug. 8, 1934 - June 1, 1955

Chief Paul Dittrich Aug. 2, 1955 - Oct. 31. 1957

Chief Joseph A. Nee Jan. 1, 1959 - Sept. 23, 1977

Chief Edward J. Kredatus May 24, 1979 - March 1, 1990

Chief Frank J. Lo Gioco March 1, 1990 - May 31, 2002

Chief Robert Ferreri June 1, 2002 - March 1, 2010

Regina Mundi Council #3969, Knights of Columbus represents six Roman Catholic parishes in Clifton—St. Andrew, St. Brendan, St. Clare, St. Cyril & Methodius, St. John Kanty, and St. Paul—and Holy Face Monastery. The Order of the Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in 1882, it is named in honor of Christopher Columbus and dedicated to the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. Here in Clifton the K of C has a long history of service—a legacy members say that want to continue for generations to come and that’s why they are recruiting.


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Regina Mundi Council will conduct membership drives in Clifton parishes in 2010. The first is March 13 and 14, at St. Paul Church on the corner of 2nd St. and Union Ave., at the 5:30 pm Mass on March 13 and at the 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30 Liturgies on March 14th. “We are looking for good Catholic men and women 18 years of age and older who are interested in joining an organization that actively supports brightening the lives of the less fortunate, the intellectually disabled, the sick, the elderly, the young, the unborn, veterans and the community,” said Peter Babits. For details, call 973-779-7279 or visit http:/

Police Unity Tour We Ride for Those Who Died This annual 300 mile bicycle ride leaves NJ on May 9 in an effort to raise awareness of police officers who have died in the line of duty and to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Cyclists Robert Bais Randy Colondres Richard DiBello Brian Fopma Gary Giardina, Jr. Tom Hawrylko John Kavakich Paul Vinas

Our Clifton Team joins over 1,000 other cyclists and support people on our route to Washington D.C. to remind residents of the risks police officers face every day. Once in our nation’s capital, we will hold a series of vigils and events to remember every police officer killed in the line of duty.

Motor Escorts Robert Bielsten Derek Fogg Gary Giardina, Sr. Vincent LaRosa Support Team Stephen Berge Kevin Collucci Rocco Locantore Michael McLaughlin Ellen DeSimone Michael Horvath Elena Siery Beth Sparks

Among those whose memory we honor: our brother Clifton Police Officer John Charles Samra whose End Of Watch was November 21, 2003—killed when his motorcycle was struck by the driver of a Details & Info: mini-van attempting to flee an accident at see any of the above Maple Pl. and Washington Ave. or go to our website For 2010, the Clifton group pledged to raise $32,000 and asks the community to or call Tom Hawrylko 973-253-4400 support us via the options listed here...

To Support the Clifton Members of the 2010 Police Unity Tour... • Make a Donation at CLIFTONPBA36.COM • Purchase a $5 raffle for a 1 in 750 chance to win a $500 TREK bicycle (thanks Allwood Bike!) • Purchase a $15 red Police Unity Tour T-Shirt • Purchase a $25 raffle for a 1 in 500 chance to win a 2010 Yamaha Grizzly 350 Auto Quad (a $5,849 value, thanks Motorcycle Mall!)

Attend These Events... • March 25 9 pm, Shannon Rose, Raffles, Guest Bartenders, The Mark Jeker Band, Drink Specials • March 29 Bring the Family to TGIF, present a “coupon” & 20% of your tab benefits the Tour • April 11 Family Pasta Dinner (Tixs $20 or $15) • April 30 Send Off Party at BLISS March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


Those lost to cancer will not be forgotten, those who face cancer will be supported...

Clifton’s Red Hat Angels led by Chris Lizner are gearing up for the Relay For Life of Clifton which begins Sat., June 12 at 2 and ends at Sun., June 13 at 7 am at Clifton Stadium. Team members include Mary Ann Hageneder, Joann Mack, Joyce Porter, Jennifer Pearson, Betsy Klos, Janet Mozolewski, Arleen Bador, Helen Kerin, Cecile Grabley, Jane Nagel, Jane Beck,Janet Wells, Cheryl Dowling. Mike Rossi and Melissa DeMolli cochair the RFL Clifton, which is an overnight community celebration. At nightfall, participants will light hundreds of luminaria candles around the track to honor cancer survivors as well as friends


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

and family members lost to the disease. “Relay For Life represents hope that those lost to cancer will not be forgotten,” wrote Lizner, continuing: “...that those who face cancer will be supported and that one day, cancer will be eliminated.” To sponsor, participate or for info, write to or go to Team Tomahawk led by Casey Hawrylko with Becca Potocki and Victoria Petrovic will be participating in the Montclair State leg of the Relay for Life. They will be doing their overnight on April 16. To join, give or participate, write

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant



March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Marcia Graupe

Byron Lagala

Nancy Lewis

John Giblin

Michael Gimon

Barbara Novak

Rosemary Grabowski

Robert Papa

Harold Ranges

Joseph Orlovsky

Rosalyn Marino

The Clifton High School Class of 1960 marks 50 years on May 15 at The Russian Hall in Little Falls. Doors open at 6 pm and tickets are $75. For info, email Nancy Lewis Zink at Mail/make checks to Kathleen Ploch Mack, 14 Aldom Circle, West Caldwell, 07006. She can be reached at 973-618-1830. This summer, Clifton Merchant Magazine will once again take a look back at the CHS classes of 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000 when we ask “Where are these Mustangs Now?” We’re looking for old pictures, unique stories or fun facts about any of the members from these classes. To share a memory, send an email to, or call 973-253-4400.

March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


Bianca Eda Genardi turns 4 on March 2. Her Aunt Lisa turns 50 on March 1 and Uncle Bob celebrated 50 on Feb 9. (Center) Nicole Marie Cornett & Sean Christopher Cefalo are engaged to marry in the Summer of 2010. (Right) Happy 20th Birthday to Casey Marie Hawrylko on March 2.

Birthdays & Celebrations!

Diego Hernandez.............3/15 Laura Lee ..........................3/15 send us your dates and names... 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 Jennifer Mondelli ..............3/27 Grace Martin is 2 on March 5. Elaine Sassine turns 63 on March 15.

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 Pat Smith .............................3/8


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

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

Happy Birthday to Edward C. Smith! He turns 86 on March 28. Michael & Mary Tresca celebrate their 25 anniversary on March 30th

Egon & Shirley Kot married 64 years on March 15.


Corey & Michelle Genardi (above in1992) celebrate their 18th anniversary on March 28.

Nicholas Surgent ..............3/27 Muriel Curtin......................3/28 Leah Roundtree ...............3/29 Francis Salonga ................3/31 Paul McVeigh ...................3/31 Chris Kolodziej...................3/31 Happy 47th Birthday to Eric Sudhalter on March 1 from your Saturday Morning Junior Bowling League


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant


Food For Friends is a new program at the Stop-n-Shop on Broad St. which has St. Peter’s Haven Food Pantry as its beneficiary. “At check out, customers are asked if they would like to participate by donating a dollar for the food bank,” explained store manager Christine Lysicatos. “We started late due to our grand opening but thanks to our customers, we raised $768.60. Our relationship with St. Peter’s is one we know will grow.” St. Peter’s on Clifton Ave. serves as the city’s food bank and is faced with an especially dire need—contributions of cash and canned goods are down due to the economy and the demand for service is up. The Haven runs its Community Food Pantry as one step in preventing homelessness for low-income individuals and families. The Pantry is open three mornings a week, staffed with the help of volunteers

St. Peter’s Haven needs community support

Ann Masiello of St. Peter’s Haven with Christine Lysicatos of Stop-n-Shop.

from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the community and other organizations. “We tell our participants to pay their rent and utilities first and come to the Pantry as needed so that they do not jeopardize their housing agreements,” explained Ann Masiello of

The Haven. Other services include the availability of clean, warm clothing for adults and children, baby items and some household furnishings. If you would like to contribute cash or goods, or are in need, call 973-546-3406 or write

Register Now for Clifton’s Best Summer Camp! It’s All Fun & Games!

Your Child will Flourish in our Clean & Spacious Pre-School 810 Broad Street | (973) 272-3264

M-F 7:30am - 6pm

• Hot Lunch prepared on premises • Computer, Library & Imagination Room • NJ State Licensed • Professional Certified Staff • Age Appropriate Curriculum

New Students Only

Little Genius Academy 810 Broad Street | (973) 272-3264 With this coupon. Not valid with other offers or prior services. Offer expires 4-1-10.


March 2010 • Clifton Merchant

Bring your child in for a tour Ages 2 1/2 to 5 Years old Call owner Alicia Priegue for an appointment. Located behind St. John Lutheran Church

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Tomahawk Promotions 1288 Main Avenue Clifton, NJ 07011


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Profile for Clifton Merchant Magazine

Clifton Merchant Magazine - March 2010  

Clifton Merchant Magazine - March 2010