Clifton Merchant Magazine - September 2004

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Clifton Merchant Magazine • Volume 10 • Issue 9 • September 3, 2004

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What’s the story, Jerry?




The Pool and The Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22

Often caustic—especially during his years on the Clifton Council— Jerry Zecker shocked many with his candor. He once called his fellow council members “clowns,” then said about them, “These people are lying through their teeth.” Our story begins on page 6...

2004 CHS Athletic Hall of Fame . . . . . . . . . . .31 The Mustangs Take the Field . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Will the Board of Ed Make A Decision? . . . . .58 At Senior Horizons of Clifton . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 The Lamentable Mountain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Our Second Annual Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 9/11 Candlelight Memorial Service . . . . . . . . .73 All American Jamie Anzaldi . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74 In Focus, the Clifton Arts Scene . . . . . . . . . . .78 They Say It’s Your Birthday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81 Beantown Nostalgia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82

Be a sponsor of the 2004 Clifton FMBA Fire Safety Activity Book. Call Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400.

Army Capt. Michael Tarlavsky US Army/Special Forces Capt. Michael Tarlavsky, CHS ‘92, was killed in Najaf, Iraq on Aug. 12 and buried in Arlington National Cemetery on Aug. 24. 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, his parents Yury and Rimma and a sister, Elina. The Clifton Veterans Alliance will engrave his name on the Main Ave. War Memorial— the first name added in 34 years— and hold a service later this year. Clifton Merchant Magazine is published monthly at 1288 Main Ave., Downtown Clifton • 973-253-4400

Clifton Merchant Magazine

Letters to the Warm & Fuzzy: Wow! The Camp Clifton story by Adeline DeVries brought back some memories. I spent seven summers there and had to swamp many a canoe, shoot a score of arrows, swim numerous laps, hike dozens of trails... and loved every second of it! Camp Clifton showed me what it was like to be on your own. I made many new friends and gained great confidence in myself. I remember working so hard for my ‘Squaws’, which I proceeded to do successfully. I received first Blue Squaw, then Red, Gold, Council Princess and at the age of 12...Silver Princess!!! ‘In October, 1867’, our lead story in the August 2004 edition began, ‘a group of residents walked the town to ponder new names. Inspiration struck Mrs. Charles D. Spencer as she pointed to Garret Mountain and said: “There are your cliffs and the name shall be Clifton.” These days, you might wonder what Mrs. Spencer could possibly have been looking at.’ Our report drew many responses and lamentations about development in our town. The letter below is one. See page 64 for a story.

What Mountain? Your magazine brought tears to my eyes as does every trip on the Parkway South from Paramus. As a resident since 1937, I do not see the beautiful cliffs that were our heritage. When the mountain disappeared I said we should be called Clif-less-ton instead of Clifton. I read your story with a great deal of interest and only would have changed your cover by putting the C, L, I and F in the dump trucks. I always enjoy your magazine. Keep up the good work. William C. McClelland 16,000 MAGAZINES are distributed to hundreds of Clifton Merchants the first Friday of Every Month. SUBSCRIBE ON PAGE 65 $15/year in Clifton $25/year out of town CALL 973-253-4400 entire contents copyright 2004 © tomahawk promotions


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From morning reveille to nightime taps, with cabin and table inspections in between, I remember it all... and Mrs. DeVries as well. As the camp nurse, she treated me for everything from poison ivy to strep throat. She was like a mother, making us feel safe and secure. Words like ‘bug juice’ and ‘dew drop’ and memories of singing songs around the campfire are still so vivid. Reflecting on my summers at Camp Clifton brings tears to my eyes, joy to my heart and a smile to my face. Thanks for a great story. Robin Ilaria Farnese North Caldwell



at Great Notc h (Senior Housi ng) Number of U nits: 810 114 in Clifto n 696 in W. Pa terson Developer: K . Hovnanian Projected Com pletion Date: 20 08 Current quarry and green spac e. EDITOR & PUBLISHER Tom Hawrylko BUSINESS MANAGER Cheryl Hawrylko GRAPHIC DESIGNER Andre Olave WRITERS Jack DeVries, Joe Torelli, Fran Hopkins, Raymond Tulling, Daniel Wolfe, Frank Santamassino, Gary Anolik

Construction of 125 units of senior housing is now complete on six acres of the former Athenia Steel property on Clifton Ave. Down the street, on what was once a community park in the dense Botany and Lakeview neighborhoods, a new $20 million Clifton Public School is opened. Are these two topics related? Absolutely. Clifton continues to grow at both ends. As our population ages, the number of children in our schools soar. How will our elected city leaders address the needs of these and other segments of our population? The Master Plan doesn’t offers any specifics. I am disappointed that it simply provides an inventory of the community and I hope that by the city hiring a new full time planner, we’ll soon see specific strategies emerge. To help the planning process, consider Clifton Tomorrow. What do you envision in 2010? More senior housing? How many units and where? What about a new middle school? Or should students in Clifton Public Schools be instructed in trailers on what used to be playgrounds in our neighborhood schools and across from our homes? And what about open space? As you consider those questions (there are more in our annual survey on page 67 or go to, look around. Traffic jams our streets as more housing is constructed on ill-planned but city-endorsed gated communities (see Colfax Ave.) while other developers tear down our namesake mountain for 810 more condos.

Opinion by Editor & Publisher Tom Hawrylko

It is apparent that the Clifton you grew up in is long gone. It’s crowded in our neighborhoods, on our streets and in our schools. And yet the building of new homes continues while the construction of a much needed middle school does not. Are we prepared for Clifton 2010? Back to the Athenia Albatross: Over the years, we’ve chronicled the city’s varied plans for the 29 remaining acres of this former contaminated steel factory, which include schools, more senior housing, ballfields and an ice hockey arena. But one issue never addressed is how cars and people will get out of the landlocked property. Athenia Steel has just one entrance—a long driveway, actually—sandwiched between the railroad trestle and private property on Clifton Ave., the city’s busiest street, and that’s a problem. Nearby, NJ Transit’s new parking lot adds 300 more daily vehicles, most of which will arrive at the station via Paulison, Colfax or Clifton Aves. Someone’s latest traffic solution is to buy and demolish businesses on Colfax and Paulison Aves., both streets with existing traffic problems. Contamination issues aside, didn’t the City Council consider all this before they purchased this Athenia Albatross? It makes you wonder if the politicians proposing these ideas live in Clifton.

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Is the former Mayor the Comeback Kid?

Jerry Zecker

By Jack De Vries


t was cold and rainy or hot and muggy. It didn’t matter. The candidate had doorbells to ring, hands to shake. The election was a year away, and he wasn’t going to lose again. Other candidates had money, influential friends, and the support of political clubs. This too didn’t matter. Jerry Zecker, the political nobody, would outwork them the way he outworked most everyone. He’d study more issues, talk with more people, and visit more homes. And he was determined to ring every Clifton doorbell before the 1974 city council election. He’d crush his cigarette and walk to the next house to announce that he’d come to ask for their vote. “Sometimes,” Zecker remembers, “rain would be pouring down. The person would look at me and say, ‘Buddy, you come out on a night like this to see me and you’ve got my vote.’”

To the surprise of many, he won a seat on the 1974 Clifton City Council, finishing fifth. Four years later, Zecker became mayor. And, in 1983, just when his political foes were about to bury him, he won a seat in the New Jersey State Assembly, beginning an 18-year career in Trenton. What drove him to run for office were the people he represented. “It took years before I could break it down this concise,” he says. “I saw it in the movie A Few Good Men. It was when the fellow said, ‘We’re like Marines. We fight for people who can’t fight for themselves.’ “I always felt like I was a Marine, fighting for people who, if I wasn’t there, wouldn’t have anyone to fight for them. I’d go into a council

In 1974, to gain the first spot on the ballot, Jerry Zecker and his supporters—Mike Novack, Richard Cooke, Jim Anzaldi, Chuck Ranges, Al Sabeh, and many more—kept a four-day, round-the-clock vigil outside City Clerk Betty Lutz’s office to present a candidate petition containing more than 7,000 signatures.


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meeting knowing I’d get slaughtered by six council members. I didn’t care. If I was right, I went in like a Marine.” Often caustic and confrontational—especially during his years on the Clifton City Council—Zecker shocked and offended many with his candor. He once called his fellow council members “clowns,” then said about them, “How do these budgets pass? These people are lying through their teeth.” He brought plywood shot through with arrows to a council meeting (he’d done the shooting himself in his garage) to support an ordinance restricting the indiscriminate use of bows and arrows. He defended his right to smoke during council meetings when the public could not, saying the council sat in a “private area.” Zecker is now home from Trenton for good. He’s enjoying time with wife Arlene and their children who live nearby, and has an interesting and rewarding job with New Jersey Transit. But get him talking about politics, and the fire begins to smolder in his eyes. Ask him what lies ahead— including a possible 2006 run for Clifton City Council—and he remains smilingly non-committal. “I’m a young 62,” he says. “And when I retire (which coincides around the time of the next council election, in 2006), I’ll be an even younger 65.”

Jerry Zecker served as councilman, mayor and assemblyman. Will he return to Clifton city politics once again?


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Plate Glass, Early Politics Gerald Henry Zecker was born in Passaic and grew-up in an apartment building owned by his grandfather. “The Zecker name comes from ‘Cechermeister,’” he says about his German/Hungarian name, shortened by immigration officials. “My mother is 100 percent Polish.” His parents, Henry and Adele, met in Garfield where his father was known as ‘Lefty’ Zecker, one of the area’s best baseball players. “People said my father could have been a professional,” Zecker says. “He did play with major leaguers like Herman Franks on Navy teams during WWII. He went in the service in 1941, just after my parents married. “The first time I saw him, I was three years old.” When Henry Zecker returned, he and his brothers established Ace Sheet Metal in Paterson, a business they’d run until the 1960s. “When I was eight,” Zecker, an only child, remembers, “I was thrown by two neighborhood tough guys through the plate glass of Lou’s Produce Market. That probably influenced my parents’ decision to move out of Passaic.” The Zeckers moved to Clifton the next year, buying a house on Maplewood Ave. As a boy, Zecker delivered circulars and newspapers,

At left, Zecker as a lad in Passaic, and below, the 1957 CHS graduate.

cut lawns, and worked in drive-in movie. “I took every job I could,” he says. “I always loved to work, always liked money. “On weekends, I worked at Frankie’s Market in Lodi. I’d work 24 hours in a row—getting dropped off on a Friday and staying to Sunday. “I also worked for Lou Faschek (the market owner whom Jerry met after he was thrown through the window) at the Mohawk Market in Passaic, going out on the trucks with him, selling produce and plants.” Zecker had his first experience with politics at Woodrow Wilson

Junior High, running for freshman class president against an Eagle Scout. “The teachers thought it more appropriate that he win,” says Zecker. “Though I got more votes—this is the God’s honest truth—they named the Eagle Scout class president. That left a bad taste. Through high school, I had no interest in politics.” A cross country and track athlete (who drove coaches crazy by being the team’s only runner to smoke), Zecker’s first sporting love was football.

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“My good friends, Coach Bill Vander Closter and Coach Joe Grecco, took pity on me,” he says. “I was a 99-pound freshman and 105-pound sophomore. When I came back as a 120-pound junior, they shoved me off to the track coach. They were afraid I’d get killed out there.”

The Work Ethic While in high school, Zecker got a job at Main Way Supermarket in Paterson. The market’s owner, Al Sabeh, became his mentor. “I spent more time with Al than my father,” he recalls. “In the summer, we’d open up the store at seven and leave at 10 at night. Sundays, we worked six to two. Al was like an older brother—he gave me a lot of great advice. He was best man at my wedding.” Sabeh’s work ethic was even stronger than Zecker’s. “I used to complain,” Zecker says, “about a 12-hour work day. Al would say I only worked a halfday—there was 24 hours in a day. ‘To make money,’ he’d tell me, ‘you must sacrifice. Work hard, because when you get older, you’re really going to enjoy it.’ “He was absolutely right. Everybody thinks they have to live their life when they’re young, but I still was able to fit in a lot of good times with all that work.”

The candidate in 1978 with Arlene and their kids Jerry, Kelly and Kari.

Would He Run Again? “I’ve been out two-and-a-half years now and (the break from public office) is just so welcome. I can spend more time with my parents. I can help my kids out more. My wife and I spend more time together. Would I ever come back? Under the right circumstances. Would my wife allow it? I don’t know. I owe her a lot—she tolerated a lot over the years. She was my sanity in a lot of insane situations and is my best friend. I seek more advice from her now than years ago—I never realized how smart she was until I started asking her questions. But I think about running for city council because the election would be in two years.” After graduating from Clifton High in 1959, Zecker thought of entering the service, but his mother wanted him to finish college. Art Argauer, his father’s old Garfield coach, got him a few track scholarships at out-of-state colleges, but Zecker wanted to stay local. 1317

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“He made a phone call,” Zecker laughs, “and I was enrolled at Seton Hall University—no entrance exams or SATs.” The future mayor and assemblyman found college to his liking. “College took only 15 hours a week,” he says. “When I saw how easy it was, I decided to postpone going into the service. Through college, I worked 50 to 60 hours a week—at the market, doing construction jobs, or working as a waiter for Hap Nightengale doing beefsteaks.” Zecker transferred to Farleigh Dickinson University, majoring in accounting, business, and English. After graduating, he continued to work in construction during the day, and nights and weekends for Sabeh.

When construction slowed, Zecker was open to offers. While riding on Route 23, he stopped at State Farm Insurance’s new Northeastern Regional Office in Wayne to say hello to friend Bob Nightengale, who worked in the company’s personnel department. “They interviewed and hired me that day,” he recalls. Zecker, the man with many jobs, had finally discovered a career.

Like a Good Neighbor Zecker began with State Farm as a management trainee. After two years inside the office and six months in the National Guard Reserves, he became a field claims adjuster. “I loved it,” he says about the position he’d hold for the next 22 years. “I had a company car, worked hard, and came and went as I pleased.” He also began developing skills he would use later in politics. “I handled bodily injury, auto, homeowners—all property damage claims,” he says. “I dealt with auto body shops, attorneys, and doctors—met a lot of people. It was a fascinating business— you learned every day. The job taught you organizational skills, my accounting skills came into play, and you had to develop a personality. “Believe it or not, I was always a little on the shy side, but that job made me an extrovert.” At 22, Zecker met his future wife Arlene. They married six years later in 1971 and settled in a Clifton apartment. Soon after, they bought their dream house on Clifton’s McCosh Road and began a family, welcoming children Kelly, Kari, and Jerry.


On Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej: “I did not start off on the best footing with Gloria when she was first elected to the city council. I don’t think she understood me. But over the years, I think she has come to understand me, and we now have a mutual respect for each other. Gloria is called a maverick on the city council, and she reminds me of the way I used to be 30 years ago.” (Kolodziej succeeded Zecker as mayor in 1982. He defeated her in a 1987 election for the 34th District Assembly seat).

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Zecker got his start in politics by helping one of the men who saved him from a gridiron beating. “In 1962,” he says, “I helped Joe Grecco run for city council because he was my football coach and friend. I helped him again when he ran for the Assembly. I wasn’t one of his major (campaign) players. I handed out literature and made sure people came out to vote. “Next, I helped Joe Scancarella, who later became a judge, run for the Assembly. I had graduated with his brother John. (Politics) was nothing serious—just a matter of helping people out of friendship.” In 1970, he got more politically involved when friend Mike Novack decided to run for a seat on the Clifton City Council. Zecker was supposed to announce his

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candidacy, then drop out and throw his support to Novack. He got petitions signed and secured a place on the ballot. But, at the last moment, Novack decided not to run. “I went down to city hall,” he says, of the 1970 contest in which he finished 14th in a field of 21, “and they told me it was too late to get off the ballot. So I ran and funded the whole campaign by myself. I spent $200 and got 2,500 votes. Other guys spent thousands and didn’t do as well. That put the taste (of politics) in me.” Zecker began studying how government works. He attended every city council meeting for four years, except one to go on his honeymoon. He also visited every Clifton home. He bankrolled his campaign with a $5,000 CD, $1,000 from his parents, and smaller donations from his friends. When the 1974 election came, he was ready. To gain the desired No. 1 spot on the ballot, Zecker and his supporters—Sabeh, Novack, Richard Cooke, Chuck Ranges, future mayor Jim Anzaldi, and many more—kept a four-day, round-the-clock vigil outside City Clerk Betty Lutz’s office to present a candidate petition containing more than 7,000 signatures. “No one had ever done this before,” Zecker says. “I had over

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Mayor James Anzaldi

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

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Stefan Tatarenko Gloria Kolodziej Steve Hatala Frank Gaccione

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On the Ward Style of Government: “I’ve always liked it—I love the way it works in Wayne. There are advantages and disadvantages of being together for four years (Clifton’s current form of city government). The same for staggered terms—it puts fresh blood in. Would the ward system be better for Clifton? We don’t know. People say if ‘it’s not broke, don’t fix it,’ but I do like the ward system because it would give representation to each section of Clifton.” Regarding the current City Council members: “Individually, there’s a lot of experience there—they should be pros. But sometimes they don’t jell as a group... it also appears they get caught up in minutia. Both the council and board of education should be working on the big picture, not small things.” 300 friends or people who would become my friends involved in that campaign. People said it was one of the best they have ever seen.” Zecker finished fifth in the election,

totaling 10,110 votes and gaining a seat. “It was democracy at work,” he says. “I wasn’t a product of wealth or privilege. I wasn’t groomed for the job. My family wasn’t political.

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But it showed any person who was willing to work hard, convince a lot of people to back him, and had good friends could win.” The new councilman discovered he had a lot to learn. “I thought I knew so much,” he says. “Then I became an elected official and realized I wasn’t nearly as smart as I thought I was. (As a council member), you begin to understand the intricacies and complexities, and problems when you vote ‘yes’ or ‘no.’” But Zecker always knew how to speak his mind. “I wasn’t a ‘bending’ person,” he says. “I tended to put my feet in the ground and not back off. I was a ‘non-politician politician.’”

Mayor Zecker In 1978, Zecker began campaigning for his second term. Branded as a “maverick,” he was left of the vaunted “City Hall Ticket.” The six candidates select-

Zecker’s take on the role of the City Council & Mayor: “City Manager Bill Holster (illustrated at right) grabbed me real early in the game and said, ‘I run the city on a day-to-day basis; you set policy. You shouldn’t be in city hall on a daily basis. Because when you’re in city hall bothering employees, you’re taking them away from production time. You have a constituent problem, you are to give it to me—I will take care of it.’ At times, the city council goes over the line and thinks it’s supposed to be running the city. The council’s supposed to be setting policy and letting the city manager and department heads run the city.” ed for the ticket were each presented with a $1,500 campaign donation by the ticket’s supporters. Zecker turned his exclusion to an advantage, telling the weekly newspaper, the Independent Prospector, that he would get up at 5 am instead

of 6 am visit more coffee shops, and ring more doorbells. “No one,” he said, “not even those big boys at city hall, can buy me.” He then shocked everyone by totaling 11,051 votes to grab the mayor’s job.

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September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

On the current mayor, James Anzaldi: “Jimmy has succeeded in becoming a mayor that Clifton appears to be comfortable with— he’s into his third term. He’s dedicated his whole life to one thing: being the mayor of Clifton. He’s single. He’s never aspired to great wealth. So Jimmy’s there for all of the ribbon cuttings, he’s got people who come to visit him—he’s like a real public relations guy for Clifton. When you have a city manager who should, in theory, be running the city on a day-to-day basis, Jimmy does a great job in public relations, listening to people and their problems, and referring them to people who he thinks can solve them.” “If a person was paying $1,000 in taxes in 1978, at the end of four years, that person was paying $1,060 in taxes—that’s school, municipal, and county,” he says. “That’s a $15 a year increase— unheard of.” Another unheard of move was a suit brought by Zecker against City Manager William Holster and four council members. Zecker opposed their support of creating a Municipal Utilities Authority as a way to infuse the city budget with cash (thus saving city workers jobs and salaries).


“They loved a guy who was antiestablishment,” Zecker says about the voters. After his victory on election night, he recalls walking with Arlene into the Athenia Vets building, the crowd parting and chanting his name. “It was my greatest night as mayor,” he says. “It reminded me of the desert scene in Lawrence of Arabia when they chanted, ‘Lawrence! Lawrence!’” But his new job brought challenges, including calls at home from constituents beginning at 6 am and ending at 1 am, an unending stream of weddings and ribbon cuttings, and battles with crossing guards, firemen, and city employees over wages and benefits. “The perception of people in Clifton,” he says, “was that the mayor gets $75,000 a year, a city car, and you wave a magic wand and get anyone a teaching job. Anything that has to be done, they thought, the mayor could do.” If he made a mistake as mayor, Zecker says it was trying to push every issue forward at once instead of a couple each year. He cites paving every Clifton road, improving the Department of Public Works, and toughening up on zoning laws as accomplishments. But he is most proud of is his fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers.

“They wanted to sell the city’s streets and sewers to raise millions in bonds,” Zecker says of what he called a confusing and complicated plan. “We would have been paying that interest off for years with nothing to show for it.” Superior Court Judge Burl Ives Humphrey heard the case and declared the MUA “legal” but warned the council about the financial soundness of the plan, considering it a “poor alternative.” With the judge’s decision and public sentiment behind Zecker, plans for the MUA died.

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Emerging Statesman Four years later in 1982, Zecker experienced his second greatest night as mayor—when his term ended. “At the end of four years,” he says, “after working 50 hours-aweek in a part-time job that paid $4,500 a year, I slipped from first to seventh.” Zecker believes the reason for his poor showing was voter apathy plus organized opposition by special interest groups—especially municipal employees. After the election, despite the win, Zecker decided his political career was over. After being sworn in, he took his family on a crosscountry vacation and missed two council meetings. “I was then approached by state Senator Joe Bubba who was in a primary fight in November 1982,” he says. “He asked me to be a candidate for state Assembly. I asked my wife, figuring she’d say no. When Arlene heard who was opposing Joe—knowing these people had also made my life miserable—she wanted him to run.” Zecker, Bubba, and Newt Miller faced a ticket headed by state senate candidate Terry LaCorte and backed by Dick Stockinger and Clifton’s Republican Club. One of Zecker’s Assembly opponents was his former political protégé, Anzaldi.

Gearing up for another campaign in 1988: Senator Joe Bubba, President George H. Bush, Zecker and Asssemblywoman Marion Crecco.

Why Zecker Ran So Often: “I looked at my opponents and came to realize they weren’t going to do a better job than me. They’re not as good as me—they’re not going to try as hard. The reason I worked so hard to win was I didn’t want to lose to that person.” On Campaign Contributors: “What a lot of groups want (from campaign contributions) is just someone to listen to both sides of the argument. Good legislators listen to both sides and hammer out legislation that may make both sides unhappy. We had a joke in the Assembly—if both sides are unhappy, we’ve got a good piece of legislation.” The recharged Zecker employed his door-to-door tactics to deliver Clifton’s vote. Again surprising the experts, his slate won. They then captured the general election in a district dominated by Democrats. Zecker soon discovered Trenton was a lot different than Clifton. Despite his municipal and business knowledge, he had to learn state

government procedures and overcome resentment. “Every time I opened my mouth,” he recalls, “a committee chairman or someone else would say, ‘Assemblyman, you’re not the mayor of Clifton anymore. You come from a pretty big city, but this is Trenton—we work things a little bit differently.’ It was a good way to put me down.”

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They didn’t keep him down for long. He tempered his outspokenness and became more of a statesman. He learned to read and evaluate thousands of pieces of legislation and work within the maze of state departments. He also left State Farm to concentrate more time on politics, first working as a business development officer for National Community Bank, later as an insurance agent and broker. Among his Assembly accomplishments were helping to increase homestead rebates and aid packages for seniors, expanding health care for the poor and children, and improving the state’s infrastructure and park system. He sees many of the proposals he developed continuing to take shape. “One of my ideas,” he says, “was to institute slot machines at racetracks, because it will help the Meadowlands.”

Cambridge Crossings on Colfax Ave., the former Shulton Plant. Over 650 units of housing were approved for this project, which has one exit and entrance on Colfax Ave.

On the City’s Future: “Clifton is in for a major expansion. People like me are turning 62. My parents are in their eighties. Do you think another old couple will buy our homes? We’re in for another expansion phase like the 1950s—a school population explosion. We did have a good solution for the schools—the former Shulton Plant on Colfax Ave. I have looked in wonderment at the Colfax Ave. project—Cambridge Crossings—I’m amazed how much housing was allowed there and the decision that was made to support it. And I’m amazed every time we go into any additional multiple housing. We’re still building. We’re overdeveloped and paying a price now, and will be paying an even bigger price in five years.”

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September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Zecker also continued to fight for the voiceless. “People would come to my legislative offices,” he remembers, “people who needed a lawyer and couldn’t afford it. People with medical problems—your heart would just ache. You had people with situations that you never heard of in your life. But the constituent service was the part I enjoyed the most.” After an 18-year Assembly career, which included positions as minority leader, speaker pro tem, and deputy majority leader, Zecker lost his re-election bid after his 34th District was redrawn, increasing the ratio of Democrats to Republicans to more than 3 to 1. A private citizen since his loss in 2001, Zecker now fills the days with family and his New Jersey Transit job. He says his political career is over in Trenton. But on the local stage… he’s not saying. “If I ever ran for council,” he says, “I could go there not having to worry about a political career, because I’ve already had one. I wouldn’t have to prove anything to anybody. I could just go there and be the old Jerry Zecker—a ‘non politician politician.’”

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Naturally! Where to Put a New School: If I lived in that neighborhood, the last thing I would want was a school on Latteri Park. I can understand why people in that neighborhood don’t want that park taken away. If there is no acceptable vacant land, you have to go into condemnation. Take an area of the city where you’re going to do away with warehousing and build a school. Look at areas that should be redeveloped. The land is going to cost a fortune wherever you go. How about expanding existing facilities? School 16 is one story—look at how much property it has around it. That can’t be expanded?”


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The Pool & The Plan ––––––––––– Story by Fran Hopkins –––––––––––

eorge Bellin of Bellin’s Clifton Swim Club on Main Ave., near the Passaic border, doesn’t really care what Clifton’s Master Plan says. He just feels caught in the middle. “It’s not what I want to do, it’s what the city wants to do,” Bellin said of the future of the pool. Bellin, his wife, Diane, and son Chris own and operate the landmark club, which Bellin’s parents bought in 1965 but which opened as Rentschler’s Swimming Pool back in 1930. The pool’s 450 memberships, mostly families, include residents of not only Clifton but of many surrounding communities as well. Besides the sparkling pool, other available activities include free swim lessons, “aquasize” classes, basketball, volleyball, ping pong, video games, picnicking, and parties. A typical family membership (resident or non-resident) for two adults and two children costs $700-$800. Bellin is in limbo because his two-plus acres of property are the subject of discussion by the city for two different future uses: some would like to see the city purchase the property for use as a municipal pool and central recreation center. Others prefer that it become the site of affordable senior citizens’ housing. “I’ve had every kind of inquiry about my property,” Bellin said. “A drug store, a strip mall, an open market. But I can’t just accept an offer – I’m in a redevelopment zone here.” What, if anything, does Clifton’s Master Plan have to say about this? What direction does it provide?



September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Senior Housing vs. Recreation Facility Clifton’s 70-page Master Plan, prepared by planning consultant Jill Hartman and finalized in December 2003, contains three main elements: 1) a land use plan; 2) a recreation plan; and 3) a facilities plan. Its “Land Use Plan Recommendations” include the following statement: “Locate new medium density senior citizen residential zoning near commercial centers such as Clifton Avenue, Main Avenue and Botany Village to promote nearby retail, office and related uses.” By contrast, in the recreation plan element, the Master Plan suggests that that the current level of recreational facilities “may be adequate for an older community located in the urban New York metropolitan area.”

The Bellins, from left, Christopher, Diane and George.

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The Master Plan doesn’t offer any specific suggestions for the Bellin’s Pool property, nor any other area of Clifton.

While Clifton’s parkland acreage, at about 200 acres, falls well below the 492-787 acres recommended by the National Park and Recreation Association (NPRA) for the provision of recreation facilities at the local and regional level, the Master Plan notes that these standards “are not appropriate for areas such as Clifton” because the city is characterized by “little vacant land available, high density, and housing development precluding modern park standards.” Clifton hopes to remedy this recreational shortfall, in part, via the city’s planned development of the central portion of the Athenia Steel property as a recreation complex. This would include baseball diamonds, soccer fields, basketball courts, a playground, field house and walking paths. City officials have also considered using that same portion of Athenia Steel as an ice hockey arena. And past plans for the Clifton Ave. property have also called for 125 more units of senior housing. But then again, the Athenia Steel tract may also become the site for a new middle school. No matter what development occurs at Athenia Steel, these plans remain in limbo until the longdelayed cleanup of industrial contaminants on the property is completed by Davis Wire/National Standard, with whom the city entered into an agreement to purchase the property five years ago.

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Clifton Merchant • September 2004


Clifton Demographics The Master Plan also notes that, according to the 2000 Census, people between the ages of 60 and 74 are leaving Clifton; this is attributed to “the lack of senior housing in the city as well as the historic mobility trend of retirees in these age groups.” The Clifton population in this age group decreased nearly 28 percent between 1990 and 2000. On the other end of the age spectrum, the 2000 Census revealed that “young families are the main cause of the growing population in Clifton,” according to the recently completed Master Plan. In particular, the number of children between the ages of 5 and 14 in Clifton increased about 41 percent, from 1990 to 2000. This significant increase affects not only the need for recreational facilities but, as documented in the Plan, “the city should anticipate a continued increase in the school enrollment over the next few years.”

A Case for Senior Housing Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej wants to see the Bellin’s property become the site of affordable housing for seniors. “It’s the use that I prefer. Seniors want to stay in Clifton but they can’t afford the taxes or they have too much house. Why should they have to leave?”

“Senior housing would be good for shopping along Main Ave.,” said Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej, who wants to see the Bellin’s property become the site of affordable housing for seniors. “ It will woo other businesses to the area, like a Friendly’s or clothing stores.” Concerning a municipal pool, Kolodziej feels that Bellin’s isn’t big enough for a city the size of Clifton. “It serves about 500 families now but I understand it could handle 1000,” she said. “This is a city of 75,000 people. How do you decide how many people can use it?” Kolodziej acknowledged, however, that a seniors’ development there would include only about 80 units; “a drop in the bucket,” she said, compared to the 800 person waiting list for seniors housing at the new Senior Horizons at Clifton complex on the Athenia Steel property on Clifton Ave. “But that’s 80 more Clifton people who could stay,” Kolodziej said. “We have a waiting list of 800 people,” said Larry Regan, President of Regan Development Corporation, the developers of Senior Horizons at Clifton. The complex is open now and people are

Councilman Frank Gaccione isn’t opposed to seniors housing but doesn’t believe that Bellin’s is the best location. “I think other sites are more suitable for seniors and low-cost housing,” he said, citing the Botany Village area as a possibility. 24

September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

moving in to its 125 apartments, mostly one-bedroom. Although income and age restrictions apply (at least one person in each apartment must be 55 years of age or older), the units are open to non-Clifton residents as well. “We’re now fully occupied, predominantly with Clifton residents,” Regan said. “And over 90 percent of our applicants are Clifton residents.” Kolodziej said that Regan did make a presentation to the Council about building a Phase II of Senior Horizons at Clifton on the Bellin’s pool site. She also acknowledged that there has been a delay in getting back to Regan. “At first the Council was unified in wanting to put senior housing there. Now we’re split,” she said, noting that Councilman Frank Gaccione and Mayor Jim Anzaldi prefer the idea of the City purchasing the property and creating a municipal pool for the city. Others on the Council are also undecided and want more information. Councilman Stefan Tatarenko has directed the city manager to survey other communities which have municipal pools. The goal, he said, is to obtain details on the cost of maintenance, membership, insurance, fees, food concession and other costs and issues associated with a city running a pool.

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.

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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.

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Pool Proponents Councilman Frank Gaccione is the Council’s liaison to the Board of Recreation. “The thought to have a city pool is becoming more real,” Gaccione said. “The Board of Recreation is unanimously interested in the city buying the pool. The buildings there could be used year-round for indoor recreation activities.” Asked how the city would be able to finance such a purchase, Gaccione said, “The city would probably bond it.” Membership fees, he suggested, would support the ongoing costs of operating the pool. Gaccione isn’t opposed to seniors housing but he doesn’t believe that Bellin’s is the best location for it. “I think that other sites are more suitable for seniors and low-cost housing,” Gaccione said. He mentioned that the redevelopment of Botany Village could include such housing. Tom Fieldhouse, President of the Board of Recreation, verified that the Board recommended that the city purchase the pool. “We like the idea of a city pool,” Fieldhouse said. But we’re an advisory board.” Mayor Jim Anzaldi said that this isn’t the first time that the city has considered buying the pool, but “there hasn’t been overwhelming council support. Recently, there’s been more support, if we can get it with the help of various state and Federal grants, and use memberships to support it,” he said. “Some think the pool’s too small, but I’ve talked to other towns, with about 50,000 population, and they have one pool.” Anzaldi too thinks that the city needs more seniors’ housing. Like Gaccione, he suggested the Botany area as the site for such housing. “It’s good for that age group and it would bring new people to the businesses in Botany,” Anzaldi said. 26

September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

A Passaic Public School Here? Located at 988 Main Ave., with a portion in Passaic and Clifton, the old Herald News building (above) and the adjacent former mill at 1000 Main Ave. (left) in Clifton have been discussed in past Downtown development plans. While the mill is occupied, the Herald News building has been vacant for years. In 1999, Clifton turned down a proposal to create a McDonald’s on the property. Earlier this year, Clifton also rejected a proposal to make it a Passaic School.

Nearby Redevelopment Right next door to Bellin’s Pool are the old Herald News building and a former mill at 1000 Main Ave. This area was the subject of a Merchant article over three years ago, in July 2001. Back then, the Merchant reported, Bellin’s almost sold for $1.5 million but the developer backed out; the plan had been to convert Bellin’s and the 1000 Main Ave. property into the site of an expansive mini-mall. Redevelopment of that area is proceeding, but slowly. We contacted Michael Trencher of CliftonHighland Associates II, owners of both the mill property and the Herald News building, for the status of these properties.

“The mill building is fully occupied,” Trencher said. “It’s a thriving industrial warehouse.” Nothing is happening with the Herald News building at the moment, Trencher said; he’s “waiting for some direction from the (Passaic) school district about a proposal to build a school there.” Use of the property, which is located in both Passaic and Clifton, for a Passaic school was opposed by Clifton’s Council earlier this year. Passaic School Superintendent Dr. Robert H. Holster referred questions to Tim Herzog of Skanska USA in Clifton for more information about Passaic’s plans. Skanska is a project management firm contracted to the NJ Schools Construction Corporation (NJSCC).

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Herzog is Project Director for new schools constructed in Passaic as part of the Abbott district. He cautioned that the plans are in the early stages, but the plan is to tear down the Herald News building and build a four-story grades K-5 school for 668 students there, complete with underground parking. “We would like to break ground in the Spring and the school would ready to open in 18 months to two years after that,” Herzog said. He emphasized that this is only a rough timetable, noting that land acquisition hasn’t begun; the State is negotiating with Trencher for his property and also needs to acquire adjacent properties on Highland Ave. in Passaic. FREE PORTFOLIO REVIEWS COLLEGE 529 PLANS TAX-FREE BONDS RETIREMENT PLANNING

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Tim Herzog, Project Director for new schools constructed in Passaic as part of the Abbott district program, said plans are in the early stages to tear down the Herald News building and build a four-story grades K-5 school for 668 students there, with underground parking. The Planner and the Pool Although he’s been on the job just two months, new city planner Dennis Kirwan wants to obtain direction soon from the Planning Board about the Master Plan. “I want to find out if the city wants any revisions made to it,” he said. Kirwan is aware of the municipal pool-seniors’ housing debate over the Bellin’s property. We asked if, as city planner, it would be appropriate for him to become involved in an issue at this level of detail. “It would be, and if the city requests it, I will provide them with my opinion,” Kirwan said. While the Master Plan identifies many broad goals and objectives, it contains few concrete details for achieving those goals. Councilman Steve Hatala explained why. “A Master Plan is general,” he said. “Now that the city has hired Dennis Kirwan, we can work with him on the specifics. For example, what can he do for the East side of Clifton – Botany Village? BobSandri 973-773-0280


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Lakeview? Dutch Hill?” Hatala said. “Kirwan can work on strategic plans for these areas.” In the meantime, Kirwan has been busy pulling together a variety of documentation about Clifton’s growth plans – the Master Plan, including plans and needs for infrastructure, recreation, schools, and critical environmental sites – for submission to Passaic County, which will then submit this data for all its municipalities to the State. “All growth plans must be in accordance with State guidelines,” Kirwan said, referring to his work as part of the “cross-acceptance process.” According to the NJ Department of Community Affairs Office of Smart Growth website, “Through cross-acceptance, negotiating entities work with local governments and residents to compare their local master plans with the State Plan and to identify potential changes that could be made to achieve a greater level of consistency with statewide planning policy.”

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What’s Best for Clifton?

This column was originally started by our founder, the late Murray Blumenfeld. In his spirit, we continue its publication.


e attended the jewelry show at the Javits Center and were wowed by the spectacular display of jewelry and custom designers. We have also been very busy buying, buying, and buying for the upcoming season. Our goal is to give you the most unique and beautiful selection of jewelry ever! Fashion forward circle pendants, in all sizes, are extremely popular. They are offered in diamonds, gemstones and cubic zirconia. Earrings are becoming longer. The chandelier is still strong, but a bit less elaborate in design. Drop earrings, in various lengths, are extremely popular, both in yellow, white gold and diamonds. Movement is an aspect seen in earrings and bracelets alike. The return of the charm bracelet has reinforced this trend at the wrist. Nostalgia is very prevalent with the use of rose gold--both alone and mixed with yellow or white gold and gemstones. Dynamic designs are the only way we can describe the jewelry of the fall season. The variations run the gamut from modern designs to graceful antique jewelry. Themes from nature are abundant with flowers, ladybugs, frogs and butterflies leading the way. Have a good month of September and we'll talk to you again in the next issue.


So while the city wrestles with development and redevelopment, Master Plans and strategic plans, George Bellin waits. “Whatever the powers that be think is best for the city is fine with me,” Bellin said. But what is best for Clifton? It depends on whom you talk to. The difficulty seems to be that, if Clifton had all the land and all the money in the world, both a city pool and seniors’ housing are great ideas. Since it doesn’t, priorities have to be set and tradeoffs made. Recreation Director Debbie Oliver, who comes from an aquatic background herself, would love to see Bellin’s become a municipal pool if it could be done “right.” “We’d love to purchase it but we’d need to research it first. Is it cost-effective? We’d have to buy it, renovate it, and manage it. Pools are expensive to own and managing one is a full-year commitment,” she said. Pools do require ongoing maintenance and sometimes expensive renovations. In Wayne, the Township Council recently proposed to spend $425,000 for an architectural plan to renovate that town’s 45-year-old community pool. The cost to upgrade the cracking pool, coincidentally also a former private swim club, are as yet unknown. In Clifton, it does appear that senior housing has the upper hand at this point. Said Larry Regan, “We do have a tentative agreement with Mr. Bellin if the city wants to proceed with senior housing.” Bellin would say only that “Regan is very interested in the property.” “No one knows what’s going to happen there,” said Harry Swanson, Economic Development Director. Told about George Bellin’s feelings of constraint about what he may do with his property, Swanson said, “The city can’t dictate to a private landowner, but we can recommend. He is free to do what he wants with his property.” Try telling that to George Bellin, who feels stuck while the city debates its – and his – future. “I’m just sitting here waiting for something to happen,” he said.

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2004 CHS Athletic

Hall of Fame ––––––––––– Stories by Frank Santamassino –––––––––––

hey now hail from across the globe but the Mustangs featured on the following pages share a common bond in the Maroon and Gray glory of years past. To honor their achievements, 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. Here’s a look at the careers of these special athletes as they share a few magic Mustang memories. Special thanks to Lou Poles for all his help in writing these stories. For tickets ($45), call Coach LaDuke at 973-470-2282.


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September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Keiko Tokuda, Class of 1998 Sport: Tennis Honors: NJ Tennis Player of the Century; four-time New Jersey State High School Champion; graduated with an undefeated 86-0 record; ranked No. 1 in the Eastern Region in 1996 in both the 16-&Under and 18-&-Under groups; was the 1996 18-&-Under Clay Court National Champion; on a junior circuit played the U.S. Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon. Learning To Play: At age four, Tokuda was taking swings at the tennis courts at Chelsea Park in the Allwood area. Her father, Kuni, regularly took his daughters Akiko, Keiko, and Yukie, to the courts for tennis instruction. Most Influential People: Definitely my father. He coached all of us throughout our careers, and provided us with a solid foundation from which to build on. He always stressed school and academic responsibilities first. There was no other way. He was very motivational and we learned the best values through him. I must also mention my older sisters, who always encouraged and supported me. Memorable Mustang Moment: I was presented with a banner at the Clifton Stadium during half-time of a football game. It was a real honor to receive recognition from the school like that. But I kept thinking that this was my first time to a football game, and the first time that I’ve ever been inside the stadium! What It Meant To be A Mustang: It was an honor growing up playing in Clifton, following in my sisters footsteps, and competing for CHS. The memories will last my lifetime. I will always remember with fondness the supportive atmosphere at CHS. Life After CHS: Tokuda graduated Stanford University with a B.A. in International Relations. At Stanford, she was a two-year captain, winning three championships, and All-American distinction. Tokuda then went on to play a year in the Pro Tour, reaching as high as the 400s in singles and 300s in doubles. Today, Tokuda is Marketing Coordinator of Amino Vital Sports Supplement for Ajinomoto USA, Inc.

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The 1985-86 CHS Girls Cross Country In cross-country, you get the payoff in November for all the hard work you do in July and August, explained CHS coach John Pontes. And looking back at the 1985-86 team, what a payoff it was. The 1985-86 CHS Girls CrossCountry team captured Group 4 championships, sectional titles, AllPassaic County nominations, and All-Decade Passaic-County honors. They also participated in state Meets of Champions, and set records almost every inch of the way, recalled Pontes. Cathy Paz, Passaic County’s best female cross-country runner, led the Mustang charge during her high school career. As a freshman, she garnered a second-team All-Passaic County spot, and over the next three years, never looked back. The Lady Mustang also maintained a 4.08 grade-point average in honors classes. “Cathy was the most academically brilliant and athletically talented person I’ve ever coached or taught,” said Paz’s coach, Lou Fraulo. On the cross country courses, Paz powered the Mustang runners along with sister, Jackie, to a Group 4 Cross Country title in Holmdel, a first CHS Championship. This achievement was also the first time a Passaic County girls team won a championship title. “We ran together all the time and used each other to keep going,” recalled Jackie Paz. “ If we didn’t push each other, I don’t think we would have had the momentum that we did in the races.” CHS cruised to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Group 4 sectional championships at Garret Mountain. 34

September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

2004 CHS Athletic Hall of Fame • October 10th

Clifton High School Girls Cross Country 1985-86. Top row, Dianna Garrison, Chrissy Klimek, Coach Pontes, Mercedes Zak, Nancy Podolak. Knelling, from left: Janice Sutter, Jackie Paz, Mamta Tailor, Cathy Paz.

Cathy Paz paced the Clifton victory to edge out Ridgewood with a second-place finish, along with outstanding efforts by Jackie Paz, Janice Sutter, Chrissy Klimek, and Dianna Garrison. The cross-country team’s successes owe much to the consistent running form of Chrissy Klimek. CHS won every dual meet in her four years, along with four NNJIL divisional titles, a Passaic County championship, and the 1986 Group 4 championship. Cathy Paz left her mark on the trail by being the 10th-fastest high school girl to run Garret Mountain’s 5,000 meter course. Paz was named to the All-Decade Passaic County Cross-Country First team, with sister Jackie garnering an Honorable Mention slot. Coach Pontes summed up the achievements of his athletes in a letter he sent last year to this magazine: “Janice Sutter, Jackie Paz, Mamta

Tailor, Cathy Paz, Diana Garrison, Chrissy Klimek, Mercedes Zak, and Nancy Podolak that year made not only CHS history but also Passaic County history. “They are the only Cross Country team, boys or girls, from our county to win league, county, state sectional and State Group championships. “They also won the Essex Catholic Invitational, the Passaic County Coaches Invitational and the Manhattan College Invitational. “They where ranked 18th in the nation and undefeated in dual meets. “Four of the girls, Jackie Paz, Chrissy Klimek, Mercedes Zak and Diana Garrison, never lost a dual meet the four years of their careers, going 44 and 0 in dual meets. This was accomplished through their hard work and loyalty. Lou Fraulo was my assistant and a very big part of what we accomplished.” And that was Clifton’s payoff in November, 1986, courtesy of the Mustang Girls Cross-Country team.

Laura Tynio, Class of 1998 Sports: Soccer, Softball, Swimming Honors: Star Ledger Athlete of the Year, Gatorade All-American, Louisville Slugger 2nd Team All-American, All League, All County, All State; NJ Nets Player Of The Month. Learning To Play: Tynio started playing softball with the Clifton Charmers, a competitive travel softball team. Coach Mary Ann Goodwin instructed Tynio in the fundamentals, helping to shape the hurler’s outstanding CHS career, which resulted in a 68-1 record and 0.28 ERA. Most Influential People: My parents for sure. They were always there, never missed a game. They would travel anywhere. Whenever I needed anything, I could always count on them. Mary Ann Goodwin was a mix between a best friend and a second mother to me. She always pushed me more than anyone else. She encouraged me to work hard and be disciplined. Richard La Duke was a great coach, very supportive, just an excellent person. He always encouraged us to be the best we could. Memorable Mustang Moment: Winning the States for the second year in a row my senior year. Nobody thought CHS could win it again because we graduated heavy the year before. And by winning the championship we were able to prove to people that we still had a great Mustang team. (Ed note: both the 97 and 98 teams went 31-0 each year.) What It Meant To Be A Mustang: It was all about pride. On the field and off, we were supposed to look, act, and perform our best. This was a lesson that I carried with me to college and beyond. Life After CHS: Tynio graduated Drexel University in 2002 with a B.S. in Business Administration, where she also pitched and played second-base for the Dragons. She is in management with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and resides in Voorhees.

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Ed Bednarcik jr., Class of 1975 Sport: Basketball Honors: Team Of the Decade-1970’s; All State; All District; All League; N.Y. Times All Area Team; Passaic County All Area Team. Learning to Play: Bednarcik honed his game in the Clifton Boys Club league and on numerous city courts. He also attended the practices and games of the Mustang Basketball team, under the tutelage of his uncle, legendary coach Emil Bednarcik, who himself had starred for Clifton in the 1920s. Most Influential People: I’d have to say my uncle Emil. As a little kid I’d hang around my uncle and the team all the time and watch how they did things. It was a great learning experience. Being with my Uncle Emil and the bigger boys just whetted my appetite for high school basketball. Memorable Mustang Moment: The biggest moment of my career was scoring my 1000th point against Teaneck in my senior year. I gave the game ball to my dad. It was truly a special feeling. (In 1975, Bednarcik averaged 22.4 points per game, scoring 515 for the season, and 1,120 points overall. The Mustangs went 20-3) We've Grown - We've Moved – We've Expanded

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Bednarcik leaps over a Passaic Valley player in 1975.

What It Meant To Be A Mustang: We were always known for good athletes and good sports in Clifton, so expectations were always high. We participated in a great league and the competition was excellent. All the same, we knew deep down that we could play with anybody. Life After CHS: Bednarcik graduated from The University of Rhode Island in 1980 with a BS in Resource Development. He played in the NCAA Invitational Tournament twice and in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. He is now VP of Global Sales for American Power Conversions, a Fortune 500 Company. He lives in Greenwich, RI, with his wife and two children.

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September 2004 • Clifton Merchant



Please call 973-470-2237 with any questions.

7 91



There will be pick-up on... Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6 Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 11


Residents should follow the normal garbage collection schedule.









Barbara Sacks, City Manager

2004 CHS Athletic Hall of Fame • October 10th Simon ‘Sam’ Poulis, Class of 1991 Sport: Basketball Honors: CHS all-time leading scorer with 1,258 points; 1st Team All League, 1st Team All-County, 3rd Team All-State. In 1991, he averaged 24 points per game, shooting 55 percent from the field. Learning to Play: Poulis’ love for the game started on Nash Park’s asphalt courts, competing against his older brothers, Mark and Nick. He began by rebounding for his brothers when they practiced foul shots. Most Influential People: I’d have to say my brothers were a big influence on me. My friends who had a love for basketball like I did. We would play in the park all day. It kept us entertained and out of trouble. Sammy Poulis remains Clifton all-time leading scorer with 1,258 points.

of Clifton— e in the heart b to ud ro p ars now. We are for over 49 ye .— ve A n te ou events... on Van H at these two We’ll see you

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rish Picn For great fo hn Kanty Pa Jo . St e th s is Located on want to m g at 1pm. in in eg b , 12 Van Houten on Sept. one block of f is h ic h w , e. the people Speer Av celebration of a is ic n ic p . First founded Ave., the . John Kanty St of sh ri a p built in 1936 and the l church was u tif u ea b e th l 25, 1937. in 1928, ated on Apri ic ed d lly ia and of fic

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Memorable Mustang Moment: Beating Kennedy at home and then Passaic twice in my senior year. Making the States for the first time felt great. We beat Ferris in the first round, and everyone around school was talking about it. What It Meant To Be A Mustang: There was pride involved. During basketball season, all other activities took a back seat. I was singularly focused on becoming as good a player as possible. We took it seriously at CHS; it meant a lot to put on that uniform. Life After CHS: Poulis attended Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., graduating in 1995, with a B.A. in Economics. He became U.C.’s third highest career scorer with 1,492 points. Poulis resides in Clifton, and is a Software Recruiter for Data Finders Group.

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There Be sure l Street Fair. a u n d a n A e th usements an 19 for m a o, zo g tin pet gain. pony rides, a meet once a to s d n ie fr to old show, plenty chance for a classic car e t. b p o Se ls a on ill in w There case of ra In o. d to e or am. eat and lots m is Sept. 26. It all starts at 11 Fair 19, the Street


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Louis Andreotta, Class of 1949 Sports: Basketball, Baseball Honors: Passaic Valley Conference Champs in Basketball ‘46, ‘48, ‘49. Greater Newark Baseball Tournaments - Group 4, Section 1 ‘47 Champs and PVC Champs in ‘46 and ‘47. Learning To Play: As a young boy, Andreotta learned to play baseball with his friends in the Lakeview section. Kids on different streets organized stickball teams to compete against each other, he recalled. The makeshift field, located on Marselis Ave, was cleared and groomed by Louis and his friends. Over the years, this evolved into a more organized Recreation League, with each street nominating a captain who was charged with filling out his team’s paperwork. Most Influential People: Coach Tony Romaglia of the American Legion Team selected me to pitch the second game of a championship series; he showed a lot of confidence in me as a youngster. The next year I went into High School and met Coach Nicholas Purcell, the Baseball Coach. They were great people. Then in basketball, we had Coach Emil Bednarcik. I remember him as a very good instructor, who taught the fundamentals of basketball so well. He took care of us. He really did a lot for me and the guys. Memorable Mustang Moment: We were very competitive, and whenever we won the Passaic Valley Conference in basketball or baseball, this was always a nice treat. And a couple of times we won the conference for both sports in the same year. That was always something real special. What It Meant To Be a Mustang: We tried our best to represent the school in a good way, but we never really thought about it too much. We would always just go out and play, and try to win the game. Life After CHS: Andreotta graduated St. Michael’s College of Vermont in 1953 with a B.S. in Biology. He then attained his D.D.S. from Loyola University’s College of Dental Surgery in 1957. Today, Andreotta owns a dental practice in Clifton, and lives in Kinnelon.

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2004 CHS Athletic Hall of Fame • October 10th Most Influential People: Growing up, I followed Bill Bradley’s career with Princeton and with the Knicks. I remember going to watch Nick Workman at Seton Hall with my father. Two of my dad’s friends, Coaches Dick Tarant and John Bach, were very important in my basketball career. I remember following their exercise programs as a 10-year-old and attending their basketball camps in the summer.

What It Meant To Be A Mustang: We had a talented team with good players, and it gives me great pleasure to have played for the CHS Mustangs with these guys. Life After CHS: Kondra graduated from Brown University and the Newark College of Medicine and Dentistry, becoming a VitreoRetinal surgeon. He practices medicine in Pasadena, CA, and makes his home in Pacific Palisades.

Larry Kondra pulling down a rebound, against arch-rival Passaic in 1969.

Larry Kondra, Class of 1969 Sport: Basketball Honors: All-County, AllMetropolitan, All-State, Honorable Mention All-American, CHS AllCentury Basketball Team Learning To Play: Kondra learned to shoot baskets with his father on the backyard court. His ball-handling skills were also honed on the asphalt playground at Oak Ridge Park. Memorable Mustang Moment: In the regular season, we beat Hackensack, the team that later made it to the state finals. But in the state tournament, we lost to Cliffside Park and were eliminated. My teammates were great that year Richie Tate was a tough-nosed defender, and Bob Kurley and Rich Serrano were both outstanding.


680 Rt. 3 West • Clifton, NJ • 973-471-7717 Clifton Merchant • September 2004










Brian David Torres,

Class Of 1994 Sports: Indoor/Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country, Honors: Passaic County AllDecade Team in Spring Sports 1600 meters, 1994; three-time Passaic County Champion (twice at 1,600 meters and once at 800) with careerbest times of 1:57.1 and 4:27.4; 1st Team All-County and All-League.


Learning To Play: Torres joined a running club in 7th grade at CCMS. Running was in the family legs as both parents belonged to clubs, and his father became president of Overpeck Park‚s Running Club.


Most Influential People: I’d have to say both my parents. They were always there for me, always showed up at the meets. I always sought their advice and would look to them during the races. Coach Pontes was a great person, friendly and upbeat. He always kept our spirits up.


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2004 CHS Athletic Hall of Fame • October 10th

September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Memorable Mustang Moment: The Passaic County Championship in the spring of 1994, at Clifton Stadium was extremely rewarding. All four years of my hard work fell into place for those two days during this meet. The whole experience was just fantastic.

What It Meant To Be A Mustang: It was just the pride of wearing Mustang maroon, of pulling on the jersey and wanting to compete. Life After CHS: Torres graduated Bucknell University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He lives in Washington, DC, and is employed as a Civil Engineer for Gilbane Building Company. Torres is engaged to be married on October 30th, 2004 to Denise Cardamone of Carmel, CA


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Edward Klimek, Class Of 1987 Sports: Football, Basketball, Baseball Honors: All-Century Team in Football and Baseball; All-League, All-County for Football and Baseball 1986-1987; All-State in Football, 1986-1987 Learning To Play: Klimek was born into a sports family and was surrounded by athletic competition constantly. His sister, Christine Klimek Cole, is a 1998 CHS Hall of Famer for Track and Field. His mother Barbara was quite the track athlete and avid bowler herself, and dad Ed still plays in a softball league. Klimek’s great-uncle is NY Yankee, “Scooter” Phil Rizzuto. Most Influential People: My grandfather, Fred Rizzuto, was a huge source of inspiration for me. He was always at the games watching. Growing up, we spent a lot of time at his house. Memorable Mustang Moment: Winning the Passaic County Championship in baseball my sophomore and senior year. Being named captain of the football team on Thanksgiving day of my junior year. Then, beating Bloomfield in the mud on Thanksgiving in my last game at CHS. What It Meant To Be A Mustang: I was proud to wear the Mustang jacket. It meant so much because at CHS, sports is very important. The crowds were always big at games, there was interest. It was big news around town. You could be instantly popular if you were an athlete. Life After CHS: Klimek graduated in 1992 from Montclair State University with a B.S in Physical Education. He then completed his Masters in Education from MSU in 1997. Klimek teaches Phys. Ed. at Teaneck HS, where he also coaches baseball and football. He lives in Pompton Plains with his wife and two children.


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2004 CHS Athletic Hall of Fame • October 10th was the prestigious CHS wrestling program from 1984-86. He looked up to and respected Clifton’s hometown athletes, and cites the Junior Mustang program as a big influence to wrestle in high school. Most Influential People: Without a doubt, my father had a huge influence on me. He always taught my family the value of hard work and dedication. He used to say to me about wrestling: Somebody’s got to win, why not you? This is a belief that I carry with me and have applied, not only on the mats, but in life as well.

Vasilios “Bill” Lahanas Class of 1988 Sport: Wrestling Honors: 1988 New Jersey State Champion; Region 4 Hall of Fame Inductee, 2001 Learning To Play: The motivating factor for Lahanas as a youngster

Memorable Mustang Moment: There is no question—the 1988 State Championship. All the fans rushed the mat, my family and friends were there. It was exhilarating. I was fortunate to win, but because our own practices in Clifton were so competitive and grueling, this practice environment

prepared me for whoever I had to wrestle during the season. What It Meant To Be A Mustang: It meant everything. We looked up to the wrestlers before us because they were who we wanted to be. It was important to keep the Mustang championship tradition going. We also had tough rivalries with Bloomfield and Belleville. We couldn’t stomach a loss to them, there was just too much pride involved. And of course, incredible bragging rights. Life After CHS: Lahanas earned a full scholarship to the University of Maryland, and graduated with a Political Science Degree in 2003. Lahanas owns and operates two Atlanta Bread Company locations in North Carolina, and is also a franchiser of Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina. He lives with his wife and two children in North Carolina.

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Clifton Merchant • September 2004


Clifton High School Basketball team 1944-45. From left standing, Coach Bednarcik, Elmer Gall, Hal Corizzi, Joe Farkas, Don Parsons, Jiggs Zanetti, Eddie Fisher and manager Herb Klein. Kneeling, from left, Ted Dul, John Sanko and Bob Roberts. Missing from photo: Ray Van Cleef, Joe Scannella and Steve Jakubcak.

The 1944-45 CHS Basketball Team & The 1945-46 CHS Basketball Team Arguably the best Mustang basketball teams ever. They were, however, the same team, practically identical. Only the centers changed from one season to the next. “These guys were incredible, teams just couldn’t keep up with them,” said Lou Poles, chairman of the CHS Hall of Fame Committee. These Fighting Mustangs, under legendary Coach Emil Bednarcik, posted a record of 18-2 in the 44/45 season, and 22-1 during 45/46. The three losses occurred in post-season play, meaning CHS was undefeated in the PV Conference for two straight years. Not bad, considering all these players, except Hal Corizzi, were 16 years old at the time, explained former Coach John Kostisin. “Many of them skipped a grade or were pushed ahead,”

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recalled Kostisin, “They were all very bright boys. All of them went on to college where they played ball and afterwards became successful adults.” Both squads consisted of forwards Hal Corizzi and captain Elmer Gall, guards Ted Dul and Ray Van Cleef, and center Joe Farkas, who was replaced by Don Parson in 1945. Most were All-Staters. Corizzi led NJ in scoring for two years, averaging 22 points a game, while Van Cleef led the team defensively. In 1944-45, the Mustangs were downed only by East Rutherford in the PVC Jamboree, and Union Hill HS in a State Sectional Final. The 1945-46 season saw no drop in skill or fortune. The Mustangs won 22 straight, capturing the PV Conference, the PVC Jamboree Tournament, and the State Group IV Section 1 Championship. "A Business with No Sign, is a Sign of No Business"

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2004 CHS Athletic Hall of Fame • October 10th

Clifton High School Basketball team 1945-46. North Jersey Group 1V & Passaic Valley Conference Champions. From left standing, Coach Bednarcik, Van Cleef, Torcivia, Atkinson, Bulyn, Hatala, Dul, Olson, Gall, Corizzi, Parsons, & Dr. Gerow. Sitting, DeLotto, Wolf, Donall, & Gibnavdi.

Their only defeat came in 1946 to Newark Central HS in the State Semi-finals game. However, during the season, the Mustangs defeated Thomas Jefferson of Elizabeth, who had just won the state championship. And how Cliftonites supported them. “The gym at the old high school (now CCMS), equipped with the only

electric scoreboard in the league, was always jammed,” explained Kostisin. But it was the ball-handling skills, brainy play, and tireless effort that brought the fans out and riveted their attention. The games were packed, he continued. “I remember we had to listen to the game vs. East Side on the radio. We just couldn’t get in.

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Fall Spo r ts ‘04

Football• Soccer • Gymnastics • Volleyball Cheerleading • Cross Country Marching Band • Tennis

Is there a future Mustang Hall of Famer here? Meet these CHS seniors... from left, Kim Habrahamshon, tennis; Jonathan Borrajo, soccer; Marta Leja, cross country. Second row Nina Natoli, gymnastics; Honan Ng, cross country; Maggie Bialek, volleyball. Standing: Patrick Egan, band; Allison Murray, cheerleading; Emmanuel Ihim, football and Kayla Devlin, soccer.


September 2004 • Clifton Merchant



he 2004 Clifton Girl’s Varsity Volleyball team has worked hard for the past four years to get to this point. They have practiced, played in scrimmages, matches, and tournaments. Many of the girls play club volleyball and attend camps to improve their skills. The point that they have finally reached is a state of mind. It is nothing tangible that they can hold in their hands, but the idea that they are good enough to play with any team in the state of New Jersey. This idea is not just that of the players but the coaches believe the same. “It has taken a lot of work, but these seniors and underclassmen have finally reached a point where they fear no team,” concluded varsity coach Michael Doktor.


“We respect the ability of other teams, but we know that we can contend with any team,” he added, noting the Lady Mustangs have talent at every position. It begins on the front line with outside Maggie Bialek and middle hitters Lisa Hojnacki and Laura Peskosky. It continues with setter Natalia Pierog and defensive specialist Tara Kocsis and Allison DiAngelo. The team is also aided by the multi-dimensional play of outside hitters/opposite hitters Deanna Giordano and Amanda DiAngelo. Doktor said this year’s team has three lofty goals in sight: a league championship, a county championship, and a state championship. Competing in the NNJIL, their task will not be an easy one. 1303

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Their first test will be at the Passaic County Tourney. “These Mustangs see no reason why they cannot achieve their goals with the continued hard work and dedication that has gotten them to this point,” said coach Doktor.




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Tahan was the leading scorer last year with 16 goals and 3 assists while Devlin netted 13 and had 5 assists. There are 10 returning players from last year. Among them: junior Brianna Coyle, in her year of varsity, and sophomore Erika Cardillo, who will be called up to work the midfield and find the net as a forward. Last year’s Mustangs were the NNJIL League and Passaic County Champions, and went to the State Sectional Finals in Nov. where they were sent back to Clifton after a heartbreaker of a loss to Roxbury, 1-0. Lembryk, now in his fourth season as girls soccer coach with a 49-9-2 record, said that reaching those conference mileposts is within the team’s abilities. “I think we are going to take time to put together a good nucleus,” cautioned Lembryk. “But the bottom line is that the program is extremely strong.”


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lending youth with experienced veterans is how coach Stan Lembryk expects to build a new edition of the always dynamic Lady Mustangs. With five of his 11 starters returning from last year’s 16-3-1 team, Lembryk will look to Nikki Krzysik, Nikki Tahan, Kayla Devlin, Nikki Bisco and Renata Koziol to provide the leadership on the pitch. Bisco and Koziol, with the help of freshman Holly Sieradzki, will form the base of the defense. The duties in the net will be rotated between sophomore goalie Arielle Saltzman and freshman Amanda Vega. The midfield sees the return of All-American and U.S. National team captain Krzysik, who, in her three years at CHS, has 49 goals (a Mustang record) and 31 assists. She’ll be commanding the attack with the feisty and productive duo of Tahan and Devlin.

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he Mustangs set the standard high and expect to be a difficult side to crack in 2004. Coming off an excellent 20-3 record last year, coach Joe Vespignani insists the high intensity-level be maintained. “It’s a tough league and we’ve got to focus,” he said. The league crown is certainly in Clifton’s sights as the Mustangs set to lock horns with Montclair, Bergen Catholic and Don Bosco, in the first three matches of the season. To round out his roster, coach Vespignani will narrow his search from the core group of underclassmen. Some vacancies needed to be filled said the coach. “We had strong JV and Freshmen teams last year and this incoming group of frosh look to be very solid,” he said. The Mustangs intend to fend off any challenges to last year’s Passaic County Tournament title, now seven years and counting at Clifton’s feet.


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Senior Jon Borrajo will wear the captain’s armband. A varsity starter since his sophomore year, Borrajo will step in as the veteran of the Mustang rearguard. “He’s should anchor us this year,” said Vespignani. Junior goalkeeper Majdi Zaineh, who was unanimously voted to a 1st-Team All-Passaic County spot last season, will mind the nets. “He’ll be a leader,” said the coach. Senior striker Jose Linares is looking to spearhead the Clifton cause in the final-third. Expectations are for the penalty-box hitman to bag more goals than his impressive 14 of last season. “Jose is up for it this season,” said Vespignani. The competition will be stiff but the Mustangs are ready to pounce. Goals for the season? “We’d like to win the league this season...,” said Vespignani. “...strive for 20 victories and then make a run for the state playoffs. That’s our goal.”


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n Sept. 14, a new era in Clifton Cross Country will begin. After winning four consecutive League Championships, and earning a trip to the State Group Championships, a new group will try to live up to and surpass last year’s results. With five of the starting seven varsity runners from last year’s team graduating, this year’s team may face hurdles but is ready for the challenges and expectations they will face.



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Head Coach John Pontes will be starting his 21st season of coaching, with 502 victories and an unbelievable 73 percent winning percentage. He has coached over 100 All Passaic County runners. Pontes was named one of the 2004 coaches of the year in Northern New Jersey. Senior co-captain Andrew Garcia will lead the boy’s team. Top seniors joining Garcia on this year’s team include, Honam Ng, captain Alvin Forster, Jermie

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Female Athlete of the Year (all sports), M.A.A.C. 3,000 meter champion and Summa Cum Laude grad from St. Peter’s College. Smith teaches fourth grade at School 15. Experience, speed and strength are essential to winning at the home course at Garrett Mountain. The girl’s team is loaded with these qualities. Seniors Christina Gagliardi, Ashley Gordon, Marta Leja and Jerrica Kahwaty lead the team. The top juniors are Megan White, Rebecca Weiss, Diane Szaflarski, Marissa Ross and C.J. Zoccali. Outstanding sophomores on the team are Jessica Torres and Ruken Oral. On Oct. 12, Clifton Cross Country will compete in League Meet at Garrett Mountain. Both Mustang squads have a chance to come out victorious. This was last achieved in 1987. In 2004, under the direction of outstanding coaches, and with hard work, the possibility of a dual championship is not out of the question.

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Gandhi, Peter Fitzpatrick and Michael Jozefczyk. One outstanding characteristic of most Northern New Jersey Cross Country teams this year is the abundance of underclassmen running on varsity teams. Clifton is no exception. Expected contributors to this year’s team are juniors Steven Klett, Carlo Santelli and sophomore Alexander Anolik. Also expected to step up on this 26-member team are freshman Larry Crowely, sophomores Mike Tanayan, Chris Shagawat, Adit Desai, and Juniors John Cengiz, Bilal Mian, Darren Farinas and Ken Biason. Because of the quality and experience of runners, the expectations for the Girl’s Cross Country team is very high this season. Pontes and assistant coach Lisa Smith guide this team. Coach Smith (Giaconia) could be considered one of New Jersey’s greatest female athletes and scholars. Among Smith’s awards was 1997 NCAA NJ

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CHS he CHS girls tennis team is taking shape and beginning to play together as a team. “For a number of reasons, we had a much better turnout this year then in years past. That’s always encouraging,” said coach Chad Cole. “The girls are very motivated and enthusiastic which makes coaching them a pleasure,” The seniors who are stepping up to top positions have solid experience in the varsity ranks. “First singles player Kim Habrahamshon (also the captain) is back along with Danielle Solomon who played third singles last year,” said Cole, who has been coaching tennis at CHS for 23 years. Fellow seniors Anna Fydrych, Riddhi Shah, Siddhi Shah and Sheila Shah should all be seeing varsity action this year, he added. No matter what their experience or varsity playing time, Cole said he encourages teens to try out for the team. “Tennis is a lifetime sport and while we’ve had some champions play at CHS, we’ve also had many students who simply learned to love the game and found a sport that they will enjoy for many years,” said Cole, who is also a phy ed teacher at CCMS. “I hope that’s what these kids take away from their time here.”


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easoned competitors and newcomers comprise the 2004 Mustangs Gymnastics squad. Head coach Judy D’Argenio said the newcomers are team athletes and bring a work ethic crucial to success in the four events: balance beam, floor exercise, uneven parallel bars and vault. Co-captains are Stephanie Colangelo and Nina Natoli, a senior who qualified for sectionals in beam and floor. Junior Colangelo specializes in floor exercise. Her sister Samantha, a freshman, is a level 9 gymnast who has caught the eye of the coach. “She is good enough to be a state finalist,” predicted D’Argenio.



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Alyssa Dunn, Lindsey Vargo, Lauren Birkner, Tara Danny and Shannon Kennedy provide returning firepower. Frosh Brooke Mullen has experience and will produce as an all around competitor. Cheerleader Jane Martinez is new to gymnastics as are dancers Sasha Cordero, Jonica Williams, Amy Wong and Jasmine Adams. D’Argenio heaped praise on other new walk-ons, including Soin Alexander, Martha Cometa, Angie Diaz. Dalia Vargas, Jonah Zeitoun and Herly Zevallos. “This is not an easy sport to start in high school and the fact that they took on that challenge is commendable,” said D’Argenio, coach since 1988.


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“Sure they have a lot of catching up to do,” she continued, “but they are catching on quickly and having a bigger team will help us a lot.”


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oaching changes usually require players to learn new schemes and systems, a sometimes lengthy process. When the Mustangs preseason workouts were completed under new head coach Ron Anello, he explained it as a cross between boot-camp and brain-camp. There’s a new offense to learn, and everything that goes with it. “The kids are working hard every day, getting better,” said Anello. “I’m happy with the progress. The senior-laden squad should provide the right dose of size and experience up front to build on last season’s respectable 6-4 record. Leading the charge will be senior TE Joe Hathaway. With speed and strong blocking, Hathaway’s soft hands are an added bonus.

Expect Emanuel Ihim to get a lot of touches on the ball. The muscular senior HB, who can sprint 40 yards in under 5 seconds, will use his speed and agility to slice through opposing players. Seniors Randy Cabral and Josh Morales will quarterback, leaving coach options to play to different strengths. Wide receivers Alfred Martinez and Brian Ippolito will be the go to guys for air attacks. HB Luis Miranda and Geoff Goodell, along with FB Dustin Scarpa and Freddy Olave, should provide Mustang muscle. OLB and backside TE, Kevin O’Brien, will also contribute mightily with his steady play and tenacity. Sophomore LB Omar Saleh, a player coach Anello referred to as “a real pleasant surprise.”


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Anello said he has a program with robust numbers. “There’s a place now for all these kids to play, on every level,” he said. “And that’s the only way to get better.” Anello warns the schedule is tough, with no breathers, but he said “I’d like to see us get a playoff spot, get some momentum going, and go from there.” 1311

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Bargains at Bubba’s Willpower is everything. Seeing “Hot Dogs: Buy 6 , Get 1 Free” painted on the side of the building doesn’t mean I have to obey. But yes, the offer persuaded me to pull over at Bubba’s Place. Still, I did not buy a half-dozen hot dogs and consume seven. I was strong: I ate four Bubba Burgers instead. I had stumbled onto Bubba’s by accident. Unable to head south on Route 17 from the Bendix Diner parking lot, I found myself on a mysterious stretch of Route 46 containing Teterboro Airport, a Korean War MASH exhibit and Bubba’s. Inside, there is room for only two small tables and the counter has just 13 stools. The menu items are simple and rather affordable.

For breakfast, a basic egg sandwich ($1.40) can be adorned at an extra charge with any combination of sausage, pepper, cheese, ham, taylor ham, or bacon. A hot dog is $1.27; a hamburger is 95 cents. At the high end are a breaded chicken sandwich and rib-eye cheese steak (each $5.75). Inbetween are gyros and BLT’s and turkey, ham and meatball sandwiches. I ordered a special: four Bubba Burgers, French fries and a small drink for $5.95. The burgers, with cheese and onions, were White Castle size, but the comparison ends there. Bubba’s patties are much more substantial. They are clearly made from fresh ground beef and are served on tasty potato rolls. They were delicious. Jack Silbert • The New York Times

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MARCHING BAND rum Major Patrick Egan will lead the 110 Marching Mustangs on the field and along parade routes as the musicians, majorettes and colorguard enter their 66th season as the Showband of the Northeast.



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Time for a Decision? By Fran Hopkins Last September, after two years of studies, the Community Advisory Committee proposed a two-part solution to Clifton’s school overcrowding: a) a facility for 500 students at the Mayer Textile building and b) a 1700student grades 8-9 middle school at Latteri Park. A year and a lot of rhetoric have passed since that proposal. Disregarding the Committee’s recommendation to locate the grades 8-9 school at Latteri Park, the Board debated alternate sites for months, considering Schultheis Farm and School 14 before narrowing the choices to Latteri Park or Athenia Steel. In June, the Board made half a decision and endorsed the idea of purchasing the Mayer property. That question will be presented to voters on Dec. 14. The second part of the solution—selecting a site for the 1700-student school—at either Latteri or Athenia, will be done by Oct., predicts Board officials. Once the Board endorses a plan, it will be presented to voters in a second referendum on April 19, 2005. Here is a recap of events in the ongoing Clifton School Saga...


t its June 9 meeting, the Board voted to postpone a decision on the selection of a school site – thereby missing the deadline for a Dec. referendum on a new middle school – while it requested additional studies for both sites.


September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

The Board did decide to place a Dec. 14 referendum before voters on a 500-student high school annex at the Mayer Textile building on Brighton Road. But facts regarding the solution—selecting a site for the 1700 student school—remains elusive. In July, Board President Joe Kolodziej said the environmental test results and the traffic study for Latteri Park and Athenia Steel would be ready for its July 28 meeting, but the results were not yet in. Again, at the Board’s meeting on Aug. 25, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Rice said that the traffic study for Latteri Park had been completed and that “the Board is about to receive it.” Soil samples for the environmental study at Latteri Park, however, were only taken in early August and results of those tests were not yet back.

Traffic & Soil Tests: Where Are The Results? In response to a question from a resident regarding the Athenia Steel environmental test results, Rice said, “I’ve asked the city twice for the test results but haven’t received them.” Apparently the city does have the Athenia Steel soil sample test results, though. “I’ve heard that the environmental results for Athenia Steel came back very very favorable and that the original remediation plan will be quickly reinstituted by the DEP (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection) and that the cleanup process will happen in a very timely manner,” said Board President Kolodziej. But the Merchant confirmed with Dr. Rice that, as of press time, he’d still not seen the results. So what’s the holdup?

On Time, On Budget: The doors reopened Sept. 2 for Clifton’s more than 10,500 public school students. Reopened, that is, except for the doors to School 17, which opened for the very first time. Located in the Lakeview/ Botany section at 361 Lexington Ave.,and built on a former park, School 17 houses 450 students in grades K-5 who were redistricted from Schools 11, 12 and 15.. The $20 million structure is the first new school built in Clifton since 1962. Board of Education members raved about the state-ofthe-art facility at their Aug. 25 meeting, stating that it was completed on time and under budget. School 17 houses a program unique among Clifton public schools: the city’s first full-day kindergarten. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Rice said that about 40 little ones are enrolled in the all-day kindergarten pilot.

The groundbreaking of School 17 on Oct. 8, 2002 with then Board of Education Vice-President Joe Kolodziej presenting a $1 bill—the purchase price of the land—a former county park—to Freeholder and Assemblyman Peter Eagler. Also from left: Mayor James Anzaldi, Eagler, Kolodziej, Senator Nia Gill and then Board President Marie Hakim. Photo by Joe Torelli.

Asked if all-day kindergarten will be expanded to all of Clifton’s schools, Rice said that’s a decision that has to be made by voters as

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Mayor Jim Anzaldi was contacted with this question, but he referred questions to City Manager Barbara Sacks. Calls to Sacks were not returned by press time. Board Vice President Jim Leeshock said that the city had promised to send the Board the test results on Aug. 18. Leeshock is a member of the joint Board-Council committee and said that he, too, has been told that the Athenia Steel results for the proposed school site area are “fine,” but that the remaining “areas of concern” (AOCs) on the site involve “construction fill.” Leeshock elaborated on what he’d been told but had not yet seen in writing.

On one side of this rail line is Athenia Steel; the other backs up to a commercial building on Paulison Ave., pictured below. With one entrance to the 35 acre property, the Council and Board have discussed creating a crossing from the former steel mill to Paulison Ave. and adding a traffic light at the intersection of Paulison and Washington. What will these plans cost? Will the property owner sell? Finally, residents living near Paulison Ave. often complain of traffic lines backing up from the Route 46 ramp. Will this proposal add to the congestion?

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September 2004 • Clifton Merchant


“The DEP wants to see a ‘current’ cleanup plan in place for the property, which Davis Wire (current Athenia Steel owner, responsible for the cleanup) does not have, its present one having expired,” Leeshock explained. The frustration of dealing with National Standard/Davis Wire has been long and ongoing. “The city is working with a new consultant to try and find out what exactly the DEP will require in order to either release the northern portion (the proposed school site) or issue a ‘no further action’ letter on the northern portion while the cleanup of the central portion is conducted. “Either Davis Wire will complete the cleanup or the city may take over the project, which could lead to faster cleanup,” Leeshock continued. “The city would utilize the monies held in escrow from their purchase of the property.” Mayor Jim Anzaldi confirmed that the city is now working with a new environmental consultant, TRC Raviv Associates of Millburn,

“to do our cleanup plan for Athenia Steel.” Said Anzaldi, “The DEP wants a cleanup plan for the entire parcel before they’ll release the northern portion. I’m confident that, once we have a plan in place, we can fight for the release of the northern portion.” While both Kolodziej and Leeshock had heard about the possibility of the city taking over the cleanup in order to expedite the process, “No decision has been made to take over the cleanup from Davis Wire,” Anzaldi said. Like Leeshock, Anzaldi mentioned a couple of “suspect areas, small in nature” on the school site portion of the property, describing the contaminants as “broken concrete.”

What About Access? Back in June 2004, Kolodziej said that Athenia Steel would only be considered as a school site if three major issues could be resolved: 1) contamination; 2) access; and 3) noise. Noise is apparently being the easiest of the three concerns to address, via the use of special soundproofing materials. There’s still the matter of access, which remains limited to one entrance and a right-turn-only exit onto Clifton Ave. A concrete plan for additional access to the property has yet to be proposed, although additional access points are under discussion. Kolodziej said, “My understanding is that the city has sent out a let-

ter to a business on Paulison Ave. inquiring if they would like to sell their property” in order to create an access from that street. “I also understand that they are exploring something to Colfax Ave. as well.” While Svea Ave., off of Colfax Ave., seems to offer direct access to the side of the property, both Mayor Anzaldi and Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej said that Svea Ave. would be used as an access for emergency vehicles only. “It’s a tight street, a neighborhood street,” Anzaldi explained as to why access will be denied.

Will the city use eminent domain to purchase this business at the intersection of Paulison and Washington Aves. to create an entrance to the former Athenia Steel property? Photo at right: at the intersection of Fornelius and Svea Aves., this dead end offers a direct link into the middle of the 35 acre tract. City officials say the street may be opened—but for emergencies only.

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He also described the addition of new accesses to the property from Colfax Ave. “through one of the industrial properties” and from Paulison Ave. But can these details really be settled within the next month, in time for a referendum on a new school in April?

Hope Springs Eternal Board President Kolodziej thinks that they can; in fact, he believes that they must, or passage of the December referendum on a 500-student school at the Mayer building – needed to alleviate high school overcrowding – may be jeopardized. “Without both components of the Community Advisory recommendation in place, which were for immediate term relief (Mayer building) and then long-term relief

A view of a CHS intersection, taken this past April, as classes change.

(1700-student middle school), there may be people that argue that the Mayer referendum is simply a band-aid solution. “The sooner the board votes on a site for the larger part of the overcrowding solution, the earlier it puts to rest accusations of band-aid solutions,” Kolodziej said. Kolodziej said the Board is well aware that it needs to make a decision no later than its Oct. 13 meeting in order for an April referendum to be possible. That election will be even more critical because both the annual budget vote and Board elections will be held that same day: April 19, 2005.

“If all the information we have been requesting is in place by Sept. 8 (the next Board meeting), I do believe you will see a vote for a long-term site (at that meeting),” Kolodziej said. “If it’s not, there may be a segment of the Board that would like to wait until our meeting on the 22nd, in the hopes that the information comes in during the two-week period between meetings. “Regardless, I believe that by the end of September, the Board will have voted on an April referendum project to accompany the December referendum on Mayer,” Kolodziej predicted. The Board meetings are at 745 Clifton Ave. on Sept. 8 & 22 at 7 pm.

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September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Senior Horizons at Clifton There is pure joy in Nanette Amatulli Armenta’s voice when she talks about her new home: a twobedroom apartment in the brandnew Senior Horizons at Clifton complex, on the former Athenia Steel property on Clifton Ave. “Getting in here is one of the best birthday gifts I’ve ever had,” said Armenta, who just turned the minimum age for the housing – 55. The 125 apartments are all spoken for already, with a waiting list of 800, according to Larry Regan of Regan Development Corp., the firm which created similar housing throughout New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, and would like to create a Phase II of the project on the current site of Bellin’s Clifton Swim Club on Main Ave. Most of the residents are from Clifton, he claimed, but the apartments are not limited to Clifton residents only. Armenta got the idea to apply for an apartment from her 70-something mother, who’s also moving into the complex. “A year ago mom saw an ad for the apartments and said to me, ‘Next year you’ll be 55. Why don’t you apply?’ So I applied in June 2003 and got a call from Arco Management (the building managers) this past May to come in for an interview,” Armenta explained. Employed at the Cerebral Palsy School on Main Ave., Armenta has lived in Clifton for 13 years but grew up in Wayne. She’s a divorced mother of two sons; one’s away at school and the other, 17-year-old David, is a junior at CHS who lives with her. “This place is too good to be true,” Armenta enthused. “It’s got

Nanette Amatulli Armenta with her son David.

an all-purpose room on one floor, a library on another floor, a lounge on another floor and the gym is on my floor. I’ve got a dishwasher and a refrigerator included and there’s a laundry room on every floor.” According to the sign posted at the entrance to the complex on Clifton Ave., apartments rent for $545-$745 for a one-bedroom and $790 for a two-bedroom. Armenta described her apartment as having two bedrooms, two baths, an eat-in kitchen and a “big” living room. “All the rooms are good-sized,” she said. Armenta’s mother is the former owner of Michael’s Mom’s luncheonette on Main Ave., which closed four years ago. “Mom picked her own apartment – she’s on the same floor as me,” Armenta said. “We’re helping her move her stuff in now.” Besides her mom’s former business, Marianne’s Deli, nearby on Clifton Ave. is run by Armenta’s sister, Marianne. “It’s so close by I can walk there,” Armenta said. Michael of “Michael’s Mom’s” fame lives in Wayne.

Regan said that there are few children in the complex, so Armenta’s family is actually the exception. Most of the apartments are one-bedroom because of the primarily singles/couples residential makeup of seniors’ housing. Armenta stepped back and concluded as she helped with her mom’s move: “It’s just a blessing by Fran Hopkins being here.”




Styertowne Shopping Center 1045 Bloomfield Ave. • Clifton 973 779-0199 Clifton Merchant • September 2004


To the Perez family at 796 Valley Rd,, the loss of Garret Mountain is personal. Hidden by a still-dense canopy of trees along Valley Rd., it’s easy to drive right by the Perez house, located across from St. Philip’s rectory. Follow the winding driveway up to the house, though, and you discover a unique architectural and natural setting. “We’ve been in this house for 44 years,” said Ruth Perez, whose son, Michael, visiting from out of town, invited us to meet with them to see – and hear – firsthand what they’ve lost. Behind the small, carefully landscaped backyard, a forested slope rises; beyond that, the bright sky glints through the trees. “You never saw daylight there before,” Michael Perez said. “The trees and the mountain were there.” Sunlight peeking through trees isn’t a bad thing. But when you linger a few moments in the yard, it’s what you hear that’s disturbing: the clanging and thundering of trucks and backloaders, scraping away the high points and filling in the low ones, all in preparation for the construction of 810 “garden homes” and “townhomes” by K. Hovnanian. “We’re going to have to listen to that until 2008?” asked Mrs. Perez, referring to the estimated completion date for the four-phase development.

Micheal Perez and his mom, Ruth, of Valley Rd.

Joining the Perezes over a glass of home-made iced tea, this writer listened while Mrs. Perez explained how she and her husband, Dr. Jose Perez, had tried to save the mountain. (At the time of this interview, the 84year-old Dr. Perez was in the hospital recovering from heart surgery.) “A group of us homeowners here on Valley Rd. formed the Mountainside Organization,” Mrs. Perez recalled. “There were about 20 of us. We used to meet here. We attended (city) meetings if something affected Valley Rd. “The city didn’t listen and didn’t care…they pretended to. We thought the steep slope ordinance would protect the cliff,” she said. Michael Perez described the Mountainside Organization as a “grassroots movement” in the 1970s “to prevent this from happening.” Perez provided an article from the Herald News which noted, in part: In the 1980s, the City Council adopted a steep-slope ordinance, restricting development at specific gradients on Garret Mountain. The ordinance halted development that extended far into the area visible from Valley Rd., Councilwoman Gloria Kolodziej said that as quarrying continues, there will be less of Garret Mountain to protect with the city’s steep-slope ordinance. 64

September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Dr. Perez, a general surgeon who studied medicine in Bolivia and who came to the United States in 1950, did his internship and residency at Passaic General Hospital, where he met the former Ruth Mersereau, a nurse and a lifelong Clifton resident who’d lived on Madeline St. After their marriage and with three little boys – Michael, David and Timothy – in tow, the family moved into the Valley Rd. house, which was built for them by famed architect Arthur Rigolo, the designer of St. Philip’s Church. Dr. Perez’s office was located in their home. “This was my father’s dream house,” Michael Perez said. “He grew up in abject poverty.” The home is built around a central “patio” area, similar to the way homes are constructed in Bolivia, Mrs. Perez explained, with the other rooms surrounding it; except that the patio here is indoors. The many skylights and large windows open the home to light and air. The Perezes vividly recall the day, more than 40 years ago, that St. Philip’s Church burned to the ground. “We sat over there and watched the smoke and the flames,” Michael Perez said, pointing to a window at the front of the house.

Just a year after they moved into their new home, developers wanted to buy up several properties along Valley Rd. “Everyone agreed to sell except us,” Mrs. Perez said. “We didn’t want to leave here. But some of our neighbors stopped talking to us after that.” There were other successes too, over the years. “We did fight off high-rises here,” Mrs. Perez said. But now another threat to the mountain looms next door, where Michael Perez pointed to a doe grazing peacefully in the woods. That doe’s habitat, Mrs. Perez said, will become the future site of an assisted living facility beginning this Fall. “How can they build that here? This is a residential area,” Mrs. Perez said. We contacted the city in an effort to confirm Mrs. Perez’s information about assisted living on the mountain. Mayor Jim Anzaldi said that a request by Seniorvision Inc. for a 90-unit assisted living facility next to the Perezes was turned down by the Board of Adjustment back in 1996. The request was denied both because the proposed project violated the city’s steep slope ordinance and the number of units proposed exceeded density limits. Said Anzaldi, “The area is RA-1, a single family zone.”

Dr. Jose Perez

But on Dec. 12, 1997, Superior Court Judge Christine L. Miniman overturned the Board’s rejection, Anzaldi said, because that housing would be “inherently beneficial.” Neither Anzaldi nor city planner Dennis Kirwan, however, was aware of any recent activity on the project, and zoning officer Daniel Howell was on vacation and unavailable for comment. The 79-year-old Mrs. Perez seemed sad and a bit weary, no doubt because of her husband’s illness. Although she and Dr. Perez are fighters, as far as the mountain is concerned, it seems that the battle has been lost. “We just want people to know that this didn’t happen overnight,” Michael Perez said.

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Mail-in or respond on-line:

Clifton Tomorrow 2ND ANNUAL


What does Clifton’s future hold for you?

What is your opinion? For the second year, we’ve compiled a survey to get a pulse of what our readers think of some of the issues facing our city. Respond to as many questions as you choose. Some may require another piece of paper or an email. Either way, please return surveys to us by Sept. 15 so that we can tabulate your responses and publish the results in the Oct. edition of Clifton Merchant. Please include your name and phone number (optional) so that we can call you to discuss your responses. Deliver or mail your surveys to Clifton Merchant Magazine, 1288 Main Ave., Clifton NJ 07011. 1. List three of Clifton’s greatest strengths. 2. What are Clifton’s greatest weaknesses? 3. Are you satisfied in the direction the city is going? 4. What are the major issues/problems facing the city at this time? 5. 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? 6. Using a simple rating system of A, B, C, D, F, grade the performance of the following elected or appointed city officials and organizations: • • • • • • •

Mayor and City Council Board of Education Board of Adjustment Planning Board Police Fire DPW

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. 7. What will you be looking for in the City Council candidates? 8. What issues would you like to see debated before the 2006 election? 9. What plans would you like to see accomplished in the next five years? 10. Do you think that the voters of this city should directly elect the Mayor? 11. Do you think that a City Council with staggered terms would be beneficial for Clifton? 12. Do you think having each neighborhood equally represented on the Council through a ward system would be beneficial for Clifton?

Clifton Merchant • September 2004


Clifton Tomorrow 2ND ANNUAL

Mail-in or respond on-line:


13. Do you believe there should be term limits for any person appointed to such groups as the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment? 14. Do you feel that Clifton’s schools suffer from overcrowding? 15. Are you in favor of building an additional school(s)? 16. What should the Board of Education do with the Latteri Park property? 17. Do you consider the Main Avenue Special Improvement District a success? 18. Do you feel a Special Improvement District for Van Houten Avenue or Botany is appropriate? 19. Are you satisfied with the new Post Office on Main Avenue? 20. Do you feel a new post office is needed on Van Houten Avenue? 21. Do you feel that more senior housing is needed in Clifton? 22. What should the city do with Dundee Island? 23. What should the city do with Bellin Swim Club? 24. What should the city do with the Athenia Steel property? 25. How would you rate the new roundabout that has replaced the Allwood Circle? 26. How would you rate the effectiveness of Passaic County government as it relates to Clifton? 27. What is your age: a. Under 18

b. 18-30

c. 31-50

d. 51+

28. Do you have school aged children?____ Yes ____ No ____ How many? 29. How long have you been a Clifton resident? Optional. Please provide us with your name, address, phone number. This information will not be published if you do not want it to be, but will allow us to contact some of you to discuss your responses in further detail for possible publication. Name:


Address: Any other issues or topics which you would like to comment on? Please feel free to ramble on. Don’t forget the deadline is Sept. 15. Any questions please call Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400.


September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Styertowne S H O P P I N G



Use This Directory of Stores When Shopping

ACME 973-594-0590 Atlanta Bread Company 973-777-2211 Bertelli’s Liquors 973-779-0199 The Season’s Fine Chinese Cuisine 973-777-8073 Taste of Tuscany 973-916-0700 Styertowne Bakery 973-777-6193 Dunkin Donuts & Baskin Robbins 973-473-9631

Dress Barn 973-249-0233 The Men’s Gallery 973-777-4700 Corbo Jewelers 973-777-1635

From balloons and party favors to paper goods and more,

will help you get the party started!

Shereeds 973-773-1673 The Shoe Doctor 973-777-4700 Marty’s Shoes 973-471-4140 The New Brava For Women 973-777-1385 The Shoe Gallery 973-777-4700

GNC 973-779-1500

US Post Office 973-473-4946

CVS Pharmacy 973-778-7630

Valley National Bank 973-777-6283

The Chiropractic Center at Styertowne 973-777-6995

Cleaners 2000 973-614-1400 Odd Job 973-594-0900

AC Moore 973-470-8885

Pet Stuff 973-778-1617

Coconuts 973-778-8759

Alice’s Cards & Gifts 973-773-2422

The Artisan’s Touch 973-471-0001

Fascination 973-473-6105

Footnotes Bookstore & Learning Center 973-779-6122

Antonio’s Hair Stylist 973-472-1011

Footnotes Annex 973-779-6770

Kim’s Nail Salon 973-471-8118

Look for

on the lower level in the former Rowe-Manse Building. Opening Soon! Clifton Merchant • September 2004


Don’t Leave Clifton on Labor Day Weekend: A Ferris Wheel which offers great views and plenty of other rides will be the main attractions at the annual Botany Village Festival in the Park on Sept. 3-6. There are a dozen rides, ranging from the Tilt-a-Whirl to a Carousel that’s perfect for young kids and a midway of games and plenty of food, from cotton candy and caramel to hot dogs, hamburgers and sausage and peppers. Covering Randolph Park, which is located near the intersection of Parker and Clifton Aves., there’s plenty of nearby free parking. The Festival is open until 10 pm every night. For more info on this event or the Botany Merchants Association, go to Passaic County Make-A-Wish Foundation hosts a beefsteak on Sept. 10, 7 pm at the Boys and Girls Club. Tickets are $35. Call 973-684-5768. The mission of the group is to ‘grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.’ MakeA-Wish was founded in 1980 and is now a worldwide phenomenon, reaching more than 110,000 children worldwide.

Picnics,Parties,Feasts & Fests St. Brendan’s Church Carnival at the corner of Lakeview and Crooks Aves. opens on Sept. 23 from 6 to 10 pm and parties on through Sept. 26. For info, call 973-772-1149. Also, St. Brendan’s picnic is Oct. 3 from 1 to 6 at Holy Face Monastery.

St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, 216 President St., Passaic, hosts its parish picnic on Sept. 12, from noon to 8 pm. Homemade foods and sweets along with draft beer and soda. Children’s games, live Ukrainian orchestra. St. John Kanty Picnic, Sept. 12. The smell of Polish and American foods and the sound of polka music will fill Athenia on Sept 12, from 1 to 7 pm. It’s all at the church grounds on Speer Ave. The picnic will be followed by a dance from 7 to 10 pm. Call 973-779-4102.

The Annual Elmer Goetschius Fish ‘n’ Chips Dinner is Sept. 24 at 5 pm at First Presbyterian Church, 303 Maplewood Ave. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children. Takeout available. For info, call 973-523-1272. Party Like A Wild Mustang: The Mustang Football Booster parents are ready to put a little fun in their cause. On Sept. 24 at 7 pm at the Russian Hall in Little Falls, the group is hosting a dinner and dance, featuring great food, prizes and music. Tickets are $35. To reserve a table, call Nancy Myers at 973-546-5580.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Church, on Broad St. in Clifton holds its annual parish picnic on Sept. 19. All are welcomed. Call 973-471-8131. Van Houten Ave. will be closed to vehicular traffic from Huron Ave. to the Passaic border on Sept. 19 (raindate is Sept. 26) due to the Athenia Business Association’s Street Fair. Family fun is the theme as there will be a petting zoo with pony rides and other animals and a midway of rides and amusements for the kids. Interested vendors, sponsors and citizens call 973-473-0986 or 973-773-0802.

Italian Stallion: UNICO President Ricky Bagolie seeks vinters in the group’s first Homemade Wine Contest. 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.


Special G4ue&st5-6

Sat. & Sun. 3-

Thursday, Sept 23rd Friday, Sept 24th . . Saturday, Sept 25th Sunday, Sept 26th .


September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

.6pm .6pm .1pm .1pm


10pm 10pm 10pm 10pm



Music by DJ Dennis Fri. Sat. & Sun. Nights

3 Winners Scootermania Drawing Sun. Sept. 26th at 9pm Winners Not Needed To Be Present


Columbus Day Feast & Homemade Wine Contest Join us to celebrate Italian heritage in a fun-filled evening of food and festa.

Saturday, October 9, 6-9 pm Joey’s Night Club, 955 Allwood Rd., Clifton

Tickets $50

The Evening Includes Unlimited: 1694

Catered By:


Hot & Cold Italian Feast & Pastries, plus... All the Beer-Wine-Soda-Coffee you can drink! Antipasta, Salad, Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe & Sausage, All’Amatricana Rigatoni, Penne Vodka, Chicken Rosemary, Country Chicken, Talapia, Eggplant Parmigiana, Vegetable Saute, Pastries


Stay Late at Joey’s Night Club The Columbus Day Feast will be followed by DJ and Dancing with WKTU DJ Jenny Costa Spinning 4 Decades of Dance Hits - 70s - 80s - 90s - Today Enter Your Homemade Wine* Winners to be announced during Feast. All proceeds from this event go to UNICO Scholarship Fund. *Ticket purchase required

Sculpture of Christopher Columbus by Gaetano Federici, on display at Passaic County Community College gifted by the Nicholas Martini Foundation


Call for Tickets or to enter your Homemade Wine Ricky Bagolie 201-618-0508 • David D'Arco 973-417-0731 • Joey's Night Club 973-773-2110



{ life’s a journey }

PCCC can show you the way! Whether you want a new career or just need to brush up on new skills, our Associate degree and Certificate programs can help you succeed. Tuition and fees are affordable and Financial Aid is available to those who qualify. Call today. The journey begins in September.

Late Registration September 8th - September 10th

Call for details! Passaic County Community College

973-684-6868 Continuing Education begins throughout the Fall. Call 973-684-6153 for a CE Schedule.

Nothing so near can take you so far! 1321


September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

9/11/04: Christians, Jews, Muslims and those of other faiths are invited to participate in the Third Anniversary Observance of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks during an Interfaith Candlelight Memorial Service at Lambert Castle, on Valley Rd., beginning at 7:30 pm on Sept. 11. “Together, we will again memorialize those who have lost their lives or survived injury and trauma and provide continued support for their loved ones,” said Rev. Carlisle Dickson of the First Presbyterian Church of Clifton who is chairing the Interfaith Council. “But it is also our opportunity for county residents of every faith to join together in seeking peace and understanding at home and abroad.” All are invited to join in remembering the 9/11 victims, as well as the on-going dedication of police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel, along with veterans and our soldiers fighting overseas.

Families of WTC victims and American military casualties will share their personal stories of pain and hope. A central theme for the observance is that everyone can participate in their daily lives by performing Patriotic and Random Acts of Kindness (PRAK). Carlisle noted that PRAK activities are diverse opportunities to serve our fellow human beings in the United States and throughout the world. These may include: •Donating blood. •Be courteous while driving.

•Send a personal care pack to a service person overseas via the USO (details at •Volunteer locally. •Help an elderly neighbor. •Register to vote. •Unload the food bank shipment at St. Peter’s Haven, 380 Clifton Ave., at 10:30 am, Sept. 11. •Go to and find hundreds of other ideas. For more info or to volunteer with the planning group for the 9/11 Observance, call Rev. Dickson at 973-464-8876 or write him via

Clifton Police Officers will distribute 7,000 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. The program was initially launched by Clifton Officers Thomas Lanzalotto and Henry Ribitzki of the Community Policing Division. Call 973-340-5151 for info.

John Charles Samra Jan. 8, 1962 - Nov. 21, 2003 The Clifton Committee for Individuals with Disabilities hopes 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 to fund it. The playground will be named for Clifton Police Officer John Samra, the first Clifton cop killed in the line of duty, who volunteered much time to children. 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. The group’s Vice Chair of fundraising, Arlene Bayeux, is coordinating a telethon on Channel 77 on Oct. 3, 6 to 9 pm, and asks people to tune in and donate. Call her at 973-778-1434 for details.



N INA Clifton Merchant • September 2004


Clifton’s Special Olympians took home gold medals and rainy memories from the NJ Special Olympics on June 3, 4 and 5. The weekend began here on Main Ave. as athletes, families and supporters awaited the Torch run through the city on its way to Trenton. From there, about 30 Special Olympians representing Clifton went on to compete in various Track and Field events held through the weekend at the College of New Jersey. As part of the many diverse programs offered here in Clifton, the Buddy Canteen is held every Friday evening at the Clifton Rec Center on Main Ave. To attend or volunteer, call 973-470-5956. All American Jamie Anzaldi: When the Ramapo College of New Jersey softball coach Ben Allen began to build a program, he came to Clifton and recruited Jamie Anzaldi, a 2000 CHS grad, who led the Mustangs to consecutive league and county titles. His decision to build the program around Anzaldi resulted in a four year record of 68-15, including an undefeated NJAC season in 2003 when she was selected as the pitcher of the year. “She brought our program to the next level,” said Allen, who noted the former Mustang also batted over 300. “She did it all for us.” In 2004, Anzaldi’s NJAC record was 11-1 with two saves. She recorded nine shutouts as Ramapo once again finished first in the NJAC. This year, Anzaldi was voted to the All NJAC Team. Her performance in the NCAA Regionals resulted in her selection to the All Tournament Team, and she was recently named to the Division 3 All American Softball Team. Anzaldi is presently the owner of every pitching record in Ramapo College history. This season, Anzaldi allowed only two runs to be scored against her. She completed the season with a 0.20 ERA; her four year record is 68-15. Anzaldi capped off her career at Ramapo College by being selected as the Betty Bogam Female Athlete of the Year. The daughter of Barbara and Sal Anzaldi, a Clifton Schools principal, she studied elementary education while at Ramapo. 74

September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

An Autumn Golf Classic to raise scholarship funds for Passaic County Community College is Sept. 20 at the Great Gorge Country Club in McAfee. Tickets are $150 for lunch, golf and a reception and beefsteak dinner at the Brownstone in Paterson. PCCC is seeking hole and tee sponsors for the event. The event is organized by the PCCC Foundation, which awards more than $300,000 annually in scholarship assistance, providing the means for students to have access to higher education. Established in 1976, the Foundation’s primary purpose is to raise money for student scholarships. For info, call Mary Alice Rocks at 973.684.5919 or email her at

Danny Szetella Night at Giants Stadium on October 9th Clifton’s Danny Szetella, the 17year old now playing midfield with the 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 (regular price is $26). There will be a chance to meet and greet Szetella before or after the game. Details are still be worked out. Contact the Stallions for info: Call Ed Rossi at 973-471-5678 or Tom Fieldhouse at

Danny Szetella






Wed, Sept 8th . . . .Ages 9 & under . . . .5:30–7:00 pm Thur, Sept 9th . . . . .Ages 10& over . . . . .5:30–7:00 pm

R ETURNING S WIM T EAM R EGISTRATION : Wed, Sept 8th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6–8 pm Complete Program includes: Dual & USS Swim Meets, Daily Practices (Mon–Fri), New Jersey Swimming Membership & Much, Much More…Season from Sept 14th -– March 27th

For more information contact the Aquatics Department @ 973.773.2697 x31 • Youth Swim Lessons • Adult Swim Lessons • Adult Lap Swims • Complete Aquatic Program Guide Available •

C LUB –P OOL R ENTALS /B IR THDAY PAR TIES Have your Child's Birthday Party at The Boys & Girls Club–Swimming Pool The club pool will be available to outside community groups for rentals, birthday parties, community groups must have certificates of insurance. All party groups must sign a contract with Hold Harmless Agreements. Children (6 & under) must be accompanied by an adult in the water. Children under 4 years old not permitted in the pool. • • • • •

2-Hour Rentals ‘Birthday Parties’ – 1-Hour in pool, 1-Hour in the Party Room Days: Saturdays & Sundays Time: Saturdays 4-6 pm, Sunday NOON-2 PM, 3-5 PM & 4-6 PM Fee: $200 (Maximum of 25 children, each additional child $10) Contact: Front Desk (No reservations made over the phone-must sign contract)

All groups subject to pool rules & regulations


FALL 2004 S WIM P ROGRAMS To Register for any of these programs please come to the Boys & Girls Club at 181 Colfax Ave. For further info call

973.773.2697 Clifton Merchant • September 2004


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 supports fire-fighters, law enforcement officers and EMS personnel who live or serve in Passaic County. The Club provides $10,000 to the widows and children of officers killed in the line of duty; funds are also provided to public safety officers severely injured. The Club awards scholarships to public safety family members. Info: Therese White at 973-754-6445 or Tom Burke at 973-296-9896.

Go-Go to Go!, a sushi bar and more, recently opened in Richfield Shopping Center. Visitors to the opening, from left, Mark Belli of Forest Financial Group and Debra Terranova of Prime Realty meet Chef Lee, and owners Dean and Sandra Choe.

Congressman Bill Pascrell with Ted Harsaghy of the Hungarian Federation after the Aug. 18 town meeting Pascrell hosted at the Clifton Memorial Library.

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 who impose an additional tax and use the funds to market and improve the area. The Meet and Greets begin at 5:30 pm. The schedule is below. To attend, call in advance: 973-253-1455. 9/23: VBC PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 345 CLIFTON AVE. 10/14: UNITY DENTAL 1219 MAIN AVE. 11/11: EXECUTIVE OFFICE SYSTEMS 1121 MAIN AVE. 12/9: PNC BANK 1184 MAIN AVE.

Unity Dental on Main Ave. will host a Downtown Clifton Meet and Greet on Oct. 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.


chens • Bath s• Kit ows ind W

Addi tio ns

“Don’t Move... Improve!”

Quality Remodeling Inc. Residential & Commercial Construction • Home Remodeling

James J. Cupo

Craig Stoepker

973-423-3736 • 45 Pino Court • Clifton • 973-778-7002 76

September 2004 • Clifton Merchant


Downtown Clifton For More Information Call Tom Hawrylko


Your Future Begins @


Adult Education 45 REINHARDT ROAD • WAYNE


Adult Learning Center:

Adult High School:

Adult students are able to complete their High School education and receive a High School Diploma. This program is fully approved by the New Jersey Department of Education and the Passaic County Technical Institute Board of Education. FREE to all interested adults. Call (973) 389–4101.

Apprenticeship Program: Carpentry, Electrical, Machine Shop, Plumbing and Heating are available. For information call (973) 389–4101.

Evening Trade Courses: • ACCA Refrigerant Handlers Certification • Accounting I & Automated Accounting/ Excel • Administrative Medical Assistant • Adobe Photoshop • Advertising Art and Design • Auto Body I & II • Automotive I & II • Blueprint Reading I & II • Cabinet Making • Cisco Academy-CCNA Certification • CNC Lathe, Basic & Advanced • Computer Aided Drafting Basic & Advanced • Computer Keyboarding • Computer Repair • Computer Survival Toolkit • Culinary Arts-Pasta, Pasta, Pasta • Dietary Manager • Engineering Drawing • Electricity I & II • Electronics I & II • Excel • Firemen’s Licenses: Black Seals, Blue Seal & Red Seal

We offer Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, Civics Education, and courses to earn a GED. For information call (973) 684–0106.

GED Testing Center: Take the State GED Tests at Passaic County Technical Institute. For information call (973) 389-4388.

Licensed Practical Nurse Program: Passaic County Technical Institute also sponsors a year long full–time days Practical Nursing Diploma Program which prepares the student to sit for the New Jersey Board of Nursing Licensed Practical Nursing Exam. Call for brochure... (973) 389-2020.

• Food Service • Graphic Design • Heating • Home Remodeling & Improv. • House Framing I & II • Housewiring • Industrial Wiring I & II • Intro to the Internet & E-Mail • Intro to Computer Programming • Intro to the Web Page Design • Machine Shop I, II, & III • Manicuring • National Electric Code • Nurse Aid • Personal Computer • Plumbing I & II • Plumber’s License Prep • Power Point • Preparation for a Career Position in Graphic Design • Refrigeration I,II & III • Small Engine Repair • Sign Language • Skin Care • Welding Basic or Advanced • Word 2000 / XP


In-Person Registration Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 6:30 - 9 pm September 14, 15 & 16

For Info, Call (973)


Classes Begin Sept. 27th Clifton Merchant • September 2004


In Focus: A group exhibit and sale by members of the Clifton Camera Club will open on Sept. 22 at the Clifton Arts Center, located on the grounds of the municipal complex. Among the prints to be featured are those of the the winners of the club’s annual competition. The top winner is Joseph V. Riggio, who received trophies for both color and black/white prints of the year, as well as a certificate for achieving the highest cumulative score in the black/white print category. Suzanne Duke Bujara received the highest cumulative score for color prints and Ada Piro received the most points in the slide category and was awarded the slide of the year trophy. Also featured will be the works of sculpture by PR Drumm and Richard Davala. A reception for the artists will be on Oct. 2 from 1 to 3 pm. For more info, call 973-472-5499 or write to

Ada Piro’s ‘Totem Pole’, pictured above, won slide of the year in the Clifton Camera Club’s 2004 competition. These prints and others will be displayed Sept. 22 through Oct. 15.

A photo of the Clifton Arts Center by Suzanne Duke Bujara.

Joseph V. Riggio’s ‘Shemekia Sings the Blues’ was the black and white print of the year; Riggio also won color print of the year for ‘Cab’.

The Studio is offering Group Guitar Classes for its Fall 2004 Semester. For Information Call

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 • 78

September 2004 • Clifton Merchant


Jazz Krewe Deluxe performs at the Clifton Arts Center on Oct. 8 at 7 pm. Tickets are $5 and all proceeds benefit the Clifton Arts Center. A reception will follow. Jazz Krewe Deluxe features Bill Moore on bass, Michael Gabriele on saxophone, Dante Guariglia and Harry Lawler on guitar and Michael Colizzi on drums. The program will feature standards such as The Way You Look Tonight, There Never Will Be Another You and Night and Day, Latin classics such as Mahna de Carnivale and Insensatez, and modern jazz selections such as Equinox, Blue Monk and Freddy the Freeloader. Call 973-472-5499 or go to

Jazz Krewe Deluxe is at the Clifton Arts Center on Oct. 8.

New Jersey Music and Arts presents ‘Fall Fest’ at the Woodrow Wilson Middle School Auditorium, Van Houten Ave., on Oct. 24 at 5 pm. Students with interest in drama, dance and music are invited to participate in the production. Openings for: drama group for the 1st5th graders, drama group for the 6th -12th graders, dance group, youth choir. Also needed are soloists, stage hands and assistants for sound and lights. Professional instructors, low tuition. Rehearsals Wednesday evenings in Clifton. Register by Sept. 7. For info and registration call NJMA at 973-272-3255. Clifton Public Library has registration for storytimes for children in kindergarten through 3rd grade, preschoolers, ages 3 1/2 to 5 years old, toddlers, ages 2 to 3 1/2 and for infants to 24 month. Register on Sept. 20 at 10 am at both the Memorial Library and the Allwood Branch. Call 973-772-5500 or 973-471-0555. The Illustrate a Book Contest sponsored by the Clifton Public Library announced winners at the Clifton Memorial Library are: Dillon Keenan, first place; Mavish Khan, second place and Jehon Mahmoud, third place. Jessica Van Wie was awarded a special honorable mention. Winners at the Allwood Branch Library are: Piotr Felusiak, first place; Allison Eve Szeliga, second place and Rachel Szeliga, third place. In total, 1,309 children participated in the library’s Summer Reading Club. 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 • September 2004


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

We Don’t Sell Parts… …We Sell Service

The Menconi Music Studio marks its first year anniversary at 309 Lakeview Ave. Under the direction of Annamaria T. Menconi, the space features a grand piano room, as well as private spaces for composition, drums and two teaching rooms with university upright pianos. Lessons are offered in piano, guitar, mandolin, drums, flute, recorder, clarinet, oboe, trumpet and voice.

Machine Shop On Location No Order Too Large Or Small FREE DELIVERY

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

Carly & Cheryl Hawrylko share a birthday on 9/12.

Turning 30: Sandra Apelian on 9/6, Tim St. Clair on 9/22, Annamaria Menconi on 9/21 and Keith Myers on 9/23.


hair nails color

1168 Hamburg Turnpike • Wayne New Location

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

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

September 2004 • Clifton Merchant



Call Keri at 973.365.0220 to make an appointment. 88 Market Street, Clifton

Birthdays & Celebrations Michael Capwell . . . . . . . . . . 9/1 Allison Di Angelo. . . . . . . . . . 9/2 Bill Federowic. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/3 Dave Gabel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/3 Sharon Holster. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/4 Joseph Shackil. . . . . . . . . . . . 9/4 Eric Wahad. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/4 Christy Gordon. . . . . . . . . . . . 9/5 Mohammed Othman. . . . . . 9/5 Ana Stojanovski. . . . . . . . . . . 9/6 Congratulations to Alyssa & Dr. David Moore on the birth of their son, Max Joseph, who arrived 8/6. Darren Kester. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/7 Anita Barcia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/7 Shannon Carroll. . . . . . . . . . . 9/8 Geoff Goodell. . . . . . . . . . . . 9/9 Annamarie Priolo. . . . . . . . . . 9/9 George Andrikanich. . . . . . 9/10 Nicole Moore. . . . . . . . . . . . 9/10 Timarra Brown . . . . . . . . . . 9/11 Ronnie Courtney. . . . . . . . . 9/11 Andrew Orr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/11 Maureen Scali. . . . . . . . . . . . 9/11 Andrew Shackil. . . . . . . . . . . 9/11 Birthday Greetings to Dorothy Knapp who celebrates on 9/12. Sarah Bielen. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/14 Anthony Dorski. . . . . . . . . . . 9/14 Manny Monzo. . . . . . . . . . . . 9/15 Brittany Parisi. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/15 Happy 10th birthday to Jaclyn Scotto on 9/16.

Stacey Corbo. . . . . . . . . . . . 9/16 Nancy Ann Eadie. . . . . . . . . 9/16 Joe Genchi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/16 Kathleen Gorman. . . . . . . . 9/18 Punam Patel. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/18 Dawn Smolt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/18 Daniel Smith. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/18 Gloria Turba. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/18 Happy First Anniversary to Arwa & Jamal Alazizi on 9/28. Barbara Mascola. . . . . . . . . 9/29 Thomas E. Moore. . . . . . . . . 9/29 Mary Perzely. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/29 Louise De Molli. . . . . . . . . . 9/30 Lauren Hrina. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/30 Ryan Lill. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/30 Amanda LaForgia. . . . . . . . 9/30

5th Anniversary Greetings to Ron & Doreen Williams on 9/21. Mickey Garrigan. . . . . . . . . 9/19 James Graham. . . . . . . . . . 9/19 Sara Gretina. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/21 Lynne Lonison. . . . . . . . . . . . 9/21 Peter Skoutelakis. . . . . . . . . 9/21 Valerie Carestia. . . . . . . . . . 9/22 Beverly Duffy. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/22 Brian Salonga. . . . . . . . . . . . 9/23 Brian Engel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/23 Pam Bielen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9/25 Deanna Cristantiello. . . . . . 9/25 Donato Murolo. . . . . . . . . . . 9/25 Siobhan Campbell. . . . . . . 9/28



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

FREE With This Coupon Coupons May Not Be Combined.

Happy 90th birthday to Domenic DeBenedetto on 9/15. He is holding his two great granddaughters (and cousins) Julia Anna DeStefano & Victoria Lynn DeStefano.

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 • September 2004


“Avato’s was just about at the center of everything,” wrote Floyd B. and Rae Hill Vollinger, formerly of Beantown and currently living in Spring Hill, Florida, who asked us to publish a note about the August 31 closing of this unique store. Avato’s Department Store on Valley Rd., which has served Albion (also called Beantown) since 1930, has closed, joining a list of other classic Clifton merchants who have moved on. They include Jerry Posner of Starr Tire on Getty Ave. (to become a Commerce Bank) and the Cloverdale Restaurant, across from city hall, which will be transformed into a Dunkin’ Donuts. Marion D’Ettorre of Avato’s has seen Albion prosper for over seven decades; she grew up in the apartment above the store her parents founded in 1930. She and her husband raised their four girls there as well. At its peak, Avato’s sold top quality men’s and women’s fashions as well as children’s clothes, shoes and an array of accessories. It was the place to shop for every season. In the late 50s and early 60s, Avato’s stayed connected with Clifton by sponsoring fashion shows and teams in the baseball and bowling leagues. During the early 50s, the store became an official post office station. “The men came back from WWII and the town was growing,” recalled D’Ettorre, shown at left. “We needed a post office in Albion.” Besides, it was good for business as it increased the foot traffic through the store. “Over the years, I’ve had to cut a lot of my lines,” said D’Ettorre, adding that all the products the store sold were name brand and high quality. Even though in the final years, Avato’s did not carry as many items as it once did, Marion D’Ettorre saw to it that care was taken to provide high quality merchandise at fair prices. “I couldn’t compete with the malls, discount stores and outlets,” she acknowledged. “But when people come here, they knew they were getting good merchandise.”

Dr. David R. Moore, Chiropractor 1576

Dr. Moore is pleased to announce his son, Max Joseph Moore, has been selected as the patient of the month.

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


September 2004 • Clifton Merchant

Born August 6th at 4:11 am and weighing 7 lbs. 12 oz, he is the youngest patient ever considered for this honor, proving it’s not what you know but who you know! Call the office or check us out on the Web to see 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!

Call Gladys 973-859-7506



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 Sophia 973-859-7500



Treasure Chest - Cozy 1930’s 4Bdrms, side hall colonial with real original fireplace mantel, sensibly sized rooms, 2 F/ baths, 1car garage. Near all major highways, schools.

Call Sophia 973-859-7500

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







3 family-1st/2nd floor-LR, DR, EIK, 2 bedrooms and bath.3rd floor-has LR, Kitchen, 2 bdrms and bath corner property, Driveway easily made if wanted.

Colonial 1family, 5 rooms, 2Bdrms 1 _ baths, EIK, driveway, full basement. Very well kept house, & Very clean. For more details.

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

Call Sophia 973-859-7500

Call Angie 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 Call anytime 24/7

Visit us online at:







This home features 4 bdrm , 3 full baths, master bdrm w/ 2 walk in closets, bath w/Jacuzzi, fam. room w/Office, Marble tile fl, hard wood fl, granite counter top, central air, 3 zone heating, 2 car garage, and many, many more!

Newer 2 Fam ranch style home. Mod 2 br apt. in front w/M/D set up in rear. Mod Kit & D/A. 2 Lrg Bdrms & bath which can be combined w/ground level Lrg Rec Rm Summ Kit, 2 bdrm & Bth. All negotiations through listing broker.

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 Bobby 973-887-2596

Call Nick 973-340-1202

Call Maria 862-262-1980

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