Clifton Merchant â€˘ October 2013
Table of Contents
What’s Inside? 6
As Clifton Evolves... So Does Our Magazine
16 Bravo, Clifton, Bravo Dutch Hill’s Opera Maestro
Corner of Europe Pg. 22
32 Edwin Romero The Athenia American Dream
36 A Share in Clifton History Panagiotis Doris at the Hot Grill
38 Dedication “D.R.” Style Advocate Amparo Caamano
48 Clifton Original Greg Motta Keeping it Hometown Simple
Bachar Balkar Pg. 42
52 Partners in Life & Medicine The Comprehensive Drs. Ugras & Rey 16,000 Magazines
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Editor & Publisher Tom Hawrylko Business Manager Cheryl Hawrylko Graphic Designer Ken Peterson Contributing Writers Robert Lisowsky, Richard Szathmary, Carol Leonard, Philip Read, Jack DeVries, Rich DeLotto, Don Lotz
54 Chris de Vinck Essay Fall is Certainly Here... Enjoy!
56 Trick or Treating Along Rt. 3 Visit Stores, Bars and Bakeries
70 Holiday House Boutique Shop Clifton First at Lambert Castle
73 New Chief at Clifton Savings Celentano and Celuch to Retire
76 Election Day Primer Who’s Who on Oct.16 & Nov. 5
Boys & Girls Club Taste of Clifton Pg. 59
Clifton FMBA Local 21 members and Tomahawk Promotions, publisher of this magazine, are proud to once again team up with our business community to publish a Fire Prevention Booklet for Kids. In October, Clifton Fire Safety officials will visit schools and talk to children but it is a discussion that must continue year round. Thanks again to our sponsors for their support and helping us to spread the word, at no cost to city taxpayers. • Apprehensive Patient & Poller Dental Group • Rainbow Montessori • State Farm Agents Tom Tobin & Bill G. Eljouzi • Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage • Joseph Lauritano Landscaping • New Bairn School • Tenafly Pediatrics • Wee Care Child Care Center • Shook Funeral Home • IHOP Restaurant of Clifton • Carl G. Zoecklein, Esq. • P&A Auto Parts • Assemblyman Thomas Giblin • Members of Clifton PBA Local 36 • North Jersey Federal Credit Union • Athenia Veterans Post • Valley National Bank • Downtown Clifton Economic Development Group 10,000 copies of this coloring book are being distributed to students in Grade 3 and below. To get a free copy, or to arrange a school visit, call Fire Headquarters at 973-470-5801. Clifton Merchant • October 2013
an nts no
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EVOLVES, So Do We
You may notice in this issue that we have several stories aboutethnicityandethnicgroups. Now, Clifton is certainly dappled with ethnicities. We’rethearchetypal‘gloriousmosaic’(topullaphrase fromthoseboring‘Civics’textbookswhichalwaysledto such nice sleepy-time sessions in high school), a place thatwouldutterlybaffleeventheFoundingFatherswith the multiplicity of accents, skin tones and native garb foundonourstreets. We’realsowhereanamazingnumberoflanguages arespoken,especiallyintheschoolsystem.Andwhere a woman with a sweet smile in a hijab can serve you decidedly non-halal pork sausage on a bagel in a local Dunkin’ Donuts and a strict Orthodox deli clerk at the supermarketintallisandearlockscanaskhowyouliked theMetsgame“yesterday,”whichwasShabbos. Thereis,asithappens,atownrightnexttous,supposedly dwelt in by media celebrities and a must tour stop for state and national politicians alike, where its boosters constantly toss out the ‘D’ word in praise of itselfandthemselvesandatinordinatelength They say all this, however, without the significant populations of Orthodox Jews, Dominicans, Haitians, Lebanese, Turks, Ukrainians, Poles, Hungarians and evenYemenisinCliftonwhocanbeseen(and,darewe say,appreciated)daily.Becausesuchfolkain’tatallto be found on the streets of that better-publicized neighboring town. This is why all that self-congratulatory rhetoricfromour‘neighbor’ringssohollow. Sod! Such, uh, “diversity” (to use the dreaded ‘D’ word),inotherwords.ThisisClifton,andwepractice, darnedwell,ona24/7basiswhatsomanyothertowns andfolksonlytalk(andtalkand...)about. SociologistMichaelNovakina1972booktitledThe 6 October 2013 • Clifton Merchant
Rabia Khyati has been in America for 12 years from her native Morocco and has managed the Dunkin’ Donuts in Corrado’s for the past 11. She speaks English, French and the Moroccan dialect of Arabic.
Rise Of The Unmeltable Ethnics predictedthatacelebrationofethnicitywouldbecomeoneofAmerica’sdominatingsocialthemesasweranoutthe20thcentury. Novak even predicted that consultants would base theircareersonhowtoembracethisstateofaffairs. Timehasprovenhimright. Butagain,hereinClifton,hey,wedon’tneedconsultantsandtheircostlycoursestoteachushowtoimplementthe‘D’word.Cliftondoes.Inlargepartbecause wevaluethe‘E’wordovereventhe‘D’word. But then, our own glorious mosaic is repaired and burnisheddailybyourcitizens.Thisisourcorestrength. There are so many ethnic blocs contributing to the fabricofClifton(thustoitsfuturepoliticallandscape), some recently emergent, some fairly well established, thatcoveringthemallissimplyimpossible. Nonetheless,pleaseenjoythismonth’shumblecelebration of Clifton’s ethnicity. We at Clifton Merchant Magazine areproudtoevolvewithourhometown.
d e , ,
RE-ELECT CLIFTON’S OWN...
SHERIFF RICHARD H. BERDNIK I am proud of my public career, as not only a Clifton Police Officer but now as the Sheriff of Passaic County. If I am re-elected, I intend to continue my commitment to the Sheriff ’s Office and initiate more innovative programs and policies to help keep our families safe, while reducing the burden on our taxpayer. As we go into the end of the campaign season, I ask you to be discriminate in the information you hear about me from my opponent’s campaign.
I have already seen a significant amount of half truths, lies and misinformation regarding my record and I expect that unfortunate trend to continue through election day. Such behavior is not only disappointing, but exactly what is wrong with our political system. I pledge to you that I will not engage in such backhanded tactics and will run my reelection with the same honor and dignity and to keep residents of Clifton proud. Sincerely, Rich Berdnik
Paid for Berdnik for Sheriff
Vote Democratic November 5th • Vote Row B Clifton Merchant • October 2013
Smashes Through By Richard Szathmary The lady is holding an axe in her hands. It is a big, heavy axe.With a blood red head and a sharpenedpeenthatlookshardenoughtochopintothe stoutestofsteeldoors,oreventodenttheshirtlesschest ofVladimirPutin.Anditisperforceaverylethal-looking axe, the big, open smile of the lady holding it notwithstanding,onethatdefinitelylooksmadeforwarfare.(Let’sfaceit,theallegedmisdeedsofLizzieBorden comerighttomind,too.) ButtheladyisAngelinaTiradoandsheismerelycarrying on a proud family tradition of “axe-toting.” Her father wasAlberto Tirado.Alberto was a Passaic firefighter,andonMay9,2001hemadetheultimatesacrificewhilesearchingaburningbuildingformissingchildren(theywerelaterfoundsafe),anactofconspicuous on-the-jobbraveryforwhichhewasposthumouslypromotedtoLieutenant. Onthenightherfatherdied,hisdaughterwasahigh schoolsenior.AngelinanowhappenstobeClifton’sfirst, sofarsole,femalefirefighter.It’shardlycoincidental,of course. Beginnings “I am a firefighter,” Angelina Tirado declares with someevidentpride,asevenhernostrilsseemtoflarejust the teensiest bit. “I’m the first woman doing it, okay, yeah,right,Iknow,butI’malsoreallyjustproudtobea firefighterhereinClifton. “WhatcanItellyou?”shecontinues.“Ialwaysjust wanted to help people.” This led her, after some fitful stints at Rutgers and at PCCC, studying nursing, into qualificationasanEMTandsubsequentserviceasonein hernativePassaic. Shetookthewrittentesttobeafirefighterin2006.“It wasmostlylikebasic,generalknowledge,”sherecalls, andthephysicalin2007.Itwasn’tuntil2010,however, 8 October 2013 • Clifton Merchant
mostly because of the vagaries of New Jersey’s civil serviceprocedures,andbudgetaryreasons,thatshewas actuallyappointedtotheCliftonFD. “ItwasinpartbecauseIgrewuparoundfirefighters,” Angelina says. “I knew what they did and they all seemed so nice. I knew they did a very difficult job. I admiredthemfordoingthatjob.” Itcanbe,itsurelyishere,assimpleasthat. And of course, she’s heard all the caveats about womenasfirefighters.“Thatwomenwouldn’tlasthere (i.e.onthetestosterone-ladensacredgroundsofafirehouse).Thatit’saguy’sworldandperiodforthat.That wejustaren’tcutoutforthejob.We’rewomensowe’re justnotstrongenough.Wedon’thavetherightattitude,” shelaughs.“There’salotmorebutit’sthekindofstuff thatjustalwaysgetssaid.”
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Vote Democratic November 5th • Vote Row B Clifton Merchant • October 2013
ETHNICITY The heights of silliness in this vein were probably scaledviatheprominentlyvoicedcommentsoffirefighters’wivesdecadesago,whenwomenfirstbeganappearing in uniform, that their presence on the job would somehowprovepotentiallydisruptivetowedlock. “It’s something different, that’s for sure,”Angelina admits.“Maybeeverybody’sjustafraidofchangeuntil ithappens.Changecanbegood,theylearntoadmitthat tothemselvesifyoucanproveittothem.Sowe,meaninghereme,wejusthavetogooutanddoit.Wevegot toshowpeoplewecanhandlethejobasgoodasanybodyelse,that’sall.” “Family” Ties Someonewho’strulyinthecatbirdseattocommenton the situation, however, FMBA (Firemen’s Mutual BenevolentAssociation)Local21PresidentBobDeLuca, puts it as baldly as possible when asked about his own reaction when he heard that Clifton had hired its first femalefirefighter:“Great.Justgreat.Greatagain,too.” Askedifhehadanymisgivings,DeLucaisadamant. thattherewerenone.Notfromhimoranyoneelsein the FMBA. “None whatsoever. She was qualified so shewashired.Sheknowsthejob,”hecontinues.“From whatIhearsheknowsitverywell.Shecamein,went throughallthetraining.Learneditsuccessfully.That’s thewayit’ssupposedtobeforanybody,right? “ShecameinasClifton’sfirstfemalefirefighter.But now,” and here DeLuca seems to purposely pause for effect, “she’s just a firefighter. One of the good guys.. Oneofthefamily.Welcometothedepartment.Nowget to work.” This is a bona fide union endorsement of AngelinaTiradoofthehighestorder.
10 October 2013 • Clifton Merchant
Angelina with her late father, Passaic Firefighter Alberto in Sept. 1995, his 35th birthday.
Butiffirefighters,inanyarrangementofsexes,constituteafamily,sodomilitaryunits.Asitturnsout,interestingly,there’safamilyconnectionofsortsheretoo. CliftonPoliceDetectiveSgt.BacharBalkar,profiled elsewhere in this magazine, in fact served alongside Angelina’sfatherAlbertoduringthefirstGulfWarwhen bothwereMarines,andtheyreallyandtrulykneweach other as well. (Cue Dion & The Belmonts) singing Rogers&Hart’s“WhereorWhen”asproofthatthings dofallintoanoddsortofplacesometimes.) No, they probably didn’t have deep, searching discussionsaboutthemeaningoflife,orevenaboutwho servesthebestTexasWeinerinClifton,buttheywere stuck out there in the sand together and as Marines formed the traditional bond of blood and sacrifice whichsodefinesthoseintheCorps.Theyprobablyjust didn’trealizeitatthetime.
Welcome to our Practice
Dr. Michael DelGiodice is an author on ocular disease and Vice President of the NJâ€ˆChapter of the American Academy of Optometry. His specialities includes laser eye surgery, dry eye syndrome, contact lenses and neurologic eye disease. He is also a consultant for Bausch + Lomb pharmaceuticals.
Attefa Sultani, O.D., focuses on comprehensive eye care, from diagnosis and management of eye disease to contact lenses and post-operative care and can perform exams in Spanish, Hindi and Farsi.
Ceaser Pitta, M.D., specializes in diseases of the retina including Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Macular Holes, Macular Pucker as well as Detachment surgery.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ October 2013
ETHNICITY The Job Most of us drive by a firehouse and,ifthefirefightersaren’toutona call, see them all seemingly lollygagging about on the taxpayer’s dimeandtime.ThisunfairassumptionhappenstobugAngelinaTirado no end. “Just because they think we’re doing nothing doesn’t mean thatweare,”sheobserves.Actually, too, the job of firefighter is one of themostdemandingoutthere.
It’s both stressful and physically exhausting,andithelpstobearthis inmind. As the Clifton FMBA’s website pointsout,firefightersanywhere are 300 percent more likely (according to Harvard University’s School of PublicHealth)tohaveaheartattack comparedtootheroccupations. They also have a 100 percent higher risk of contracting cancer according to a study by the
Health Care that Revolves Around You...
A National Model for Care Coordination Immedicenter is now a Patient-Centered Medical Home, or PCMH. To achieve this national recognition, we met a number of standards, including having a dedicated team of care coordinators pictured below. Along with our medical providers, they will help make sure you get the care you need, at the right time and Dr. Michael Basista, Immedicenter Medical Director place. This leads to safer, higher quality of care, more empowered patients and a renewed relationship between physician and patient. We are proud of our national recognition and welcome the opportunity to get to tell you more about PCMH during your next visit.
Our care coordinators, from left, Jessica DeVoogt, Doreen Sestilio, Idina Merz, Wanda Ruiz and Maria Squirlock.
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12 October 2013 • Clifton Merchant
UniversityofCincinnati.Andthey face a significantly higher rate of non-cancerous respiratory diseases thananyotheroccupation. Plus there’s that little thingie called FIRE which in and of itself onlycomplicatesmatters. In 2012, the Clifton Fire Department, notes Chief Vincent Colavitti,had“overalltotalcallsof 6,670.Ofthese,183were‘structure fires,’ meaning in buildings of one sortoranother. Because the city geographically “containswithinitorisverynearto nearly every important road that runs across this state,” Colavitti explains, “has just flat-out much moretrafficthanmostothertowns.” Cliftonthereforefacescertainproblems that other Jersey fire departments generally don’t see to the samedegree. It had, for example, the fairly high number of 53 vehicle fires within its boundaries in 2012. Alongside 53 ‘other fires’ which usually turned out to be brushfires. “Pluswe’rethefourthlargestcityin the state. This is not a small town firedepartment.It’sonethatfaces majorissuesandhazardousmaterialsandconditionsdaily.” SofirefightinginCliftonissomewhat of a real slog. Which is why It’sthenparticularlynicethatChief Colavitti, as well as the FMBA’s Bob DeLuca, has nothing but high praiseforAngelinaTirado. “Weknewprettymuchwhatshe was coming in,” Chief Colavitti explains. This was because of Angelina’s previous tenure as an EMT in Passaic, where both his father and his brother have served ourneighborcity.
3 Issues Resolved in 1 Convenient Surgery
There are about 12,000 podiatrists in the United States, according to the Department of Labor, and Clifton podiatrist Thomas Graziano is one of only six who hold both a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) and a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree.
Dr. Thomas Graziano recently explained how three painful issues were addressed in one operation. “This patient presented with a bunion, crossover toe and hammertoes. These conditions were repaired with one operation and the patient was able to walk the same day of the surgery.”
As a foot and ankle specialist, my main goal for all my patients is to find caring solutions that last a lifetime. I won't just treat the symptom; I'll strive to correct the problem... Permanently. When you combine effective treatments with my genuine concern for your well-being, that's a powerful combination. -Thomas A. Graziano, MD, DPM, FACFAS Clifton Merchant • October 2013
ETHNICITY “She’sbeenanassettothedepartment.Particularly with the EMS stuff, yes, but just in general. You know,” the Chief adds, “It really doesn’t matter what sex she is. She does a good job. That’s what really counts.Andshefitsinverynicelyinourdepartmentas aresult.” ThetypicaldayofaCliftonfirefighter,accordingto AngelinaTirado,is,ifthey’renotoutononeofthose 6,670 calls, consists of “training and preparation and inspections.Wecoverthingsinsideandout.We’rereally, really ready, and we’re really, really well led. So whatever anyone else thinks, we don’t just sit around thefirehousedoingnothingallday.” Going Forward Today,AngelinaTirado,who’sbeenattheBrighton Rd. firehouse since January but with the CFD since March,2010,caninfact“walktowork.”Shelivesright offBrightonRd.afewblocksaway,afactmorereminiscent of 19th centuryAmerica than of modern economicrealities. Shewas26whenshejoinedthedepartment,17and giggling in the halls of Passaic High when her father
14 October 2013 • Clifton Merchant
Albertodiedsoheroicallyandtragically.Andshewas achildwhenthefirstGulfWarwasonandherreservist fatherwascalledbackintothenactiveduty. It’sbeenalongskeinofeventsandyears,sometragicanddifficult.Butherspiritseemstoswelloutofher: “Thisisajobyouonlygointoifyoureallywanttohelp people.That’swhyIbecameanEMT.Andthenwhen thisjobopenedupIjumpedatthechance.” She’ssomewhatcoy,however,abouttherole“familytradition”mayhaveplayedinherchoiceofemployment.“Let’sjustsayIloveandhonorhim,okay?And Ifinallyunderstandwhathedidforalivingeveryday.” “Ithinkit’sajobforanyonewhocanhandleit,”says Clifton’sfirstfemalefirefighter. “Look, you’re working with guys and you have to trust them with your life daily and they have to trust theirs with you. So you’re all firefighters, working together.Ifyouacceptandrealizethatandcanproveto othersthattheycancountonyou,you’lldofine. “IwanttodofineandIlikehavingthetrustofothersonthejob.”Andsheswingsaverybig,verymenacing-looking axe if anyone dares impede her way or sneersatherqualifications.
With Great Pride, We Recognize the Clifton Office’s Highest Achievers. July 2013 Award Winners
Agent of the Month
Arthur “Artie” Rubin
August 2013 Award Winners
Gregorio “Greg” Manalo
Agent of the Month
Here are some of our current homes on the market....
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If you’re interested in a career in real estate, call me at 973-779-1900(office) 973-801-9497(cell) firstname.lastname@example.org Clifton Merchant • October 2013
That’s right, an opera company has its roots right here in your hometown.
BRAVO! By Robert Lisowsky
Francesco Santelli of Clifton, the Garden State Opera’s Artistic and Musical Director, is pictured with a biblical image of Tamar and Judah.
When you think of Clifton’s historically charming Dutch Hill neighborhood, operadoesn’tusuallycome tomind.FewpeopleevenknowthatanoperacompanyhasitsoriginsinClifton,muchlessaquietlittlecornerofDutchHill. OK, it’s not exactly the Met at Lincoln Center, but down on Hadley Ave., you’ll find the Garden State Opera’s headquarters in the home of its artistic and musicaldirector,FrancescoSantelli. Hehasastudioinhishome,butSantellialsoworks outoflargerproductionfacilitiesaroundNorthJersey. The word opera in Italian means “a creative work, especiallyamusiccomposition”suggestingthatitcombinestheartsofsoloandchoralsinging,acting,dancing,sceneryandcostumesinastagedspectacle. Santelli founded the Garden State Opera in 1999 “withthepurposeofofferingqualityproductionsatlow ticketprices.Thecompanyproducesfullystagedoperas withanorchestra”andhasperformedinvenuesthroughoutPassaic,EssexandBergencountiesfeaturingsingers andmusiciansfromtheNewYorkmetroarea. 16 October 2013 • Clifton Merchant
Since 2005, the Garden State Opera has also been showcased as part of the Caldwell College Concert Series, in collaboration with the private Catholic College’sMusicDepartment. Santelli’snextbigproductionwillhitthestagelater this month. It’s the world premiere performance of “Tamar da Timna (Tamar of Timnah) from Misery to Glory” at the Caldwell College Student Center AuditoriumonBloomfieldAve.,Oct.27at4pm. The opera was commissioned by theAssisi Music FestivaltoSantelli,whoisalsoComposerinResidence with the annual festival which takes place in Assisi, Italy. Every year musicians converge upon this medieval village to produce world-class vocal and chambermusic.Santellisaysplansareintheworksto stagehisoriginaloperathereaswell. Santelli, librettist and composer of the work, has pointedoutthatthestoryofTamarintheBible(Genesis 38)isbrief,butalsofascinatingandintriguing.Thecentralcharacter,Tamar,hasbeencriticizedbymanybiblicalscholarsbecauseofher‘peculiarbehavior.’
Clifton Merchant â€˘ October 2013
ETHNICITY “In fact, in the story, she hid her identity among some temple prostitutes in the city of Enaim and enticedJudahintoasexualrelationshipthere,”explains Santelli. “This has generated so much controversy aboutthenatureandmotivationsofthiswoman.” Accordingtothecomposer,intheopera“Tamarda Timna,”audienceswillbepresentedwithanewview ofTamar.Thedramaticlibrettoandthemusicwillview Tamar'sactionsas“inspiredfromabove.” Judah and Tamar are immortalized in the Old Testamentforbeingtheleadprogenitorsofaglorious genealogy that goes from King David to the Messiah himself,hencefromthemiseryoftheEnaim’smoment tothegloryofJudah’sjustificationofher,andfinally herpositioninhistory. Jacob,Judah’sfather,hadprophesizedonhisdeath bed that the “lion of the tribe of Judah” will do great things, and such a prophecy could not have been fulfilledifTamarhadn'tdonewhatshedid.Intheend, Judah himself acknowledges Tamar’s greatness with thefamouswords‘SheismorerighteousthanIam.’” The story of Tamar, a biblical figure little known and much less understood, is inspirational, Santelli maintains, “because of her faith in the will of heaven
whichsheespousedattheriskofherlife.SheunderstoodthatJudah’slineagehadtocontinue,throughher life of prayer and knowing the prophecy received by Jacobonhisdeathbed.” “She was not a prostitute even though she had to dressasonetoobtainherpurpose,”Santelliexplains. “SheenduredthecourseandtheliesandbrokenpromisesofJudahtoadvanceGod’splan.” Hepointsoutthatthesexualelementinthisstory“is interesting and peculiar in that the relationship betweenthetwointhiscontextwasnotsimplyahorizontalhumanact;ratheritwasreinforcedwithaverticalor‘spiritual’purpose.” WhenTamarwasonthevergeofbeingexecutedfor the adulterous affair which led to her pregnancy, she cared little for her life, only that the child would be bornandthattheprophecywouldbefulfilled. “Tamar stands as an inspirational figure and a role model if we understand her motivations for her actions,”addsSantelli. As for the music, he says “the opera is tonal and melodic with abundance of dissonances throughout, according to the different emotions and moments the charactersexperienceonstage.”
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18 October 2013 • Clifton Merchant
Clifton Merchant â€˘ October 2013
ETHNICITY Thereareseveraldances Younger opera buffs inthework,theKadeishas can catch a matinee perDance (The Temple formance of Donizetti’s Prostitutes),Tamar’sdance “Il Campanello,” on Oct. for Judah and a dance in 25,11am,alsoatCaldwell Judah’s household to celeCollege.Admissionisfree brate the return of his son formiddleandhighschool Shela,whichareperformed students. by The Kennedy Dancers While Santelli seeks ofJerseyCity. sponsorsandsupportfrom ThelibrettoisinItalian individuals and corporaOpera singers Charles Williamson and Erin Britten, with English supertitles tions, many projects are who will perform at the Sequoia Senior Center in and the production is funded in part, by the Passaic, as part of the Garden State Opera. stagedwithanorchestra. Passaic County Cultural Ticketsare$20,$15forstudentsandseniors,andtax and Heritage Council at Passaic County Community deductiblecontributionsaremostwelcome(TheGarden College,andthroughagrantfromtheNewJerseyState StateOperaisanon-profitorganization). Council on theArts, a partner agency of the National TheGardenStateOperawillalsopresentaconcert EndowmentfortheArts. attheSequoiaSeniorCenter,565BroadwayinPassaic Thoseinterestedinlearningmoreabouttheopera,or on Oct. 10 at noon. Opera singers Erin Britten and to have a performance organized for a group or an CharlesWilliamsonwillperformariasandduetsfroma organization, contact Francesco Santelli by phone at repertoire accompanied at the piano by Ishmael 973-685-9972 or email email@example.com. See Wallace.Thereisasuggesteddonationof$5atthedoor. moredetailsatgardenstateopera.homestead.com.
20 October 2013 • Clifton Merchant
Clifton Merchant • October 2013
22 Varettoni Pl., Clifton • 973-772-2330 1255 Broad St., Bloomfield • 973-338-8300 1293 Broad St., Bloomfield • 973-771-0800
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The Montessori Method “Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point of a whole, which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future.”
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A Little Corner of Europe By Irene Jarosewich There is a joke that became popular in Ukraine about 20 years ago, soon after the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991, and Ukraine, along with 14 other Soviet republics, became independent nations. The joke goes like this: Ivan, ninety-two years old, sat in front of his house in a little corner of the Carpathian Mountains, a range that runs through the heart of Eastern Attorney Walter J. Tencza as a Clifton High grad in 1951, and today. Europe, reminiscing aloud. “In 1900, when I was born, I was Austrian. My uncle, who lived a “I love the language, love my customs and tradicouple of towns over was tions, I’m the attorney to Sons of Poland... My ties Hungarian. In 1930, when I got marto Polonia have always been strong.” ried, I was Polish. In 1960, when my grandchild was born, I was Soviet. The Polish immigrant population grew so rapidly Finally, when I die, I will be Ukrainian. And imagine, I that by 1918, other parishes formed: Holy Rosary in never even left this town.” Passaic and St. Stanislaw in Garfield. By 1935, the Every East European who hears that joke will accept first building of St. John Kanty Church on Speer Ave. it with a wry grin, or maybe grimace — Poles, Slovaks, in Athenia had been built. Athenia remains a hub for the Hungarians, Ukrainians, Czechs, Serbs, Romanians, Polish community today. Attorney Walter J. Tencza Moldovans, others — each can tell a similar story about came to America from Poland when he was six years their little corner of Europe. old in 1939, and then came to live off Van Houten Ave. The collapse of empires, poverty, two world wars, in 1944, after several years in Brooklyn and Passaic. constantly shifting borders, then the collapse of the On Nov. 15, he will be inducted into the Alumni Hall Soviet Union all provided reasons for millions of of Fame for the Boys and Girls Club of Clifton, now Eastern Europeans to immigrate to America—hundreds located on Colfax Ave., although that wasn’t the club’s of thousands of them to settle in northern New Jersey. first address. The original Boys Club, “because,” said Today, about 10-12 percent of Clifton’s population, or Walter, “we had no girls then” was in Passaic. close to 9,000 residents, claims East European descent. “I was about 15 when I was asked by the director of That’s definitely bigger than your average village back in the Boys Club in Passaic, Mr. Polino, to help set up one the old country. The largest community here is Polish, in Clifton. The first Boys Club in Clifton began in almost 7 percent of Clifton’s population. One of the first School #13 in Athenia and then moved to School #7 in anchors of the broader Polish community in our area was Botany Village a couple of years later.” built in 1892 in Passaic – St. Joseph’s parish. 22 October 2013 • Clifton Merchant
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Louisa Ziglar, MD
Dr. Raklyar brings her extensive work and study experience to The NJ Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center. Receiving her Medical Degree from the State University of New York and is a Certified Clinical Densitometrist, Dr. Raklyar performed her residency at Georgetown University at Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, culminating as Chief Fellowship in the final year. Board Certified in Rheumatology and Internal Medicine, Dr. Raklyar brings a youthful optimism in her treatment of the various ailments associated with Arthritis and Osteoporosis.
Dr. Ziglar received her Rheumatology Fellowship training at New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, Internal Medicine Residency training at North Shore University Hospital and medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical School. Prior to joining our group she held a faculty appointment at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Ziglar's enthusiasm and ability to articulate rheumatic diseases was recognized in 2010 when she was awarded “Rheumatology Fellow of the Year” by the NYU Internal Medicine Residency Program. She is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Michael P. Lewko, MD, FACR, AGSF Arthritis Doctor Michael Lewko has been specializing in GeriatricsRheumatology and is named to U.S. News & World Report database of Best Doctors. He has been specializing in Geriatrics and Rheumatology for over 20 years since receiving his degree from Rutgers Medical School and fellowship training at Brown University and University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. In addition to his Clifton office practice, he has served proudly as Chief of Geriatrics as well as a Faculty Member in the Departments of Medicine and Family Practice at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center.
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Arthritis • Rheumatism • Osteoporosis Aging Wellness • Functional Improvement Clifton Merchant • October 2013
At the St. Nicholas Church picnic this past month, from left Self Reliance employee Nataliya Yakhtelska, Board Chair Kenneth A. Wanio, Rev. Andriy Dudkevych of St. Nick’s, CEO Val Bogattchouk and employee Kate Laszyn.
The Ukrainians In 18th and early 19th cen“We offer Clifton residents high rate CDs—the highturies, East European immiest in Northern NJ—low rate car loans, excellent mortgrants often arrived first in Passaic or Paterson to begin gage and business loans. We do it much faster than jobs in the bustling factories other financial institutions, with personalized service.” and mills. Then, after gathering and saving money to buy land, they moved “out into the Botany Village, on the edge of Passaic, was also a country,” in what was then the farmlands of Clifton. hub of immigrant life in the 1940s and 1950s, the time Ukrainians were no exception to this pattern. During when Tencza was growing up. Poles, Slovaks, Jews, the past 120 years, the Ukrainian community estabUkrainians, Hungarians, Russians lived within blocks lished several parishes in and near Clifton. Today St. of each other. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic parish in Passaic, St. Mary In the 1950s, there was always a rivalry going on Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Washington between the different neighborhoods and towns, said Ave. and Holy Ascension Ukrainian Orthodox Tencza, and in Clifton “the town of neighborhoods” Cathedral on Broad St. continue to be anchors. everybody was proud of theirs and defended their own. Ukrainian immigration to the U.S. peaked in four The competition continued through graduation at distinct waves: before World War I, during the 1920s, Clifton High. He then went on to be an attorney, a path after World War II and most recently, after the end of followed by three of his four children, the fourth a prothe Soviet Union in 1991. During the actual war years, fessional in the pharmaceuticals industry. including the 40 years of the Cold War, immigration Tencza’s links to his Polish heritage are personal and dipped or even stopped. professional. “I love the language, love my customs Descendants from the first three waves, as well as and traditions, I’m the attorney to Sons of Poland, was recent arrivals, and a growing number of nona member of the committee that for 75 years has been Ukrainians, are all among the membership of the Self organizing the annual Pulaski Day Parade down Fifth Reliance (NJ) Federal Credit Union with branches on Avenue. My ties to Polonia have always been strong.” Allwood Rd. and on Dayton Ave. in Botany. 24 October 2013 • Clifton Merchant
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“I’m really encouraged to see the younger families, newer immigrants. It’s good to carry on the tradition. Many older Slovaks still live in the neighborhood around the church. But it’s especially good to see younger families and children, who all speak fluent Slovak.”
On Ackermann Ave., John Pogorelec Sr., his son John the Centennial Chair, and Trustee Tony Glodova.
Self Reliance has been a financial mainstay for the community since 1960, offering services in both English and Ukrainian. “However,” said Val Bogattchouk, CEO of the credit union, “you no longer have to be of Ukrainian descent to join the credit union because now we have a community charter that anyone who lives, works, worships or goes to school in Passaic County can be a member and have access to our services that include great rates on business loans, auto loans that begin at 0.99 percent, low-interest mortgages with rapid turnaround for approval.” Besides excellent rates on a variety of loans, the credit union offers all a full array of options such as free 26 October 2013 • Clifton Merchant
online banking, direct deposit, CDs with, according to Bogattchouk, the highest interest paid in northern New Jersey. Additionally, Self Reliance also offers free checking that pays interest on your balance. Since the credit union is a not-for-profit owned by member-depositors, credit union services are free, or provided for lower fees than traditional banks. Those lower costs plus personal service is what attracts the 4,000 members of Clifton’s Self Reliance to continue their often decades-long relationship with the credit union. Particularly important to Bogattchouk is that his staff takes the time to explain the complexities and potential pitfalls of banking to customers, as well as explain non-banking items such as credit reports and potential rip-offs, such as too-good-to-be-true mortgage rates and balloon loans. “Our credit union offers not only the ease of banking in a familiar language, but we also want to build a relationship of trust. For example, all our mortgages are kept in-house, and our staff does not earn a commission, so there is no temptation to sell you something that you don’t need,” said Bogattchouk, “and we don’t just say we put your interests first. We genuinely do since you, our member, are also our owner.” The Slovaks The up-and-down pattern of immigration for Ukrainians was similar for Slovaks. Slovak immigrants first settled in nearby Passaic in the late 1800s. The mother church of the Slovak community was St. Mary’s on Market St. in Passaic, but as the local community grew and moved, Ss. Cyril and Methodius was formed in 1913 on Ackerman Ave. Founded by a small group of determined Slovaks living in the Clifton area, then known as Acquackanonk Township, Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church celebrates its 100th anniversary on Nov. 3. Ackerman Ave. was still a dirt road in 1913, and at the founding meeting, attended by 30 men, $20 was collected toward the building fund for a new parish.