The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessMarch 23, 2007
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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March 23, 2007


Nicholas J. Veliky

The latest chapter in the Board of Education saga is sickening at best. Here we are two weeks out from the original date that the Board of Education leveled ethics charges against Board of Education Commissioner Michael Paitchell and still we have not seen a list of the formal charges. It would seem that if you were taking so serious a step as to besmirch a fellow board member that you could easily and expeditiously provide a list of charges against him. Perhaps the Board realized that the only thing Michael was guilty of was voicing his opinion and making already public information more accessible on his website. Where I come from that's known as freedom of speech. The current Board of Education members who voted to level the charges should all be officially sanctioned for making false accusations. The vote was 6 to 3 in favor of bringing the charges. Commissioners Mary Kowal, Keith Laforgia and Paitchell all voted against. The figures Michael posted on his website by no means cause any threat to local school children. What does cause a potential threat to local school children is the scandalous behavior on the part of the Board of Education and School Superintendent Michael Rice. . . You will never guess who called Board of Education President around 1 AM following the meeting where the Ethics Charges were filed. The message from the late night caller was rather profound - "I think we may have taken this too far." Once again, where is the list of charges?

It looks like his past may be coming back to haunt him. Norman Tahan's anti-Semitic remarks were the focus of a recent letter to the editor in a local daily. Norm's most recent term was also spotted with his unbridled activity on the web reportedly taking on a number of pseudonyms on is known for its atmosphere where hateful and damaging comments are commonplace. By the way, it was Commissioner Norman Tahan who made the motion to bring charges against Commissioner Michael Paitchell. . . what is that biblical quotation - let he who is without sin throw the first stone. . .

One of the many things the Clifton Insider prides itself in is being independent. We use discretion in choosing the stories we print and what we print is based in truth. Recent rumors and innuendo that we are controlled by an outside source and print what we are told to print is baseless fabrication and a boldfaced lie!

Here we are in the middle of a Board of Education Election, and with all the nonsense and personal attacks it's hard to see the real issues for the rhetoric. With more at stake than most voters of Clifton realize, this may be a good time for the candidates to get serious about what is going on and get focused on the issues and challenges and offer some solutions. Novel concept, wouldn't you say? In order to help the process along, the Clifton Insider will be distributing a series of questions to the candidates and we will be publishing their answers in our next issue. If you have a question you would like us to consider including in our forum, you can send it via e-mail to

School Superintendent Michael Rice is certainly taking this election seriously; he's inviting the candidates to come in for an interview. Just asking, is he interviewing his potential bosses on our time? God knows we pay him enough, the least he could do is focus on raising the bar on the educational standards here in Clifton rather than playing politics.

What's the deal with graffiti these days? There is an ordinance that requires graffiti to be painted over within 24 hours. There are a few spots around the city, one on Main Avenue on the Clifton Merchant Building and one on Chittenden Road on the Newark Water Supply pumping station that have been allowed to remain on display for weeks. These appear to be tags and have been allowed to stay on display. A few months back, an inspirational "mural" of Kim Possible sending a message of hope to the many joggers and walkers that passed along Chittenden Road was covered within days of its appearance. Where do we draw the line between public art and graffiti?

The Passaic County Office of Economic Development has a supply of new maps of Passaic County and a County Resource Directory available to everyone. If you would like a map or a directory, they are available through the North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce or through the Passaic County Office of Economic Development. Contact Deborah Hoffman, Passaic County Director of Economic Development at 973-881-4427.

Did you know that 15 new banks opened in the City of Clifton over the past year?...Clifton's culinary offerings continue to become more diverse with the arrival of some new restaurants. There is of course the Papaya King offering hot dogs and tropical drinks located on Getty Avenue in the Corrado's building. Other new arrivals are located in the River Front shopping center located along Route 3 West just across the highway from Clifton Commons. The first to open was the Uno Chicago Grill featuring great pizza, next to open was Chipolte offering Mexican fare and the latest to arrive, Pollo Tropical, will open March 30th. This Miami based chicken and barbecue restaurant is sure to attract a crowd.
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