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Clifton Merchant Magazine • Volume 13 • Issue 11 • November 7, 2008

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By Jack De Vries

Jack Tatum Retiring No. 32 Comes Home

There was something about this quiet kid – the sophomore who played for Paterson Eastside’s freshman team last fall. He was fast and quick to the football – that was easy to see – but it was the way he hit that was different. He was strong… but not like city kids on the field. No, this kid was ‘country strong.’ The summer before that 1964 season, Jack Tatum had returned to North Carolina, the place he never stopped missing, to work on his granddad’s farm. He spent two months bailing hay in the fields – picking up bales and throwing them up on the truck. Man’s work. By the time he got back to his family’s new home in Passaic, he’d put 25 pounds of new muscle on him. Years before in Paterson, he sometimes carried a pipe in case he was jumped for his lunch money. Jack didn’t need that pipe anymore. On the Passaic Stadium field, Tatum’s hits were solid, delivered up around the numbers, chest-to-chest and hard – exactly the way Coach John Federici taught him. He’d tackle players so hard that he nearly knocked them out of their cleats. Then he’d walk away without a word. The Indians would go 24-2-1 while he was there and win the state championship in 1964. Ohio State was next, and Tatum would be better, as the Buckeyes became national champions in 1968. The NFL’s Oakland Raiders would be his final stop, and he’d help Raider Nation win the 1977 Super Bowl, along with creating an image of intimidation that defines the franchise to this day. At this year’s Thanksgiving Day game against Clifton at Boverini Stadium in Passaic, they’ll retire Tatum’s No. 32, the one he wore to honor his idol Jim Brown. It’s a ceremony that’s been a long time coming. Not only was Tatum one of Passaic’s greatest players, he was one of New Jersey’s best – a twoway athlete who might have made it to the NFL as a running back. But it’s the tackles that people remember… the hits that changed games continued on page 6 and lives. It’s the hits that mark Jack Tatum’s story.

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Botany Deserves Green Space In Botany Village, you’ll find unique stores, Clifton history and a diverse population. What you won’t find is a lot of open space. Botany is Clifton’s most densely populated neighborhood, where it’s not uncommon to have just a few feet separating homes. And let’s face it, green space is at premium these days, regardless of where you live. Clifton’s population certainly isn’t shrinking. So why not create a small pocket park on the vacant American Legion Post on Lake Ave? Botany probably won’t have another opportunity to add a park in the near future, and other than a long-promised Dundee Island preserve, there is nothing on the horizon. But instead of green space, the city recently said it plans to develop housing on the former American Legion site, in accord with the Council On Affordable Housing. However, in our Sept. edition, Mayor James Anzaldi said that the city was actively fighting the latest round of COAH requirements, which have increased Clifton’s burden in providing affordable housing. The city’s erratic Botany housing strategy is outlined on page 7 in that same edition. But even if just one or two units are built on that postage 16,000 MAGAZINES are distributed to hundreds of Clifton Merchants the first Friday of every month. SUBSCRIBE PAGE 84 $16/year in Clifton $27/year out of town CALL 973-253-4400 entire contents copyright 2008 © tomahawk promotions

Our Opinion

We believe this derelict, city-owned property on Lake Ave. should be a park.

stamp of land, is it worth sacrificing the neighborhood’s quality of life? And also, we kind of owe green space to Botany, since the city essentially ignored residents’ pleas to save their only park back in 2001. When the city announced plans to build School 17 on Lower Weasel Brook Park, a petition with signatures from 300 residents was collected. The citizen’s call for help fell on deaf ears and the project was approved by voters, as the Mayor and Council and Board of Ed members—as well as this publication— supported the much needed school.

A few years later, when a proposal for a school on the BOEowned Latteri Park was announced, Rosemawr residents were against it. Politicians lined up with them, including several current BOE and Council members who supported the School 17 project. Open space was the rallying cry for saving Latteri Park. Hard pressed to find a difference between these two similar situations? That’s because it wasn’t an issue of open space at all; Rosemawr is an affluent community with more political clout. One neighborhood is sitting at the head of the table, while the other goes hungry, settling for crumbs. We ask you, is that fair? Using this to illustrate the disparity between the two neighborhoods, the Mayor and Council still feels that district or ward representation isn’t necessary. Maybe that’s just because none of them have a large, dilapidated eyesore sitting in one of their backyards. You can bet that a ward Council member wouldn’t allow that to happen on their watch. So how long will this charade go on? Our Botany neighbors deserve a park— some green space—but without ward representation, all they’ll get is the crumbs of more congestion.

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


Nearly a Mustang Here’s a little known fact to make every Clifton Mustangs fan skip a beat. Around 1950, when Lewis and Annie Mae Tatum moved their family from rural North Carolina to New Jersey, searching for a better life, jobs, and education for their children, they didn’t settle in Passaic or Paterson. “When I was in second grade,” remembers Tatum, “We moved into an apartment in Clifton about two

blocks from the Passaic line. I had an aunt and uncle who had one floor of a two-family house, and we took the other floor.” In his new city, Tatum faced immediate culture shock. “I came from a segregated school in the country to a big city segregated school,” he says. “Me, my sister, my two cousins were the only blacks in the school.” Unfortunately for future Clifton High football teams, the Tatums

moved to another apartment in Passaic the following year. Jack was an active kid, always outside. He began playing basketball often, getting into games at Weasel Brook Park in Clifton, and School 11 and Third Ward Park in Passaic. He loved sports, as did his brothers, Manuel, who was 10 years older, and Samuel, five years older. By the sixth grade, Jack began realizing he was a better athlete than the kids he played with. But that year, Tatum moved again, this time to Paterson, and the quiet boy had to make another adjustment. After three years and one season on the freshman team, the family moved back to Passaic, this time to stay. Despite Tatum’s athletic promise, neither parent was interested in sports. Jack’s father was a welder, and his mother worked as a domestic. “My mom didn’t want me to play football,” Tatum says. “In my freshman year, I twisted my ankle

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John ‘Jack’ Tatum, Passaic High, 1967.

pretty bad. By the time they took me to the doctor and got me home, my mom was there – she had a premonition something had happened to me. “But she didn’t stop me from playing. She said if I wanted to go ahead and kill myself, she couldn’t stop me. Later, she became my biggest fan.” In his first season at Passaic High School in 1964, Tatum refined his tackling technique under Federici, whom he calls his greatest sports influence growing up. “Jack was a nice young man, very quiet – you never heard him swear,” remembers Vinny Magliarditi, a volunteer assistant coach at Passaic. “But when that whistle blew, look out. Jack had a style of hitting you just couldn’t teach – a natural. He’d rock you.” Tatum’s talent as a defensive player soon became legendary. “We were playing undefeated East Paterson,” remembers Magliarditi. “They had a great running back who (sportswriter) Augie Lio said was the best in New Jersey. And we got on Jack’s case all week. John said to Jack, ‘You don’t

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have to play in the game – that kid is the best. All week in practice, we had a uniform on the field with this kid’s number on it. “On the day of the game, I went to get Jack in the freshman locker room at the other end of the stadium. When I saw him, his eyes were red. I said, ‘You’re playing against a great, great football player today.’ Jack said, ‘We’ll see.’” Magliarditi took his seat in the press box and watched the teams trade punts. When the famed East Paterson running back took the ball on a sideline pitch, Tatum took aim.

“Jack came across the field and hit this kid so hard that he knocked him over the bench where the kids were sitting. I remember it plain as day. I said to Federici, ‘Get the ambulance on the field!’ I don’t know how many of the kid’s ribs that Jack cracked – you could hear the sound of the hit up in the press box.”

Matching the Mustangs Though Tatum would intimidate opponents with defense, he also became an offensive force. “In my first season at Passaic,” Tatum says, “I played linebacker.

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Passaic Football Coach John Federici and at top of page, his 1966 Indians.

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Coach Bill Vander Closter and some of the 1966 Mustangs who would hold Tatum to only 36 yards and defeat the Indians 7-0 in a muddy, memorable game in Clifton. Top row, from left, Robert Csuka, Rich Lio, Glen Kolk, Russ Triolo. Middle: Bob Duch, Les Croland, Mark Winkler. Bottom: Gary Russo, Vandy, Larry Ferrara.

We already had a great running back at Passaic – Roland Moss.” Later taking the All-State Moss’s place in Passaic’s backfield, Tatum would gain 1,421 yards as a senior,

earning All-American honors as a 205-pound fullback. “Tatum was a bruiser, a bull,” Clifton lineman Rich Lio told Clifton Merchant in 2004. “He could go right through you.”

Ken Tecza, Passaic’s quarterback, says, “Every team keyed on Jack, and he took a lot of punishment but never said a word. In fact, Jack played hurt a lot of the time.” Remembering the Mustangs as “our big rival,” Tatum has some good memories of Clifton School Stadium, including a 27-0 victory in 1964. “My first ‘big game,’” Tatum remembers. “I was a substitute wingback and carried the ball a lot that day. I scored my first touchdown on about a 45-yard run. Clifton had a big stadium, big crowd… but the fans were pretty much stunned that day.” Tatum’s next game against Clifton was not as easy. Playing at Passaic Stadium, Tatum was injured on a kick-off, pulling a muscle. “The doctor,” says Tatum, “told me my muscle was so strong that it pulled the tip of the bone, giving me a small fracture.” The Mustangs went on to win, 15-12, easily the highlight of Clifton’s disappointing 2-5-2 season.

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


In his 1966 senior year, Tatum and Passaic wanted revenge on Clifton, and Mustangs Coach Bill Vander Closter’s job was on the line. Since taking over for the winning coach Joe Grecco in 1964, Vandy had gone 7-9-2, and the Clifton fans were restless. Luckily for Vandy, Mother Nature took an interest. “Only two games were played in the state that day,” says Tatum, “And that was one of them.” With monsoon-type rain drowning New Jersey, Vandy decided to play, knowing that field conditions would slow Tatum. He was right. “The field was all mud,” says Tatum. “You could hardly run and you couldn’t cut.” “Our trainer Lou Capuano,” remembers Clifton’s Larry Mialik, “Had us step in a pan of motor oil before going on the field, saying the oil would keep the mud from sticking. I don’t know if it worked but we did it.”

Tatum and an unidentified teammate in a photo from the 1967 Passaic yearbook.

Clifton sophomore Richie Tate took the opening kickoff to the Passaic 22-yard line. On the next play, quarterback Larry Ferraro hit Bob Duch for the game’s only touchdown and a 7-0 lead. The rest of the day’s action was confined to the middle of the field, with Tatum gaining only 36 yards.

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The win propelled the Mustangs to a 7-1-1 record and Vandy’s first state championship. But Tatum’s career didn’t slow down for long. Along with leading the team in rushing that season, he led the Indians with 187 tackles, and nearly every major college wanted the Passaic player for its own.



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Hacker Pschorr Weiss 16.9oz Bottle . . . . $1.89 Franziskaner Weiss 16.9OZ Bottle . . . . . .$1.59 Heineken-Amstel 24 12OZ NR . . . . . . . .$23.99 LaBatts Blue-Ice 12 24 OZ CN . . . . . . . .$10.99 Corona Reg-Light 24 12OZ NR . . . . . . . . .$23.99 Becks Reg-Light-Dark 24 12OZ NR . . . .$22.99 Molson Golden-Ice 24 12OZ NR . . . . . . . .$19.99 Bass Ale 24 12OZ NR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$24.99 Fosters 24 12OZ NR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$19.99 Zywiec 24 12OZ NR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$19.99 Yuengling Amber 24 12OZ NR . . . . . . . .$14.99 Sam Adams Lager 24 12OZ NR . . . . . . .$25.99 Rolling Rock 24 12OZ NR . . . . . . . . . . . .$17.99 Sierra Nevada Pale Ale 24 12OZ NR . . . .$26.99

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Jadot Beauj Villages 750ml. . . . . . . . . . . .$9.09 Bogle Petite Sirah 750ml. . . . . . . . . . . . . .$8.99 Rosenblum Zinfandel Cuvee XXX 750ml . . .$8.99 Mark West Pinot Noir 750ml . . . . . . . . . .$9.99 Coppola Diamond Pinot Noir 750ml. . . . . .$13.09 Ravenswood Vinters Zinfandel 750ml. . .$8.99 Hogue Late Harvest Riesling 750ml. . . . .$8.99 Chat Ste Michelle Riesling 750ml . . . . . . . .$9.99 Mondavi Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml. .$16.99 Coral Peak Chardonnay 750ml. . . . . . .$14.99 Thomas Fogarty Gewurtztraminer 750ml. $13.99 Bridlewood Viognier 750ml. . . . . . . . . .$16.99 Leonard Kreusch Spatlese Riesling 750ml. . .$9.99

Prices effective through 11/25/08. Good only at Shoppers Vineyard in Clifton. We reserve the right to limit quantities. Prices do not include sales tax. Not responsible for typographical errors. No rainchecks. Limited to store inventory.

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


On to Ohio State Though scores of college recruiters came to Passaic, Tatum was planning to attend Syracuse University, school of his idol Jim Brown. “I wanted my family to be able to see me play,” says Tatum, “And Syracuse was the closest big school.” Enter Mr. Woody Hayes, coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. “Woody came and recruited my mother,” Tatum laughs. “He had such a way with parents. When he left the house, Mom told me, ‘I kind of like that Mr. Hayes.’ At that point I realized I was going to Ohio State.” However, Federici and his coaches were taking no chances. “When Woody Hayes came,” says Magliarditi, “We made Jack look bigger by having him wear an extra shirt and stuffing cardboard into his shoes so he could look down at Woody. Jack didn’t look big in person, but he played big.” Hayes liked what he saw, and Tatum accepted his scholarship offer. The only question was where to play him. “Woody Hayes,” says Magliarditi, “Told John, ‘Jack is so good offensively, I can’t play him defensively. He’s so good defensively, I can’t play him offensively. But if I play him on defense, he’ll take us to the Rose Bowl.’”

On his 1971 Topps rookie card, Tatum was listed as 5’11” and 200 pounds. During his career at Ohio State, Tatum helped the Buckeyes to a 1968 National Championship as a sophomore, with a 27-16 win over USC in the Rose Bowl.

Still, the temptation to use Tatum as a running back was great. It was only after his freshman season that assistant coach Lou Holtz convinced Hayes to bring Tatum to the defensive side permanently – something that was fine with Jack. “I always liked defense better,” he says. “It was better to hit than be hit.” During his career at Ohio State, Tatum helped the Buckeyes to a 1968 National Championship his sophomore season with a 27-16

win over USC in the Rose Bowl. As a three-year varsity starter, he led Ohio State to a 27-2 record and at least a share of three Big Ten conference titles. Hayes later said about Tatum: “Pound for pound, the finest athlete I ever coached.” In college, Tatum was a unanimous First Team All-America selection in 1970 and consensus pick in 1969. He earned First Team All-Conference honors three times and was named National Defensive Player of the Year in 1970. In the 1971 NFL Draft, he was selected with the No. 19 pick by the Oakland Raiders.

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November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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“The Raiders were the only team that I hadn’t heard from,” Tatum says. “I thought I was going to the Giants. I didn’t even know where Oakland was.”

The Silver & Black Assassin In 1971, Al Davis’s Oakland Raiders had a history of “mad bombing,” wide-open football. The selection of Jack Tatum would change that reputation. “They had a great offense,” says Tatum, “But the year I came, they made a conscious decision to build an intimidating defense.” Tatum was one of Oakland’s cornerstones. After an exhibition game against the Baltimore Colts, sportswriters were already comparing his hits to that of Chicago linebacker Dick Butkus. But while Butkus’ defensive style was more mad dog and ferocious, Tatum used glowering intimidation followed by explosion. They nicknamed him “The Assassin.” His 1971 play led to a spot on the All-Rookie Team. During his 10-year NFL career, Tatum made All-Pro five times, totaled 37 career interceptions, set an NFL record for a 104-yard touchdown fumble recovery, and started 12 playoff games. “I saw Jack play three times in Pittsburgh,” says longtime Passaic friend Ron Smith. “When Franco Harris would see Jack coming, he’d run out of bounds. Lynn Swan would flat run away from him.”


November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Tatum in Super Bowl XI on Jan. 9, 1977 after his hit on Sammy White. The Oakland Raiders beat the Minnesota Vikings 32-14.

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November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Along with Skip Henderson, Willie Brown, and George Atkinson, Tatum’s Raiders secondary was a receiver’s nightmare. “If you came across the middle,” Tatum says, “you were going to get hit.” Mialik, a tight end who played against Tatum at Clifton, in college with Wisconsin, and in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons, says, “Though quiet, Jack is really a nice guy. But on the field, you had to know where No. 32 was. Playing against him so much didn’t make it an easier, but I knew what to expect.” While the Raiders usually made the playoffs, what Tatum describes as “freaky things” kept them from the Super Bowl – including the “Immaculate Reception” that gave the Pittsburgh Steelers a 1972 playoff win. With 22 seconds left in the game, Tatum unloaded on running back Frenchy Fuqua just as Terry Bradshaw’s pass reached him. After the collision, the ball soared into the air and Harris grabbed it off his shoe tops and raced into the end zone for the win. “I hit Fuqua, not the ball,” Tatum says. “When I saw Franco running, I thought, ‘Boy, he’s in a hurry to get to the locker room. I thought the game was over and we won. Then I saw our guys chasing him.” In 1977, the Raiders finally reached the Super Bowl to face the Minnesota Vikings, and the nation witnessed why Tatum was one of the hardest hitters ever to play football. On a pass over the middle, he creamed Sammy White, knocking White’s helmet off and setting the tone for the rest of the game. The Raiders won, 32-14. “I had a good read on the pattern, jumped it, and got there when the ball arrived,” describes Tatum. “But he hung onto it – so it wasn’t a great play, just a great hit.” 16

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

But the play many remember Tatum for – and one that still haunts the NFL – was his hit on the New England Patriot’s Darryl Stingley in a 1978 exhibition game that left the receiver paralyzed from the waist down. Many criticized Tatum for the hard hit during an exhibition game;

others said he was wrong for never apologizing to Stingley. Some in the media called Tatum a thug or cheap shot artist, making him the symbol for over-the-top violence in sports. After an entire career of being praised for hard hits, Tatum was now being vilified.

Both coaches, New England’s Chuck Fairbanks and Oakland’s John Madden, said it was a clean, legal hit. Tatum also did go to the hospital to visit Stingley, something Madden confirms, but was not allowed to see him. “As far as it being an exhibition game,” Tatum says, “I knew one way to play and that was all out, all the time. But the play did get me down… my performance went down. But I talked to my mom and brothers, and they said I didn’t do anything wrong.” Still, the hit remained. Though he later expressed public remorse and did attempt to reach out to Stingley, the two never spoke. Stingley died in April 2007.

Toughest Fight

In the mid 1980s, from left, Jack Tatum, coach Vinny Magliarditi, Passaic Police Chief Vic Jacalone, and friend Al Mardirossian at an Italian-American dinner.

Tatum retired after the 1980 season, spending his final year in football with the Houston Oilers and totaling a career high seven interceptions.

To Our Friend and Passaic Legend


Al Mardirossian Jr. Vinny Magliarditi Lucianin Family November 2008 • Clifton Merchant



November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

After retiring, he wrote three books, They Call Me Assassin (1980), They Still Call Me Assassin (1989), and Final Confessions of NFL Assassin Jack Tatum (1996). But his toughest battle was just ahead. In 2003, after what he thought was a simple cold, Tatum contracted a staph infection from diabetes, which led to the eventual amputation of his right leg. “When he got sick, it affected him some, depressed him,” says Smith. “But when he saw the children with the same disease, it changed him. He wanted to help others.” Today, Tatum works on behalf of many diabetes organizations, including the Central Ohio Diabetes Foundation, which finances treatment. In fact, before the Passaic ceremony to retire his number, he will stop off in Ohio to take part in fundraising efforts. He’ll also check on his own treatment with world renowned diabetes specialist Dr. Manuel Tzagournis, the foundation’s head. “When Dr. Tzagournis heard I was ill, he called me to come back to Ohio so he could examine me. He saved my life. While I was playing at Ohio State, Dr. Tzagournis was Woody Hayes’s doctor – Woody was a diabetic, too.

Jack in a recent photo with his wife Denise and their kids Samuel and Jestynn.

“Getting involved helps me to make something good come out of my situation.” On Thanksgiving Day in Passaic this year, Tatum is looking forward to visiting his hometown and seeing family, friends and especially hoping to see many of his old teammates. “I’m hoping a lot of our teammates will show up to honor Jack,” says Tecza. “It will be a great reunion for us.” “Eleven NFL players come from Passaic,” says Greg Komeshok, Passaic athletic director, “And Jack

and Craig Heyward are probably the most legendary. But you can’t match Jack’s sports pedigree – he’s been part of a state champion high school team, a national champion college team, and a Super Bowl winner. This is an honor that’s long overdue and great for our program to recognize.” Jack Tatum’s former teammates are invited to take part in his numberretiring ceremony. For information about how to be part of this special day, call Passaic Athletic Director Greg Komeshok at 973-470-5228.

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It Makes A Heck of a Gong By Robert Wahllers

That’s how former Clifton Board of Education member Frank Pecci describes the sound of the train locomotive bell that was donated by the Erie Lackawanna Railroad in December 1953 to promote good sportsmanship and fair play in high school sports. “I remember whenever Clifton scored a touchdown, the cheerleaders would ring the bell. People in the stands who weren’t familiar with the tradition would start turning around and wondering where this booming sound was coming from,” said Pecci, who served on the board during the 1970s and again in the 1990s. “It’s such a great tradition,” said Pecci, who won All-American honors while playing under football coach Joe Grecco at Clifton High School in the early 1950s. “Just like West Point has its mule and Navy its goat, the Mustangs have their bell.”

Above, the Fighting Mustangs ringing the train bell as they ended their 2001 season by winning the Optimist Cup with a thrilling Thanksgiving Day victory over Passaic, 20-19, in a game played at Clifton Stadium. At left, three CHS AllAmericans when they were honored by the Saint & Sinners Society. From left, Frank Pecci, the only junior AllAmerican in the history of New Jersey, Ray Malavasi and Bobby Boettcher. 20

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

At left, senior Albert Tirado rings the bell at the Oct. 10, 2003 homecoming game after Clifton’s 22-6 win over Bloomfield. Below, Rob McClear poses with the bell following Clifton’s dramatic 18-13 triumph over St. Joseph’s on Nov. 3, 2006, which got the Mustangs into the North 1, Group 4 playoffs en route to a state championship.

How did the bell come to Clifton? Pecci said because the nowdefunct railroad used to run trains through Clifton and Passaic, Erie Lackawanna executives thought it would be a nice gesture to donate a brass bell from one of their locomotives to the towns they had served for so long. The way the rules were set up, whoever won the Clifton-Passaic football game would get to keep the bell on their turf until the next contest. If one of those teams won the battle between the rivals three years in a row, the victorious team would have the honor of providing a permanent home for the bell. “Clifton did sweep the games the necessary three times to win the right to the bell. But then, for some reason, it stopped being used,” said Pecci. “It would be displayed once

in a whole season and then placed in storage underneath the stands.” It was there that the bell sat for some 15 years, unprotected and deteriorating from the elements. Pecci said after he joined the BOE in 1971 and was appointed to the

buildings and grounds committee, he began poking around in the storage area underneath the stands and discovered the bell. He decided to revive the tradition. “I couldn’t believe all of the stuff that was there. We must have

valid until 12/31/08

valid until 12/31/08

valid until 12/31/08

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


The photo above is real. It was snapped before a regular season clash back in 1983, when Frank Gaccione, Jim McCarrren and Dick Onde, all fathers of Mustang players, did the deed. If you don’t know the location, it’s the entrance to Passaic’s Boverini Stadium. We first ran this photo in Nov. 2000 when a friend of ours, who played for the Mustangs, asked us to include it in order to fire up our gridiron 11 with some Maroon and Gray pride. It worked as Clifton broke a three-game losing streak against Passaic with a 21-14 victory. In fact, the Mustangs haven’t lost a Turkey Day clash since.

removed 50 truckloads. While we were going through all of this junk, low and behold, there sat the bell.” With the help of the school’s maintenance department, the bell, which Pecci estimates has a weight of about 200 pounds, was restored to its former luster and mounted on a platform that could be wheeled out to the field during games. Then one year, right before the Clifton-Passaic game, the bell vanished. “Clifton and Passaic both had good teams that year and everybody was looking forward to the game,” Pecci recalls. “The story of the missing bell made the newspapers and the police began an investigation. Turns out that Passaic had come into the stadium at night and taken the bell. At first, it looked like it might lead to some bad blood but it was all really done as a prank. It was just like the Navy guys trying to get the Army’s mule and the cadets going after the Navy’s mascot right before their big game. We got the bell back before the game and I think that incident brought even more people out to the game. It caused a lot of excitement.” Before his death in 2005, retired Passaic High School athletic director and legendary coach Manlio Boverini told the rest of the story. “I think that happened in the mid ’80s. A couple of the coaches went there and put the bell in a van and took it back with us. It was always our contention that the bell didn’t belong to Clifton. They won the last game between us before the Passaic Valley Conference broke up. So they said the bell belonged to them. We disagreed and finally decided it was time to do something about it. After we took the bell, we started getting calls from the school and finally the police called. After talking with them, I made them understand it was all done in fun and just a matter of a long-time rivalry between two schools. But they told us we still had to give it back and we did.”

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November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Boverini Stadium is the site for this year’s 80th Thanksgiving Day clash between the Clifton and Passaic football teams, but some younger fans may not know much about the man for which the facility is named. Manlio Boverini spent 42 years at Passaic High School as a physical education teacher, football and track coach, and athletic director. “The words ‘athletics’ and ‘Boverini’ were synonymous,” Passaic Schools Superintendent Robert H. Holster told the Herald News after the coach passed away at the age of 89 on Sept. 15, 2005. Two days later, the Indians honored Boverini by picking up their most lopsided victory of the season in a 39-0 drubbing of Barringer. The man simply known as “Dr. Bo” graduated from Lynn Classical High School in 1935 where he was a star on both the track and field and football teams. Following his graduation from Manhattan College in New York City, Dr. Bo began teaching and coaching in Yonkers. He earned a master’s degree at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College in 1942. Two years later, he arrived in the Garden State, teaching and coaching at Caldwell High School. In 1948, Boverini came to Passaic High, where he coached football for 15 seasons and track and field for 25. The athletic director retired in 1990, the same year the stadium was named after him.

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Federal Mortgage Offers Senior Citizens A Reverse Mortgage We are proud to be named among the Top 100 Reverse Mortgage Lenders in the Nation For some 35 years now, Anthony A. Accavallo, shown here, has been helping make the American Dream become a reality, right here in Clifton. As President of Federal Mortgage & Investment Corp. at 1111 Clifton Ave., Clifton, he and his firm have written millions of dollars worth of mortgages which have allowed people to purchase homes. And while that work has been fulfilling, Accavallo said he is getting his greatest satisfaction these days by helping senior citizens with reverse mortgages. A reverse mortgage is a special kind of mortgage loan for seniors. It is a safe, easy way to turn your home equity into tax-free cash. Unlike a home equity loan, you do not have to make monthly payments.

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

How do I qualify for a Reverse Mortgage? It’s simple. You and your co-borrower must be at least 62 years old. You must own your home free and clear or have just a small balance on your existing mortgage. Best of all, there are no income or credit requirements to satisfy. How can I receive my money? You can receive it in several ways: • Equal monthly payments as long as you live in your home • Equal monthly payments for a certain period of time • As a line of credit you can draw upon as needed, for whatever reasons • As a lump sum draw at closing • A combination of the above, to meet your requirements. When must I repay the loan? You must repay the loan if you no longer live in your home. In the event of your death, your heirs can choose to repay the loan and keep the house or sell the house and repay the loan, What are interest rate charges & fees? • An adjustable rate of interest is charged on reverse mortgages • Closing costs are typical for any mortgage closing and all may be financed • No out-of-pocket expenses at closing Are Reverse Mortgages safe? • Yes, FHA and FannieMae guarantee the payments you receive • FHA and FannieMae also guarantee you will never owe more than your house is worth — no debt left on estate 24

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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

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Passaic vs. Clifton 1923 - 2007 MUSTANGS 1923 . . .Clifton 12......Passaic 7 1924 . . .Passaic 23......Clifton 0 1925 . . .Passaic 21......Clifton 6 1926 . . .Passaic 21......Clifton 6 1927 . . .Passaic 13......Clifton 0 1928 . . .Passaic 24......Clifton 0 1929 . . .Passaic 24......Clifton 0 1930 . . .Passaic 26......Clifton 0 1931 . . .Passaic 7........Clifton 0 1932 . . .Passaic 26......Clifton 7 1933 . . .Clifton 7........Passaic 6 1934 . . .Passaic 26......Clifton 0 1935 . . .Passaic 6........Clifton 0 1936 . . .Passaic 34....Clifton 14 1937 . . .Passaic 6........Clifton 0 1938 . . .Passaic 19......Clifton 6 1939 . . .Passaic 31......Clifton 6 1940 . . .Passaic 13......Clifton 6 1941 . . .Passaic 0........Clifton 0 1942 . . .Passaic 19......Clifton 0 1943 . . .Clifton 12......Passaic 6 1944 . . .Clifton 26......Passaic 6 1945 . . .Clifton 6........Passaic 0 1946 . . .Clifton 26....Passaic 14 1947 . . .Clifton 32......Passaic 0 1948 . . .Clifton 7........Passaic 7 1949 . . .Clifton 12......Passaic 0 1950 . . .Passaic 20......Clifton 7 1951 . . .Clifton 26......Passaic 6

39 Wins 35 Loses 5 Ties

INDIANS 35 Wins 39 Loses 5 Ties 1952 . . .Clifton 33....Passaic 12 1953 . . .Clifton 21....Passaic 20 1954 . . .Passaic 7........Clifton 6 1955 . . .Passaic 7........Clifton 0 1956 . . .Clifton 48......Passaic 0 1958 . . .Clifton 40......Passaic 7 1959 . . .Clifton 41....Passaic 21 1960 . . .Clifton 28......Passaic 6 1961 . . .Clifton 35......Passaic 7 1962 . . .Clifton 31......Passaic 6 1963 . . .Clifton 50......Passaic 0 1964 . . .Passaic 27......Clifton 0 1965 . . .Clifton 15....Passaic 13 1966 . . .Clifton 7........Passaic 0 1967 . . .Passaic 7........Clifton 7 1968 . . .Clifton 27....Passaic 10 1969 . . .Clifton 40......Passaic 0 1970 . . .Clifton 49......Passaic 0 1971 . . .Clifton 20....Passaic 12 1972 . . .Clifton 35......Passaic 6 1973 . . .Clifton 75....Passaic 12

1974 . . .Clifton 47......Passaic 6 1976 . . .Clifton 28......Passaic 6 1981 . . .Passaic 20......Clifton 3 1982 . . .Passaic 33......Clifton 0 1983 . . .Passaic 20......Clifton 7 1984 . .Clifton 16......Passaic 0 1985 . .Passaic 28......Clifton 7 1986 . .Passaic 21......Clifton 8 1987 . . .Clifton 24....Passaic 13 1988 . . .Clifton 22....Passaic 22 1989 . . .Passaic 22......Clifton 0 1990 . . .Passaic 14......Clifton 7 1991 . . .Passaic 33....Clifton 16 1992 . . .Passaic 13....Clifton 10 1993 . . .Passaic 0........Clifton 0 1994 . . .Passaic 12......Clifton 7 1995 . . .Passaic 21......Clifton 7 1996 . . .Clifton 23......Passaic 6 1997 . . .Passaic 22....Clifton 20 1998 . . .Passaic 25......Clifton 0 1999 . . .Passaic 20......Clifton 7 2000 . . .Clifton 21....Passaic 14 2001 . . .Clifton 20....Passaic 19 2002 . . .Clifton 19....Passaic 14 2003 . . .Clifton 17......Passaic 0 2004 . . .Clifton 48......Passaic 0 2005 . . .Clifton 7........Passaic 6 2006 . . .Clifton 14....Passaic 12 2007 . . .Clifton 18....Passaic 13

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

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Optimist Hot Dog Night Wed., Nov. 19, 6:30 pm at Clifton Rec Center

The Clifton and Passaic captains at the Midtown Grill on Main Ave. Back row, from left, Franklin Duran, Robinson Rodriguez, Donte Glenn, Kyle Fernandez and Mo Ramadan. Front: Tamir Dayya, Percy Williams, Khalid Pitts and Juan Lozano-Rosas.

The Optimist Cup Trophy, which is now in the possession of Clifton’s Fighting Mustangs, is up for grabs once again on Nov. 27. The Maroon and Gray possess a 39-35-5 lead in the long battle with their Passaic rivals. The Optimist Cup Trophy is awarded on the 50 yard line to the winning football team at the conclusion of the annual Thanksgiving game, held this year at Passaic’s Boverini Stadium. Trophies are also given to the offensive and defensive MVPs on each team. The athletic directors for Clifton and Passaic will select two recipients from the opposing squad. Come out to the game to see old friends, support the bands, the cheerleaders and the players. The members of the Clifton and Passaic Optimist Clubs are proud to support our neighboring communities and be involved with this positive event. The game will be broadcast on North Jersey 1500 WGHT with Clifton Merchant Magazine’s very own Jordan Schwartz doing play-by-play. November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Optimist Cup ‘08 Thanksgiving Day, 10 am, Boverini Stadium A week before they meet on the field for the 80th clash over an 85-year history, the Mustangs and Indians will make peace over hot dogs at 6:30 pm on Nov. 19 at the Clifton Recreation Center on Main Ave., in an event catered by the famous Midtown Grill. For this pre-game dinner, members of the Clifton and Passaic Optimist Clubs invite players from both the teams so our kids get to know each other not only as competitors but as neighbors. Captains from each team will have a chance to say a few words about their experience as a player and what it has meant to them. Back in the day, the Clifton C Club and the Passaic Time Out Club used to team up and host big dinners for the players before they met on the field. The idea was the same—to get the schools to forge relationships and have respect for one another. This is a tradition members of the Optimist Clubs started about 10 years ago and the public is invited to attend. Come and get to know your neighbors and be a Friend of Youth—our group’s slogan. Join us at our Clifton Passaic Optimist Club Hot Dog Night.

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November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Pictured from last year’s Optimist Cup game, senior Lamar Rodriguez who Mustang Coach Ron Anello said should have been co-MVP on the offensive end.

While the football players and other kids get in free, we need adults to purchase advance tickets. For tickets, which are $10, call Clifton Optimist and Clifton Merchant Magazine editor and publisher Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400 or Passaic Optimist John Ciuppa at 973-470-5602. The Clifton Optimist Club is always looking for new members. For info, call Ted Munley at Clifton Savings Bank at 973-473-2200, ext. 112 or visit to

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November 2008 • Clifton Merchant



November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Homecoming was bittersweet this year as Hackensack beat the Fighting Mustangs 21-8. Running back Joe Tahan scored the lone Clifton touchdown, while Franklin Duran had nine tackles and two interceptions. Despite the loss, everyone still had a great time watching the game, the band and the homecoming court festivities. Hunter Chen and Lianne Maldonado (directly below) were named king and queen. Joining them in the court were Kayla Santiago and Luis Figueroa (center top), Gabriela Benoit and Ryan Gunn (far right), Jayme Hanrahan and Franklin Duran (center bottom), and Marissa Lorenzo and Joey Scotto (bottom). Photos by Graeme Carmichael.

Homecoming! Hackensack at Clifton

October 3

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Catching up with the Mustangs

The boys soccer team’s share of the county title was just one of the championships won by Clifton H.S. athletic squads in October. by Jordan Schwartz Boys Soccer The second-seeded Mustangs (17-3-2) played 10-West Orange in the North 1, Group 4 sectional quarterfinals on Nov. 6 (after our deadline). Clifton advanced to the second round of the tournament by beating 15-Vernon 3-1 on Nov. 3. The boys soccer team is trying to repeat as Group 4 champs and add a state title to a trophy case which already includes a share of the Passaic County championship. The Maroon and Gray earned their 17th county title in a scoreless tie with Passaic County Tech on Oct. 25. It was their 12th straight finals appearance but their first win since beating Wayne Valley in 2005 to capture their ninth straight crown. Recaps are in action through Nov. 3. 32

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Goalie Tom Fraczek stopped 15 shots in the contest while making only his second start in goal this year. Fraczek broke his leg before the season and made five saves in a 5-0 win over Teaneck on Oct. 30. The Mustangs haven’t lost since Oct. 8 when they fell 4-2 to Don Bosco Prep.

Football The Fighting Mustangs (5-2) will be in the North 1, Group 4 playoffs no matter what happens Nov. 7 against state powerhouse Bergen Catholic. This is thanks to Clifton’s huge 20-14 win at Montclair on Oct. 25. The Maroon and Gray had lost the previous four matchups with their rivals by a combined score of 13332, but the Mustangs flipped the script due in large part to their three running backs.

Nick Giordano carried 19 times for 57 yards and scored all three Clifton touchdowns. Meanwhile, Al-Aziz Pitts ran 11 times for 62 yards and Joe Tahan chipped in 59 yards on just six runs. While freshman quarterback Patrick Ferrara completed just two of four passes for 41 yards, he managed the game nicely and didn’t throw an interception. Khalid Pitts led the way on defense picking up 11 tackles and an astounding five sacks. Clifton couldn’t repeat the magic in its next game, however, as the team lost 17-14 in overtime to Ridgewood on Halloween night. The loss will make it difficult for the Mustangs to grab a top four seed, which would secure a home game in the first round of the playoffs, but Clifton shouldn’t mind

much. The team won two road games before capturing the 2006 state title at Giants Stadium.

Cross Country Both the boys and girls cross country teams won county championships on Oct. 24. On the boys side, junior James Sahanas led the way with a time of 16:40. He was followed by sophomore Daniel Green (17:04) and seniors Victor Almonte (17:11), Andrew Kopko (17:13), Gary Feig (17:21), Hanni Abukhater (17:42) and Ivan Enriquez (18:05). Senior Eloisa Paredes was the top finisher for the girls clocking in at 19:22. She was followed by juniors Kerry Sorenson (20:17) and Daphne Bienkiewicz (20:44), as well as senior Kayla Santiago (21:29), freshman Josie Redwing (21:40) and seniors Brenna Heisterman (22:37) and Graciela Arias (23:21). The girls and guys also won division titles back on Oct. 14, with the Lady Mustangs adding a league crown as well. The state sectional meet is on Nov. 8.

Girls Soccer The Lady Mustangs (13-3) are hoping to make up for a disappointing finish in the county tournament with a deep run in States.

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Top-seeded Clifton was upset by West Milford in the quarterfinals of the Passaic County Tournament back on Oct. 10. The teams played regulation and overtime without either side scoring a goal, and so the game was decided 3-2 on penalty kicks. Senior All-State goalie Lianne Maldonado made four saves in the game, but it wasn’t enough. The Lady Mustangs have a shot at redemption as they kick off state tournament play on Nov. 7 against 7-Kearny or 10-Bergen Tech. Clifton, the number two seed, already beat Kearny 3-0 on Sept. 20 when Michelle and Megan Ferrara each scored. If Clifton reaches the North 1, Group 4 final on Nov. 14, the girls could get a rematch against topseeded Ridgewood, which shutout the Lady Mustangs 2-0 on Oct. 1.

Girls Volleyball The girls volleyball team (14-6) clinched a league title with a victory over Montclair on Oct. 29 and were looking for more as they played 20Bergen Tech in the first round of the Group 4 state tournament on Nov. 4 (after our deadline). The Lady Mustangs were seeded 13th. Clifton was the number four seed in the Passaic County Tournament and beat 13-Eastside

two games to none in the first round. But on Oct. 23, the Maroon and Gray suffered a dramatic 2516, 14-25, 25-20 loss to 5-Passaic Valley in the quarterfinals. On Oct. 8, the Lady Mustangs beat Passaic 25-23, 25-13 to capture the Optimist Cup trophy, which is contested annually between the two schools. Junior libero Sylvia Zubek was named MVP for Clifton, while Maria Santana took home honors for the Lady Indians.

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Kayla Santiago finished third for the Lady Mustangs in a meet against West Milford on Oct. 30.

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Girls Tennis It was a tough season for the girls tennis team as it finished with a record of 3-13. The Lady Mustangs lost four matches by a score of 3-2 (Hackensack, Paramus Catholic, Passaic and Belleville). The highlight of the season was the play of first singles player Lia Salierno, who finished 8-7 and was named second team All-County. The senior captain reached the quarterfinals of the Passaic County Tournament, while junior Michelle Kvitnitsky got to the semis in the second singles bracket, and third singles junior Lena Elezaby lost in the preliminary round. The first doubles team of seniors Catalina Jaramillo and Jeana Yoo made the semi-finals, while second doubles players Kathy Tupiwala and Perla Esquivel fell in the quarters. As a team, Clifton finished fourth. Head Coach Chad Cole said he was impressed by how JV girls Elezaby Habrahamshom, Hetal Lad, Silvia Czajklwski and Ruchi Shah stepped up when they were inserted into the varsity lineup towards the end of the season.

Gymnastics The gymnastics team (2-10) finished fifth at the Passaic County Championships on Nov. 3 and sixth in the league meet held on Oct. 23.

The girls volleyball team captured the Optimist Cup trophy by beating Passaic 25-23, 25-13 on Oct. 8. Sylvia Zubek was named MVP for the Lady Mustangs.

At the league event, Clifton beat out Fair Lawn and Montclair, a team the Lady Mustangs lost to back on Sept. 15. Several of the girls also placed well at the North Jersey Invitational on Oct. 18. Nicolette Camacho finished fourth in the vault and sixth in the floor exercise, while teammate Camille Buscar was fourth best on beam and second on floor. Melissa Petrina placed ninth in beam and fourth on the bars, while Megan Miller was fourth on the floor and Stephanie Cornejo was eighth on vault and second on beam. Senior captains Donnalayha Cook

and Chelsea Gurley also performed well with Cook taking sixth in bars and eighth in floor, and Gurley placing fourth on vault and second on beam. Cook will be competing on vault at the state sectional on Nov. 8, while Gurley will be on the floor. A CHS Swim Team Beefsteak will be held from 7 to 11 pm on Jan. 17 at the Athenia Veteran’s Hall, located at 147 Huron Ave. Tickets are $40 and include dinner, beer and soda. No tickets will be sold at the door, so call call Rose at 973-471-2741 to purchase them in advance.

Between 8 & 14? Come play for the CHS feeder program, the

Clifton Junior Ice Hockey Program Kids 8 - 14 can play on one of our teams. From beginners to experienced, be part of this hard-knockin’ Mustang Tradition. Weekend games at the Ice House, Hackensack. Register Today! Practices & Instructional Clinic are at Clary Anderson, Montclair. Play Clifton Youth Hockey... call to register

Dennis Fitzpatrick @ 973-773-0019 34

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Rebirth of the Olympics FC Story by Joe Hawrylko When low membership forced Clifton’s Olympic Soccer Club to fold in 2004, it seemed that the historic team’s run had ended in town. But four years later, the Olympics are experiencing a rebirth, 40 years after the Club’s original inception. Following in the footsteps of their fathers, John and Edward, Chris Karcz and James Stepien have assumed the reigns of the club, hoping to return it to prominence once again. “It was basically just that all of us have played soccer since were were about four years old,” said James Stepien. “Since Chris (Karcz) wasn’t playing (professionally) anymore, we were like, ‘Let’s just do it and go.’” The Olympics trace their roots back to 1968, when a young John Karcz asked Joe Lewandowski to

The first Olympics team in 1968. In the back, from left, stands Manager Joe Lewandowski, Tom Dabal, Stanley Barski, John Karcz, George Slusarz, Chester Warchol and President Mary Beleski. In front is John Serafin, Rich Soltys, Edward Stepien, Frankie Montella and Stan Pieczonka.

manage and coach a soccer team. With the assistance of Club President Mary Bleski, the Olympics—named after the 1968

Games in Mexico—took off. The Olympics relied heavily on the soccer-mad Polish population of Clifton to rapidly build up their

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November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


The current Olympics, with sponsor Mike Bocu on left and and Manager John Karcz at right, includes, Mike Ponikowski, Wojciech Jastrzab, James Stepien, Ed Ligas, Jozef Wor, Nick Rakowski, John Nolfo, David Dejesus, Mike Tynio, Chris Karcz and Mike Stepien.

ranks. It took just one year for the club to earn its first big title at the 1969 Schaefer Indoor Tournament at the Paterson Armory, and the momentum would build from there. In the 1972 season, the Olympics joined the Garden State Soccer League and expanded to four teams. After limited success, the Olympics blew up again at the start of the 1976 season, with the third and fourth division teams beginning a championship run that would last through 1981. The 1984 season brought change, as the Olympics joined the Minolta League and selected Edward Stepien as their new president, with John Karcz as his assistant. The duo ran the ship until

1998 and Bill Karcz took over before the Club folded in 2004. “We’re just working on the mens team that we’re building now,” said James Stepien, adding that one of the main factors in starting the club again was the passing of his cousin, Joe Karcz. “We’re in the Garden State League, so they make you start in B, the lowest group, so you work your way up to the semi-pro division.” The new Olympics field a team that includes many former Olympics stars, including James and Mike Stepien, Chris Karcz, Ed Ligas and Mike Ponikowski. John Karcz serves as the coach and managerial duties are handled by John and his son, Chris, and Edward Stepien and his sons,

James and Mike. But even though the boys are all from Clifton, they couldn’t get their field here. “We tried to get a field in Clifton, but the only field the city gave us was Richardson Scale Park, which was too small for competition,” explained James Stepien, who said Councilman Peter Eagler lobbied for a field for the team.“We would love to have a home field in Clifton, as it is our roots, but we couldn’t get help from the city.” Instead, home games are held at the Skyline Sports Complex in North Arlington. As of this publication, the Olympics, who are sponsored by Sharky’s Wings and Raw Bar and Century 21 on Clifton Ave., are 3-1. For team info, call 973-934-8941.

Rutgers Newark women’s soccer head coach Wojtek Krakowiak, a 1995 CHS alum, seeks graduating Clifton girls who would be interested in joining the team next fall. Krakowiak, (at left) awarded the 1998 Hermann Trophy with the Clemson Tigers as the best soccer player in the nation, has coached at Rutgers since Nov. 2007. His assistant, Al Piotrowski (also pictured) graduated CHS in 1995. “There is plenty of talent at CHS and I think they would be a great addition to our soccer program, since we are only five miles away,” said Krakowiak. Visit or contact the coach at or 973-353-1627. November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


The 32nd annual UNICO Christmas party for the girls of the North Jersey Developmental Center of Totowa is at 6:30 pm on Dec. 2 at the Brownstone. Begun by Michael N. Corradino, who now serves as Honorary Chair, it is currently organized by Frank and Nina Corradino of Nina’s Salon on Valley Rd. “It’s a lot of time and effort, but in the end, it’s so worthwhile when we see the joy in the faces of our guests when Santa arrives with his bag of gifts,” wrote Nina Corradino. To donate or for tickets, call Nina at 973-278-0356 or Past UNICO National President Joe Agresti at 973-473-3873. Above, some UNICO members who coordinate the Christmas party. From left, Michael N. Corradino, Nina and Frank Corradino, Andre Dimino, John Morano, Joe Agresti and Anthony Lattella. Seated is Santa (Ronaldo Giaconia) with a NJDC guest.

The Clifton Roadrunners Club (some members at right) celebrates its 30th anniversary on Nov. 15 with a gala dinner dance at La Cibeles. The Roadrunners are comprised of residents who are avid runners. Tickets are $30 and doors open at 7 pm. Entertainment will be provided by SoundBrothers and CRRC Resident Sage, Bill Indek. For info, call 973-772-1131.

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November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


CHS Athletic Hall of Fame Luncheon • Oct. 19 • at the Brownstone in Paterson

2008 CHS Athletic

Hall of Fame Family members were on hand to watch their mothers, brothers and sons get inducted into the 2008 Class of the Clifton High School Athletic Hall of Fame at the Brownstone in Paterson on Oct. 19. This year’s inductees were Albert Swan (CHS Class of ’59) John Scancarella (’59), T.J. Kraznowski (’89), Jamie Anzaldi (’00), Mark Tomaskovic (’87), Janet Nelson Smith (’78), Chris Karcz (’01), Ropert Capo (’94), Alicia Mazepa (’97), Coach Fernando Rossi (’79-’02), and the 1967 boys soccer team.

Soccer inductee Chris Karcz with his parents, John and Christina, and his girlfriend Sania Malikzay.

Baseball inductee Robert Capo, front row, with wife and high school sweetheart Kathleen Petix. Back row, from left, Coach Paul Pignatello, teammate Anthony De Stefano, father Ken, mom Carol, and teammate Lou Magliarditi. 40

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Soccer inductee T.J. Krzanowski with his wife Vivian and their son Lucas. Front row, softball inductee Jamie Anzaldi with her brother Ross Jr., father Sal and aunt Mary Jo Anzaldi Foster. Back row, from left, Uncle Ross and Aunt Geraldine Anzaldi, sister Dawn and mom Barbara. Turn page for more photos.


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In the picture on the left, cross country inductee Albert Swan sitting with wife Josephine. Standing behind them, from left, daughter Jennifer Swan O’Neill, Joseph Macejka, daughter Laura Dabaghian and Linda Macejka. In the picture on the right, baseball and football inductee Mark Tomaskovic sits with his wife Jennifer and their two sons Kyle and Dylan. In back, from left, brother Rob, parents Bob and Helen and sister Lisa.

Basketball, baseball and football inductee John Scancarella, second from right, with brother Joe, father Frank and sister Nancy.

Field hockey, swimming and track inductee Janet Nelson Smith, at far right, with daughters DarrellAnn, Emily and Meredith, along with husband Bob. Front row, from left, brother Bob, father Bob and mother Madge. November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Clifton Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame Beefsteak • Oct. 24

2008 Boys & Girls Club

Hall of Fame On Oct. 24, the Clifton Boys & Girls Club inducted the inaugural class into its newly formed Hall of Fame. Two members representing each decade from the 1950s to the 2000s were enshrined at the beefsteak, which was catered by Baskingers. Entertainment was provided gratis by Brookwood, also former members. The beefsteak committee included Chairpersons Bill and Laura Marchoni, Sean Gunby, Keith Oakley, Dante Liberti and Lori Slater-Brigati, who was inducted herself as a member from the ’80s.

Frank Carlet, center, is a founding partner of a Clifton law firm. He was a Club member from ’47-’51 and has been a trustee since 1969. He was joined by his son David, daughter Lauren, and wife Anne Marie. Also pictured, back left, is trustee Angelo Crudele, representing inductee John Celentano, Jr., who could not attend.

Andrew Hickman III, second from right in front, was the 2004 Youth of the Year and is currently a senior at Caldwell College. Back, from left, cousin Michael Barbosa, uncle Ernie Barbosa, grandmother Maria Vega Perry and aunt Nancy Barbosa. Front: sister Ashley, dad Simon, Andrew and mom Loren. 44

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Lori Slater-Brigati with her husband Robert. Lori is a Club office assistant and was a member from ’78-’86.

Top left, Frank Pajuelo with his parents Doris and Carlos Santamaria. Frank is a technology coordinator in Paterson Public Schools and was a Club member from ’85-’95. Top right, Janell Bania was a Club member from ’91-’99. Here she is with her dad Kent and his wife Diane. At right, Jaclyn Rogers (Mateja) was the 1994 Youth of the Year. She was joined by her mom Beverly Sisto and grandfather Richard Burton. (Turn page for more photos)

Gamble for a good cause at the Club ’s Texas Hold’Em Tournament, 6:30 to 10:30 pm on Nov. 21. The buy-in is a $100 donation For more info, call 973-773-2697.

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Jack De Vries, second from right in front, is an executive speechwriter for State Farm, as well as a contributing editor to this magazine. He was a Club member from ’69-’75 and was joined by, in back from left, brother Bill De Vries, in-laws Don and Rita Chopoorian, and parents Adeline and Jack. Seated are brother-in-law Don Chopoorian Jr., daughter Jessica, Jack and wife Lisa.

Celebrate lives lived.... Remember those who passed...

Annual Holiday Memorial Program Join us Wednesday, December 10th at 7:15 pm

Please join us as we open our doors to assist individuals who have experienced the death of a family member or close friend. This program is our way of reaching out to families we have served, and to others in our community, to let them know that they are not alone this holiday season. Everyone is welcomed to attend this free memorial program. Reservations requested but not required. Please call 973-249-6111.


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Erin Monahan (Shaughnessy), back right, is a three-time women’s basketball Coach of the Year at William Paterson University and was a Club member from ’76-’79. Standing, from left, daughter Caitlin, husband Kevin and Erin. Seated: daughter Colleen, parents Marilyn and William, son Patrick, brother Brian and his son Thomas.

Tom Acton, front middle, is assistant principal at Bloomfield High School and was a Club member from ’78-’88. Standing, from left, friend Renna Edwards, mother-in-law Maria Pilipski, sister-in-law Gena Pilipski, wife Amy, sister Michele, and her fiancee Victor Alferi. Seated next to Tom are his parents Tom and Carolyn. Russell Triolo, second from right below, has been the executive director at the Union County Boys & Girls Club for 30 years and was a Club member himself from ’58-’76. From left, Robert, Nicholas and Robyn Caruso, Linda Triolo, Michael Garibell, Russell, and Jack Marshall, representing inductee Victor Deluca, who could not attend.

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Caring & Sharing Keeping St. Peter’s Pantries Stocked Since 1986, St. Peter’s Haven, with the help of friends & neighbors, has fed the hungry & housed the homeless • Story by Joe Hawrylko

From donations of canned goods to monetary gifts, individuals and the business community have helped the mission of St. Peter’s. Above, American Bank officials, from left, Lois Anderson, Nancy Iacobucci, Branch Manager of the American Bank at Fourth and Clifton Aves., Richard Bzdek, Haven Board President Rev. Deborah Drake, Board member Bob Masiello, and Rev. Lorraine Dughi of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. To help the Haven, or if you need assistance, call 973-546-3406.

At first glance, Clifton doesn’t seem like a city that has a lot of families living in poverty. Most of the houses are well kept and there’s few, if any, homeless on the streets. But just because there’s no visual evidence of poverty doesn’t mean there’s not a problem. St. Peter’s Haven, 380 Clifton Ave., expects to serve nearly 250 families in need for their annual Thanksgiving Dinner Basket program. That’s almost twice as many as last year. “It’s definitely the economy,” said Ann Masiello, an administrator at the Haven. “This time last year, we were feeding 500 people in the pantry each month. In October alone, we fed more than 775 people.” Last year, thanks to donors, the Haven was able to distribute 150 complete baskets that included turkey, fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods and desserts. This year, they will rely on city residents to come up with goods for 100 more baskets. However, despite the annual outpouring of support during the holiday season, the Haven still has to make

ends meet during the other 11 months of the year. Caring for the needy is a 365 day a year job, and the Haven relies almost exclusively on volunteers to take care of the large demand. “I’ve been involved for about five years,” said Tony Foica, 77, a former mason who retired 15 years ago. “There was an ad and I went down to volunteer my time. I was retired then and was looking for something to do.” Foica is just one of about 20 volunteers who come to the Haven to help the needy. While the three hours he works each week might seem miniscule, it’s fully appreciated by the hundreds of families he helps feed each month. “My job is mostly to unpack food and make sure we don’t give out anything that is outdated,” Foica explained, adding that the Haven is open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. “I come out early in the morning to set out the bread and the meat.” November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


In addition to private residents who volunteer, many local companies lend a hand. The PassaicClifton ShopRite on Paulison Ave. is a regular contributor. “They’ve done a whole bunch of fundraisers for us. We got some money donations for food, so we wanted to buy some meat and they’re donating chickens at a low cost,” said Masiello. “Down the road, if we need turkeys, we can get them there. They really have taken us under their wing.” Kevin Fragale, the front end manager at ShopRite, is often the one to coordinate events with the Haven. “I’m the one that’s kind of been the liaison to work with them from ShopRite,” he explained. “I contacted them about two months ago and told them I wanted to start working with them because they’re a local food pantry. I wanted to help people that live around the store. “And with the help of Rafael (Cuellar, the owner of ShopRite), we’re trying to do our best to do fundraisers, giving them discounts. For Thanksgiving, we’re probably going to give them turkeys and stuff,” said Fragale. “Things here and there—whatever we can do to help them. The main thing is that I wanted to help out locally and I hear a lot of my customers talking about St. Peter’s Haven.”


November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Pictured here are some of the Paulison Ave. ShopRite employees who assist St. Peter’s Haven. Front row, from left is Guillermo Garcia, Store Manager, Felix Morales, Human Resources Director, Rogelio Ruiz, Assistant Manager, Rafael Cuellar, Owner and Patti Mora, CGO Coordinator. In back is Jerry Trester, Assistant Manager, Kevin Fragale, Front End Manager and Gregory Surgent, Assistant Manager.

While that level of involvement is rather extreme, there’s plenty of simple things for residents to do, whether it’s donating or just stopping by for a couple of hours each week. And with the annual Thanksgiving drive here, it’s the best time to start. Pitch in by dropping off any nonperishable food at the Haven through Nov. 13, between 9 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Thursday. Perishable items can be donated on Nov. 23, from 1 to 3 pm. Items needed include turkeys, fresh and canned fruits and vegeta-

bles, stuffing, rice, gravy, cranberries and dessert items, such as unfrozen pies and cake mixes. Bottles will not be accepted. If you don’t have time to donate food, a gift certificate to a local food store is an excellent substitute. The Paulison Ave. ShopRite can supply you with whatever you need to add to a gift basket. Volunteers are also needed for the sorting and bagging of food on Nov. 19, from 10 am to noon and again from 6 to 8 pm in the parish hall. To find out how you can help, call 973-546-3406.

Sony Employees present benefit concert By day, they’re full-time employees of Sony Electronics, working as lawyers, engineers and sales managers. But by night, they rock n’ roll, and on Nov. 14 at 7 pm, they’ll jam in Botany Village to help feed the hungry. Rockin’ Against Hunger is a concert at Johnny’s Bar and Grill on Ackerman Ave. to support St. Peter’s Haven. Scheduled to perform are Variable Speed Band, Sidebar,

Rockin’ Against Hunger Maureen Hall with Mojo Workin’ and Craig DeBaari, and The Usual Suspects. All performers are donating their talents and Johnny’s Bar has also provided its hall free of charge. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For tickets or info call 973-546-3406 or visit

All proceeds help to stock the Haven’s shelves for the winter. The Haven will also give out special community service awards to Brooklyn Brewery, Provident Bank and Applebee’s for their continued support. The event is being coordinated by Haven volunteer John Mueller and Tom Hawrylko will serve as the night’s emcee.

Hookah is exclusively for individuals 19 & over November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Secret Agent Principal School 11 Principal Gregg Dickey once guarded the President Story by Jordan Schwartz Principal Dickey dreads the phone call he’s about to make. A parent isn’t happy about something that happened to her child at school and now Dickey has to resolve the issue. After a 10 minute conversation, the principal hangs up and lets out a sigh of frustration. “Whenever things get tough, I look at this picture,” Dickey said while picking up a clear plastic frame from a shelf behind his desk, “and I realize how lucky I am to be alive.”


November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

The photo is of a wrecked Mercury Grand Marquis GS. The car is completely covered in soot and concrete debris and the roof is caved in. All the windows have been blown out and the engine is in the back seat. This is what happens when a 1,500 pound urea nitrate-hydrogen gas enhanced bomb explodes 20 yards from your automobile. On the morning of Feb. 26, 1993, United

States Secret Service agent Gregg Dickey left work in Manhattan to go pick up his first new car in 17 years from a dealership in Long Island City. As he drove the Grand Marquis back to the agency’s New York City Field Office at 6 World Trade Center, he began planning out the rest of his day. Dickey had to go to St. Vincent’s Hospital to see if it had a sufficient supFrom 1975 to 1995, Secret Service agent Gregg Dickey (bottom right) guarded dignitaries such as President Gerald Ford at this campaign rally in Union on Oct. 13, 1976.

ply of Vice President Al Gore’s blood type, in case something terrible happened during his upcoming visit to SoHo. “I was the lead agent in the protection squad at that time, so I had to coordinate the sites he was planning to attend,” said Dickey. Those also included the Guggenheim and a cocktail party on Fifth Ave. At 12:15 pm, the 18-year USSS veteran parked his new car—which now had 25 miles on it—in the underground B-2 garage of the North Tower. Dickey took a shortcut to the elevator bank, walking right past the six maintenance workers who would soon be killed by a massive explosion. At 12:18 pm the elevator reached the first floor. Ding. “The door opened and that’s about the last thing I remember,” said the retired agent. At that very instant, a Ryder truck filled with explosives—

Dickey’s new car was destroyed in the World Trade Center bombing on Feb. 26, 1993.

which was parked just 60 feet from the new Mercury—detonated, sending Dickey flying across the lobby until he landed beneath a pile of cinder blocks. He spent the next three days at New York Downtown

Hospital, clearing his lungs of dust and dirt. “I missed it by three minutes,” Dickey recalled. “If I had been standing next to that car, I’d have been dead.”

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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First things first: I do not own or run a huge meat conglomerate. Instead, my products are sold from a small familystyled butcher shop which I have run for 20 years at 189 Parker Ave. in Passaic, a half block from Botany Village. I prepare pork, beef and meat products, home-style hickory smoked ham, sausage, salami and all kinds of cold cuts. My family and I also sell ground poppy seeds and ground walnuts and many traditional Hungarian food ingredients. I also have to tell you a very important thing: I love my work and all my products are prepared with know-how and tender love and care. In my store, you will receive the best— foods which praises the tastes and inspires the soul. Please visit my store or go to Best Regards, Owner Mike Jozsa pictured with Marika and Andrew


November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Dickey’s first wife, Nancy, with Rosalynn Carter’s roses after a campaign stop on Oct. 28, 1976.

The Invisible Middle Gregg Dickey was born in East Orange in November 1947, but he spent most of his youth in Livingston. “I was a wallflower,” he said. “I got good grades, but growing up, I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence.” When Gregg was in second grade, his father moved the family to Minnesota because he got a job there with Prudential. But that only lasted a few years and so the young Dickey returned to New Jersey, eventually graduating Livingston High School in 1965. Gregg attended St. Francis University in Pennsylvania with a Spanish major and an English minor. He wanted to be a teacher and so he got his master’s in administration at Kean. In college, Dickey had a professor that spoke about ‘the invisible middle’ — a term he used to describe average students who don’t receive as much attention as the top or bottom of the class. Gregg saw himself fitting right into that category. After getting his degree, Dickey secured his first job teaching

Spanish and freshman English at Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights, but after a short time there, he began considering another career. “I got bitten by the law enforcement bug,” said Dickey, who admitted becoming enamored with the idea after watching his FBI neighbor stride down the walk with his badge everyday. The teacher applied to the Bureau first, but when that didn’t work out, he sent a resume to the Secret Service, which was looking to bolster its ranks following two assassination attempts on President Gerald Ford in September 1975. The department was also searching for foreign language speakers, something Gregg believes gave him a good shot. So, after a number of interviews and exams, Dickey received a phone call on Dec. 4, 1975 offering him an appointment as Special Agent. He would now become the invisible middle between criminals and the people they were trying to harm.

Gregg with his current wife, Faith, and one of his three grandchildren.

Reagan, Nixon and Tom Bodett During his first four years on the job, Dickey was assigned to the forgery squad. Just two weeks in, he got into his first physical altercation when it took eight men to subdue a large felon resisting arrest. In 1978, Dickey fired his weapon for the first and only time in his 20-year career. It was during a counterfeiting raid in Carlstadt. “A red Cadillac was coming right at us and I don’t remember pulling

Agent Dickey with former President Richard Nixon at his home in Saddle River in 1983.

the trigger,” he explained. “I put a bullet underneath the rearview mirror and the glass shattered.” The car eventually crashed and the perpetrators were apprehended. When investigators asked Dickey whether he meant to just break the glass or if he was actually shooting at the driver, the agent didn’t know. He just reacted. During his years with the forgery squad, the agent would often be called away for protective assignments. The first of which came on Feb. 12, 1976 in advance of a Jimmy Carter campaign stop in Brunswick, Georgia. Two months later, Dickey was responsible for escorting President Ford’s son, Michael, and his wife, Gayle, to the Capitol Mall Cinema in South Trenton to see, ironically, All The President’s Men. “Poor Gregg nearly had to borrow $3.50 from Michael to pay for the cost of the ticket!” wrote Dickey’s first wife, Nancy, in a scrapbook dedicated to her husband’s first year in the Service. A week before the ’76 election, Gregg drove Betty Ford from Newark Airport to Eatontown and back, where he picked up Rosalynn Carter and took her to the Jersey City Armory. November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


“Mrs. Ford was visibly tired and suffers from severe arthritis,” Nancy wrote. “Rosalynn Carter was warm, bubbly, and chatted freely with Gregg, asking about wife, family, etc. After her reception, as she left the limousine she gave Gregg her dozen red roses to give to me as an apology for keeping him out so late!” In January 1977, Dickey was in Washington, D.C. for President Carter’s inauguration. He stood post at the Sheraton Park Hotel and on Constitution Ave. for the Inaugural Walk. The next Commander in Chief under the New Jerseyan’s watch was Ronald Reagan. Dickey was in the Great Communicator’s detail beginning in January 1981, and just two months in, he was on hand for one of the most historic U.S. events of the 20th century. On March 30 of that year, the agent was interviewing someone on Connecticut Ave. in D.C. when shots rang out outside the nearby Washington Hilton Hotel. Dickey rushed to the scene of the Reagan assassination attempt, but the president was already on his way to the hospital and John Hinckley, Jr. had already been arrested. The School 11 principal said had it not been for the ricochet, someone in the Secret Service would’ve been able to take the bullet that pierced Reagan’s lung. “You make yourself the target,” said Dickey, adding that he didn’t really think about it after a while. In October 1982, the agent was reassigned to ex-president Richard Nixon at his home in Saddle River. That was until the former leader became the first person to end his own Secret Service protection in 1985. The final 11 years of Dickey’s tenure in federal law 56

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Principal Dickey with some of the kindergartners at School 11 on Merselis Ave.

enforcement were spent in the New York field office, where he said he enjoyed himself the most. “There was a lot of fast action moving from squad to squad. I was in protection, intelligence, and firearms.” Dickey even found himself in hotel management. “There were so many agents coming into New York City that I was in charge of reservations for eight months,” he said. “I was the Tom Bodett of the Secret Service.” But Dickey still saw his share of action. In 1991, he was part of a group that traveled to Cali, Colombia on a counterfeit case. The agents busted a production ring and confiscated $25 million, but they nearly got killed along the way. “Colombia is lawless,” said the principal. “It’s like the Wild Wild West. Shootings are common because there’s competition between cartels.” One night, the Americans went to a restaurant called the Red Giraffe. While eating, they were confused as to why there were no walls in the

establishment, and instead, just drapery stapled to the floor. “It turned out that’s where the Cali Cartel hung out and the owners got sick of replacing the sheet rock after all the machine gun shootouts,” Dickey explained. Soon after, the Colombian police told the Secret Service men that they had been made and so they immediately headed for the airport. Four years later, Dickey had another brush with death that left him wondering whether it was time to leave the Service.

‘Are you the man that found my mom?’ On the morning of April 19, 1995, Special Agent Gregg Dickey had just returned from Miami, Florida, where he was protecting a Central American president, when news of the Oklahoma City bombing hit. Because his suitcase was still packed, Dickey was chosen along with a few other men to fly out to the disaster area, where four Secret Service agents and two secretaries were among the 168 killed.

“We went on a search and recovery mission, but it soon turned into just a recovery mission because the folks we found were all dead,” said the school administrator, adding that it was a significant life changing event for him. “They say there’s a feeling of ownership when you find a dead body, and so we went to the funeral of one of the women we found,” Dickey explained. “I’ll never forget the little boy of one of the women. He tugged on my jacked and said, ‘Are you the man that found my mom?’ The dad asked me, ‘Did it look like she suffered?” That still haunts me.” Dickey worked two nights at the site before acting as a receptionist at the homes of the agents that were killed. The former Montclair resident said he was greatly affected by the tragedy and it made him reevaluate whether or not he wanted to continue in his chosen profession.

“The travel was getting to me, the hours were horrible and it’s devastating on your home life,” said Dickey, who has two children, Kim, 35, and Michael, 32, from his first marriage. So, eight months later, Dickey retired from the United States Secret Service and returned to his roots in education.

Not the Last Stop In late 1995, Gregg Dickey interviewed for the Dean of Students position at West Orange High School and was offered the job before he even got home. The pay was less than he was making at his government job, but when combined with his pension from the USSS, Dickey had actually increased his income. The Cedar Grove resident remained in West Orange for two years until he realized he wasn’t truly an administrator.

Because of this, Dickey left the position to become vice principal of the new East Wing at Clifton High School. After four years there, he took the principal job at School 11 in September 2002. “The skills, work ethic and ability to endure just about anything I learned from the Secret Service prepared me for this,” said Dickey, who had to take a major crash course in elementary curriculum. But during his six years at the helm of the Lakeview school, he has seen test scores increase from the 50th percentile to the 80th percentile. And even as he turns 61 this month, the principal has no intention of slowing down. “There’s a lot left in me,” he said. “I don’t necessarily want to leave, but I wouldn’t want School 11 to be the last stop on the train.”

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Way Beyond the Badge Det. Mike McLaughlin—an Advocate for PBA & Community Story by Jordan Schwartz Clifton Police Detective Mike McLaughlin has more than 1,400 entries in the two arrest books he keeps in his desk drawer. But that pales in comparison to the amount of scribbling found in his daily planner. A 22-year veteran of the Department, the Clifton boy is more than just a police officer. He’s a PBA state delegate, an ACTION member, a Corrado’s employee, a loving husband and a father of six. “Everyday there’s something going on,” he said. McLaughlin’s been keeping busy since he was a child. Growing up on Vernon Ave. in Lakeview, Mike was an altar boy and in the choir at St. Brendan Church on East First St. “He was always working,” remembered Bobby Solari of Larry’s Lock and Key on Lakeview Ave., where Mike hung out as a kid. “He was working at the pizza parlor, delivering newspapers, waxing and detailing cars. And this is when he was 10 and 12 years old!” McLaughlin also played baseball in the Eastern Division and was a member of the cross country and chess teams at Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne, where he studied mechanical engineering. After graduating high school, McLaughlin, 43, attended Bergen County Community College during the day and worked at a food store in North Haledon at night. 58

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Detective Mike McLaughlin at his desk in the Clifton Police Department.

In his rare down time, Mike would hang out with a group of friends at the Hot Grill. One day in 1986, a few of the guys got to talking about taking the police test, so McLaughlin decided to tag along. As it turned out, he was the only one to pass. “Back then, the veterans on the force were a dying breed and only Cliftonites took the test, so everyone knew everybody,” he said. McLaughlin studied criminal justice at Morris County Community College while attending the Bergen County Police Academy. He was appointed to the CPD on Jan. 15, 1987. But the officer was protecting and serving before he was even officially a cop. While he was still in the Academy, McLaughlin witnessed a car accident in Prospect

Park. The men who caused the crash jumped out of their stolen vehicle and made a run for it, but Mike was able to track one of them down. Arrest number one. That tally quickly escalated once he was assigned to the tactical narcotics squad on Dec. 4, 1989. “You’re constantly just arresting people for drugs and executing search warrants,” said McLaughlin. His biggest bust came on July 13, 2004. McLaughlin, along with two other detectives, Tom Rinaldi and Gary Passenti, stopped a suspicious vehicle behind the Blockbuster at the corner of Lakeview and Clifton Aves. While approaching the car, the officers noticed two large plastic bags in the back seat filled with what looked like rabbit pellets.

PCTI grad Mike McLaughlin, 1983.

Along with the bags, the detectives found 10 cardboard boxes containing roses. The suspects tried to convince the police that they were just flower distributors, but the cops tested what was in the bags and got positive results for two kilos of heroin. McLaughlin, Rinaldi and Passenti hammered the suspects with questions until they found out that the men lived on Highland Ave. near the Garfield border. The three detectives, now joined by Sgt. Pat Ciser and colleagues Bill Frank, Christian Vassler and Thomas Burrows, got a search warrant for the address where they made another interesting discovery.

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“We saw buckets of liquid with cardboard in them,” McLaughlin recalled, adding that the contents tested positive for drugs. “They’d liquefy the heroin and then soak the boxes.” The CPD seized 12 kilos, or about $7 million, of heroin that day in one of the largest busts in North Jersey history. “It was a classic example of teamwork in the department,” said the detective. “The drug dealers didn’t win that day.” The bad guys also didn’t win on the day McLaughlin fired his weapon for the first and only time

during his more than two decades on the force. It happened in the early ’90s when he was on patrol by Styertown. Mike and another officer spotted a stolen vehicle and attempted to box it in. McLaughlin then got out of his car to approach the suspect, who subsequently put his car in drive and attempted to run Mike down. “I dove back into the car and he narrowly missed me,” he explained. “I got back out and fired at the car. We apprehended him a short time later.”

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Police Unity Tour: Clifton Police, along with departments from Passaic and William Paterson University host the Nov. 15 Turkey Trot, a 5K run or 2 mile walk around Garret Mountain. Register at 10 am; the trot begins at 11:30, rain or shine. Entry fee is $20, kids under 10 are free—dogs welcome. Proceeds benefit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial through the Police Unity Tour Riders of New Jersey. Call Ellen DeSimone at 201-3946441 or visit That was back in the day when McLaughlin said there was a lot of time to engage in proactive patrol. “With the mall construction over the past 20 years, we’ve become more of a reactive, service-oriented department,” he explained. “Back when I first joined, you could go a day with just three or four calls, which gave you time to look for drugs and other things. But patrol guys now are filing about eight to 12 reports a day.” These days, the detective is not only busier with police work, but with his other obligations as well. McLaughlin served 12 years as Clifton PBA Local 36’s treasurer and was recently reelected to his second term as state delegate. As a liaison, he keeps an eye on certain legislation that affects law enforcement, and back home, he plays a role in the CPD’s ongoing contract negotiations. “It’s difficult for the Department right now because you have a large group of guys retiring, but on the flip side, you’re getting new recruits that have learned new techniques,” said McLaughlin. “The city is currently looking to hire more officers but funding is a big issue. Unlike Paterson and Passaic, we don’t get a lot of federal funding, so our citizens bear the brunt.”

The McLaughlin family at step-son Chris Mendez’s appointment to the NYC Police Department in 2006. In the back, from left, wife Debbie, Chris’ girlfriend Cathy Rivera, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Chris, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Amanda Misthos and her boyfriend James Mendez and Stephanie Mendez. In front, twins Daniel and Michael Jr. and their younger brother Brandon.

The detective said service calls have quadrupled over the past two decades, but the CPD has only added about 10 to 12 officers to its staff. But being a PBA member isn’t all about business. McLaughlin also gets a chance to spend time in the community. “It’s positive when residents see you out at street fairs in Athenia and on Main Ave.,” he said. “The public can feel more comfortable talking to us in that environment.” Local 36 is involved with the Clifton Rotary, the Boys & Girls Club, and recently held a unique event for a fallen comrade. The first annual John Samra Memorial Scholarship Fund 5K Run/Walk took place on Oct. 26 (see photos, page 98) . All proceeds went to the Samra Fund, which awards a $1,000 prize to one CHS senior and one CPD family member. There’s a good chance one of McLaughlin’s kids may benefit from one of those scholarships one day because he has six to choose from. Mike has three sons — twins Michael Jr. and Daniel, 8, and Brandon, 5 — with his wife, Debbie, who also brings three children — Chris, 26, James, 24, and Stephanie, 19 — from her first marriage. The detective considers his step-children his own just like he considered his step-father, William, to be his own flesh and blood, as well. Before Mike was born, his biological father, Lawrence, was paralyzed after diving into shallow water. As a boy, McLaughlin only knew his father from the trips he would

make to the hospital with his mother, Olga. Lawrence McLaughlin later died when Mike was just six. Family is important to the Clifton police officer and he even works 15 to 20 hours a week at Corrado’s to help provide for his six children. “I’ve got to give my wife lots of credit for running all the kids around because I’m always out,” said McLaughlin. The detective can retire in three years, and while he doesn’t see that happening, he wouldn’t stay past 2017. Maybe then, he’ll find some more room in his daily planner. The NJ State Policemen’s Benevolent Association is warning citizens about telemarketers soliciting for donations to an alleged fraudulent police charity. The PBA claims a Trenton-based organization called the New Jersey State Fraternal Order of Police took in $4.3 million in public contributions during 2006. The group says it gives death benefits and other services for more than 14,000 New Jersey cops, but an NJBIZ investigation in Dec. 2007 showed that less than two percent of the money went to that cause. “We only do mailings, we never make calls,” said Clifton PBA Local 36 state delegate Det. Mike McLaughlin. “Just say no. Just hang up. That organization has nothing to do with us at all.” The money raised by the PBA sustains the officer burial fund and numerous civic organizations. For info, visit or call the CPD at 973-470-5900. November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


The Italian-American Co-op Building Italian brotherhood for nearly a century Story by Jordan Schwartz and Carolyn Maso For the Rold men, celebrating their Italian heritage is a family tradition. Severino Rold first joined the Italian-American Family Cooperative Hall on Parker Avenue in Botany Village back in the 1950s. He served on both the hall and bar committees, and would often bring his son, Daniel, to ‘Coop’ functions. “We used to go there all the time,” he said. “We used to go up to New York on bus trips or have picnics out back. And when I got older, I’d go to dinner dances.” Daniel didn’t join when he became eligible for membership at age 21 because he was busy with work, and later, raising his four children.

The Italian-American Family Cooperative Hall is located on Parker Ave. in Botany.

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Botany Village Tree Lighting Friday Dec. 5 6 pm sharp Join us in Sullivan Square in th heart of Botany Village. Sing your Favorite Carols with the CHS Madrigals and be there when Santa makes his first Clifton appearance with Gifts for all the Good Girls and Boys.

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


But in 2004, six years after his father passed away, Daniel, 52, became the second generation of Rolds to join the Coop. “I had a little extra time, so I figured I’d go down there and join,” said the machinist, who lives on Ackerman Ave. “And I brought a bunch of people with me.” One of those people was his only son, Chris, 31, who now serves on the administrative board with his dad. “I’m proud of my ItalianAmerican heritage,” said the third

generation Rold. “I always admired my grandfather. He would never stop working and my father took on his traits. The Coop epitomizes what they are and so I figured I’d become a member to honor them.” The Coop actually originated from two separate Italian social clubs: the Italian Pleasure Club, which began in 1908, and the Holy Name Society, that started in 1911. The purpose of these clubs was to provide — directly from agents, importers and whole sellers — all

UNICO concluded the Columbus Day weekend celebration by raising the Italian flag at City Hall on Oct. 13. Earlier that day, UNICO and the CHS Band, marched in the New York City Columbus Day parade. The night before, the organization held a fundraiser at the Clifton Boys & Girls Club, where $10,000 was raised for new band uniforms. UNICO’s goal is to promote and enhance the image of Italian Americans and for members to be of service to the community. Call chapter president Dave D’Arco at 973-417-0731.

the necessary Italian commodities to club members at the lowest price. Since there was no Corrados or Pathmark back then, these clubs gave families the opportunity to purchase quality Italian products and delicacies at inexpensive prices. Eventually, the two groups decided to combine and formed the Italian American Family Association. In those days, there was a noticeable rift between northern and southern Italians, but the new association decided to neglect any religious or political views in order to unite the two sides. “The most important thing is family and the Coop is basically an extension of your family,” said Coop Bar Chairman Dario Ghiglione. “It’s a place where you can go and have drinks with your friends, play pool, play cards, or go outside and play horseshoes.” One of the Coop’s most valued members is Louie Tomasella who has served 25 years as president and vice president.

Italian in Clifton There are 15,108 people of Italian descent living in Clifton, or about 19.2% of the population. Here are some more statistics on that ethnic group: Male: 7,401 • Female: 7,707 Median Age: 41 • Under 5: 774 18 & over: 12,068 • 65+: 2,965 Average household size: 2 Average family size: 3 Occupied housing units: 6,105 Foreign born: 1,135 In labor force: 7,894 Per capita income: $27,788 Families below poverty line: 115 People below poverty line: 531

Source: 2000 U.S. Census 64

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

The Coop’s elected administration. Standing, from left, Trustees Carmine Meluccio and Julius Diani, Hall Chairman Daniel Rold, Bar Chairmen Christopher Rold and Dario Ghiglione, and Building Committee member Richard Pavene Sr. Sitting: Recording Secretary Marco Ossi, Treasurer Graziano Cadorin, President Bryan LoRe, Vice President Joseph Coan and Building Committee member Bruno Fontani.

Ghiglione said Tomasella has always been the one to help keep the club going especially when he and his crew would cook Italian dinners for up to 300 people at a time. “Every club has its ups and downs and there is always that one person that sticks out. Louie would cook like there was no tomorrow,” said Ghiglione. The Coop is made up of an elected administration and an assembly of members. In order to join, you must be at least 21 years old, male, be Italian by blood, and have a member sponsor you. The Coop is not open to women but Ghiglione said that will probably change soon. The hall holds many events and fundraisers for the community such

as the recently completed Beefsteak Tricky Tray, at which money was raised for the Botany Village Merchant Association. Next year, the Coop will celebrate its 100th anniversary and Ghiglione said they are planning a

night to remember. “We all put a lot of time and effort and we try to help everyone with their jobs,” he said. “The Coop is like my home away from home. For me it is like “Cheers” — you go down there and everyone knows your name.”

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Zoning Board Appointments in Dec. Alternates vying for up to three regular spots Story by Jordan Schwartz If you’ve ever had to sit through one of those grueling three hour Clifton Zoning Board meetings, you’d wonder how anyone could volunteer to attend every single one of these sessions over a two year period. Especially, if there was no guarantee that he would get to vote when it’s all over. But that’s exactly what second alternate board member Mark Zecchino has done since January 2007. “It’s fun, I have a good time out there,” he said. “It’s interesting with all the different cases and applications.” Zecchino, who lives in Montclair Heights, has been a licensed plumbing and heating contractor for the past 20 years.

Zoning Board alternates Gerard Scorziello and Mark Zecchino are both hoping to join the ranks of the regular members next year.

He said his work gives him a special insight into zoning matters. “I’m in a lot of homes and neighborhoods,” said Zecchino,

who has two children, Nicholas, 13, and Haley, 12, who both attend Woodrow Wilson Middle School. The alternate sets aside a few

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The terms of regular Zoning Board members Frank Farinella, Steve Lataro and Roy Noonburg all expire in December. Farinella is resigning, while Lataro and Noonburg would both like to be reappointed.

hours during the weekend before every meeting to go and survey the properties that will be on the upcoming agenda. “I think you have to if you’re going to make a vote on it,” he said. The Zoning Board of Adjustment is where you go if you want to put an addition onto your house or construct a certain building in a part of town where it is not allowed. But often times, cases drag on for months. Garret Pointe Associates were scheduled to come before the Board yet again on Nov. 5 to discuss its proposal to construct a driveway on Paxton St. to service a land-locked lot in West Paterson. That application has been ongoing for well over a year. The House of Fire Christian Church plan will be heard again on Nov. 19. The congregation needs variances to construct a house of worship at 835 Grove St., where a one-family dwelling now sits. This latest application by the Church has

also been going on for about a year. And then there were the infamous 17 hearings in 2005 and 2006 during which the 290 Brighton Rd. school proposal was discussed. The Zoning Board twice denied the application and Passaic County Superior Court Judge Robert Passero overturned the decision both times. “Everybody has witnesses such as planners and engineers, as well as fire and traffic reports. That’s why it constantly takes so long,” said Zecchino, who didn’t vote on the school plan. “You have to hear all this information before you make a decision. I don’t know if it’s possible to speed things up.” The Board of Adjustment has seven permanent members and two alternates, each assigned by the mayor and Council. Regular members serve four-year terms and alternates serve for two years, according to board attorney John Pogorelec. Zecchino’s term expires in

February, but he’s hoping to be reassigned to a regular position when appointments are made in December. Traditionally, first alternate Gerard Scorziello would be the favorite to replace Frank Farinella, when his four-year term expires next month. “It would be a pleasure to be chosen as a regular,” said Scorziello, who’s wife is BOE Commissioner Kim Renta. “I’ve been here my whole life and it’s a way of somewhat contributing to the town.” The Pershing Rd. resident graduated Clifton High School in 1980. His two children attend WWMS and School 2. Steve Lataro and Roy Noonburg’s seats are also up for reassignment but they both plan on keeping their spots. Other Zoning Board members are Steven Abill, Arlene Bayeux, George Foukas and Joseph Koribanics. November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


By Joe Hawrylko The regular ACTION meeting on Oct. 13 proved to be a frenzied scene, as the city-sponsored sewer tax Q&A session evolved into a heated shouting match, with some claiming the city is withholding the truth. Council liaisons Frank Fusco, Steve Hatala and Matt Ward (who showed up a few minutes late due to a Democratic Club event) invited city Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Capp to discuss the controversial user fee. After a plea from Councilman Fusco, the evening’s moderator, to keep the meeting more civil than the previous one, the event started to head south. Joe Yeamans, an outspoken resident and ACTION repre-

Residents Called to Take ACTION, Be Heard sentative of Greglawn, was the most vocal out of the group of about 30. He repeatedly accused the Council of acting without really grasping what they were dealing with, and questioned if residents were really hearing the truth. “You don’t know the factor on the other end,” he said, questioning why the city relies on the Passaic Valley Water Commission for usage figures. “Why don’t you give us the facts so that we can all read?” Capp held the floor until about 8:30 pm before members took a break prior to the next session. Some volunteers were angry that they were not able to address their neighborhood-specific issues due to the Q&A session.

What exactly is ACTION Clifton? The idea for ACTION emerged from the “think tank” sessions during the summer of 2006. By January 2007, ACTION (All Clifton Together in Our Neighborhoods) was created and now features 28 members who represent 16 neighborhoods. Volunteers serve two-year terms as neighborhood representatives and will act as conduits for the flow of information between their neighborhoods and city government. In situations in which more than two people from one neighborhood volunteered, two members and one alternate were selected at random. New representatives were selected this past September, however, with little turnout, many individuals from the inaugural session for ACTION stayed on for a second term. Members work with the three Council liaisons: Frank Fusco, Steven Hatala and Matt Ward. Meetings are held on the second Monday of the month at the Senior Center from 7 to 9 pm. A full directory of representative numbers can be found online at by searching for ACTION. The Quality of Life Hotline can be accessed by calling 973-778-7104. 68

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

“I’ve got stuff from August that we haven’t addressed yet,” said Ron Carline, an alternate for the Lakeview section. “Jon had two hours almost.” Greg Baron, the regular Lakeview representative, agreed. “We’re being talked at,” he said. “Nothing is happening.” However, Council liaison Fusco said there was a reason for that. “The reason Jonathan was here is because you guys sent nothing,” he said. Minutes from last month’s meeting indicated that the councilman had requested members to email him agenda items in advance last month. Fusco reiterated that, asking reps to send in their items at least a week in advance. Also on the agenda was a potential change of meeting structure. Currently, reps send in their items for the agenda, and the meeting is moderated by the liaisons. In the other format, neighborhoods would take turns moderating each meeting. The measure was ultimately turned down by those in attendance. A call to change the meeting location was also addressed. However, not willing to use the smaller Council chambers or Board of Ed room, the measure also failed. The issue of quality of life was also brought up by Ray Mattera, a representative for Albion, who questioned the meaning of the phrase.

Clifton Firefighters Serving Free Thanksgiving Day Feast: For the 14th straight year, FMBA Local 21, IHOP and Baskingers Catering are teaming up to provide a free Thanksgiving Day dinner to residents who might otherwise be having theirs alone, or who might not be able to afford one at all. The meal will begin at 11:30 am on Nov. 27 at the Clifton Senior Citizen Center located on City Hall grounds at 900 Clifton Ave. Seating will be limited to the first 150 residents who respond before Nov. 20. To register, call Ann Marie Lancaster at Clifton Deputy Fire Chief Tom Lyons (right) retired on Nov. 2 after serving the 973-470-5802. There will also be two city for 31 years. He now turns over the duty of coordinating the Turkey Day pick up locations at 50 Sade St. (10:15 dinner to fellow firefighters Tony Latona (left) and Deputy Chief George Spies. am) and 714 Clifton Ave. (10:30 am). “It just seems like a lot of people making stuff they don’t like illegal,” he said, explaining that it’s an arbitrary definition. The comment seemed to breathe life into the meeting again, as many residents were bothered by the seemingly simple question. When the meeting began to get out of control again, Elaine Yaccarino, a Montclair Heights representative that had been quiet all night, spoke out. “Are we listening to each other?” she wondered. “Or just voicing our own point of view?” According to Joanne Gursky, the Delawanna representative, some of the chaos stems from the fact that the newer members are still getting used to the way that things are run at ACTION meetings. “I’m not one to always beat the drum at the Council meetings, I usually just sit there and watch and observe,” she explained. “But we certainly don’t want a duplication of what happens at Council meetings. We’re looking for a much more friendly atmosphere in which to do our job.”

The meeting agenda also covered ways that ACTION could get additional publicity, which has proven to be a difficult task in the past. Though there were some new members that came on board in September, many were holdovers from last year’s group, since no one else stepped up to fill their spot. Most members believe that’s a result of residents not knowing anything about the group. However, despite positive ideas on how to get the word out, members couldn’t get on the same page. A proposal to march with a banner in the Harvest Fest parade was floated, but very few would commit. When the idea of handing out flyers at the parade was floated, some members objected to their contact information being made public— despite having it readily available online. Representatives also pondered putting notices on Channel 77 or in local publications. Yet, at the same time, there was some objection to the press even being present at the meeting. Though it was ultimately passed with just a couple of mem-

bers abstaining, several in attendence wondered why the press would even be an issue. “We had a problem of getting recognition—not for praise’s sake—but recognition so people would know who to contact,” said Gursky over the phone. “If you’re on the committee, you need to have your name and number known. I don’t think it’s just Channel 77—we need to try all aspects of publicity.”

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November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Global Economic Crisis Impacts Clifton Tax Sale Story by Jordan Schwartz For most people, the legal notices in the back of the classified section of the newspaper are just small-print gibberish destined for the bottom of the bird cage. But for some savvy and opportunistic investors, they’re a chance to make a great deal of money. The legal notices are often cluttered with meeting announcements and recently passed city ordinances, but occasionally they also contain tax sales. The City of Clifton Tax Sale takes place once a year. At the meeting, Tax Collector Luisa Castillo auctions off property tax liens to investors looking to make a profit off the interest charged to the property owner when he or she pays back the debt. “The city doesn’t want to be in the real estate business,” said Louis Borbas, a Clifton investor who bought 14 liens at the Oct. 7 session. “They don’t care who pays it. All the city wants is its tax money paid on time.” If the property owner fails to repay the debt within two years, then foreclosure proceedings begin and the lender has the opportunity to take the property. “When somebody gains, somebody loses; that’s the sad part about it,” said Borbas, who owns Nash Auto Body on Lexington Ave. “It’s unfortunate but it’s better than putting your money in the bank.” And in these difficult economic times, there are a lot more losers than in the past. Castillo, who has been with Clifton for 21 years, said there are usually only about 50 to 60 liens up for auction at the annual tax sale. This year, there were more than 120.

Oct. 7 Clifton Tax Sale Investor Barna, Norman (NJ) Crusader Lien Services (PA) Coan, Joseph & Borbas, Louis (NJ) Del Vecchio, Robert (NJ) Edison Tax Services (NJ) Havid Development (NJ) Li, Chun (NJ) MMU DBP - Siderman (NJ) US Bank Cust SASS Muni (PA) Mooring Secured Liquidity (VA US Bank Cust - Phoenix (PA) Plymouth Park Tax Services (NJ) Rothman, Robert (NJ) Ruzila, Mary (NJ) Total 70

Total Paid $25,616.57 $93,177.93 $54,847.57 $55,026.94 $69,462.22 $18,815.21 $32,696.96 $141,847.79 $167,371.16 $37,658.05 $102,788.08 $167,637.26 $48,160.54 $371.30 $1,048,577.58

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Clifton Tax Collector Luisa Castillo (standing) auctioning off tax liens at the City of Clifton Tax Sale on Oct. 7 at City Hall. This picture brought the session to a halt after bidders protested the use of a camera during the proceedings.

Instances of homeowners failing to pay their taxes or mortgages on time can be seen throughout the country these days. The Star-Ledger reported last month that nearly 18,000 New Jersey residents either got a default notice in the mail, were warned of a pending auction or had their homes seized by their lenders during the third quarter. That was more than three percent higher than the second quarter and almost double the amount from the same time last year. In just September, the state had 7,658 foreclosure filings, which was up 48 percent from 2007. Passaic County alone had 370 foreclosure properties during that month, which comes out to one in every 463 housing units, according to Foreclosure filings in the Garden State rose 18 percent from August to September, giving New Jersey the eighth-highest foreclosure rate in the nation. There were 20 Clifton properties listed at the Oct. 28 Passaic County Sherrif’s Sale, a weekly auction of seized property. The homes are located all over town from Princeton St. to Luddington Ave. At the Oct. 7 Clifton tax sale, 122 liens were sold for a total of $623,777.58 in taxes and interest. An additional $424,900 was paid to the city in premiums, which the investor gets back if the tax lien is redeemed. “The city is in a win-win situation,” said Borbas. “We gamble.”

The Clifton investor, along with his business partner, Joseph Coan, acquired 14 liens, but 10 of them are for not yet built properties in the second phase of the Town & Country Development on Harcourt Rd. By the time those relatively small liens went up for auction, most of the big investors had left the sale. Those include Crusader Lien Services from Pennsylvania, and Edison Tax Services and Plymouth Park Tax Services, both from New Jersey. There was even a firm from Virginia in attendance called Mooring Secured Liquidity. “It’s become very competitive and it seems like some of those guys [at the center table] are working together,” said Borbas. “A lot of those investors that are out there are professionals. If they had to use their own money like us, they’d be a lot more frugal.” But instead, many of the same people can be seen at municipal tax auctions and sheriff’s sales across the region. And don’t you dare try to take a picture of them. The photograph at left brought the meeting to a standstill after several in attendance complained that pictures were not allowed. Despite granting permission for photography at the start of the auction, Castillo changed her tune after the investors protested. The tax collector later apologized for mishearing the original request.

Clifton investors Louis Borbas (left) and Joseph Coan at the Oct. 7 Clifton tax sale.

But what’s the big deal with taking pictures at an open public meeting? “The loose ruling is you should be able to take photos at a public meeting as long as there is no interruption or distraction of the event,” said New Jersey Press Association Executive Director John J. O’Brien. “That is always open for discussion as to what constitutes ‘interruption or distraction,’ but usually pictures are okay with most officials.” Not in Clifton.

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The Clifton Arts Center presents Keeping It Real, an exhibit of traditional and fine art media from members of the Art Centre of New Jersey. The exhibit runs through Dec. 13. The Clifton Arts Center is located in the historic and restored barn behind city hall and gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 1 to 4 pm. Group tours are available. Admission is $1. When visiting, be sure to explore the Sculpture Park. Go to for more info.

The Clifton Community Band presents a free holiday concert with a selection of seasonal favorites on Dec. 7 at 2 pm in the CHS Auditorium. The all-volunteer group is comprised of many CHS alumni who performed with both the Marching Mustang band and/or the school’s orchestra. New members are always welcomed. For info on becoming a Community Band member or details on the Dec. 7 concert, phone 973-777-1781 or write

Ivan Amaro is in the title role of Don Pasquale. The opera will be performed on Nov. 14 and 16 at Caldwell College, and on Nov. 22 in Clifton.

Opera in Clifton: The Cliftonbased Garden State Opera, headed by city resident Francesco Santelli, Artistic and Music Director, presents Don Pasquale, Donizetti’s opera, on Nov. 22 at 7:30 pm at CCMS. Part of the proceeds benefit the Clifton Public Schools’ Adopt a Music Student program. Additional performances are at Caldwell College on Nov. 14 and 16. All productions are fully staged, with orchestra and supertitles. Tickets are $20. Info: 973-2723255 or The Chopin Singing Society presents its fifth annual Christmas concert at 2:30 pm on Dec. 7 at the Polish-American Cultural Center (Polish Peoples Home) on Monroe St. in Passaic. The chorus is celebrating its 98th anniversary this year and is under the directorship of Alicja Rusewicz Pagorek. Tickets are $22 and include a hot Polish buffet, guest artists and many Christmas favorites. For tickets, call Chair Stanley Kobylarz at 973-478-8268 by Nov. 16. 72

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Come see Jose Lamarque play Louie Kurnitz in the CHS Drama Club production of Lost in Yonkers at the school’s auditorium. The show won the Tony for Best Play in 1991 and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama that same year. The story centers on an American family during WWII. Showtimes are 4 pm on Nov. 13, 7:30 pm on Nov. 14, 3 and 7:30 pm on Nov. 15, and 3 pm on Nov. 16. The play is produced by Dave Arts. For tickets, call 973-470-2312. Lost in Yonkers, staged in Clifton. Cast from left, Kurt Irizarry (Arty), Christina Filewicz (Bella), Dominick Marrone (Eddie) and Michael Purdy (Jay). Front: Sarah Robertson (Gert), Jose Lamarque (Louie) and Victoria Waumans (Grandma Kurnitz).

WWMS Holds Toy Drive: The students in Forrest Elliot’s class at WWMS, 1400 Van Houten Ave., are organizing a toy drive to benefit the children of military service men and women. Residents who would like to donate new toys for the drive can drop them off on school days from 8 am to 3 pm until Nov. 21.

Cliftonite John Vatasin won the 94 kg weight class at the Metropolitan Olympic Weightlifting Championships. He trains with Team New Jersey under the direction of coach Bob Giordano.

Governor Kevin C. Gorman of Clifton Moose Lodge 657 reminds readers the Main Ave. fraternal organization will commemorate nine decades of service on Nov. 15 with a dinner dance at the Bethwood in Totowa. Tickets are still available. Call him at 201-757-5956. St. Brendan’s Grocery Tricky Tray Auction to benefit the school is on Nov. 9 at 1 pm in the auditorium, corner of Crooks and Lakeview Aves. Tickets are $10. Come with groceries, appliances, linens and gift cards. Call 973-772-1149. St. Andrew’s Home & School Association’s 18th Annual Tricky Tray & Dinner is Dec. 3, 6 pm at the Valley Regency. Tickets are $40 and include dinner and two prize sheets. Call Victor Kovacs at 973-641-9637. Clifton resident John Vatasin competed for Team New Jersey at the Metropolitan Olympic Weightlifting Championships held in Queens. Vatasin finished first in the 94 kg weight class with a snatch lift of 115 kg and a personal best clean and jerk of 135 kg. For info on the team, call 973-699-1125.

The Athenia Vets, 147 Huron Ave., host a Christmas Dinner on Dec. 13, from 6 to 10 pm. Their New Years Eve dinner is from 6 to 10 pm as well. Tickets to both events are $35. For info, call 973-778-0931. Cliftonite Janet Mozolewski and her team of 25 women raised $67,500 at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in New York City over Columbus Day weekend. Eleven of those team members were Clifton residents. Along with Mozolewski, were Eva Egger, Lynn Franco, Betsy Klos, Cara Rowe, Bobbie Madrigal, Lisa Lorenzo, Ginny Lataro, Denise Passenti, Cathy Rinzler and Sue Yedwab. The team, Loretta’s Ladies, came in seventh place among the biggest fundraisers. Plans are underway for 2009; anyone wanting to join should call 973-919-9149. The Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Center, 1481 Main Ave., raised $18,000 at its beefsteak on Oct. 3. Funds provide therapy treatments, educational field trips and special programs for the 270 children and adults in the agency. For info, visit November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Dundee island and the PassaicRiver

Kayaking on the Passaic River on July 22, 2004. Paddlers included Tom Hawrylko and sons, Joe and Tom Jr., Nick and Greg Barchuk, future Councilman Joe Cupoli, Andre Olave, Gil Hawkins and Jared Eudell. At right, Dundee Island.

The Passaic River has long been considered one of the nation’s most polluted waterways, but Clifton has just received some money to improve a small portion of it. As part of the $1,628,405 Passaic County Freeholders approved on Oct. 14 for open space projects, Clifton received $25,000 to be used towards upgrading the natural setting at Dundee Island with new paths, benches and signs. The city would like to restore and extend the existing and little used walking path in two separate directions so pedestrians can access areas where it is currently difficult to walk.


November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Clifton would also place interpretive signs along the walking path that will identify native plant species, migratory and resident birds and other aquatic wildlife that can be found on the island and in the river. The city hopes to remove invasive species from the preserve and plant native species of trees, shrubs and herbs. Finally, Clifton intends to buy wooden trash cans, as well as benches for along the walkway and ones that will be arranged in a semi-circle facing the Dundee Dam and the river for outdoor educational events. Dundee Island is a 13-acre parcel of land near Botany Village that is bordered by an ecologically sensitive section of the Passaic River that includes Dundee Dam Falls. Although it became more of a peninsula when the remaining section of the Dundee Canal was filled in for the construction of Rt. 21, the property remains one of the last, large open green spaces in Clifton.

In 2003, the city briefly considered developing it into a sprawling housing development until residents spoke up and the plan was squashed. Meanwhile, Clifton’s EPC, or the Environmental Protective Commission, is sponsoring a presentation by the author of a new book about the Passaic River. Kevin Olsen of the chemistry department at Montclair State University will be discussing his book, A Great Conveniency, on Dec. 3 at the Allwood Library. The book describes the role that riverine and coastal navigation played during the development of North Jersey. Olsen starts in the 1600s with the European exploration of the local waterways, relating how rivers facilitated early settlement and expanded the highway network to the hinterlands. He then carries the history to the present day, describing the efforts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other envi-

Kevin Olsen discusses his book, A Great Conveniency, at the Allwood Library on Dec. 3. Below, is Dundee Island, located off Ackerman Ave. near Botany Village.

ronmental groups, including river clean, landfill capping and development of riverside parks. To attend or for more info on the Dec. 3 event, call EPC member Joseph Labriola at 973-227-8700.

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Spencer Savings Bank hosted a “Financing Your Business” seminar on Oct. 15th at its Piaget Ave. branch. This seminar was presented by representatives of both Spencer Savings Bank and the Passaic County Dept. of Economic Development. Some of the topics discussed were: Understanding Credit Scores, When and Why to Borrow, as well as Cash Flow Requirements. Gloria Martini, Executive Director of the North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce, an unidentified man and Edward Kurbansade, Jr., Branch Manager of Spencer Savings at the bank’s “Financing Your Business” seminar on Oct. 15.

Students attending class outside in Columbus Corner at CCMS.


November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Donations by Athenia Mason Supply, the Terre Company and Central Supply have helped to make Columbus Corner—an outdoor learning environment at Christopher Columbus Middle School—a reality. Coordinated by Theresa Evans, the Clifton Middle Schools Literacy Coach, the area is being used as an outdoor classroom, and at lunch as a reward for students of good character, those who achieve honor roll status or are recognized by their teachers for their academic efforts. For more info, call Evans at 973-470-2360.

Officers and directors of the North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce will be elected at the Annual Meeting on Nov. 20, 4:30 pm at the Bel’Vedere Restaurant. Open to all members whose annual dues are current, the meeting begins with a report of the Nominating Committee, followed by a vote on the candidates listed here. The following are nominated for one-year terms on the Executive Committee, starting Jan. 1. Leonard Carlucci, Board Chair Edward Kurbansade, Vice Chair Howard Bersch,Vice Chair, Programs & Special Events Dorothy Woods, Vice Chair, Government Affairs James Palmer, Vice Chair, Membership / Communications Albert Traverso, Vice Chair, Treasurer The following are nominated for three-year terms on the Board of Directors, starting Jan. 1. David Block, Block & DeCorso Joe Burak, Cupo Realty Co. Raphael Cuellar, Shop Rite of Passaic/Clifton Patrick DeDeo, William Paterson University Barbara Donadio, WaMu Lourdes Garcia, No. Jersey Federal Credit Union Mitch Gurland, Mass Mutual Deborah Hoffman, Passaic Co. Dept. of Econ. Dev. Robert M. Jaffe, CFS Investment Services Dr. David Moore, On Track Chiropractic Headquartered on Route 46 in Clifton, the Chamber is a nonprofit organization which provides services for members. For info, call 973470-9300.

Cliftonite Joshua Reece, a senior at Passaic County Technical Institute, (at right) is one in a select group of high school students from across the country who were chosen to take part in a unique leadership development conference in Washington D.C. During the six-day program, the National Young Leaders Conference will provide scholars with the opportunity to interact with a variety of personnel who operate within the three branches of government, the news media and the international community. Reece attended School 12 and CCMS.

Some of those who attended a breast cancer awareness event at the Clifton Post Office on Oct. 22. From left, postal employee Mary Adametz, survivor Jeanette Santana, postal employee Maria Sharpe, St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center Outreach Coordinator Jackie Webb and postal employee Patti Thompson. Yearly mammograms for women 40 and older are the best chance to identify breast cancer early. For info, visit the American Cancer Society’s website at

Giblin Association Awards Breakfast Clifton Merchant Magazine editor and publisher Tom Hawrylko is among this year’s recipients of the Community Service Awards sponsored by the Giblin Association. Hawrylko is being honored for his work in media. Other winners include Hon. Frank J. Sapienza (public safety), Jacqui Greadington (labor), Evelyn Laccitielllo (government), Dan DeTrolio (business) and Houston Stevens (youth). These individuals will be recognized at a charity breakfast at 9:30 am on Dec. 7 at Mayfair Farms, 481 Eagle Rock Ave., West Orange. Tickets are $40. The Association has chosen five organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton, to each receive a $500 donation from the breakfast proceeds. For details or tickets, call 973-227-7937. November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Congratulations to Veterans Parade Grand Marshal George Hayek

Salute Our Vets • Sunday Nov. 9, 2 pm

Clifton Veterans Parade Once again we are proud to help spread the word and remind residents to stand along Main Avenue on Nov. 9 near Main Memorial Park to Salute our Veterans. East Ridgelawn Cemetery also invites you to visit our Mausoleum on Main Avenue to pause, reflect and remember the lives of those who have passed. Visits are unlimited and unaffected by the weather. Crypts are located in the building and convenient for elderly and handicapped. Mausoleum entombment provides greater Peace of Mind & Security.

East Ridgelawn Cemetery 255 Main Avenue, Clifton, NJ 07014 for more information with no obligation call:


• niches • mausoleum • garden graves • non-sectarian • monumental graves • no obligation pre-need counseling • financing available one-year at no interest on easy monthly plans 78

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Clifton Veterans Parade

Clifton’s vets, then & now. From left, Rosario La Corte, George Hayek, Frank Smith, Joseph Coco, Pauline Trella and Richard Lekston.

WWII vet George Hayek will be the Grand Marshal for the Clifton Veterans Parade on Nov. 9. The family of Cpl. Steven Koch, a Milltown resident and member of the 82nd Airborne who was killed in Afghanistan on March 3, will also be on hand. Anyone who served in the military is invited to march in the parade. All vets should wear their

uniforms and medals. The parade route will be along Main Ave; step-off is at 2 pm from Sylvan, along Main and ending at the War Monument in Main Memorial Park. The CHS Band will lead the way, followed by a parade of march still growing. To get involved, call John Biegel at 973-471-8828 or Keith Oakley at 201-774-6666.

Sunday, November 9 — Step off is at 2 pm Watch the Parade along Main Ave., from Sylvan to Main Memorial Park As we go to press, this is the parade lineup for Nov. 9.

Escort Division Main & Sylvan Clifton Police Clifton Fire CHS Mustang Band Grand Marshal George Hayek Cpl Koch Truck 82nd Airborne 10th Spec Forces 5th NJ Co C Civil War Military Transport Trucks Passaic County Sheriffs Dept.

Division I Main & Hadley Kearny Caledonian Pipe Band 305th Air Force Color Guard Post 8 Post 347 MOPH

DAV #2 Float Athenia Vets

Division II Hadley & First Fusion Core Drum & Bugle VFW 7165 VFW 6487 VFW 493 Float

Division III Hadley & Main Near Getty Denville String Band Lakeview Residents Clifton Elks Clifton Moose K of C Clifton and West Paterson St. Andrews Church CROC CASA

Division IV Main & Clinton Passaic County Tech Band Clifton ROTC Eastside ROTC Passaic County Tech ROTC

Division V Main & Grace Skyliners Drum & Bugle Corps Brownies Girl Scouts Cub Scouts Boy Scouts Salaam Temple Motor Cars

Division VI Main & DeMott Cabalerros Drum & Bugle Corp Fire Engines November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Soldier, Principal & Volunteer Former CCMS administrator Emil Orey has done it all Story by Joe Hawrylko With a quaint smile on his face, Emil Orey starts to head over to the stairs that lead to his basement. Father Time hasn’t exactly been kind to Orey. Age has caught up with him, turning the short, 15 foot walk into a long and arduous journey. However, the prideful smile that Orey wears on his face makes you forget—even if just for a moment— how labored that short trek must have been. “We redid this basement in 1972,” said Orey, 85. “I did it with my two boys (Warren and Brad) over the weekends. I also built the porch out back, too. I like to work with wood.” The walls—just like the small, tidy bar to the right of the stairs—were all constructed by his hands nearly 30 years ago. While pointing out some of the more prestigious awards that are mounted on the walls, Orey lets out a subtle laugh and turned. “I’ve had a good life,” he said. He’s also lived through some of the most turbulent times in our nation’s history. Like so many others from his generation, Orey went off to fight the Axis Powers during World War II. “I was enlisted.... I was drafted, okay?” laughed Orey, who, at the time, was studying to become a dietician at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. “I had a couple months to go and was going to enlist, but they got me before.” The Cliftonite was drafted in the spring of 1943, and was eventually deployed in early 1945. Orey was headed for the European Theater, where he would serve under the legendary General George S. Patton.


November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Margaret and Emil Orey. The inset is Emil during WWII.

“Blood and guts Patton... there’s a lot of controversy about him, but he wanted to win, period,” he recalled. “The Germans were scared to hell by him.” Orey was assigned to the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving in the 318th regiment of the 80th Infantry Division. Arriving well after the Germans had started to retreat, Orey took part in some of the less glamorous parts of the war, fighting in many small, random skirmishes that were bloody and often went undocumented.

The family at Brad Orey’s wedding on Nov. 14, 1981. From left, Warren with wife Linda, Emil, Brad and his bride Denise, Margaret, and Donna Orey Bosha with her husband Bob. All three siblings wed in 1981 within five months of each other.

When the Nazis capitulated in late spring of 1945, Orey was sent to Austria to train for the proposed invasion of Japan. However, the war ended and he spent the waning days of WWII running a post exchange before returning home to Clifton in April 1946. When he returned home, Orey decided his life needed a change of direction. He abandoned his plans to become a dietician and enrolled in Montclair Teacher’s College (now Montclair State University). “I’ll be very honest with you,” said Orey, who met his wife, Margaret, later that year at a Christmas party. “It was the G.I. bill

that gave me the opportunity to go to school. The last thing my mother and father ever had was money.” He attended school diligently, putting off marriage until the summer of 1950, since he could not afford it at the time. That autumn, Orey began his teaching career at School 12, which he attended as a young boy growing up in Botany Village. “That was Clifton Center, near Main and Clifton Aves.,” he explained, noting that it was really the only populated region at the time. “That’s where Schools 12, 10 and now 17 are.” The following fall, Orey completed his master’s degree at

Montclair and was reassigned to School 13 to teach sixth grade, then to School 4 the following year. In 1957, Orey became principal for the first time, overseeing School 1. The following year, he was also named principal of School 4. “School 4 was special services,” he explained. “It was children who were emotionally disturbed, retarded or hard of hearing.” Orey worked both jobs simultaneously until 1964, when he was relieved of his post at School 1 and became the assistant superintendent of the district, in addition to being the principal of School 4.

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


“I had classes in School 12 and 13,” said Orey, while relaxing on his porch. “I had to supervise all the classes in those schools, plus run School, but I had good teachers.” Seeing Orey as a principal was a familiar sight to many. After leaving School 4 in 1969, he was assigned to CCMS. Orey left the middle school in 1976 to become principal of School 2 before retiring on Dec. 31, 1984. But while many will remember Orey for his contributions as a educator, he’s also got quite a resume as a philanthropist, which he is extremely proud of. Perhaps most defining is his involvement with the Boy Scouts, which started in 1969, when his oldest son, Brad, joined the local Cub Scout troop. “My wife became a den mother and she got me involved,” laughed Orey, reflecting on times gone by in the basement he forged with his own hands. “Even after the boys got out of scouts, I stayed with it.” That meant joining Servis Plus, an adult scouting organization that helps out the younger troops. An award made of bark, mounted on the wall in his basement, honors Orey’s time in the organization. “I was never a Scout as a boy,” he said. “But I had always wanted to be one.” However, he still managed to be recognized by the Scouts, receiving

their highest honor, the Silver Beaver, for his lifetime achievements on Jan. 22, 1982. That, too, is on the wall that depicts Orey’s long life.

World War II Staff Sgt. Len Lebenson will be discussing and signing his book, Surrounded by Heroes, on Nov. 7 at American Legion Post 347 on Main Ave. from 10:30 am to 1 pm. The public is invited to attend. Lebenson, a New York City resident, flew six campaigns with the 82nd Airborne between 1942 and 1945. For more info, call Frank Smith of the 82nd Airborne Division Association at 973-340-1363.

“I was the first president of CASA (Clifton Against Substance Abuse) too,” said Orey, pointing the plaque that commemorates the years of service. “I was one of the organizers in 1985.” However, despite the fact that his basement is lined, wall to wall, with awards, Orey hasn’t been as involved in his community as he’d like to be in the past few years. While he still occasionally keeps busy with the scouts, these days, he spends most of his time with his wife, traveling when they can find the time. “We like to travel,” said Orey. “We’re going on a cruise to the Caribbean, and then to Arizona next month.” Even still, he can look back on his life and smile proudly. “I have no regrets,” said Orey. “I’ve met a lot of fine people and a lot of fine kids.” And even at this age, he’s still got a sense of humor, even if it is slightly morbid. The 85 year old has his obituary written out already, neatly documenting his long and interesting life. It’s something he can’t help but laugh about when he tells someone. Even his wife finds it funny, but at the same time, practical. “Who else would be able to say where he was?” Margaret explained. “Not I.”

Clifton Memorial Post 347 American Legion Commander Lou Poles • Vice Commander Mike Gimon

The Four Pillars of Our Service • A Strong National Security • Taking Care of Veterans • Mentoring Youth • Promoting Patriotism & Honor 82

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant



Clifton Merchant Magazine

Letters to the

1288 Main Ave. Clifton 07011


Put a Park at the Lake Ave. American Legion Post: I grew up over in Botany Village off Lexington Ave. on Portland Ave., where School 17 now sits. When I grew up, that property, Little Weasel Brook, used to be the only park in that neighborhood. I live in Richfield Village now and we have Jubilee Park in the middle of the neighborhood, but there are no parks in Botany. People used to really enjoy that park. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a little playground there? Throughout the city, every time there’s an empty lot, it gets a new building. There’s no concern for open space or grassy areas. Just put a park there for the kids. Kim Offler Clifton

Peter Pagnillo, second from right, was just 24 when he died aboard the USS Juneau in 1942. He married his wife, Josephine Pasetto, the year before. Here they are on their wedding day with Josephine’s parents.

picture of them with my grandparents on their wedding day (at right). Also, the September issue was also very good. Others and I found the cover

story about the old American Legion Post on Lake Ave. most interesting. Valerie De Vries Clifton

Have Clifton Merchant Mailed.








The October edition was very uplifting and interesting thanks to the many stories about Clifton’s diversity and a story in which one of my relatives was mentioned. My Auntie Josie’s first husband, Peter Pagnillo, went down with the USS Juneau when it sunk in the Pacific during WWII. I was able to find a


Name: __________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________________________________________________ City: ____________________________________________State: _________________________________________ Zip:______________________Phone:_____________________________________________ Email:________________________________________________________________________ PLEASE MAKE CHECKS TO TOMAHAWK PROMOTIONS, 1288 MAIN AVE., CLIFTON, NJ 07011 84

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant



Halloween Parade HarvestFest



November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


& HarvestFest

Halloween Parade

Call us about installing a separate water meter for your sprinkler to save you money on Clifton’s new sewage tax.


November 2008 • Clifton Merchant



Open 9am to 3pm Sept. - June

Where learning begins & the fun never ends


Classes for 21/2 , 3 & 4 year olds

Fall Registration Now in Progress! 94 Chelsea Road • 973-779-4844 November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Downtown Clifton Economic Development Group announces...

Santa arrives in Downtown Clifton sponsored by

PNC Bank

Traditional Tree Lighting, Dec. 5, 7 pm corner of Clifton Avenue & First Street Free Refreshments! Bring your Kids & the Camera...

Come Meet Santa! Saturday Dec 6, 11 am to 2 pm at the Clifton Rec Center, 1232 Main Avenue Enter to win a Boys or Girls Bike

Info: 973-253-1455 or


November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

& HarvestFest

Halloween Parade

Using quality Benjamin Moore paints

Sarge Painting

C.Genardi Contracting Inc • Clifton




Robert Sandri 973-773-0280

• Gutter Cleaning • Exterior/Interior • Powerwashing • Spackling • Decks Cleaned/Sealed • Fully Insured • NJ Licensed November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Apple Pie Contest Winners


November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

35 Years of Childcare Service


New Bairn

Small Classes State Certified


199 Scoles Ave • Clifton


We are located in the building on the left at end of the cul-de-sac The Best in Private Education Offers Programs for…INFANTS through FULL-DAY K’GARTEN 7AM-6PM November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


& HarvestFest

Halloween Parade

TENAFLY ENAFLY PEDIATRICS EDIATRICS 1135 Broad St., Suite 208 • Clifton • 973-471-8600 Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm Wednesday 8:30 am – 8:30 pm (for check-ups, too!) Sunday 9 am – 12 noon •

Dr. Maury Buchalter

Dr. Aviva Schein

Dr. Robert Jawetz

Dr. David Wisotsky

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

Fort Lee 301 Bridge Plaza N. 201-592-8787

Paramus 26 Park Place 201-262-1140



November 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Oakland 3 Post Road 201-651-0404




November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Birthdays & Celebrations! send us dates & names...

Jazzlyn Caba. . . . . . . . . . .11/1 Robyn Jo Paci. . . . . . . . . 11/2 Thomas Scancarella. . . . .11/2 Kelly Tierney. . . . . . . . . . . .11/3 Lance Dearing. . . . . . . . . 11/4 Andrew Seitz. . . . . . . . . . .11/4 Happy First Birthday to Victoria Krzysztofczyk 11/5 Tanya Ressetar. . . . . . . . . 11/5 Nicole Lorraine Bonin. . . .11/6 Danielle Osellame. . . . . . .11/6 Kristen Soltis. . . . . . . . . . . .11/6 James Ball. . . . . . . . . . . . .11/7 Kevin Lord. . . . . . . . . . . . 11/7 Francine Anderson. . . . . .11/8 Ray Konopinski. . . . . . . . 11/8 Marie Sanzo. . . . . . . . . . . 11/8 Donna Camp. . . . . . . . . . 11/9 Thelma Schwartz celebrates her 80th birthday on Nov. 18.

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

FREE With This Coupon Coupons May Not Be Combined.

Happy 22nd Birthday Walaa Abdelazim on Nov. 4 from your father Abdul “Joseph” Elgamel


2 00 OFF

Any Size Ice Cream Cakes Coupons May Not Be Combined.

Five Decades of Marriage! Arlene & John Bross mark their 50th Anniversary on Nov. 29, with their kids Lauren Hanzl, Lynn Ives, Lee Ann Doremus and 7 grandchildren. Katerina Dimitratos. . . . .11/22 Eileen Fierro. . . . . . . . . . .11/25 Crystal Lanham. . . . . . . 11/25 Rachel Prehodka-Spindel 11/25 Kristen Bridda. . . . . . . . . 11/26 Jessi Cholewczynski. . . . 11/26 Bethany Havriliak. . . . . . 11/26 Kelly Moran . . . . . . . . . . .11/27 Sami Suaifan. . . . . . . . . .11/28 Christopher Seitz. . . . . . . 11/29 Kaitlyn Graham. . . . . . . .11/30 Barbara Luzniak. . . . . . . 11/30

Gelotti Home Made Ice Cream


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


November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Dr. Peter A. Liloia & Claudia Arango were engaged on Aug 29.

Brandy Stiles. . . . . . . . . . 11/10 Tom Szieber. . . . . . . . . . .11/10 Joseph Franek III. . . . . . .11/11 Laura Gasior. . . . . . . . . .11/12 Geraldine Ball. . . . . . . . .11/13 Patricia Franek. . . . . . . . .11/13 Robert Paci. . . . . . . . . . .11/13 Gregory Chase. . . . . . . . 11/15 Matthew Phillips. . . . . . .11/16 Anthony Wrobel. . . . . . .11/16 Marilyn Velez. . . . . . . . . 11/18 Nancy Hawrylko. . . . . . 11/19 Joseph Tyler. . . . . . . . . . .11/19 Joseph Guerra. . . . . . . .11/20 Jon Whiting. . . . . . . . . . .11/21 Andreas Dimitratos. . . . .11/22

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

turns 8 Nov. 7. Jerry and Pat Franek were married 33 years on Nov. 3. Jim & Ann Schamble married 57 years on Nov. 8. Bob & Catherine Popek’s anniversary is Nov. 9. Marion & John Grace’s 61st anniversary is 11/22. Ed Schamble (Oct. 11) gets a belated b-day from Chickie Curtiss who also remembers Dillon Curtiss (Nov. 26). We had 12 wonderful loyal years together. God Bless You Boy!

We Don’t Sell Parts… …We Sell Service Machine Shop On Location No Order Too Large Or Small FREE DELIVERY

Two Stores In Clifton 973-473-1997


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

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

Our Other Locations: 201.843.8040


136 Essex St • Rochelle Park Open Sundays

101 Route 46 West • Saddle Brook Open Sundays



5 Hawthorne Ave • Park Ridge New Location

614 Pompton Ave • Cedar Grove New Location

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

973.338.9292 1278 Broad St • Bloomfield New Location

Still Yippy, Skippy in Love! Joe & Susan Angello celebrate their 9th anniversary Nov. 14. And Joey turned 49 on Nov. 6!

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

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


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


The John Samra Memorial 5K Run/Walk on Oct. 26 raised money for a scholarship in memory of Clifton Police Officer Samra, killed in the line of duty on Nov 21, 2003. His family (at left) and friends were there to participate. Proceeds help the Clifton PBA provide a $1,000 gift to a CHS senior and one graduating CPD family member. For more photos go to

Remember Johnny Samra

Thanksgiving Buffet Join Us! Turkey & all Trimmings!

CENTURY BUFFET 166 Main Ave • Clifton Bar & Grill

Dinner Buffet Fri-Sun, No Extra Charge

Steamed Lobster or Steamed Stone Crab &

Century Sushi



We Deliver • Order Online...

973-471-8018 • 973-471-8665 98

November 2008 • Clifton Merchant


$ Save $5 on tab of $45 or more before tax. Cash only. Limited time only. Cannot be combined w/any other offer. Not good on any holiday.

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Tomahawk Promotions 1288 Main Avenue Clifton, NJ 07011




1624 Main Ave. Clifton, NJ 07011

Office: 973-340-1202


Profile for Clifton Merchant Magazine

Clifton Merchant Magazine - November 2008  

Clifton Merchant Magazine - November 2008