The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessApril 13, 2007
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business

April 13, 2007


Nicholas J. Veliky

The Board of Education election has taken center stage once again. Internet forums and coffee shop conversations are all focused on the issues, the candidates and projections of the outcome. Word has it that one BOE incumbent made his way to the Carousel on Market Street and engaged in a rather loud and emotionally filled conversation with one of the coffee shops regulars. While they didn't come to blows, things did get tense. . .

April 17th is our opportunity to send a clear message to the Board of Education that we demand better. We must let the current Board know that we have had enough of the lack of respect and decorum that has become commonplace, the participation of Board of Education members on negative web forums, name calling, character assassinations, political committee involvement, conflicts of interest and the overall failure on the part of the Board to provide the leadership this community needs to arrive at solutions to the many challenges our educational process faces. Now is the time for new faces and diversity in ideas. Candidates Paul Graupe #8, Steve Goldberg #7 and Jack Houston #6 (if he can steer clear of Dr. Rice's clutches) offer the best opportunity to set the City of Clifton back on course. While Tahan and Renta have served the community for some time as board members, they have not provided the leadership needed, instead they allowed the Superintendent of Schools to take over and interfere with the fundamental function of the Board of Education.

Graupe, Goldberg and Houston offer diversity in their backgrounds and approach. They represent a good mix of talents and abilities, and will be a catalyst for change on Clifton's Board of Education.

While we could only choose three candidates, I would like to compliment all the other candidates for their participation in the electoral process. It takes a great deal of commitment to run for elected office. Your efforts have helped to bring issues to the forefront, making this election cycle most productive. I am very grateful for what you have done and encourage you will remain active in our community.

Here we are five 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. As we have said right along, the only thing Michael is guilty of is voicing his opinion and making already public information more accessible on his website.

Good luck and Godspeed to Clifton Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Rice as he travels back and forth to Rochester Minnesota to interview for the Superintendent of Schools position in that Midwest community. Dr Rice has buffed up his resume and put on his best suit to impress the search committee that will make the hiring decision. We have it on good authority that as you read this, one of the biggest send off celebrations in Clifton's history is being planned to bid adieu to our beloved Superintendent of Schools. (I just hope the Minnesota contingency reads this and realizes how we will miss Mikey and all he has done to us). . . Board President Marie Hakim is reported to be smiling from ear to ear at the news of the pending departure. . . Stop the presses and cancel the party plans, Mikey Rice didn't make the final cut. It looks like he will be in Clifton at least for the foreseeable future.

While he's still at the helm, let's talk about Dr. Mike and how issues seem to disappear. For example, the Middle School Teacher sharing his MYSPACE account with students while in class. How about the Janitor reported to have been arrested for possessing porn on his computer and of course what about the porn link on the Woodrow Wilson Middle School website. That has to be the best one to date. Who knows how long it would have taken for the problem to surface if it wasn't for Eyewitness News informing the district of the link? By the way, don't we have someone making six figures that is supposed to be checking for this kind of stuff?

Would you vote to pass a budget that doesn't add up? Well that's what the BOE is asking you to do. It didn't pass unanimously and now they want us to fork over the big bucks once again. By the way, what ever happened to the capital improvements that were put in as part of the general fund in the last budget? Were the costs removed before this budget was formulated?

The Clifton Education Foundation is hosting a luncheon honoring its founder, Marie Hakim. The gala event is scheduled to take place on April 22 at the Valley Regency on Valley Road. It's for a good cause and at $50 per person you should really make the effort.

Bliss is definitely the place to be this Sunday, April 15th as the Clifton-Passaic Chapter of Unico National holds their 6th Annual Spring Concert, Fundraiser. BLISS, formerly known as Joey's is located at 955 Allwood Road and can be easily identified by the unique lighting display playing on the building's facade. The doors for the event will be open from 3pm to10pm with admission set at $10 for advance tickets which are available at Bliss or by calling Joey Barcelona at (973) 773-2110. The event will feature some of the finest entertainment in the area, including The El Supremo who will perform at 4pm. Rubber Souls who will go on at 5pm, Brookwood at 6 pm and The Flying Mueller Brothers will go on at 7pm. DJ Lugghead will entertain before, after & in-between sets. The evening will also include Door Prizes, 50/50's and Free pasta & pizza. The event will benefit Clifton HS Project Graduation, the Clifton HS Mustang Marching Band, the Passaic HS Marching Band, and the Unico Italian American Scholarship Fund

The Passaic County Sheriff's office does a phenomenal presentation on gangs. Just asking, has any thought been given to having their gang presentation shown to the middle and high schools? This is serious stuff and the presentation which is an eye opener could save some lives.

Korman Communities has welcomed their first guests and on April 17th will host an open house and brunch to celebrate the grand opening of their ultra luxe community located on Passaic Avenue.

Freeholder Pat LePore is apparently having a difficult time holding onto his position on the Freeholder Board. It seems Pat doesn't always step in line the way party leadership wants him to. As a result, there is talk of replacing him on the ticket. What ever happened to independent thinking leaders? I guess they are OK as long as they think the same way as the party bosses do.

Joe Gaccione has a new radio talk show, "Tuned In To Youth Sports" which recently debuted and can be heard on Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on WVNJ 1160 AM and online all the time at The one hour live weekly show, will provide information on all aspect of amateur sports for young athletes from pee-wee to high school age. Be sure to tune in.

Spencer Savings Bank will be celebrating the grand re-opening of their Piaget Avenue Branch at both their Clifton locations on April 21st from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. Be sure to stop by the Piaget Avenue office and see branch manager Ed Kurbansade or stop in at 908 Van Houten Avenue to see branch manager Joe Barbieri.

As you know we make endorsements for elections - one endorsement I will always make is to get out and exercise your vote. Be sure to get out April 17th. The polls are open from 1:30 pm to 9 pm.
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