Clifton Merchant Magazine - October 2004

Page 1

Clifton Merchant Magazine • Volume 10 • Issue 10 • october 1, 2004

See what your neighbors have to say about Clifton Tomorrow.

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The Results Are In!




Blemishes and All, Clifton is Fine . . . . . . . . .10

From stinging comments about the Allwood Roundabout and government in general to great grades for Clifton Cops, Firemen and DPW workers, the results of our Second Annual Clifton Tomorrow Survey may inspire more discussion. See pages 6-43.

Are the Parking Laws Discriminatory? . . . . . .17 The Never Resolving School Saga

. . . . . . . . .44

She Meets Her Pen Pal, 60 Years Later

. . . . .56

Eagle Scouts Nurture Morris Canal Park . . . . .58 A Fall Fest of Talent on October 24 . . . . . . . .61 CHS Hall of Famers, and the Sagabits . . . . . . .68 Can Clifton be the Nation’s Best? . . . . . . . . . .71 Mustang Fall Sports Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74


Business Openings, Happenings . . . . . . . . . . .78 They Say It’s Your Birthday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81 Remember the Class of 1979? . . . . . . . . . . . . .82

October means it’s time for Clifton’s favorite family event, the annual Halloween Parade and HarvestFest.

It’s Going Nowhere, Slowly. Pretend for a moment that you are a member of the Board of Education for the Anytown School District. Your Board has been charged with the responsibility of selecting a site for a new school. Anytown’s student population is burgeoning and a new school for 1700 eighth and ninth graders is needed badly.... Fran Hopkins’ story continues on page 44

Clifton Merchant Magazine is published monthly at 1288 Main Ave., Downtown Clifton • 973-253-4400

I love good conversation. And the best part of my job as editor and publisher is that I get to talk to a lot of people every day. Residents walk into our Downtown Clifton office to offer news and information. And in my travels around the city, I’m often pulled into discussions in which people suggest story ideas, share their opinions and sometimes just vent. Because of my connection with the community, I am privileged to have a pretty good pulse of what Cliftonites think. But our job at Clifton Merchant Magazine is to report the news, trends and realities of our hometown. It is also our responsibility to confirm facts and not just make assumptions. That is why we continue to conduct our Clifton Tomorrow survey. If you talk to anyone in town, you probably didn’t need a reader’s poll to tell you that the biggest issues facing our community are building schools and overdevelopment. The results of this year’s survey confirm that – and then some. Generally speaking, respondents are dissatisfied, and are giving negative grades in terms of leadership and long term planning. I know the majority of elected and appointed officials are not going to be happy with the results. I’m not happy with them either. In addition to being home to my business, my heart is in Clifton. I’ve lived here for 25 years. It’s where my wife Cheryl and I have chosen to raise our family. So how can these negative results be turned into something positive? I have a few suggestions. To the City Council’s credit, it has begun to deal with one of those topics. In August, they hired a full time planner, an individual whose job it is to fine tune a Master Plan, an issue raised by many respondents. But much more needs to be done. Here is a good place to start. Take a cue from Congressman Bill Pascrell. He doesn’t wait for people to come to him. He has community meetings with his constituents, sleeves rolled up ready to really talk issues. Why doesn’t the City Council come out to our neighborhoods and conduct a series of meetings? 16,000 MAGAZINES are distributed to hundreds of Clifton Merchants the first Friday of Every Month. SUBSCRIPTIONS AVAILABLE $15/year in Clifton $25/year out of town CALL 973-253-4400 entire contents copyright 2004 © tomahawk promotions


October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Opinion by Editor & Publisher Tom Hawrylko

Consequences of Inaction: Further delays in making a Clifton school site decision may hurt not only our students but taxpayers too. In early 2006, the Star Ledger reports, the $6 billion in state funds for school construction are expected to run out. These funds have offset suburban school project costs by up to 40 percent and provided 100 percent funding in urban districts. Hundreds of districts have applied for and received funding to offset public school building programs. Most recently Clifton took advantage of these funds with the construction of School 17. But the funding source is running dry. School districts are receiving the funds upon receipt of the application. Clifton property owners will pay the price – literally – if the Board of Education doesn’t act soon. If Clifton is really going to plan for tomorrow, isn’t community input the most important part of it? The Council should schedule meetings in every neighborhood. As a group, the Council has to get off the podium at city hall and into the streets. People have a lot to say. But this is not a one way street. It’s time for you— readers and residents—to get fired up. Commiserating with you neighbors will not get the job done. We are too often passive, anonymous complainers. As an example, for all the complaining I hear about overcrowded schools and classrooms, parent voter participation is dismal. Register to vote, get involved. Don’t have time to attend meetings? Call your elected officials, write them or send a letter to the editor. Make your voice heard. It’s time for Cliftonites to have a say in the future of this city and the only way that will happen is for you to vote and speak up. Don’t give up on Clifton or the democratic process. Get involved in your city’s future.

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Cop as crossing guard—at $60 per hour—there is a better way.

With the revenue they can generate, these employees will essentially pay their own salaries. They can write parking tickets for vehicles parked on roads about to be cleaned. They can go into municipal lots and to shopping districts, enforce parking rules and ticket cars that remain beyond the posted hours. The goal is to free up Clifton Cops to do real police work. Isn’t this a proposal worth reviewing?

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Evolve The Job: We’ve all seen Clifton Police Officers filling in for School Traffic Guards—and for the first day of school, Sept. 2, there were five veteran police officers crossing kids. How could that happen—and continue to occur—week after week? Was it a surprise that school was beginning and the city, which provides and manages the guards, did not hire enough of them? It is estimated that a cop and a car crossing kids costs about $60 per hour. Because of safety issues, it also takes the officer out of service, as they must stay at the assigned intersection and are unable to respond to police calls. And it happens all too often, as cops continue to fill in for crossing guards day after day. Throughout the city we have many committed School Traffic Guards who have served the community for many years. However, due to choppy, intrusive scheduling (they work 7:30 to 9 am and 2:30 to 4 pm), minimal hours (a total of 15 hours per week at about $10 per hour) and no benefits, it has become hard to retain and hire for this position. So what is the solution? A few months ago, we suggested that the job description be changed. Why not hire a few of these people full time and when they are not crossing kids, put them to work in a small official vehicle and have them working as meter maids and ‘quality of life enforcement officers’? They can issue warnings on neglected properties and report recycling violations.

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Clifton Tommorrow By Cheryl Hawrylko

We published our second annual Clifton Tomorrow survey in the September edition of Clifton Merchant Magazine — 26 questions pertaining to the city’s current and future state of affairs. constituents. This opinion is also reflected in the pere’re the first to admit it was a tough survey to formance grades issued to elected and appointed officomplete. Many questions call for detailed cials (pages 14 and 18). answers. While time consuming, however, by Having had the opportunity to read each survey and the Sept. 15 deadline over 130 readers took advantage comment, I offer my own observations: of the opportunity to share their thoughts. Respondents Some of the published results were expected. I agree were well-informed and their opinions insightful. that the construction of high density housing has had a Thank you all for taking the time to answer these quesdomino effect leading to problems of crowding and tions. It was our task to read, organize, analyze and traffic. School overcrowding and the need for a new present these responses in a way that makes sense, school? Another no brainer. which I believe we’ve accomplished. What did your But other results, if not surprising, I neighbors have to say? Clifton’s Top found quite interesting. For example, Although readers continue to hold last year voters were offered the Clifton near and dear; the majority of 10 Strengths opportunity to approve a Trust Fund responses indicate an overall dissatis1. Location for Open Space. This did not pass. faction with the direction the city is 2. Good neighbors And yet, the majority of responheaded. They also reflect a desire for 3. Public Safety Officers dents to this year’s survey want to keep change as can be seen in the results to 4. Diversity of people/cultures Dundee Island and the Athenia Steel questions 7 through 13, all of which 5. Variety of shopping property green. A sudden change in pertain to the 2006 municipal elec6. Recycling program opinion, or voter apathy at work? tion and forms of government. 7. Tax rate Are our survey results relevant? Respondents list overcrowding in 8. Cleanliness Useful? I guess that depends on who Clifton’s school system as the biggest 9. Marching Mustangs you are. I have a hunch there will be concern. It is also listed as the city’s 10. DPW some who dismiss the responses as greatest weakness, and the most press‘only 130 opinions’ out of a city of ing issue currently facing Clifton. Clifton’s Top 80,000 residents. ‘No more housing – of any kind!’ 10 Weaknesses We prefer to liken the survey to peris echoed throughout readers’ com1. Overcrowded schools sonal interviews with 130 concerned ments. Respondents rank overdevel2. Overdevelopment Clifton citizens and voters. opment second place in important 3. Traffic Does it make you stop and think? issues. It is felt to be a major con4. Too crowded Provoke some opinions of your own? tributing factor to the school over5. Poor planning Motivate you to ask questions, get crowding, traffic woes, and city-wide 6. Elected officials involved, or attend a meeting or two? population density. 7. Poor leadership Better yet, inspire you to vote in the Blame for the overdevelopment is 8. Increasing taxes next election? If so, then I believe this put on the people running the city, 9. City Council survey is relevant indeed. with readers citing poor planning, 10. Board of Education Let us know what you think. ineffectiveness and not listening to



October 2004 • Clifton Merchant


The city’s diverse mix of people and cultures is part of what makes Clifton special to 16% of our readers. Shopping is also important and 13% say the variety of retail stores is a definite asset. Residents understand the importance of recycling and appreciate the success of Clifton’s recycling program. Other strengths listed include the relatively low property taxes, the overall cleanliness of the city, the Marching Mustang Band, the DPW and access to public transportation. The top three responses follow:

54% Location, Location, Location. With easy access to the Parkway, Routes 80, 3, 46, 19 and 21 and the nearby NJ Turnpike, getting to and from Clifton is definitely convenient. Respondents also list the close proximity to NYC as a big plus. Whether commuting to work, hitting the malls or enjoying a night on Broadway, Clifton’s location is considered advantageous. 35%

Police, Fire and Ambulance Services. For the second year in a row, Clifton’s public safety officers are listed among the city’s top assets. Readers appreciate their service, admire their dedication, and give their job performance a big thumbs up (see page 18 for all performance grades.)

Readers selected Clifton Firefighters like Tim Flynn, left, and Marc Mezzina, as one of the city’s top strengths.

21% Good Neighbors are an asset to any community and they are plentiful in Clifton. Our readers feel that the city’s residents are friendly, concerned and involved in their city. People take pride in their homes and are active in schools and civic associations. Many are volunteers in a variety of organizations dedicated to helping those that live here.

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Weaknesses: Respondents had no difficulty writing about the issues they were dissatisfied with. Among the top ten responses, 27% agree that Clifton is just too crowded. Poor planning follows right behind with several residents pointing to Cambridge Crossing and Athenia Steel as examples of this weakness. Others feel that Clifton’s problems are due to the people in charge, and include elected and appointed officials along with poor leadership as weaknesses. Increasing taxes, illegal housing and residents not taking the time to vote were also identified as weaknesses. The top three responses are outlined below.


Overcrowded School System. Readers feel strongly about the overcrowding issue. Several suggest a visit to the high school to experience first hand what our children and the teaching staff deal with every day. There is serious concern about the difficulty of teaching large classes. Several question the safety of having so many students in one building, particularly at the high school and middle schools. While illegal housing and illegal students are mentioned as contributing factors, poor planning and overdevelopment are the most often cited causes of the school overcrowding. Respondents expressed frustration that a site for the new school has not yet been selected. “We need to stop the debating and just build another school,” wrote Samantha Petritis.

51% Overdevelopment. Under this category, the most often listed comment was “no more housing – of any kind!” Respondents have had enough of condominium, townhouse and housing construction in general. They also comment on an overabundance of mega stores and strip malls being proposed. One reader wrote “There is a lack of foresight and planning by our elected officials. They have not listened to the citizens of Clifton regarding issues of overdevelopment and

The Feb. 2003 edition featured 100 residents protesting construction of 17 townhomes on this Grove St. property. The edition also called for a moratorium on residential construction. Our petition collected 1,400 signatures.

school construction.” Many said they feel that the overdevelopment of the city has lead to the two other top weaknesses – overcrowded schools and traffic.


Traffic, gridlock, bottlenecks, congestion – whatever you call it – readers agree that Clifton is jammed with cars. It too is blamed on poor planning and overdevelopment. Traffic is also cited by many as a reason for not wanting additional senior housing, a post office on Van Houten Ave., or a school or housing on the Athenia Steel property. “My 8 to 9 minute commute to work has become a good 15 to 20 minutes,” wrote Lois Wienbrock. Another reader responded “Paulison, Clifton and Colfax Aves. are unapproachable during school opening and closing hours and rush hour.”

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Remaining By Joe Torelli With a five year-old daughter who started kindergarten at School 14 on St. Andrew’s Blvd. just last month, and her three-year old sister waiting in the wings, Robert and Robin Shannon are understandably concerned about Clifton’s public schools. Ironically, it was the city’s school system, along with its quiet neighborhoods, affordable housing, and easy access to highways and transportation that drew them to Clifton’s Oak Ridge section nearly ten years ago. Yet, despite the current controversies related to school overcrowding and escalating property taxes, the Shannons remain convinced that they made the right choice when they settled here. “What school district in northern New Jersey isn’t overcrowded?” asked Rob, a public school teacher in South Orange. Robin, a teacher in Hasbrouck Heights, added, “And where, in this area, are property taxes not considered too high?” Pointing to Clifton’s continued above-average performance on standardized tests, along with the city’s outstanding public services, the

Robert and Robin Shannon with their children Sydney and Sarah.

Shannons feel they’re getting real value for their tax dollars. “There are very few places that offer as much as Clifton does,” said Rob. One of the things the couple likes best about the city is its diversity. “It’s important in developing life skills that our daughters be exposed to people from different cultures,” Rob said. “They get that

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exposure here. Kids who don’t have the same opportunity are really at a disadvantage today.” While the Shannons didn’t hesitate to point to Clifton’s strengths, they were also keenly aware of its problems. The explosion in housing development and its impact on the school system is a major concern for them. They said that a long-term approach to planning is absolutely vital to solving problems for both the city and its school system. “Continuing with Band-Aid approaches won’t work,” said Rob, adding that, “Future decisions have to be made with the entire city in mind.” Regardless of how the school issues are resolved, Rob and Robin Shannon are firm in their belief that successful students are nurtured at home. “Schools are what you make them,” Rob said. “We’ve both found through experience that if a family has a solid value system with an emphasis on education, their children will succeed, no matter what schools they attend.”




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Are you satisfied in the direction the city is going?


An overwhelming majority of respondents are not satisfied with the direction the city is going in (7% selected ‘not completely’). The consensus: Lack of planning and overdevelopment have lead to a decline in the quality of life and resulted in the overcrowding of our neighborhoods, schools and roads. Once again, several point to the former Shulton property, now Cambridge Crossings, as the epitome of overdevelopment. One reader describes it as ‘absolutely ridiculous!’

Overall, yes. The city has done a commendable effort to attract new businesses and retail establishments to otherwise blighted former industrial/manufacturing locations. -Harvey Chaitoff No, a thousand times no!! We are here as a cash cow for any developer who can find open space...and our council and boards have never met a builder they could say no to. The population density is appalling and the ugliness of strip malls and mega-stores cannot be denied. I am so disgusted with what I see happening. -Rosemarie Harvey

Yes. Clifton is a great city – safe, good political leaders, great progress, new buildings, nice parks, streets. -anonymous

No. Too much growth too quickly has lead to major congestion, increased crime and school overcrowding.

No. Perhaps the biggest part is the building and no long term plans. I think things got out of hand when the Zoning Board or whoever approved the conversion of the former Shulton property to become Cambridge Crossings. If that would have been a school and a community center, we would not be in the pickle we are right now. -Charlotte Gorun No. The town has no concept or plans as to where it will be in the next five to ten years. We have followed the same build and expand plan with no idea as to what is the correct balance of retail/industry/housing. -anonymous

No. I really like Clifton but fear the overdevelopment is too much. I live in the Allwood section and, needless to say, it’s being overdeveloped with condos and stores! -Lorraine Zasadinski 1176

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Over Development

By Joe Torelli

Rosemarie Harvey isn’t sure exactly when she started sensing that the quality of life in Clifton was beginning to decline. But the articulate senior citizen, who moved here from Manhattan 46 years ago, is certain about why she feels that it has. “In a word, overdevelopment,” she said. The former telephone company employee is “bitterly disappointed” by what she considers a lack of commitment by the municipal government to preserving the small amount of open space that remains in Clifton. She views the City Council and the Planning Board as “too passive, and lacking initiative” when it comes to applying for Open Space and Green Acres funding, and cites the current Grove Hollow project as an example. Eight large single-family homes are currently being built at Grove Hollow, which is situated adjacent to Ravine Park at the northern end of Grove Street. Harvey, who lives

nearby, can’t understand why city leaders didn’t apply for funding to buy the property as soon as they learned it was available. “They could have had it for a song,” she claimed. “And what better use of open space is there than extending an existing neighborhood park?” Responding to our survey, Harvey said that “finding competent people to govern and plan for the future,” is the single biggest issue facing Clifton. But while she is dissatisfied with the current municipal leadership, she is not a proponent of changing the city’s CouncilManager form of government. To the question concerning whether neighborhoods should be equally represented on the Council through a ward system, Harvey responded, “No, it doesn’t work very well in Passaic and Paterson and will only degenerate into back-scratching and alliances on an ad hoc basis. The common good will give way to more localized concerns.” 1317

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Regarding staggered terms for City Council members, she said she doesn’t see that making much of a difference, either. “I would say no,” she replied, “it would require more elections more often, and why spend more money than we’re already spending on voting?” “We need a workable and effective Master Plan for Clifton,” said Harvey, “along with leaders who have a real interest in our environment and quality of life.” Otherwise, she fears the scarce open space that remains, such as Dundee Island, will give way to callous development. “We should keep it (Dundee Island) as a park and nature preserve,” she suggested. “We can and should try to get funding under Green Acres to buy out Dr. Ghahary (the property owner) and just once, do the right thing with what little open space is left.”



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How would you rate the effectiveness of our Mayor and Council in dealing with the major issues that have arisen in the past two years? A. They are doing the best they can do and be ‘politically correct’ at the same time. With the diversity that exists in Clifton, they sure try very hard to please everyone; even though it is impossible to please everyone all of the time. With all of the legal ramifications that are in place, they try to do a great job of public service for all of us. It is hard to be a city council member and not disappoint anyone. I imagine that at times it is like “walking on thin ice on a huge lake” for them. -Mary Franz

D. City officials say they would like to help change Clifton for the better, but most of these promises seem to be unkept. It seems like nothing has been accomplished. -Michael Morgenfruh

C. I know the Mayor is very accessible to his constituents, but he’s allowing too much growth in this town. It will be unlivable in the future. -Lorraine Zasadinski

A 4%

B 9%

F 28%

C. Ineffective. They are not focused and creative in dealing with the concerns of the people. -Mary Rogers C. Although they have tried to deal with current issues, they work too slowly at resolving them. -Griselda Almonte D. Effectiveness? They can’t stop fighting amongst themselves. How can they run a city? -Michele Perez

C 25% D 34%

-Joseph Gabel

One of the best things about Clifton is the elected council. There appears to be no corruption and they are trustworthy. I would give them a B. They were there for the majority of issues... they let one or two slide. However, where they really messed up was the connection of Route 21 to Route 46. The whole extension is useless to the surrounding neighborhood and the people that live in the area. I am concerned they are going to do that with Route 46 connecting it to Route 3. -John Miskiv

B. The Mayor and Council have appeared to be open to local community and neighborhood opinion.

D for the City Council because the major issues are still unresolved.

-Harvey Chaitoff

-Helen Kubik

F. The are passive and lack initiative. They are ignorant of Open Space funding by the County and Green Acres money from the State, which might be accessed to assist in fending off the greedy developers who seem to have the inside track. -Rosemarie Harvey

D. I feel that not enough has been done for the children of this city.

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B. They have done a fair to good job but our greatest weakness is the inability to create Montclair-type development. -Paul Dreifuss

C. Although they have tried to deal with Clifton’s current issues, they work too slow at solving them.

F. I watch channel 77 and my head spins. No one is listening to what anyone is saying! -Susan Angello

What are the major issues/problems facing the city at this time?

F. Lack of decision of the new school location (Latteri Park IS the right location); and circumstances that will arise with high density housing growth.

The major issues chosen by our readers are the same as the weaknesses they listed in question number 2, with the addition of a lack of road maintenance and paving.

-Ray & Norma Kuruc

D. We are still nowhere with a new school, and developers continue to build and add more housing.

62% Overcrowding in schools 59% Overdevelopment 40% Overcrowding/

-Patricia Pandolfi

C. Not sufficiently pro-active. -Henry De Vos

Here are some anonymous comments...

F. They seem oblivious to the negative impact their overdevelopment has had on Clifton. F. It is time to clean house. The only thing they have in common is to disagree on every issue.

36% 28% 17% 14% 12% 9% 8%

Overpopulated Traffic Lack of planning Illegal housing Increasing property taxes Ineffective City Council Lack of leadership Lack of road maintenance/paving

F. They haven’t dealt with issues, they dance around hard decisions hoping they will solve themselves. D. They seem to appease only a select group of people - seniors, developers and business people. F. Look at Athenia Steel. Why did they buy it? D. Extremely weak on setting strategy and too overbearing in micromanaging pet issues. This leaves the city manager with no pull in everyday operations and no direction as to where department heads should be performing. The city of 90,000 operates like it’s Hooterville, population 200. D. A lot of talk but no significant action from any one of them. D. Poor planning; only seem interested in ratables. F. They have gotten Clifton into this mess. It started when they were against Shulton as a school site, and it has declined since then.

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Joe Gabel said he thinks it is discriminatory that CHS students—Clifton residents—cannot legally park vehicles on the local streets surrounding the high school. As it has been for the past few years, the residential streets surrounding the high school have signs clearly prohibiting parking from 8 to 11 am on school days. It is an ordinance strictly enforced, resulting in $65 fines. To Gabel, it is another sign of the anti-kid sentiment by the City Council. “Why can’t the kids park in this neighborhood for a few hours during the week?” he asked. “Is it too much to ask that city residents be allowed to park on city streets? No. Our City Council has decided that the homeowners should have a say as to who parks there and that from 7 to 11 am during the week, it will not be kids from CHS. It is a disgrace.” With about 170 spaces available to student drivers, parking is and long has been at a premium. “If you drive down any of the streets with permit parking around the high school, you’ll notice most of them have few cars on the street between those times” Gabel observed of Fornelius Ave. as an example. So what should be done to remedy this problem? Gabel suggested that parking be allowed in moderation, so that not one side or the other is burdened day after day. “I propose alternate side of street parking be allowed on these streets,” said Gabel. “This way the street is not loaded up on both sides and traffic can still flow.” Gabel said he too is a homeowner and understands that kids can be disrespectful to private property. That’s why he thinks if parking and litter issues are strictly

Joe and Lori Gabel with their sons Ryan, at left, and Dave.

enforced, he said students will be respectful. Plus, “the first time a kid gets ticketed, word will spread and they will not do it again,” he predicted. Gabel has a word of advice for elected officials: “I believe it is time that this city should start doing things for the children in this city, and not always blame them for everything or worse yet, ignore them all together.” said the Allwood resident. “The high school seniors are the future voters of this city and the juniors are right behind them, and I hope they have a good memory when election time comes.” Wanaque $405,900 3 BR. 3 Bth . Lg. Fam. Rm. w/Fireplace! Fin. Bsmnt.In/Law set-up. Gazebo, HotTub! Deck-Patio.Walk to bus!

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Clifton Merchant • October 2004


Using a simple rating system of A, B, C, D or F, grade the performance of the following elected or appointed city officials and organizations: Mayor and City Council 5% A 10% B 23% C 34% D 28% F Board of Education 3% A 4% B 27% C 26% D 40% F Board of Adjustment 2% A 10% B 18% C 44% D 26% F Planning Board 1% A 9% B 15% C 32% D 43% F Police Department 42% A 45% B 9% C 3% D 1% F Fire Department 66% A 29% B 5% C DPW 16% 53% 22% 5% 4% 18


October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Performance of the City Officials & Organizations



Mayor & City Council

34% • D

Board of Education

40% • F

Board of Adjustment

44% • D

Planning Board

43% • F

Police Department

45% • B

Fire Department

66% • A

Department of Public Works

53% • B

Graded By: The People Of Clifton

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What will you be looking for in the City Council Candidates?


Under the current form of government, all seven seats of the City Council are filled at once in an election which is held every four years. Residents do not vote for the Mayor as he or she is selected by the seven newly elected Council members. The next election is in May, 2006 – less than 600 days from now. While a few of our readers (3%) stated that they were happy with the existing City Council members, a good number (24%) would like to see new faces come the 2006 election. Next on the list (21%), candidates with fresh, creative ideas and new approaches. Leadership and the ability to address the future through planning were tied at 13% each. Among the remaining top ten responses were problem solving skills; responsiveness to citizens; decision making skills; honesty; integrity; a strong knowledge of Clifton; and someone who is action oriented.


The issues I’d like to see discussed are how to deal with the growing racism in our community, unfunded state mandates in our schools and a new creative approach to any type of development. -Paul Dreifuss Knowledge of city past and present; legal paths before decisions; study of zoning before someone builds on available sites; tight zoning. -Marge Lehmkuhl

Fresh blood. Someone not afraid to take on the tasks that need to be addressed. -Joseph Gabel


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Strong environmental protection. -Joseph F. Dunphy

Someone who can stop all this building and offer a plan to bring back some of the industry that continues to leave. There is a large middle class population out here that needs fair wage blue collar jobs. -Charlotte Gorun

Fulfilled promises.

-Lois Wienbrock

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October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

What plans would you like to see accomplished in the next five years? Sixty-two percent of our readers want to see at least one new school built. What they don’t want is the construction of any new housing; especially apartments, condominiums or townhouses, as indicated by 38% of respondents. Another 33% would like to see a more detailed Master Plan for the future of the city. Remaining top ten responses:

17% New elected officials 13% Crack down on illegal apartments 8% Relieving traffic congestion 8% Resurfacing roads 7% Environmental protection, preserving open space 7% Build senior housing 6% Tougher enforcement on property upkeep Holding property owners responsible for the upkeep and condition of their properties, lowering taxes, and bringing more industry and jobs to Clifton. -Helen Kubik Get the illegal students out of our schools. -Joseph Sidor

A definitive plan to preserve the small amount of nondeveloped land, specifically farms. Preserve the mountain that is disappearing with the housing development in West Paterson and Clifton. I would like to see both elected and appointed city representatives look ahead to the effect their decisions have on future traffic, such as a strip mall on Allwood Road, which is having difficul-Mary Rogers ty handling the current traffic flow.

What issues would you like to see debated before the 2006 election? The issues our readers would like to see debated are the same issues cited under Clifton’s weaknesses. Building a new school to deal with the overcrowding problem is the top response at 47%. Right behind at 46% is detailed discussion regarding overdevelopment. “I would like to see people debate the importance of leaving some areas undeveloped,” says John Miskiv. “We don’t need more condos.” 28% feel that city-wide overcrowding is a problem and suggest it be dealt with through better planning, including a more detailed Master Plan. The remaining top ten responses include zoning controls, illegal housing and students, road resurfacing, traffic and a new form of government.

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Do you think that the voters of this city should directly elect the Mayor?

70% Yes • 23% No • 7% Unsure Yes. I think it is for the best when it Yes. We should be able to hear how comes to citizens having an active the mayoral candidates would lead voice in Clifton. Clifton... let’s hear their vision for the -Michael Morgenfruh future and allow us to vote from there. Right now, we get a packaged No. All members should have equal deal—we elect seven and then they qualifications for the position. The get to pick the mayor. I want my highest vote getter should be the individual choice.” -Patricia Pandolfi mayor. In our form of government, the mayor is simply a facilitator.” Yes. It’s time to elect and hold -Charlotte Gorun responsible the one who leads us to -anonymous Yes. We get to elect leaders like the greatness or failure. President, Congress and Senate rep- No, I think the system Clifton has is resentatives as well as the Governor... novel and has worked for a long time. we should be allowed to elect the It is unique but it has worked so far. -Mary Franz Mayor of Clifton. -Ken Bogert



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Do you think that a City Council with staggered terms would be beneficial for Clifton?

53%Yes • 26%No • 21%Unsure A majority of our readers think that staggered terms—a change from the current form in which all seven members are reelected at once to splitting the Council and having members run at different times—would be beneficial. Several respondents believe it would be an effective way of keeping the Council fresh in terms of creativity and ideas. Others feel it would encourage more individuals to run for office and have a better chance at winning a seat. Of the 26% who are not in favor, the most often cited reasons are the cost of additional elections, and the amount of campaigning involved. No. Tenured council members are needed at all times. - Lois Wienbrock

Yes. Some new ideas mixed in with the older ones would be beneficial. - Barbara Goga

Yes. It would be beneficial so there could be a continuity in the handling of various city matters when council members are replaced by elections. -Mary Franz

No. I think having it all at once really encourages high voter participation. Voters know that a lot is going to change and they can get prepared to participate in the change. Staggering the elections makes it less of an event and I believe the participation would decrease. -Ken Bogert

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Do you think having each neighborhood equally represented on the Council through a ward system would be beneficial for Clifton? 73% Yes • 19% No 8% Unsure Clifton is large and its neighborhoods diverse; with each having separate and distinct areas of concern. A majority of our readers (73%) think that a ward system would help ensure that the needs of all sections of town be addressed equally. Some said that areas of the city, the Lakeview section in particular, have not received the attention they require. Increased crime, vacant or unkempt buildings, and businesses leaving are noted by several readers. “I feel as if the eastern part of Clifton lacks representation now, and therefore is ending up neglected while other parts of Clifton seem to thrive,” writes Michael Morgenfruh. Would a ward system have prevented this situation? More importantly, can a ward system resolve it? It depends who you ask. The readers who oppose a ward system (19%), cite a variety of reasons for not wanting to change. Several fear it would create division amongst the city. Mary Franz is against the idea and writes “It would not be good We Install Quality You Can Depend On

Mayor James Anzaldi

Ed Welsh


Clifton Center Albion

Hazel Dutch Hill

Don Kowal

Athenia/ Richfield

A map of Clifton shows the seven at-large City Council members live throughout town but none reside among the residents of Dutch Hill, Delawanna, Clifton Center, Albion, Botany or Lakeview.

Gloria Kolodziej

Frank Gaccione

Stefan Tatarenko

Montclair Heights/ Greglawn

Allwood/ Rosemawr Delawanna

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for a city that needs to stay together as a unit in order to work for and benefit every citizen. We do not want to create diversity; we need unity in the city for the good of all of us”. Marge Lehmkuhl casts another ‘no’ vote and comments “I believe that it has already proven not beneficial in Latteri Park area where residents have shown their influence.” And then, there are a few (4%) who

use the old adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. If true, however, why so many yes votes? Mary Rogers sums it up with her answer to our question: “Perhaps. But the Council should be concerned and listen to the residents from each neighborhood. If they were listened to, they would not feel the need to have a representative from their neighborhood present their petitions.”

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Federal Mortgage Offers Senior Citizens A Reverse Mortgage


or some 32 years now, Anthony A. Accavallo, shown here, has been helping make the American Dream become a reality, right here in Clifton. As President of Federal Mortgage & Investment Corp. at 1111 Clifton Ave., Clifton, he and his firm have written millions of dollars worth of mortgages which have allowed people to purchase homes. And while that work has been fulfilling, Accavallo said he is getting his greatest satisfaction these days by helping senior citizens with reverse mortgages. A reverse mortgage is a special kind of mortgage loan for seniors. “It is a safe, easy way to turn your home equity into tax-free cash,” he continued.

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

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.

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

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

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Do you believe there should be term limits for any person appointed to such groups as the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment? 82% Yes • 11% No • 7% Unsure A majority of our readers (82%) favor term limits for Board appointees. Many feel that appointees can become complacent with extended terms. A few point out that there are members who have been in their positions for over 20 years. Others feel that the addition of new appointees would lend a fresh perspective. “How about some new blood and some younger appointees to plan for the next generation of residents, such as their


children,” one reader writes. Another suggests that in addition to term limits, individuals be appointed by the entire City Council rather than the Mayor alone. There are some (11%) who believe that term limits are inappropriate; if a good job is being done, they stated, why force an appointee to step down? Like many people, I know so little about these Boards. -Charlotte Gorun I cannot provide an answer. Yes. New views and opinions should be welcomed -Helen Kubik



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Yes. Groups can get stale and narrow-minded on issues. A limited term brings in new people with new ideas. I moved here 18 years ago from New York City, and I believe there are many people on those same Boards and -Lucy Flynn look where it has gotten our city. Yes. It prevents members from getting to cozy in their positions and acting on their own interests instead of those they are appointed to serve. There is way too much of the old boy network going on in town and you see that in how some Board members treat the public. -Judy Malaszuk

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Do you feel that Clifton’s schools suffer from overcrowding?


Ninety-one percent of those who answered agree that Clifton students are in a jam. The topic of school overcrowding generated the most comments from our readers. And in no other survey question did responses so overwhelmingly concur. While most everyone agrees that overcrowding exists, opinions vary as to the problems it causes. There are concerns about safety, with some readers questioning if there are fire codes limiting occupancy at schools.

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The photo of the crammed hallway intersection at the high school is what many referred to. One reader comments “spending so much time like this causes people to be on edge. They become less tolerant–more aggressive and on the defensive. Joe Gabel writes “But the overcrowded halls are not the issue. It’s the overcrowded classrooms.” Some question how teachers can effectively teach, or, how students can learn with so many in a class. Griselda Almonte has children in both the elementary and high school levels and has personally seen the

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problem, especially at CHS. She writes, “Many teachers are overworked and unable to help students that need extra help because of the overpopulation.” Another reader writes “at the high school, there is a a homeroom of 225 students held in a cafeteria. Students can’t even hear the announcements much less the teacher.” Readers feel that the most serious problems exist at the two middle schools and the high school. The Board of Education is now considering two location for a new middle school (see story page 44). However, with city-wide, full-day kindergarten on the horizon, how long before our elementary schools find themselves in a similar crisis?

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Consider this: Latteri School! By Joe Torelli

solution involved a combination of adding to existing facilities where feasible, and relocating some students to underutilized schools. “I am interested in knowing more about how the explosive school enrollment was handled here during the baby boom years,” he continued, adding that he believes there are options other than new construction that merit further investigation. No matter what the outcome of the current crisis, Chaitoff is adamant: Latteri Park should not be used to build a new middle school.

Maybe the experience of attending elementary schools in the densely populated suburbs of New York has convinced Harvey Chaitoff that building new schools is not the only answer to solving Clifton’s current overcrowding problems. “There was an incredible population explosion when I was growing up on Long Island in the 60s,” explained the Rosemawr resident. “They didn’t just put up a new building every time a school became crowded,” said Chaitoff. He explained that in many cases, the

Last year I sent in this survey and as I recall, I was optimistic with the progress the city was making at the time, even though we still had not found a way to resolve the school issues we faced. For the past year and countless others I’ve gone to all the meetings I could make, (Board of Ed., City Council and PTSA at all the school levels) hoping that something will be done to give all the Clifton children a fair shot at smaller class sizes and less crowded schools. Up until this year I was optimistic. But after this past year, when our Board of Ed opted not to put Latteri Park on the December referendum and let the citizens of the city decide its fate, I have done a total one-eighty. -Joe Gabel

I’m thinking about Latteri Park and (the former Mayor for whom the park is named, Anna) Latteri, I know her rest is disturbed by all the talk in town. The problem could be easily solved. Build it and name it Latteri School! It sure would make her proud to be helping the current children and all the future ones! Residents could always find other benches to rest upon and areas to play on! - Mary M. Stefaniak “Clifton’s parks, and especially Latteri Park, are what attracted me to come here from Brooklyn nearly six years ago,” he said. “It is the only park serving Rosemawr.” Chaitoff said that neither Latteri, nor any other park in the city, should be sacrificed for a school. He added he is pleased with the Mayor and Council’s unanimous opposition to building in Latteri Park and praises their quick opposition as an example of the Council’s responsiveness.

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Are you in favor of building an additional school(s)? 78% Yes • 15% No • 7% Unsure According to 78% of our readers the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’. “It’s a no brainer!” writes Michele Perez, who has one child at Christopher Columbus and two at the high school. I still have an eight year old in third grade that I worry about. Without another school, I can’t imagine what the upper grades will be like by the time she gets there.” Ken Bogert also agrees with building and writes, “good schools are the foundation of a good community. However, utilization of that school asset ought to reach FAR beyond meeting just the school needs. It should become a community center, an activity center, even a revenue producer through renting out facilities when not in use. It should NOT be a traditional school-only facility.” Griselda Almonte, who favors construction, writes “the schools are already so overcrowded it is prompting us to consider leaving Clifton.” Parents with school aged children aren’t the only ones who favor construction. Sixty percent of all who replied to our survey do not have school-aged children. In fact, almost 40% are age 51 or over. Thomas Andrascik, a Clifton resident for 57 years said, “other cities have two or more middle schools and high schools. It is something that should have been addressed years ago...not let us get caught with our pants down.” For others, the decision is not as black and white. Mary Franz writes “as a senior citizen I have to say no, because I don’t want my property taxes to keep on increasing. As a citizen of Clifton, I have to say yes because I want children to have the best education possible.” She asks if other options were considered, such as adding floors onto existing buildings. A total of 7% of our readers were equally torn and voted ‘Unsure’. Of those individuals who are not in favor of building a new school (15%), it is interesting to note that 68 % of them do believe the schools are overcrowded. Almost half would like to see additions built on existing structures. The remainder blame illegal housing, illegal students and overdevelopment for the crowding. Their suggestions: stop the construction of housing; implement stronger enforcement with regard to illegal housing; and locate and remove illegal students. 32

October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

There are a few individuals who do not believe overcrowding is a problem. “I was there in 1966,” added an anonymous respondent. “You don’t know what crowded is.” Here are some other comments we received: No. I think there are a lot of children in the system who don’t belong in Clifton. Get rid of the students who don’t belong and there would be room enough. And stop the building! -Barbara Goga Yes. I was in favor of building a school or schools at almost all the sites which have been given over to highdensity housing, Shulton—now Cambridge Crossings— as an example. Unfortunately, education space seems to be a lower priority than coddling builders, which appears to be our main priority. -Rosemarie Harvey Yes! But not at Athenia Steel. Latteri Park is free, nontoxic and the school is needed on that side of town. And the City Council should keep out of school business. -Laura Mikolajczyk

Build a school at Latteri Park as the property was designated for that purpose. -Marge Lehmkuhl

Yes! At Latteri Park. It’s free, so what is the problem? That is what the land was received for. -Judy Malaszuk

Yes, yes, yes! Our children are the future of this community and we need to invest in them now! -Samantha Petritis

What should the Board of Education do with Latteri Park?

58% Build a School 16% Leave as a park 13% Build senior housing 8% The city should buy it to keep as a park 3% Unsure 1% Give it to the city

1% Sell it

Tension mounts while the debate continues amongst elected officials and residents alike. Mary Franz, who is in favor of using Latteri Park as the site of a new school responds, “build the school on that property. It is the Board of Education’s. Or, sell the property to the City and buy another piece of land. We elected the Board of Education members to make decisions. Let them make a decision.” One writer suggests, “put it on a referendum to build the 8th and 9th grade school there. Let the citizens of the city decide.” The majority of our respondents (58%), however, simply state: Build a school! Mary Rogers agrees and adds, “it is the best choice for any new school. It was donated for that purpose and does not require the expenditure of funds. Some residents and the City Council object to losing the park, but it is the best choice.”

“Latteri Park?”, ask Cathy Miskiv. “I think the school needs the space. I mean no offense, but a school is a lot more important than basketball.” Sixteen percent of our readers respond ‘Leave it a Park!’, while another 8% were more specific stating the City should buy the property to preserve it as a park. (That’s a total of 24% Pro-Park.) “What’s wrong with keeping it a park?,” asks Lorraine Zasadinski. Harvey Chaitoff would like to see it remain as open space. He writes, “it is not a piece of property that lends itself to a middle school of the proportions proposed by proponents of razing the park to build a middle school.” Jim Moore agrees: “Don’t ruin what little green land we have.” Senior housing is suggested by another 13% of our readers.


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Is the Main Avenue Special Improvement District a Success? 58% No • 20% Yes 15% Somewhat

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Michael Morgenfuh agrees adding, “it’s good to see Main Ave. looking nicer nowadays.” Fifteen percent responded “somewhat”, agreeing that it is a start, but more of an effort is needed before they would consider it a success. Another 7% were undecided. Some readers looked back fondly to

Please consider this: The City Hall/Police/Fire complex on Clifton and Van Houten Aves. should become Clifton’s new middle school. The city government and police and fire department offices can relocate to some of the properties along Main Ave. With the school move to the current city hall, the close proximity to CHS may allow for some shared facilities for the school children. Downtown, the business district along Main Ave. would benefit from the hundreds of additional workers and visitors going to the government offices. - (Mrs.) Chris Fanelli

the days when City Hall anchored the Avenue and brought hundreds of daily visitors who would shop and dine in the business district. To upgrade the area, Greg Baron had a suggestion for the former US Post Office at Main and Washington. “It would make a wonderful theatre (and arts center),” he suggests. “Art brings in better businesses and raises the social base of the community.” Another reader, Susan Angello, said of the SID: “I think they are trying.” But then she turns the question around. “Success? That would be an interesting question to ask the merchants – if in fact these improvements have brought in new business.”

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While many readers notice an improved appearance with the green awnings and some facade makeovers, 58% do not consider the Special Improvement District a success. “There is a lack of cohesiveness, a lack of parking, and a lack of variety in stores,” one reader writes. Traffic flow (particularly near Walgreen’s and the new post office) is also cited by serval as a drawback. Griselda Almonte said “there is nothing appealing on Main Ave.” One reader complains of too many nail salons and offices. A few were also concerned with safety. Barbara Goga responds, “I don’t feel safe walking along Main Ave.” Lois Wienbrock, along with 20% of respondents do consider it a success. “The whole area looks much better,” she said of the streetscape.

Do you feel a Special Improvement District for Van Houten Ave. or Botany Village is appropriate?

70% Yes • 22% No • 8% Unsure Despite our readers disappointment with Main Avenue’s Special Improvement District thus far, 70% feel it would be appropriate for Van Houten Avenue or Botany. Michael Morgenfruh points out that “both these areas are a big part of Clifton’s history where there is great potential for economic gains for our city.” Joseph Schicchi agrees. “Any improvements in the town are worth taking the time,” he writes. And in the spirit of “Shop Clifton First”, Susan Angello responds, “Definitely. Anything to help the local merchants.” Twenty-two percent of respondents do not feel a SID is appropriate in these shopping districts. Twelve percent bring up the fact that Botany experienced “urban renewal” back in the 1980’s.

“How many times is Botany going to be overhauled?” asks Lorraine Zasadinski. Another reader points to Van Houten Ave. and comments “bright new lights at night, and deserted streets.” Finally, a clarification on what is a Special Improvement District or SID. Using Downtown Clifton as an example, businesses within the district agree to pay a higher assessment on the retail and commercial portions of their property tax. The city collects the funds, contributes additional dollars, and then returns the money to the SID to be used for projects in the designated area. In Downtown Clifton, these funds subsidize the green awnings and some facade improvements which contribute to an improved look for the Avenue. The group also has a paid full time executive director and

has hired supplemental maintenance services to keep the district clean. As a final note, the Botany Village merchants have just won approval from local property owners and the City Council to designate a rather large area, which includes residences and the nearby Botany Plaza, to create a SID to promote the historic district, illustrated above. Details will be released soon.

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June 14, 2003: the opening of the US Post Office at the corner of Main and Madison Aves. in Downtown Clifton.

Are you satisfied with the new Post Office on Main Avenue? 75% No • 17% Yes 2% Somewhat 6% Unsure “What a boondoggle that turned out to be!” writes Rosemarie Harvey. “The lines are so long, one must bring lunch and a folding chair to transact business,” she continues. Her response echoes the sentiments of 75% of our readers. While brown-bagging it may not be necessary, postal customers are definitely unhappy. Long lines and understaffing seem to be the number one complaint. Equally as frustrating to most is the lack of parking and backed-up traffic, from Main to Madison. “Another perfect example of poor planning,” wrote one correspondent “The traffic is horrible,” says Ken Bogert. “I applaud the effort to keep the Post Office in the heart of 36

October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

downtown, but traffic patterns need to be addressed to improve the situation,” he suggests. “The parking is horrible!” writes Mary Franz. “It is too difficult to maneuver in and out of the parking spots. And walking from the parking area to the entrance is unsafe for pedestrians,” she explains. Several readers suggest re-opening the Paulison Avenue facility to customers in an effort to alleviate the congestion and long waits on Main Avenue. There are 17% who are satisfied with the new facility. A few made note of the fresh, beautiful space and friendly workers. However, even among the happy customers, there were polite requests to ‘please add a few more clerks’. And one additional note from an anonymous reader: “What happened to all the mailboxes in the neighborhoods? I miss mine.”

Do you feel a new Post Office is needed on Van Houten Ave?



• 39%


A majority of those responding feel there is a need for a Post Office on Van Houten Ave.; many believing it would ease the burden on the Main Ave. and Allwood Rd. facilities. An additional 8% agree there is a need, but specify that it be a sub-station only. Two readers suggest utilizing the space previously occupied by Acme in Clifton Plaza on Route 46; 6% of the readers were unsure if it is needed. Of the readers who said ‘No’, several note Van Houten Ave. is already a heavily travelled road. There is concern that a new Post Office will create the same congestion as on Main Ave. One anonymous respondent suggests that the city, with three postal locations, has enough stations. “The USPS just needs more staff at the existing locations!”

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Do you feel more senior housing is needed in Clifton? 62% No • 32% Yes While 62% of readers respond with a ‘No’ (and 6% were unsure) many explain that they understand and agree that there is a need. Based on additional comments, however, ‘No More Housing!’, the sentiment echoed through much of this survey, means housing of any kind, including senior. Reflecting the comments of many, Michael Morgenfruh observes, “it will only lead to more overcrowding. Seniors move out of three bedroom homes and families of four and five move into their places. And then more traffic when new senior homes are built.” Mary Franz takes it a step further, explaining, “Won’t more senior housing add to the school overcrowding problem? Seniors will sell their homes to young families with children and then schools will be needed for them. Clifton is too densely populated already. Let’s not Editor’s Note: After reviewing reader comments, it appears this should have been presented as two distinct questions: one polling the need for senior housing, and another asking readers’ willingness to construct senior housing.

add more to the population density here. Let’s not add to Clifton’s school taxes and taxes in general.” Roxanne Candiano, along with 32% of respondents, agrees there’s a need. She writes, “Yes. Very much so. My parents are on a waiting list. It’s hard for them staying where they are.” Quite a few note stipulations along with their ‘Yes’ responses. These individuals are in favor of recycling existing buildings, but against any new construction. And three readers specify ‘only on Athenia Steel or Latteri Park’ . Ken Bogert favors senior housing and makes an interesting point in his comment: “One of the risks Clifton faces is having those with the memory of its development leave town. The flight of history is the loss of the feeling of community to some extent.

These elders, from the hardworking WW2 and post-WW2 generation set a good example and have something to teach newcomers. Having them stay is a benefit to Clifton.” Yes. I’m sick of hearing the word “affordable” senior housing. Don’t the rest of us who have slightly more income have the right to live in housing with our own age group and charged accordingly. Are we now being penalized for working -Elsie Kacmarik and saving?” It depends on where it is going to be -Marge Lehmkuhl built!”. At one time I would have said yes and there is definitely a need, but the only way I would favor it now is if an older building were tore down to make space. “No more housing, senior or otherwise!” -Rosemarie Harvey

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What should the city do with Dundee Island?


Keep it undeveloped open space/nature preserve

16% Unsure 12% Build park/rec fields 6% Build senior housing 1% Build a school 1% Sell it to developers Sixty-four percent of our readers want to to keep Dundee Island, located on the Passaic River near Garfield, undeveloped. Lucy Flynn writes “There is not enough nature in our local environment – and too much construction. Leave it alone!” An additional 12% want it green in the form of a park or recreation fields. Sixteen percent of respondents selected ‘unsure’, as they are either unfamiliar with the property, or undecided on how to best utilize it. Senior housing is recommended by 6% of our readers.

What should be done with Bellin’s Swim Club? “Why not Clifton?” Samantha 34% Buy it for a recreation center/municipal pool


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Keep it as a private/ membership pool

13% Unsure 6% Buy it to build a school 5% Let the owners decide 5% Park land/open space 3% Senior housing A total of 67% of our readers want to keep swimming. Most (34%) feel the city should purchase Bellin’s, located on Main Ave., and create a recreation center and town pool. “Other towns have municipal pools,” writes Roxanne Candiano.

Petritis agrees that the city should buy Bellin’s, which has operated privately since 1930, and responds, “We love it and Clifton residents deserves a community pool!” Other respondents (22%) simply want a pool, and don’t care if it is owned privately or by Clifton. Eleven percent of our readers prefer it to remain a private, membership only swim club, ideally, with the Bellin family at the helm. Over the last few years, discussions regarding the property have focused on converting it to citysponsored affordable senior housing, but only 3% of the respondents made that suggestion.

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What should be done with the remaining Athenia Steel property?

32% Keep undeveloped 22% Park/recreation fields 18% Senior housing 14% Unsure 8% Build a school on it 3% Sell it One way or another, 54% of our readers want to keep Athenia Steel green. The majority (32%) specify keeping the remaining 29 acres undeveloped as open space. Mike Morgenfruh would like to see a natural preserve of trees and gardens. Several others are also against development, but for a different reason – traffic. One reader responds “how will people get in and out of Athenia Steel? Colfax, Clifton and Paulison Avenues are already traffic nightmares!” Jim Moore concurs. “Leave it alone!” he responds. “I

live right there. I don’t want any more traffic! Make it a park if you must do something with it.” Twenty-two percent would like to see green in the form of a park and rec fields, with some noting that this is what the City Council had planned for the property all along. Senior housing is suggested by 18%. “Fill it with senior housing and get it over with once and for all,” responds Barbara Goga. Other readers (14%) are unsure of how to utilize the Clifton Ave. property but most have opinions on what the City’s next steps should be: get it cleaned, and figure out how to add to the single entrance it offers. Joseph Gabel simply states, “do not put a school on it.” Eight percent of respondents, however, do suggest a school. Three percent, frustrated by the delay in clean-up and access problems, suggest it be sold. Others suggest an expansion for the Boys and Girls Club.


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How would you rate the new Roundabout that has replaced the Allwood Circle? The new Roundabout receives a failing grade from 55% of our readers. Another 20% are a bit more generous and give it a D. Why such dismal ratings? As Lois Wienbrock writes, “Let me count the ways! First of all it is still not complete and the area is an eyesore. It has flooded with the least amount of rainfall.” Most readers list the same complaints, and also include: it is confusing; there is too much signage; the lanes are too narrow; drivers do not understand how to use it and don’t yield. One reader wonders how Passaic County will plow it. The most often used phrase in responses – “a waste of money.” The most often asked question – “why couldn’t it be an intersection with traffic lights?” And the funniest comment – “it was designed by a madman!” Pravin Patel, the owner of Ampat Getty gas station, located on Allwood Rd. for the past 21 years, claims that his business is down 50 percent since the construction. “There is no easy access to my place,” he says. “The county should have asked me before they decided to do all this.”

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4% • A 5% • B 14% • C 20% • D 55% • F 2% • UNSURE Graded By: The People Of Clifton

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2% • B 27% • C 35% • D 22% • F

Two percent of our readers give a “B” rating, including Lois Wienbrock who writes “the County offers some very good programs”. Charlotte Gorun was another reader who could enumerate some of the services rendered by Passaic county government—Meals on Wheels and other senior and social services—but said she has no real contact with these issues and thus gives it a unsure rating.

“I think the Passaic County government does not pay enough attention to our town,” says Cathy Miskiv, a Clifton Center resident. “It seems they will pay either more attention to Wayne because it is bigger and more affluent or the County pays more attention to Paterson, because Paterson needs the County’s help more. Since Clifton is right there in the middle, we get lost between the two.” 1439

14% - UNSURE Graded By: The People Of Clifton

A majority of our readers do not feel Passaic County government is effective with 35% giving a “D” rating, and 22% an “F”. Many of these respondents feel they pay too much in taxes and get too little in return. Several cite too much duplication of services. Harvey Chaitoff gave it a negative rating and asks: “Why is there a Passaic County government? I have yet to see a reason for it or the services it provides that cannot be provided at the municipal or state level.” Joe Gabel said the delivery of services from the county are negligible: “I see very little support.” Perhaps that despite delivering a wide variety of services and the vastness of county government here and throughout the state, it is not the type of government that is visible. Among the 14% of those who selected “Unsure” and the 27% who selected “C”, several readers noted that they were not exactly familiar with what the Passaic County government’s role is.


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retend for a moment that you are a member of the Board of Education for the Anytown School District. Your Board has been charged with the responsibility of selecting a site for a new school. Anytown’s student population is burgeoning and a new school for 1700 eighth and ninth graders is needed badly. So you ask for volunteers from the community to study many possible school sites and to make recommendations to you. People come forward, eager to participate in the process. Your Committee proposes a two-site solution. You adopt one of their site recommendations but not the other. The other property, although you’ve owned it for half a century, is being used as a city park, and Anytown’s City Council has informed you that it won’t support you in your desire to use your own property to meet the needs of the city’s schoolchildren. Admittedly, some of you don’t like the idea of taking back the park either. So a majority of you vote to postpone a decision while you explore other possible sites. A full year passes. Other sites have been explored and rejected and the choice has been narrowed down to two: the Board’s own park property and a piece of Anytown’s property, one that’s contaminated because a factory once operated there. Experts advise you that the Board’s property requires minor, inexpensive cleanup that won’t interfere with the timely construction of a new school. On the other hand, those same experts tell you that no one knows what Anytown’s property is contaminated with. No one knows how long it will take to determine what it’s contaminated with. No one knows how long it will take to clean up the property. And no one knows what it will cost to clean it up. Remember, you’re on the Anytown Board of Education. A decision is urgently needed now. It’s your responsibility, your duty, to make the choice that’s in the best interests of Anytown’s public school students. That’s why you were elected. Anytown has put its faith in you to do the right thing. So which of these two properties do you choose? If this decision is anything but a no-brainer for you, then you must be a member of the majority on the Clifton Board of Education. For after all, if you sweep away all the politics and all the red herrings and all the delays and all the false starts and stops, the choice becomes glaringly simple. But the decision process, as the following pages illustrate, has become anything but simple.


October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Above the Din, Good News Crediting ‘extremely dedicated educators,’ Dr. Michael Rice, Superintendent of Schools, announced at the Sept. 22 Board of Education meeting that Clifton Public School students have achieved significant gains in statewide standardized testing performance, exceeding state benchmarks in every case. Results of 2004 standardized tests administered to students in grades 4, 8, and 11 during the past school year show that improvements were made in almost all areas since 2002.

Fourth Grade (NJASK4) In the fourth grade NJ Assessment of Skills and Knowledge 4 (NJASK4) test, 80.1% of Clifton’s fourth graders scored at or above “proficient” in language arts, a 6.5% improvement over 2002 scores. These results are for all fourth graders, including special education and limited English proficient students. The results for general education students (i.e., when special education and limited English proficient scores are removed) show that 91.1% scored at or above

proficient in language arts, an increase of 5.6% over 2002. The 2004 state benchmark for language arts is 68% of students at or above proficient. In mathematics, 71.9% scored at or above proficient, a jump of 14.5% since 2002. General education fourth graders achieved at or above proficient 81.3% of the time, an increase of 14.6% over 2002 scores.

Eighth Grade (GEPA) The results of the Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA) showed that 66.1% of Clifton’s eighth graders scored at or above proficient in language arts. Although this is an overall decrease of 2.3% from 2002 scores, general education students’ scores increased from 77.4% at or above proficient in 2002 to 80.5% proficient in 2004, an increase of 3.1%. The state’s language arts benchmark for GEPA is 58% at or above proficient. Mathematics scores improved for all students, from 51% at or above proficient in 2002 to 52.3% in 2004 and for general education students, from 58.9% in 2002 to

63.1% in 2004. The mathematics benchmark for the state is 39% at or above proficient. On the science portion of the GEPA, Clifton students achieved 73.1% at or above proficient in 2004, about the same as in 2002; but for general education students, science scores increased from 80.4% in 2002 to 84.6% at or above proficient in 2004. There is currently no state benchmark for science.

Eleventh Grade (HSPA) On the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), 77.4% of all eleventh graders scored at or above proficient in language arts, up 2.3% from 2002. For general education students, 90.9% achieved at or above proficient, a 4.5% gain over 2002. The state benchmark is 73% at or above proficient for language arts. In math, 70.3% of eleventh graders scored at or above proficient, a 4.4% improvement since 2002; general education students scored 81.6% at or above proficient, a 6.3% increase from 2002. The state benchmark for mathematics is 55% at or above proficient.

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The Case for School Space: Selling the Mayer Solution While the debate of a 1700-student centralized grades 8-9 school drags on, Clifton voters will be asked on Dec. 14 to approve the creation of a 500-student high school annex at the former Mayer Textiles building at 290 Brighton Rd. If approved, plans call for the building to be renovated and open for students in Sept., 2006. This school is part of the two-part solution to school overcrowding that was proposed in Sept. 2003 by the Community Advisory Committee. Part two is the grades 8-9 school whose location has yet to be determined by the Board of Education. The Committee’s recommended site for this school was Latteri Park. Dr. Michael Rice, Clifton Superintendent of Schools, has said that the Mayer referendum “must” pass; if it doesn’t, enrollment projections indicate that there will be close to 3900 students in Clifton High School in Sept. 2007. “Youngsters shouldn’t have to go to school with 3900 of their best friends,” Dr. Rice said at the Sept. 22 Board meeting. The original plans called for both parts of this two-part solution to be placed before voters on the same date. However, when the Board of Education failed to decide at its June 9 meeting on a site for the grades 8-9 school, they missed the deadline for placing that school on the Dec. 14 referendum. The missed deadline also pushed back the construction of the grades 8-9 school a full year; originally planned to be ready for students in Sept. 2007, it’s now scheduled for a Sept. 2008 opening. Because the Board has not addressed both the short- and long-term space needs of the district, some view the Mayer referendum as yet another “band aid” on the problem of overcrowding in Clifton’s upper grades. But without the near-term relief for high school overcrowding that the Mayer building would afford, the situation will only worsen.




October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

When Will We Have Answers? The scenario described above is exactly what played out at the Board’s special joint meeting with the City Council on Sept. 14. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the city’s new environmental consultant, TRC Raviv Associates of Millburn, to the Board. Dawn M. Pompeo, TRC Raviv’s Senior Project Manager, was hired by the city to complete the investigation of the former Athenia Steel property. This process is actually the responsibility of National Standard/Davis Wire but has been languishing for five years, since the city entered into a contract to purchase the property. National Standard went bankrupt and the cleanup responsibilities now belong to the equally sluggish Davis Wire. Pompeo is a former employee of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and has promised to use her connections to speed things up. The DEP has to first approve the plan for investigating the site (to determine what it is contaminated with) and, after that, must OK the plan to clean up the site (the actual remediation). Although Davis Wire is responsible for the costs of this investigation, Pompeo is applying for a grant from the state, on Clifton’s behalf, to pay for completion of the investigation. This testing may cost about $400,000. At the Sept. 14 meeting, Board Attorney Anthony D’Elia cut directly to the heart of the matter. His pointed questions exposed the continuing lack of information about the site. Pompeo stated that it would take her two to three weeks to complete the necessary Remedial Investigation Workplan, or RIW. “Can you tell the Board tonight how long it will take to investigate the property? Or to clean it up?” D’Elia asked Pompeo on behalf of the Board. “No,” Pompeo said. “You don’t know how long it’s going to take, do you?” D’Elia said. “No,” Pompeo repeated. During the meeting, Pompeo said that if the DEP expedites the review and approval of the RIW, and if the field work (i.e., soil and groundwater sampling throughout the property) is completed, and if the results are favorable, then the DEP may give an opinion in Spring 2005 that allows cleanup to proceed. “Is it possible that this could take longer than the Spring?” D’Elia asked Pompeo. “Yes,” she said. While TRC Raviv has been retained by the city, at a cost of $9,500, to prepare the RIW and to apply to the state for a Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund Grant to pay for the investigation, the city hasn’t yet decided who will actually do the investigation. Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej told us that she favors retaining TRC Raviv to do this work as well.

Regardless of who investigates and then, who cleans up the property, the bottom line is that school construction must begin by Spring of 2006 in order for the school to open in Sept. 2008, Board President Joe Kolodziej said. This means that both the investigation and the cleanup of the property must be completed in the next 18 months. Readers can decide for themselves how realistic this is. The property hasn’t been cleaned in the five years the city has owned it or in the 12 years that National Standard/Davis Wire owned it before that.

And Still More Unknowns Yet another unknown is the question of whether the entire Athenia Steel property – not just the northern portion that’s under discussion as a school site, but also the central portion, which is known to contain toxic contaminants such as lead – must be cleaned up before the DEP will issue a “No Further Action” letter (meaning that the property is safe). As recently as June, Titus Magnanao, Case Manager at the DEP for the Athenia Steel property, was quoted in a letter from the Board’s environmental consultant, Richard Lev of Melick-Tully and Associates of South Bound Brook, as saying that the DEP would not separate the two pieces but would require that, once and for all, the entire property be remediated. In fact, according to Lev’s June 9, 2004 letter to Board attorney D’Elia, “…(Magnanao) did not recommend construction of the

proposed school facility until completion of the remedial investigation, remediation of the central active portion of the property, and closure of the landfill in accordance with NJDEP requirements, due to the potential for exposure to dust and vapor hazards associated with the required remedial activities.” Also unknown, if the DEP did issue a “No Further Action” letter for the proposed school site, is if it would be safe to 1) construct a school or 2) occupy a school while cleanup was ongoing at the adjacent central portion of the site. In late June, Magnanao was asked him if students could safely attend school on the northern portion of the property while the central, most contaminated portion was being cleaned. “I wouldn’t like to speculate on that without the data,” he said. That was June and this is October and there is no more data now than there was then. Why is it October and there are still so many unknowns? Wasn’t it back in June when the city and the Board promised to expedite the obtaining of soil samples at both Athenia Steel and Latteri Park in order to give the Board the facts it needs to make an informed decision? Why are there still no facts? Yes, soil sampling was done this summer at the northern portion of the Athenia Steel site. But instead of taking samples from throughout the site – Lev had identified numerous “areas of environmental concern (AOCs) and/or recognized environmental condi-

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tions (RECs),” including “disturbed areas, stockpiles, areas adjacent to industrial properties, roads going nowhere” – only a very small portion of the northern property was sampled. Samples were taken only from the northwestern corner in which it was known that fill items such as old concrete had been dumped. While those samples did come back “clean,” Pompeo was asked at the Sept. 14 meeting if any conclusions could be reached about the contamination status of the entire northern portion on the basis of that limited sampling. She said that it was not possible to reach any conclusions without additional sampling of the rest of the northern portion. Board member Lizz Gagnon asked why such a limited sampling was done. Councilwoman Kolodziej explained that “we did only what Davis Wire had committed to the DEP to do.” But of course, Davis Wire wasn’t trying to determine if the property was safe for a school. So what was achieved by such a limited sampling? What was expedited? What information does the Board have now that it didn’t have in June? By contrast, soil sampling of Latteri Park revealed that fill materials at the park consist primarily of “clayey, sandy silts and silty sands.” In two corners of the property, “trace quantities of cinders and asphalt fragments” were detected. Additional investigation is recommended to determine the extent of the presence of cinders and asphalt fragments on the property; but the Sept. 2, 2004 report concludes that this fill “will be allowed by NJDEP to remain in-place with appropriate engineering (site capping)…controls that could be implemented during construction of the proposed school facility.” Board consultant Lev has been quoted as believing that the cost of addressing these environmental issues at Latteri Park would be “minimal.” A source close to the Board is that this work would cost about $40,000.


t’s been stated repeatedly that April 2005 is the deadline for a referendum on the grades 8-9 school if it is to be open for the 2008-2009 school year. “The goal is an opening date of Sept. 2008,” Board President Kolodziej said. “We need to allow 24 to 30 months for construction. That means that we need to begin construction in the Spring of 2006. An April 2005 referendum fits into a timetable of beginning construction in the Spring of 2006 because you would have a full year.” Kolodziej is concerned about voters’ perception of a piecemeal approach on the part of the Board if the Dec. 2004 Mayer referendum – the short-term overcrowding solution recommended by the Community 48 October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Latteri Park Traffic Study Morning traffic would be particularly affected if a 1700-student grades 8-9 school is located at Latteri Park, according to a traffic study prepared for the Board of Education by Van Cleef Engineering. As stated in the report’s conclusions, “Two proximate intersections may be heavily impacted by school activity. Mitigation appears feasible at one and could effectively enhance traffic operations at all times. The second intersection cannot be effectively realigned to eliminate the conflicts that will result from the concentrated school traffic, and manual traffic direction will likely be required.” “The gist of the report is that the intersection of Dwasline Rd. and Allwood Pl. would be OK,” Board President Joe Kolodziej said. “The intersection of Shafto St. and Bloomfield Ave., right next to the Globe Products building, can be made to be OK. And the intersection of Bloomfield Ave. and Allwood Pl., which would be the main way in and out, will never be OK and will require a traffic cop.” As for a traffic study of Athenia Steel – the other property being considered for the school – City Manager Barbara Sacks said, “I don’t know that one’s been commissioned. We’re waiting to see what the uses will be.” Currently there’s only access road, off Clifton Ave., for the 35-acre property. Advisory Committee a year ago – is not followed promptly by a referendum on the long-term solution, the grades 8-9 school. “The Board recognizes that an April referendum is vital to the complete recommendation of the Community Advisory Committee,” Kolodziej said. “Without an April referendum for the 1700-student school, the Mayer building referendum runs the risk of being defeated based on the notion that it is a ‘band aid’ solution.” In the event that an April 2005 referendum does not pass, “The special election dates of June 2005 or Sept. 2005 or, worst case scenario, Dec. 2005, would also permit for the required construction time frame,” Kolodziej said. Still, Kolodziej considers these dates “safety nets” only and an April 2005 referendum remains the goal. Kolodziej is opposed to locating the school at Latteri Park. “I personally would choose Athenia Steel,” he said, “because it is larger, because it is centrally located, because it would have more amenities that would be used by our students, because it is free (it’s already owned by the city), and because there is money already set aside to clean it.”

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Paying for the Clean-Up It’s true that there is some money available for cleanup of the entire Athenia Steel property. In a confidential letter from former City Attorney Gerald G. Friend to Mayor James Anzaldi and the City Council dated June 30, Friend said that Tariq Ahmad of Davis Wire “wants to know if the City of Clifton is willing to make an arrangement to assume the task of completing the environmental clean up. “The City is currently holding in excess of $2.5 million that we owe to National Standard on the mortgage. I believe that he may be willing to forgive same if we take over the clean up,” Friend advised. Besides this $2.5 million, there’s an additional $1.4 million in a bond held by the state that can be drawn down upon if Davis Wire fails to complete the cleanup. That’s a total of $3.9 million. But consider this: the relatively minor cleanup (a capping of fill) required during the construction of School 17 at the former Lower Weasel Brook Park cost close to $2 million to complete. That property is less than four acres in size. If about $4 million is available to pay for the cleanup of 29 acres (six acres already contain the Senior Horizons complex), and the contamination of that property is believed to be far more extensive, is it rea-

sonable to think that $3.9 million will be enough clean a property nearly eight times as large? “Clifton is not obligated to pay for the cleanup,” Councilwoman Kolodziej said. “We’re trying to get DEP to light a fire under Davis Wire

to expedite the remediation.” While Kolodziej confirmed that Davis Wire would like Clifton to take over the cleanup, no decision has yet been made by the city. She declined to discuss details of the options with regard to this possibility.

Joe Kolodziej Asks for ‘Leap of Faith’ In an effort to communicate Clifton’s desires for the Athenia Steel property with the DEP, TRC’s Pompeo and representatives from both the Board and the Council intend to meet with the DEP “in the next couple of weeks,” Board President Joe Kolodziej said. The primary goal of the meeting is to obtain a “conditional waiver” for the Athenia Steel property. He explained what this is and why it’s being sought. “Because test results aren’t anticipated until the Spring, it will not be possible for the DEP to certify that the site is clean or can be cleaned in a reasonable period of time,” Kolodziej said. “Essentially the waiver would state that, based on the data collected on the site to date, (the DEP) believes that the site can be cleaned in a reasonable amount of time. They reserve the right to revoke the waiver if the test results come back as anything other than what they expected from the preliminary results.” According to Kolodziej, if the DEP grants a conditional waiver, this would be “good enough” for the state to permit a referendum on a school sited at Athenia Steel. “Through the conditional waiver,” he said, “what we have is the ability to place the question on the April ballot, thereby maintaining our timeframe, and yet still ensure that the site...must be completely clean and certified so by the DEP before any students are allowed into the new school.” But if this waiver is granted, will the Department of Education will allow a referendum that involves the Athenia Steel property? “Past experiences with the DoE would indicate that they will allow the voters of the community to consider the site as a referendum question in April 2005,” Kolodziej said. Since test results should be back by April, voters should have the information they need to make an informed decision. But without this information, Kolodziej hopes that the Board will make a “leap of faith” – “the leap of faith is assuming that the DEP will grant a conditional waiver,” he said.


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The Public and the Board Comment, Again At the Sept. 22 Board of Education meeting, residents and Board members again took the opportunity to state their positions on Latteri Park vs. Athenia Steel. Steve Goldberg and Jeff Gruen, Latteri Park-area residents, reiterated their opposition to use of the Boardowned property as the site of a 1700-student school. “Latteri is too small – your own architect says so – and it’s not centrally located,” Goldberg said. Board Vice President Jim Leeshock later corrected Goldberg. “We can build on fewer acres; in urban areas, the state allows this,” Leeshock said. (In fact, the State allowed School 17 to be built on a site that is smaller than the recommended guidelines.) Gruen said that he is “very sympathetic” to the need to build a school, “and in a safe place.” He applauded the fact that the Board and the city are working together. He and other Rosemawr residents also expressed concerns about both the cost of busing and the ability of the roads in the area to accommodate buses. Gruen remains opposed to “a school squished into a tiny space – shoehorned into a tiny spot.” Mike Urciuoli, a former Board candidate and an attorney, questioned why only a “tiny portion” of the northern section of the Athenia property was tested over the summer – a portion that Urciuoli said would be located “under a parking lot,” according to plans he’d reviewed.

“When will you have the information to make a decision?” he asked. “Nothing prevents building on Latteri Park now. Something needs to be done as soon as possible and Athenia Steel is the wrong place,” Urciuoli said. Another former candidate, Joe Yeamans, referred the Board to the NJ Land Acquisition Act, which he said requires the DEP to respond to the state Department of Education (DoE) within 45 days about approval of a site. “If you go to the DEP in October, that means that they have until mid- or the end of November to get back to the DoE. If you have to make a decision in October, November will be too late…you’re going to delay building a school,” Yeamans said. Several Board members also set forth their positions for the record. “I believe that Latteri Park is the wrong site,” said Kim Renta, elected to the Board last April. “It’s too small, it’s a residential area, and it was never intended to be the site of a three-and-a-half story monstrosity,” she said. “I hope that Athenia Steel works out. The only issue is timing. We’ll make a decision when we have all the information. I won’t make a decision until then. Give us time,” she stated. “I don’t think Latteri Park is the place for a school for numerous reasons,” said Commissioner Jim Smith. “As long as I’m on this Board, I’m not going to settle, either for (Latteri) or for a property that’s not clean with no good way in and out.”

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Norm Tahan reiterated his postion: “I rely on experts and documents from the DEP. My decision is not my opinion, but is based on facts. In May and June I said that Athenia Steel was a waste of time. There was no way to tell if a school could be built by the end of the decade. But under pressure from the Council, we waited. Since May there’s been talk of a cleanup takeover. How long will it take to investigate? Clean up? And what will it cost? What about access to the property? “One year after the (Community Advisory) Committee made its recommendations, we’re no closer to building the school. All we’ve done is talk about it. Athenia Steel should be off the table. The DoE won’t approve (Athenia). I’m not going to spend much more time and money to build the school somewhere else to protect those few connected people who live near Latteri Park. Tahan also pointed out that the NY Sash and Door property was the original site for School 17 but was dropped from consideration by the Board because of “environmental uncertainties;” instead, the Board “took a park (Lower Weasel Brook). What’s changed since then?” he asked his Board colleagues. Board member John Traier said that Latteri Park is too small and that infrastructure improvements would be needed if the school were to be built there. But he acknowledged the issues surrounding Athenia Steel: “1)

Is the city taking control and will it get done in a timely fashion? 2) While the central portion (of the property) is being cleaned, can we build a school (on the northern portion)? 3) And adequate testing has not been performed on the northern portion. “Maybe it’s not the place for a school – only if it can be ready by Sept. 2008,” Traier said. “I think we should have a Plan B – find another site and still be open by Sept. 2008.” Traier also issued this prediction about December’s referendum on the Mayer building, which is intended to house 500 high school students beginning in Sept. 2006: “The Mayer referendum must be approved or you’ll have trailers at the high school,” he said. Not all Board members stated their positions at the Sept. 22 meeting but, in case you’re keeping score, here’s where they stand publicly: Kolodziej, Smith, Traier, Renta – against Latteri Park as a school site Tahan, Marie Hakim – for Latteri Park as a school site Gagnon, Keith LaForgia, Jim Leeshock – uncommitted as of Sept. 22 Dr. Rice’s final remarks were simple: “The next couple of years will determine if Clifton supports students or not. The Mayer referendum must pass. If not, the high school goes to 3,900 students. “We better make some good decisions in the next year.” The Board meets again at 7 pm on Oct. 13 and 27 at 745 Clifton Ave. The meeting are open to the public.

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Letters to Dorothy –––– Story by Erik Shenck –––– riting letters to pen pals is a normal activity for elementary school students. Many children all over the world write to each other in this manner, few every build a life-long friendship. But this is exactly what one Clifton resident and her British pen pal did—for over six decades. “One day the teacher brought in a list and said, ‘We’re going to write a letter to these English children,’” recalled Laura Elcavage, a retired Clifton High School teacher. This is how she and Dorothy Messenger were ‘introduced’ in the late 1930’s. “Most of the kids lost interest after a few letters. Dorothy and I continued to write,” said Elcavage. They still write to each other about every six weeks by aerogramme, a sheet of paper that folds into its own envelope and is delivered by air mail. They even send small gifts on birthdays and Christmas.


This past July, Elcavage finally got the opportunity to travel to England and meet her pen pal. It would be the first time she and Dorothy would ever see each other’s faces and hear each other’s voices. “It was very heartwarming to meet her,” Elcavage said. “We had been corresponding for over 60 years. Dorothy Messenger is a warm person and a devoted wife and mother. She is always willing to help her neighbors and loves to volunteer.” It is a passion that

Pen pals Laura Elcavage, at right, Dorothy Messenger and her husband, Charlie.


October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Elcavage enjoys as well, as she is an active volunteer with the historic Hamilton House on Valley Rd. Both women felt they had anticipated exactly what they found. “When I went to see her, she was just as I expected her to be,” recalled Elcavage, “When we met, we were like sisters.” When they talked to each other, no one would guess that the only communication they ever had was through hand-written mail, a practice they would resume once the three day visit was over. “Our relationship hasn’t changed at all except that the friendship was made deeper because I actually talked to her, I actually sat next to her on the sofa, I actually hugged her and so forth,” said Elcavage. Through their letters, they shared the diaries of their lives, including sharing in all of the joys and sorrows that life had to offer. But as new technologies became available, they continued to use old fashioned mail. It was in the time and thought put into writing out each letter that these two women built the foundation for their life-long friendship.

Members of the Ship Model Society of Northern New Jersey will display various types of ship and boat models at the Hamilton House Museum at 971 Valley Rd. on Oct. 10 from 2 to 4 pm. In addition to hundreds of models, there will be a discussion on the art of model ship building and info about the group. Admission is free.


The art of model ship building will be discussed at the Hamilton House Museum in Clifton on Oct. 10 from 2 to 4 pm. For info, call 973-744-5707.

Hamilton House Museum Curator Gen Generalli, pictured right, keeps it real at the Hamilton House Museum on Valley Rd. Thanks to Gen and a dedicated group of volunteers, the museum offers an array of programs, events and opportunities for anyone who has an appreciation for Clifton history and art. Throughout the school year, classes tour the house to experience historic Clifton. A variety of special events are held year round. Funding for the Hamilton House is provided through membership, donations and grants. Call Gen to discuss donations. For membership, send a $25 check made payable to Hamilton House and mail it to 941 Valley Rd, Clifton, NJ, 07013. For member info, to volunteer or discuss how else to help, call 973-744-5707.

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A child’s experience of Orthodontics is as important as the Orthodontics itself. Take your child to a place he or she will enjoy going to. If your child feels good about the process, they will get a better result by taking better care of the braces and change how they look at their teeth and dental health for the rest of their lives. A better experience now will add years of enjoyment and better dental health.

Present all 10 ads for a FREE Diagnostic Session ($285 Value) 1 of 10

Clifton Merchant • October 2004


Scout’s Honor ––––––––––– Story by Steve Walker –––––––––––


hen Mike Hart reflects on the months before his senior year at Clifton High School he will never be seen as another victim of the infamous summertime blues. The enterprising 16-year-old spent those final lazy, hazy days, doing what he does best – helping to improve the community. The resident of Avondale Ave. joined with friends and other members of Troop 21 of St. Philip the Apostle Church to construct a long awaited foot bridge over the Morris Canal as part of an Eagle Scout project. “I’m pretty confident that it will be approved (by Scouting officials),” said the energetic teen. “It spans a 10-foot section of the canal and is the largest bridge in Morris Canal Park.” Armed with treated lumber and the know-how of his dad Tim, Hart replaced the park’s old troubled structure with a new span that will help pedestrians safely cross the small creek while enjoying the beauty of the park. Mike’s workcrew included friends Mark and Ray Mattera, Sean Hughes, Bowen and Sage Walsh, Bob Ventimiglia, Jonathan and Donald Lotz. The project was a family affair, as his dad, Tim, and mom Linda pitched in as did additional family members his sister Lori, grandparents Bob and Jo Obser, along with Diane Obser. Mike said despite building the bridge, he will leave naming the span to others.


October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

“We built something enduring and it’s good that it will be there, but I’ll leave naming of it up to others,” he said. “Whatever they want to call I’ll always know I built it!” Construction of the span began humbly enough. First, volunteer park chief Jack Kuepfer approved the bridge plans for the nature preserve on Broad St.. Mike then secured a donation from The Friends Of The Morris Canal and on Aug. 14 bought the supplies and began construction in the driveway of his home. Three days later the construction was complete and the old structure had to be removed. Mike and his band of scouts, friends and family, later built the concrete foundation for the new bridge and just a day later on Aug. 19 transported the new walkway to

the park to be installed. Construction of the bridge is the latest chapter in Mike’s scouting career, one that he hopes will make him the first member of his family to reach the pinnacle of the national organization – Eagle Scout. “I’m going for Eagle Scout. I just have to do all of the application and get my final project approved.” said Mike, who’s been involved in scouting since the first grade and is now entering his senior year at CHS while pursuing scouting’s highest rank. “My dad and grandfather were also in scouting.”

Just part of the workcrew, from left, Rich Peterson and his dad Rich, Eagle Scout candidate Mike Hart and his dad Tim, Mark Mattera and Jack Kuepfer.





The Clifton Health Department is offering a


RABIES CLINIC Place: DPW garage E7THSt.,Clifton. Off Lakeview Ave.


Monday, Nov. 1st Tuesday, Nov. 16th 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm For information call 973-470-5758. Sponsored by the Clifton Health Department No one under the age of 18 will be allowed in without an adult. All Dogs must be on a leash. Dog Licenses can be obtained at the Health Department Monday thru Friday and are required to be renewed annually. Clifton Merchant • October 2004


Jazz Krewe Deluxe performs an evening of live music at the Clifton Arts Center, at the intersection of Clifton and Van Houten Aves., on Oct. 8 at 7 pm. Tickets are $5; proceeds benefit the Clifton Arts Center. A reception follows. While there, see a group exhibit and sale by members of the Clifton Camera Club continues through Oct. 15 Also featured will be the works of sculpture by PR Drumm and Richard Davala. On the municipal campus surrounding the Center, various sculptures are also displayed. For info on the Clifton Camera Club, write to For info call 973-472-5499 or go to

Favorite Pastimes Mosaics by Anne Oshman is on exhibit at the Clifton Arts Center Oct. 20 through Nov 19. On Oct 21, there will be a free public reception from 7-9 pm. Oshman uses the ancient mosaic medium to create portraits using contemporary objects. Gallery hours are Wed. to Sat. 1-4 pm; group tours available by appointment. Also, on Nov. 5 at 7 pm, in conjunction with the exhibit, Mari-Jo Policastro and Steven Russell will perform a classical concert entitled Polymania—Many Hands. Tickets are $10. Call 973-472-5499. The Clifton Arts Center Advisory Board has again appointed Jeff Labriola Board President and

Open your heart and your home.

Arts Center President Jeff Labriola is also a teacher at CCMS. He is seen with fellow art instructors Angela Carrozza (left) and Dorota Zarebczan.

MaryAnn Baskinger VicePresident. Other Board members are Dr. Joseph Leo Barone, Mike Bertelli, Emily Diamond, Emilia Rykowski, Linda Spirko-Mayoski, Joan Sanford and Barbara Craig. Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej is the council liaison with Mayor James Anzaldi as the alternate. Meetings are on the first Wednesday of every month at 7 pm in the Arts Center atrium. Meetings are open to the public.

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October 2004 • Clifton Merchant


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New Jersey Music and Arts presents ‘Fall Fest’ a youth variety show of dance, drama and song, at the Woodrow Wilson Middle School Auditorium, Van Houten Ave., on Oct. 24 at 5 pm. Performers include singer Karla Joelle Yeamans, The Musical Angels, The One Heart Dancers, violinist Misako Sato, the Michael Patterson Jazz Trio and The New Hope Players in ‘Peter Pan’. There will also be an exhibit by Stephen Sprague. Refreshments served. Tickets $8 or $20 per family. On Nov. 21 at 5 pm also at WWMS, New Jersey Music and

Arts presents the Garden State Opera in a double bill production. The first is the premiere of The Marriage Counselor, a romantic opera in one act in which a wise marriage counselor helps a struggling couple to understand their true heart. The composer is Francesco Santelli who is the Composer in Residence of the Assisi Music Festival in Italy. The second work is La Cambiale di Matrimonio (The Bill of Exchange of Marriage) in which an English merchant plans to repay his debt to an American businessman with a marriage deal that CHS sophomore Karla Joelle Yeamans will perform in Clifton on Oct. 24.

A double bill opera in Clifton on Nov. 21 will feature, from left, soprano Amanda Horton, mezzo soprano Valeria Giraldi and tenor Albert Israel.

goes wrong. This jewel of a comic opera in the bel canto style is by the Italian master composer Gioacchino Rossini. The productions are fully staged with orchestra. Tickets are $25 at the door, $20 in advance. There will also be a pre-performance lecture on the two operas by Gloria Thurmond at 4 pm. For info, call NJMA at 973-272-3255.

Have a Happy Hibachi Birthday Party!

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Italian heritage will be celebrated in Clifton beginning on Oct. 9 from 6 to 9 pm at Joey’s, 955 Clifton Ave., with a Columbus Day Feast and Homemade Wine Contest. Hosted by UNICO, the event will be catered by Buco’s and offer a bountiful buffet of Italian foods and pastries. Tickets are $50 and part of the

Singer Angelo Venuto will entertain at the Oct. 9 UNICO party at Joey’s.

proceeds will benefit UNICO’S Passaic/Clifton Chapter scholarship fund. Organizer and president Ricky Bagolie said he is still accepting entrants for the first homemade wine contest which is being conducted as part of the evening’s festivities. The party will continue late into the night at Joey’s with KTU’s DJ Jenny Costa and singing sensation Angelo Venuto, whose hits include L’Italiano and Ti Amo. Purchase tickets in advance by calling David D’Arco at 973-417-0731, Ricky Bagolie at 201-618-0508 or Joey’s at 973-773-2110. The Italian flag will be raised at Clifton City Hall on Oct. 11 at 6 pm to commemorate Columbus Day. Congressman Bill Pascrell will be keynote speaker. There will also be a performance by the Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra, coordinated by Clifton’s Annamarie Menconi. After the flag raising, there will be a reception with espresso and cannoli served within city hall. UNICO, is

Outstanding Agents Outstanding Results

Clifton’s Annamarie Menconi of the Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra

the largest Italian-American service club in the United States; the Passaic/Clifton chapter has served the area for over 50 years. UNICO, by the way, translated from the Italian, means ‘one’ or ‘only one of its kind.’ The letters are often interpreted as Unity, Neighborliness, Integrity, Charity, Opportunity. For info, call 201-618-0508.

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October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

George Tsimpedes, Teya Eaton and Margaret Nysk will be honored for their work on behalf of senior citizens at a luncheon on Oct. 9 from 1:30 to 5:30 pm at the Clifton Elks Lodge. The three work in the office of Assemblyman Peter Eagler. Tickets are $20. Call 973-470-9166. The St. Philip the Apostle Knight of Columbus Council 11671 hosts a Night at the Races on Oct. 16 at 7 pm in the St. Philip Auditorium, 797 Valley Rd. Admission is $10 and includes food and drinks for the entire evening. Wagering on simulated races will allow all winners to cash in for Shop Rite gift certificates. Proceeds will go towards the Council’s charitable efforts with the parish and community. For info, call Gary Kaiser 973-562-2155. Passaic County 200 Golf Outing is Oct. 6 at the Water Gap Country Club. The $100 ticket includes all fees, lunch and dinner. Funds raised will benefit the Club, which supports firefighters, law enforcement officers and EMS personnel who live or serve in Passaic County. The Club also supports widows and survivors of officers killed or severely injured in the line of duty. The Club awards scholarships to public safety family members. Info on the event or for annual membership, call Therese White at 973-754-6445 or Tom Burke at 973-296-9896.

The Ukrainian American Youth Assn. presents the 2nd annual CYM Fall Classic at the Emerson Golf Club on Oct. 9. Tee time is 11:30 am with registration at 9:30. Range balls and lunch provided. There will also be awards—including a $10,000 hole in one prize—and raffles, prizes and refreshments. Following golf, a buffet will be held at the Ukrainian Center on 240 Hope Ave., Passaic. Golfer fee is $125. Sponsors are needed. Call George Bukalo 973-235-5640 or Jurij Dubas 201-341-0138. Athenia Veterans Post on Huron Ave. hosts a golf outing and beefsteak dinner on Oct 12. The day begins at 11 am at the Passaic County Golf Course in Wayne. Golfers will return to the Athenia Veteran’s Hall at 6 pm for a beefsteak. A combined golf and beefsteak tickets is $70; the price for just the beefsteak is $29. Tee sponsorship fee is $50. Call Mike LaCorte for details at 973-773-0802. The Athenia Vets will also host an Atlantic City bus trip on Oct 17. Coffee and bagels will be served at 8:30 am and the coach departs for Resorts International at 9:30 am. The cost is $23 with $15 in cash and comps coming back to the purchaser. Advance tickets. For info, visit the Post or call 973-778-0931, 973-4723943 or 973-778-4607.

St. Peter’s Church will be holding a Chinese auction on Oct. 14 at the church hall, 380 Clifton Ave. Doors open at 7 pm. Tickets are $5. Refreshments will be served. The Episcopal church is also sponsor of St. Peter’s Haven, the city’s food bank. Call 973-546-5020 for info. Clifton 77, the city’s cable network, seeks volunteers ages 16 and up for behind the camera work. Residents interested in taking part in broadcasting civic meetings such as the City Council, the Zoning Board or the Planning Board, as well as other community events, should call station manager Sai Bharadwaj. He can be contacted at 973-470-5753 or via




Styertowne Shopping Center 1045 Bloomfield Avenue Clifton, NJ


We Thank our Students & Staff for making our First Year a Success.

All Instruments

Lessons for Piano, Guitar, Mandolin, Accordion, Drums, Voice, and all Orchestral / Band Instruments.

Annamaria Menconi, Director 309 Lakeview Avenue, Clifton

973-253-7500 •


Clifton Merchant • October 2004


Clifton’s Best Family Event is October 24 The Halloween Parade returns on Sunday, Oct. 24th, rain or shine, with a creatively costumed Marching Mustang band at the forefront. The parade, which was founded in 1948, will begin at 12:45 pm at Lakeview Ave. and 5th St., marching down Lakeview Ave. to end at Nash Park. As always, judges in Nash Park will select winners in a variety of age categories, as well as awards for floats and pets. To enter the costume contest (it’s free) and march in the parade, show up at 12:15 on Oct. 24, or pre-register at the Rec Dept. at City Hall during October. Pre-registered entrants receive a goodie bag and one free token for Harvest Fest. Now in its eighth year, Harvest Fest will begin immediately after the

Brownie Troops 44 and 46 (shown above last month and at left last year) remind families to register in advance at the Clifton Rec Department. Call 973-470-5956 for details. 64

October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

parade and continue until 4:30 pm. There will be crafts, hay rides, games, a petting zoo, and plenty of food, all at family friendly prices. There’s also an Apple Pie Bake-Off. Anyone who pre-purchases Harvest Fest tokens at the Recreation Department will receive five free tokens for every $5 bag they purchase. Volunteers and vendors are still needed. For more info, call 973-470-5956.


539 Valley Rd. • Upper Montclair, NJ

Call Gail E.Vinnal Office: 800-314-1635 Cell: 973-580-8335 1730

Flu Season Is Here! and we have just the thing to stop the sniffles! The Clifton Health Department is offering pneumonia and flu vaccinations on the following dates:

o !

Appointment Required 973-470-5758 Clifton City Hall, 2nd Fl., 900 Clifton Ave Clifton Residents Only



TUESDAY, OCT. 5 . . . . . . . . .1:30PM - 4PM FRIDAY, OCT. 8 . . . . . . . . . . . .9AM - NOON SATURDAY, OCT. 16 . . . . . . .8:30AM - 1PM MONDAY, OCT. 18 . . . . . . . .3:30PM - 7PM THURSDAY, OCT. 21 . . . . . . .1:30PM - 4PM MONDAY, NOV. 15 . . . . . . . .2:30PM - 7PM FRIDAY, NOV. 19 . . . . . . . .9:00AM - NOON

Flu & Pneumonia vaccines are covered by Medicare (Part B), Medicaid, and Food Assistance Program. PLEASE BRING YOUR MEDICARE or HMO CARD Otherwise... Flu $10 Pneumonia $17. Clifton School Employees… Flu $8 Pneumonia $15 Clifton Merchant • October 2004



Hackensack University Medical Center. The People’s Choice for Quality Healthcare for an Unprecedented Eight Years in a Row.

Named “Bergen-Passaic’s Most Preferred Hospital for Overall Quality and Image” since 1996 by people from Bergen and Passaic counties. People who responded to an independent survey by the National Research Corporation, one of the nation’s top researchers. People who recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as a leader in quality healthcare. People who voted Hackensack University Medical Center as their most preferred medical center for an unprecedented eight years in a row.

Hackensack University Medical Center


October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Test Your Smoke Alarms! Activity Books to Spread Fire Safety Message Clifton’s FMBA Local #21, working with Clifton Merchant Magazine, Tomahawk Promotions and various advertisers, will again publish a fire safety activity book to be distributed to Clifton school kids during October, which is national Fire Safety Month. ‘Test Your Smoke Alarms!’ is the theme of this year’s publication. The pages will feature illustrations and easy to read safety basics to tell families how to stay safe and prevent fires at home. As in previous years, Clifton Fire Prevention officials will distribute 10,000 copies of the book to school kids, grade 3 and below. Thanks to sponsors, this 36 page coloring and activity book is provided to the community at no cost to the city, nor taxpayers. Covers of the previous publications are reprinted below. Call the Clifton Fire Prevention Office for copies 973-470-5801.

Open House Sunday, November 14th Noon to 3 pm Tour Our Facilities Fitness Center, Aquatics, Nursery School, Daycare Center

Give–Aways, Refreshments & Much, Much More!

Check Out Our Classes

Information on the “Y” Senior Adult, Summer Camp, Youth/Teen & Cultural Arts & General Membership Programs

Aquatic Fitness (bring your bathing suit & a towel); Physical Education; Cooking Workshop

New Members Receive $100 off Membership Dues Day of The Open House!

Children’s Entertainment Clown, Face-Painting, Ballooning, Arts-N-Crafts, Y-O-Rama, Parachute Fun

Health & Wellness

Bring the family for an afternoon of fun!

Find out how much the “Y” has to offer!

PBI Regional Medical Center with Blood Pressure Screening; Nutrition; Chiropractic; Complimentary Massage

Cultural Arts Preview of Our Fall Production of

“Wizard of Oz”

199 Scoles Ave • Clifton 973.779.2980


Clifton Merchant • October 2004


Clifton’s Danny Szetella, the 17-year old playing midfield with the MLS Columbus Crew, will face off with the MetroStars on Oct. 9 at 7:30 pm. at Giants Stadium. The Clifton Stallions are organizing a ‘Welcome Home’ event for Szetella and have arranged for a group rate price of $18/ticket. There will be a chance to meet and greet Szetella after the game. For info: call Ed Rossi at 973-471-5678 or write to Tom Fieldhouse at or call Clifton Rec at 973-470-5956.

Laura Tynio, CHS Class of 1998.

2004 CHS Hall of Fame: They be generations apart in age and now hail from across the globe but the Mustangs being inducted to this year’s Athletic Hall of Fame share a common bond in the Maroon and Gray glory of years past. To honor their achievements on the fields and courts of Clifton, the CHS Athletic Hall of Fame will induct nine new members and three championship teams at a ceremony and luncheon in the Brownstone Restaurant in Paterson on Oct. 10 at noon. For tickets ($45), call Coach LaDuke at 973-470-2282. Inductees include Laura Tynio, Class of 1998; Keiko Tokuda, Class of 1998; Ed Bednarcik Jr., Class of 1975; Simon ‘Sam’ Poulis, Class of 1991; Louis Andreotta, Class of 1949, Larry Kondra, Class of 1969; Brian David Torres, Class of 1994, Edward Klimek, Class of 1987; Vasilios ‘Bill’ Lahanas, Class of 1988; the 1944-45 and the 1945-46 CHS Basketball Teams and finally, the 1985-86 CHS Cross Country Team. 68

October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Some Clifton Sagabits, seated from left Tony ‘Yiggs’ Romaglia and Bob Motta. Standing, left: Wally DeVries, Joe Menegus, Mickey McFadden, John Filipone.

Clifton Sagabits 27th Reunion: Sure they sag a bit more every month but these lifelong buddies are ready for their annual reunion, this year on Oct. 28 at 6:30 pm. The gathering will be held at the VFW Hall on Valley Rd. and any and all from the community are invited to join in the food and camaraderie. If you’re sagging a bit, but your invitation was lost in the mail, you can still reserve a seat by mailing your name, address, and $40 fee, made payable to Bob Motta, Treasurer, 22 Larkspur Lane, Clifton, NJ 07013

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Use This Directory of Stores When Shopping: Celebrations

The Men’s Gallery



Atlanta Bread Company

Corbo Jewelers



Bertelli’s Liquors 973-779-0199

Shereed’s Ladies & Mens Clothing

The Season’s Fine Chinese Cuisine 973-777-8073 Taste of Tuscany

The Chiropractic Center at Styertowne 973-777-6995 GNC 973-779-1500

ACME 973-594-0590 Valley National Bank 973-777-6283

AC Moore

Cleaners 2000 973-614-1400



Amazing Savings

The Shoe Doctor





Marty’s Shoes

The Artisan’s Touch

Pet Stuff 973-778-1617




Alice’s Cards & Gifts

Styertowne Bakery

The New Brava For Women

Footnotes Bookstore & Learning Center


973-777-6193 Dunkin Donuts & Baskin Robbins



The Shoe Gallery

Footnotes Annex




CVS Pharmacy

US Post Office

Dress Barn




Fascination 973-473-6105 Antonio’s Hair Stylist 973-472-1011 Kim’s Nail Salon 973-471-8118

Clifton Merchant • October 2004


Composting 101: In an effort to help residents learn how to turn leaves, grass and table scraps into soil, Clifton Recycling, in cooperation with the Passaic County Office of Natural Resources, is conducting a sale and demo of backyard composters on Oct. 23 from 9 am to 2 pm. Those who come to the Recycling Center behind city hall can purchase the Earth Machine for $20, a composter which normally sells for $100. Payment is required at pickup. As a bonus, the first 100 residents to pre-register will receive a free kitchen scrap pail. An aerator will also be on sale for $15. For more info, call 973-305-5738 or Clifton’s Al DuBois at 973-470-2237.


Clifton’s NRI—Natural Resource Inventory Report, was prepared by the CEPC, Clifton’s Environmental Protective Commission and the Passaic River Coalition to be an authoritative reference of the city’s natural resources. Initial costs were funded by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, with matching funds from the city. Copies are available for review at the Main Library and Allwood Branch. To purchase a copy for $20, call Macil Homza at 973-470-5754.

Excellence through Tradition

“I am sure that the friendships I have made in my time at Don Bosco will stand the test of time and the vast distances that will surely separate us.”




Timothy Stephen Bush GPA: 4.242 SAT: 1440 College: Providence Dean School

Don Bosco Preparatory High School 201-236-1395 492 North Franklin Tpke., Ramsey, NJ 07446 • 70

October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Clifton Merchant Magazine is proud to be a WasteWise endorser. This program is an EPA effort that focuses in three areas: waste prevention, recycling collection and buying or manufacturing recycled-content products. For more info on how to join or what you can do to help, call Clifton’s Recycling Coordinator Al Dubois at 973-470-2237 or go to

Can Clifton be the Nation’s Best? Clifton can win $5,000 just by recycling aluminum cans. The City Recycling Challenge, a national contest created by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Alcan, rewards cities for recycling aluminum beverage cans. Cities compete for the awards against like-sized cities in four divisions determined by population. A $5,000 award will be presented to the city in each division that collects the most recyclable aluminum cans between Nov. 2 and Nov. 15. Another $5,000 award will be presented to one city in each division for developing the most innovative ideas to promote aluminum beverage can recycling in their communities. Clifton can win this award. Call Al DuBois, the city’s recycling coordinator and ask how you and your group can help make this happen. His phone is 973-470-2237.


clip & save



Please call 973-470-2237 with any questions.





There will be pick-up on... Columbus Day, Monday, Oct.11th


Residents should follow the normal garbage collection schedule.









Barbara Sacks, City Manager Clifton Merchant • October 2004


The Phenomenal Grandmothers Club meets on the first Wed. of the month at the Clifton Main Public Library at 6:30 pm. The club’s goal is to help the needy children of Clifton. The club is planning various fund raisers. President Colleen Murray appointed the following committees: Chaplain Gladys Vaval; Photographer and Historian Linda Winfield; Charities Chris Linzer; Telephone Squad Christine Perry. For info, call Murray 973-253-9579.

The Girl Scouts have a number of troops in out city. To join, call Lori Miller at 973-248-8200, ext. 23. The Senior Link program at Passaic Beth Israel Regional Medical Center hosts meetings every second Monday of the month at the YM-YWHA of CliftonPassaic, 199 Scoles Ave. Before each 2 pm meeting, there is a free blood pressure screening at 1 pm. Refreshments are served. Senior Link also hosts a two day session of

Re-Elect Clifton’s Own...

MIKE MECCA Passaic County Freeholder

ike you, I stand squarely behind the actions of President Bush and the leadership he provides to defend Democracy, our Flag, Family and Country.


God Bless America!

Re-elect Mike Mecca and Walt Porter.

Mike and Sue Mecca and their boys Mark, Joey and Mike Jr. live in Clifton and are very active in our community.


PORTER•MECCA FOR FREEHOLDER Paid for by Mecca for Freeholder


October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

“55 Drive Alive” on Oct. 25 & 26 from 10 am to 3 pm. Cost is $10. The group’s holiday party is at the Venetian on Dec. 7, 12:30 to 4:30 pm. The price is $29 per person and includes a choice from three entree and wine or soda. Contact Vivian Casabona 973-365-4752. St. Mary’s Blood Drive: On Oct. 13 from noon to 4 pm, St. Mary’s Hospital on Pennington Ave., Passaic will host a blood drive. All types are needed. Those who had body illustrations or piercing within the past year are not able to donate. Donors must present two forms of identification and have a meal at least three hours before donating and be free of any alcoholic beverage for 24 hours prior. Those that have donated blood or blood products are asked to wait eight weeks between donations. Walk-ins are welcome. Call Kathy Nakrosis at 973-470- 3011 or go to Literacy Volunteers of America seeks volunteers to tutor adults in Basic Literacy (BL), and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Working one-on-one or in small groups in libraries, trained volunteers donate their time and energy to teach basic reading and writing, or conversational English skills to adults. The only requirement to become an LVA tutor is a high school diploma and completion of a workshop. Knowledge of another language is not necessary. ESOL workshops are at the Passaic Public Library, 195 Gregory Ave., on Oct. 7, 12, 14, 19, 21and 26, from 5:45 to 8:45pm Call 973-4700039 or 973-779-0474 for info. Mail your news a month in advance to Clifton Merchant Magazine, 1288 Main Ave., Downtown Clifton, 07011 or via

Call 973-470-5825 to Help Build a Playground: Tune in to Channel 77 on Oct. 3 from 6 to 9 pm as the Clifton Committee for Individuals with Disabilities is broadcasting a fundraising telethon and asks people to call and donate. Their goal is to build a Boundless Playground— a barrier-free play area where kids in wheelchairs or with disabilities and those without disabilities can play together, side-by-side—in Chelsea Park. They have begun a campaign to raise $150,000. The playground will be named for Clifton Police Officer John Samra, who volunteered much time to children and was the first Clifton cop killed in the line of duty, on Nov. 21, 2003. The inspiration for the project is Stephanie Webb, whose 15-year old sister Katlyn suffers from a rare brain and spinal condition, Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia. Call the group’s Vice Chair of fundraising, Arlene Bayeux, at 973-778-1434 with any questions.

On Oct. 17 at 1 pm, the name of US Army/Special Forces Capt. Michael Tarlavsky will be unveiled on the Clifton War Monument on Main Ave. His is the first name added in 34 years. Tarlavsky, a 1992 CHS grad, was killed in Najaf, Iraq on Aug. 12. Tarlavsky, captain of the CHS Swim Team, enlisted in the Army in 1996 and served in Iraq and Afghanistan; he was awarded the Bronze Star. He is survived by his wife Tricia of Clarksville, Tenn., their 11-month-old son Joseph, as well as his parents Yury and Rimma and a sister, Elina. Clifton Police Officer John Charles Samra Jan. 8, 1962 - Nov. 21, 2003

Clifton Police Officers will distribute about 7,500 Halloween Safety Glow Sticks and Reflector Bags to city school kids. The effort, now in its second year in Clifton, is based on a program begun by Fair Lawn Police Officer Mary Ann Collura, slain in the line of duty on April 17, 2003. About $8,500 is needed to be raised. Contributions should be made payable to the Mary Ann Collura Memorial Halloween Program and mailed to the Clifton Police Dept., 900 Clifton Ave., Clifton, NJ 07013. Call 973-340-5151 for info.





FOR THE LIFE OF THE LINE! (973) 942-1111

(201) 599-9400

(201) 612-5700

Call for Details Today! 15 convenient locations *Open a home equity line of credit, have your payment deducted from your Greater Community Bancorp (GCB) member bank checking account (Greater Community Bank, Bergen Commercial Bank, or Rock Community Bank), and your annual percentage rate (APR) will be the prime rate (a variable rate), as published in the Wall Street Journal, (currently 4.75%) MINUS 1%. Lines of credit without payment deducted from a GCB member bank checking account will carry the prime rate, currently 4.75% APR. Maximum APR will not exceed 9 percentage points over the original offfer. Lines of credit may not exceed $150,000. You may use the account as a line of credit for fifteen years from the open date. During this time, your minimum monthly payments will be 1/180 of the outstanding principal balance plus accrued interest. After the fifteen-year draw period, the loan will be amortized over an additional fifteen-year period. Evidence of property insurance required.$250 nonrefundable application fee is required. Subject to credit approval. Contact your local branch for details.


Clifton Merchant • October 2004


Fall Spo r ts ‘04 By Gary Anolik

The Fall High School Sports season began earlier than in past years and both Mustang Soccer teams (Boys 5-0-1) and (Girls 5-1) have the number one seed in their Passaic County Tournaments. The Boys and Girls Soccer teams are rated third and fourth respectively in Northern New Jersey by the Record poll. The Boy’s team opened with a tough 1-0 win against Bergen Catholic. They then went on to an exciting tie against Don Bosco. That game was scoreless until late in the game when Frank Vogas scored to put Clifton ahead. Don Bosco almost scored later when goal tender Majdi Zaineh was out of position on a Bosco rush. Heads up playing by Dan Ocampo kept the Ironmen from scoring.

However Don Bosco came on to tie the game with just 13 minutes left to play. The Mustangs third game against Montclair went into double overtime. With one minute left in the second overtime Frank Vogas beat the Montclair goalie to score from six yards out to give the Mustangs a hard fought win. Clifton has gone on to post wins against Teaneck, Hackensack and Northern Highlands. Dave Marin and Adam Pacyga scored the Mustangs goals against Northern Highlands. Marian scored against Hackensack as well as did Vogas twice and Jon Borrajo. The Hackensack game turned controversial, as the officials never saw a Comet goal. The final score: 5-1. The Girls soccer team is already 5-1 at this early stage of the season.

When you go to a Podiatrist… You Expect Three Things: 1: Friendly Competent Treatment. 2: The Doctor to Listen to You. 3: Your Feet & Ankles to Feel Better.

The Girls opened the season with a 3-0 win over Holy Angels. Nichole Tahan, Kayla Devlin and Erika Cardillo all scored and All American Nikki Krzysik assisted, after arriving from a US Soccer game against Japan which she started. The Girls later went on to defeat Bloomfield 5-1, where sophomore goalie Arielle Saltzman had seven saves. A 2-0 loss to IHA was avenged with an 8-0 drumming of Bayonne. Goals where scored by Chelsea Welsh, Tahan, Brianna Cole, Liz Post, Devlin, and Cardillo. The Girls continued their dominance against Bergen Tech and Paramus Catholic, scoring eight goals to the opponents one. The Fighting Mustangs may have lost their first game of the season against Paramus, but they earned the respect of all the fans that at the first home game on Sept. 18. Down by eight points with 2:52 left in the fourth quarter the Mustangs found themselves on their Specializing in Medical & Surgical Foot & Ankle Correction

Achieve this & more with Dr. Miller & his staff.

Our Services Include Treatment of: • Bunions • Hammertoes • Ingrown Toe Nails • Sports Injuries • • Arch Pains • Fractures • Skin Conditions • Foot Deformities • • Dancer’s Feet • Ankle Sprains • Arthritis • Corns • Laser Surgery • • Pediatrics • Heel Pain • Endoscopic Heel Surgery •

A F F I L I AT E D F O O T & A N K L E SPECIALISTS OF CLIFTON Dr. Jeffrey Miller, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S* 1117 Route 46 East • Clifton • 973-365-2208 Easily Accessible from Route 46, GSP & Route 3 *Diplomate American Board of Podiatric Surgery Board of Certified in Foot & Ankle Surgery 1630

NEW: Diagnostic Wound Mapping for Diabetic Ulcers! 74

October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

own 10-yard line. QB Randy Cabral led the team down field and capped the 90-yard drive with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Ihim. The two reconnected on an acrobatic two-point conversion to tie the score. Then with 12 seconds left and the winds of Hurricane Ivan behind them, Paramus’s 37 yard field goal attempt by Sean Kiely hit the cross bar and bounced over for the win. Like Hurricane Ivan the Fighting Mustangs roared back the following Sunday, crushing Barringer 4712. Emmanuel Ihim scored four times on runs of 33, 25, 30 and 16 yards. Geoff Goodell scored twice on runs of 15, and 1 yard and Louis Miranda added insult to injury with a 40-yard run in fourth quarter. Homecoming is Oct. 1 at 7 pm against the 3-0 Hackensack Comets, ranked 17th in polls.

The Girls Gymnastic (2-1) team opened the season with a win over Butler, and followed that up with a win over Indian Hills. Nina Natoli won the floor exercises and Samantha Colangelo won the beam against Butler. The Clifton Girls Volleyball team is 6-1 and ranked 14th in Northern New Jersey by the Record poll. All the victories have been against NNJIL opponents. Volleyball rules this year changed from a best of five set competition to a best of three.

The Clifton Girls tennis team recently opened with a 3-2 loss to Hackensack. However Danielle Solomon won her singles match and Kimi and Shelia Shah won their doubles match. The Clifton Seahawks Swim Team of the Boys and Girls Club is hosting a Beefsteak fundraiser on Nov. 6 at 7 pm at the Mountainside Inn. Tickets are $35. In addition to the good food, there will be a tricky tray, 50/50 and music by Joey Dee. For tickets and info, call Audrey Casperino at 973-546-2221.

The Boys Cross Country team is at 5-0 going into the Passaic Coaches Meet on Sept. 25. Recent victories against Barringer, Montclair and Passaic where fueled by a great team effort. Carlo Santelli who came in first at the last meet with Steven Klett, Alex Anolik and Andrew Garcia placing third fourth and sixth respectively. The Passaic County Coaches Invitational was run on Sept. 25. Since this coincided with Yom Kipper not one team in the Group 4 final was at full strength. This included Clifton, which placed a very respectable fourth. Although only six of approximately 80 North Jersey public schools played football on this day, this meet went on. The Girls team is also starting extremely well, being led by Diane Szaflarski and Jessica Torres. They are currently ranked 15th by the Record poll and its legendary writer Paul Shwartz.

Enjoy two scrumptious pancakes made with real pumpkin along with 2 eggs any style, two pieces of bacon or pork sausage and hash browns. Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast


Stack of four Pumpkin Pancakes


Substitute Pumpkin Pancakes in any breakfast for an additional charge.

680 Route 3 West Clifton • 973.471.7717

Clifton Merchant • October 2004


World War II... 60 Years Later Come out and show your support!

Veterans Parade Sunday, November 7, 2 pm

Parade starts at Main Ave. and Sylvan Ave., and continues to the Veterans War Memorial in Main Memorial Park where a ceremony will be conducted.

Attend or Participate! For more information call Co-Chairmen Keith Oakley at 973-777-0264 John Biegel at 973-471-8828

REPOSSESSED COPIERS • Inventory Warehouse Clearance at our Clifton location! HUGE • Analog & Digital AVI NG S! • Black & White and Color • Below Wholesale! • 30 Day Exchange


973.980.4312 76

October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

On Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, volunteers are needed to help post 700 flags at the Avenue of Flags at City Hall, beginning at 7 am. For details, call John Biegel at 973-471-8828 or Keith Oakley at 973-473-7770. Members of the Clifton and Passaic Optimist Clubs want you to get to know your neighbors and be a Friend of Youth. Come to the Clifton Passaic Optimist Clubs Frank Fest, tentatively scheduled for 6:30 pm on Wed., Nov. 17 at the Clifton Rec Building, 1232 Main Ave. This is an event which celebrates the sports rivalry between our two towns and serves as a warm-up to the Mustang-Indian Thanksgiving football game, which is at Passaic’s Boverini Stadium. In addition to sponsoring the Frank Fest, the clubs also present the Optimist Club Trophy to the winning team on Thanksgiving. MVP trophies will also be awarded to four players during the post game ceremony on the field—one for offensive MVP and one for defensive MVP on each team. The players will be selected by the opposing team’s Athletic Director. While youth are admitted free, adults admission is $10. To purchase tickets, call Clifton Optimists Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400, Joe Bionci at 973-472-1707 or Bill Bate at 973-881-4771. 1303

RECYCLED PAPERBOARD INC. of Clifton One Ackerman Ave • Clifton

Vincent M. Ponte President

Tel: 973-546-0030 • Fax: 973-546-1349 1355

425 Paramus Road • Paramus, NJ, 07652


Discover Why Paramus Catholic has become the High School of Choice for a Growing Number of Clifton Families. • New Weight Training / Conditioning Field House, Track, and Stadium. • 27 Instructional Rooms added in recent years, including newly opened Wing. • 105 courses including 11 AP and 27 Honors level. • Class of 2004 earned over $16,000,000 in Scholarships / Grants. • About 400 work stations with a student to computer ratio of less than 4:1. Four computer labs including one serving as an International Language Lab. • 40 Clifton students are members of the Class of 2008.


Smaller class size with no class over 30 students.

Wednesday October 20 7 to 9 pm

New air bubble over tennis courts creates a winter activity venue. Clifton Merchant • October 2004


Greg Shraga of Minding the Body Personalized Fitness Training, in cooperation with the YM/YWHA of Clifton and Passaic, will sponsor the 6th Annual Charity Softball Game on Oct. 17 at noon to benefit the Y’s Camp Scholarship fund. Friends and clients of Minding the Body will compete against a team of Clifton and Passaic Fire and Police Officers. The game will be played on the field behind the Y at 199 Scoles Ave. Shraga, the personal fitness trainer at the Y, invites spectators and seeks sponsors and advertisers for the ad journal. All proceeds will benefit the camp fund. Call 973-779-2980 ext 110.

Clifton Chiropractic & Physical Therapy recently relocated within Bobbink Center, at the intersection of Edison St. and Valley Rd., and hosted an open house to celebrate the move. Pictured from left, office manager Gail Janukowicz siblings and business partners Dr. Suzi Schulman and Dr. Jeff Schulman, and chiropractic assistant Gwen Horton.

Mayor James Anzaldi helped reopen Casalerno Hair Salon on Van Houten Ave. He is pictuured with co-owners Sandra Augusto (left) and Lisa Trombetta.

Passaic County 200 Golf Outing is Oct. 6 at the Water Gap Country Club. The $100 ticket includes all fees and well as lunch and dinner. Funds raised will benefit the Club, which provides $10,000 to the widows and children of Passaic County officers killed or severely injured in the line of duty. The Club awards scholarships to public safety family members. Info: Therese White at 973-754-6445 or Tom Burke at 973-296-9896.

Clifton Transmissions d We’ve Move

• • • • • • •

45 Atlantic Way Clifton (790 Bloomfield Ave) More Lifts & A Larger Facility to Serve Clifton Better!

Domestics/Foreign Automatic/Manual Commercial Fleets Differentials Light Trucks 4x4’s Transfer Cases

Now Also Serving AC Systems, Auto Electronics, & Diagnostics 1497


October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Mark Woodruff & Brian DeGraw

Celebrations, a party store offering supplies, accessories and decorations for birthdays, weddings and just about any special event, has opened on the lower level of the former Rowe Manse building in Styertowne Shopping Center. From complete costumes to wigs and make up, the store also has a full selection of Halloween costumes, gag gifts and spooky gifts.

VBC Accounting, Taxes & Investments on Clifton Ave. hosted a Downtown Clifton Meet and Greet. Among those who attended were, from left, Frederic W. Jones of Midas Auto, Alainna Malone of ADP Small Business Services, Bob Pasch VBC and Vince Comperatore of VBC and Dr. Husniye Dogan, D.D.S of Plaza Dental.

That’s Paula La Bue at right helping a customer at Celebrations in Styertowne.

Downtown Clifton: The Special Improvement District business owners host Meet and Greets to encourage networking in the area. From the Passaic border to Piaget Ave., there are about 300 businesses in the district which impose an additional tax on their properties and use the funds to market and improve the area. The next Meet and Greets is at Unity Dental, 1219 Main Ave. on Oct. 14 at 5:30 pm. To attend, call in advance: 973-253-1455. Register for Sept 04 to June ‘05 School Year


D3 Dancenter

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 •

“Home of the Award Winning D3 Junior Dance Troupe”

Classes for Ages 21/2 thru Adult

Ballet • Pointe • Tap Jazz• Hip Hop • Yoga Stretch/Turns & Leaps Belly Dancing Dr. Nancy Mallon

• • • • 1143

Dr. Maury Buchalter

For Boys & Girls Family Discounts Professional Staff Birthday Parties New for Sept. ‘04

ACROBATICS 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

Oakland 3 Post Road 201-651-0404

Bring this ad in for a FREE Trial Class


Dr. Robert Jawetz

605 Van Houten Ave • 973-773-9997 MEMBER ELITE DANCE FORUM & PROFESSIONAL DANCE TEACHERS ASSOC. Clifton Merchant • October 2004



Visit us in Athenia: 802 Van Houten Ave • 973-473-1997

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

Happy 3rd Birthday on 10/4 to Angello twins Renee Kimiko and Jeffrey Joseph! Sarah Bekheet. . . . . . . . . 10/1 Awilda Gorman. . . . . . . . 10/3 Ashley Messick. . . . . . . . . 10/3 Charlene Rivera. . . . . . . . 10/3 Grace Robol. . . . . . . . . . . 10/3 John Brock Jr.. . . . . . . . . . 10/4 Kayla Galka. . . . . . . . . . 10/4 Justin Huber. . . . . . . . . . . . 10/4 Terry Hudak. . . . . . . . . . . . 10/4 Lisa Junda . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10/4 Alan Merena. . . . . . . . . . . 10/4 Bruce Merena. . . . . . . . . . 10/4 Gary DeBoer. . . . . . . . . . . 10/5 Victoria Jarosz. . . . . . . . . . 10/5 Rosalie D. Konopinski. . . . 10/5 Gene D’Amico. . . . . . . . . 10/6

Two Stores In Clifton 973-473-1997


802 Van Houten Ave • Clifton New Location

1103 Main Ave • Downtown Clifton New Location

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

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

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

Visit us in Downtown Clifton: 1103 Main Ave • 973-473-4999 80

October 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Grandma Marlene Holzli reports Kyle Zlotkowski turns 3 on 10/10 & sister Nicole turns 1 on 10/16.

Marianne Meyer. . . . . . . . 10/15 Rachel Pong. . . . . . . . . . . 10/16 Michelle Dabal. . . . . . . . . 10/17 Happy 30th Birthday to Saira Chaudhury on 10/17. Devin DeVries. . . . . . . . . . 10/18 Matthew Fabiano. . . . . . . 10/18 Jamie Norris. . . . . . . . . . . . 10/18 Benjamin Brody. . . . . . . . . 10/19 Kristen A. Hariton. . . . . . . 10/19 Happy 58th Anniversary Oct. 26! Andre “3000” Olave. . . . 10/19 That’s Joseph & Eleanor Shook Rocky S. Angello (woof!). 10/20 at St. John Kanty Church in 1946. Benjamin Brody. . . . . . . . . 10/20 Gary L. DeSilva . . . . . . . . . 10/6 Joan Bednarski. . . . . . . . . 10/20 Terry Hudak. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10/6 Nicole Nettleton. . . . . . . . . . 10/6 Christopher Phillips. . . . . . . . 10/7 Jilian Fueshko. . . . . . . . . . . . 10/8 Nick Kacmarcik. . . . . . . . . . 10/8 Sasha Reyes. . . . . . . . . . . . 10/8 Melissa Rossi. . . . . . . . . . . . 10/8 Happy 80th Birthday to Theresa Menconi on 10/8. Nicole “Eel” Layng. . . . . . . 10/9 Eileen Patterson. . . . . . . . 10/11 Anthony Shackil. . . . . . . . 10/11 Linda Triolo. . . . . . . . . . . . 10/11 Jessica Vongas. . . . . . . . . 10/11 Jonathan Ramirez. . . . . . 10/11 Shaminder Jassal. . . . . . . 10/12 Michael D. Rice. . . . . . . . 10/12 Stepanie M. Palomba. . . 10/13 Kimberly Beirne. . . . . . . . . 10/14 Lil Geiger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10/14 Mary Anne Kowalczyk. . . 10/14 Andrea Kovalcik. . . . . . . . 10/15 Stephen Kovalcik. . . . . . . 10/15

Happy 90th Birthday to Betty V.B. Smith on 10/29. The former Clifton resident would love to hear from you. Send Greetings to 8220 Harwood Ave., Apt. 511, Wauwatosa, WI 53213



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

FREE With This Coupon Coupons May Not Be Combined.

Belated 25th Anniversary to Bill and Lizz Gagnon (9/22) Jean Chiariello. . . . . . . . . 10/20 Lea Dziuba. . . . . . . . . . . . 10/20 Patrick Doremus Jr.. . . . . . 10/21 Eugene Osmak. . . . . . . . . 10/21 Katelyn Smith. . . . . . . . . . 10/21 Carolyn Maso. . . . . . . . . . 10/22 Anthony Osellame. . . . . . 10/22 Daniel Atoche. . . . . . . . . . 10/23 John Bross. . . . . . . . . . . . . 10/23 Allison Beirne. . . . . . . . . . . 10/24 Sandra Kuruc. . . . . . . . . . 10/24 Heather Sito. . . . . . . . . . . 10/24 Paul G. Andrikanich. . . . . 10/25 Amanda Caparso. . . . . . 10/25 Niveen Eissa. . . . . . . . . . . 10/25 Matthew McGuire. . . . . . 10/26 Ricardo Rodriguez. . . . . . 10/26 Kristofer Scotto. . . . . . . . . 10/27 Nicole Keller. . . . . . . . . . . 10/28 Ashley Gretina. . . . . . . . . 10/29 Lindsay Berberich. . . . . . . 10/30 Raymond Romanski. . . . . 10/31 Josef Schmidt. . . . . . . . . . 10/31 13 Belated Greetings to Dana Ricca (9/27)

2 00 OFF


Any Size Ice Cream Cakes Coupons May Not Be Combined.

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

Clifton Merchant • October 2004


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is again hosting its annual Halloween giveaway. Kids under 10 years of age should color an illustration (just like the one at the left) which will be found in the

Rosemary Trinkle Baran

Members of the CHS Class of 1979 will have a chance to relive old times when the group hosts its 25th reunion on Nov. 26 at the Bethwood in Totowa. Get ready to party because there will be a five hour open bar, buffet, DJ and dancing. Organizers include Susan Kral Sorber (973-473-4119), Rosemary Trinkle Baran (973-779-4611), Debbie Hatem Gorny (973-778-6702), George Hariton (973-815-2827) and Linda Haraka DiFalco (973-778-1992), all shown here back in the day. The cost is $75 per person, due this month.

Clifton FMBA Local 21 Fire Safety Activity Book and bring it to Coldwell Banker, 789 Clifton Ave., to redeem it for a free pumpkin and trick or treat bag, while supply lasts. Call 973-778-4500 for details.

Debra Hatem Gorny

George Hariton

Linda Haraka DiFalco

Susan Kral Sober

Dr. David R. Moore, Chiropractor

Mon • Wed • Fri Chiropractic Health Center 241 Crooks Ave • Clifton • 973.253.7005 Tue • Thu • Sat Elmwood Park Athletic Club 690 River Dr • Elmwood Park • 201.794.0155


October 2004 • Clifton Merchant


Dr. Moore is pleased to announce October’s patient of the month, Louie Devita Jr. Louie is dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle that includes Chiropractic adjustments. Louie, like Dr. Moore, is a proud lifetime resident of Clifton. Find out how you can, "Get Back into Action!".

East Ridgelawn Cemetery... ...invites you to visit our Mausoleum on Main Avenue to see the inspirational art adorning our new building. Within the Mausoleum, our artist has painted a serene and peaceful view, entitled ‘Eden’, pictured above, where visitors can pause to celebrate the lives of those who have passed.

At the Mausoleum... Visits are unlimited and unaffected by the weather. Crypts are located in the building and convenient for elderly and handicapped. Mausoleum internment provides greater Peace of Mind & Security. • non-sectarian • niches

• mausoleum • garden graves

• monumental graves • no obligation pre-need counseling • financing available one-year at no interest on easy monthly plans

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


Tomahawk Promotions 1288 Main Avenue Clifton, NJ 07011



TOP 1% REALTORS Direct Line 973-340-1107 Selling? Call Nick and start packing! Buy or Sell A Home With Us & Use This Truck!

Most Homes Sold In Clifton! *

*Nick had most listings sold in Clifton, more than any other Agent. (Source - IMS Incorporated/GSMLS)

Free Report #1

Find Out What the Home Down the Street Sold For To hear a brief recorded message call

1-866-831-4517 ID# 1741 Call anytime 24/7



Lovely Colonial, LR w/fireplace, FDR, kitchen, sun room, 2 Bdrms, ceramic tiled bath, Full fin.bsmnt, 1/2 bath, 1 car gar. Private yard, Well maintained, Close to all amenities & schools. Must see!



Taste plus Space – Popular design w/ sensible touches everywhere Well-proportioned rooms mean easy living. corner lot is very well manicured w/ 6 rms, 3 Bdrms, 1.5 baths, & full basement.

Call Gladys 973-859-7506

Call Sophia 973-859-7500





Move in condition all updated, large rooms, fin bsmnt with ceramic tiles, main bath with Jacuzzi, large deck & yard, near NY Tran. Quiet Res Area. A pleasure to show!

Call Maria 862-262-1980

Free Report #2

Moving Up! How to Avoid Getting Stuck with Two Homes To hear a brief recorded message call 1-866-826-9875 ID# 1772 Call anytime 24/7





Nice large 1 family. Features 4 bdrms, 2 on each floor. LR, DR, EIK, fin. bsmnt w/full bath, rec room, summer KIT and office. 1 car garage plus driveway.

Well kept 1 fam home. LR, MEIK and 1 bdrm on the 1st Flr. 2nd. Flr has 2 bdrms and a den that can be a possible 4th bdrm. Full unfin. Bsmt and a nice size enclosed yard.

Move Right In – Well maintained, Corner lot with 7 rooms, 3 Bedrooms whirlpool bath. For all other extras.

Call Nick 973-340-1202

Call Nick 973-340-1202

Call David 973-859-7513

Free Report #3

Selling? 27 Quick & Easy FixUps to Sell your Home FAST & FOR TOP DOLLAR! To hear a brief recorded message call 1-866-831-4517 ID# 1723







2 Family home can be used as 1 family, 2bdrm, 2 baths or expand to a large 2 family. 1st Fl KIT, LR. 2nd Fl KIT, LR, DR. Good for handy man or investor.

Must be seen on the inside! Massive 2nd Flr apartment, includes a family room with laundry plus 2 additional bedrooms and 3rd full bath on the 3rd level. For more details.

Comfortable sized LR, Formal DR, lrg MEIK, modern bath on 1st flr. Full size master bdrm plus 2 small bdrms on 2nd flr. Full bsmnt with 2nd full bath. Very Clean.

Call today! 973-340-1202

Call Charles 973-930-5033

Call Charles 973-930-5033

Call anytime 24/7

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