The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessMay 25, 2007
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business

May 25, 2007


Nicholas J. Veliky

“Word on the street has it that in spite of his extended five year, million dollar contract, Clifton's Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Rice is looking for greener pastures. Apparently there was an overture made by Rice to a school district in Michigan to fill the post as their top educator. Things didn't go as Rice had planned and it looks like he will be holding his Clifton post for a little while longer.”

...The preceding message originally appeared in the May 26th 2006 issue of the Clifton Insider. Here we are a full year later and are still a community obsessed with Dr, Rice's plight to return to Michigan. Well it looks like his wish may finally come true, at press time we are waiting for confirmation from our Kalamazoo Michigan connection that the good doctor has in fact been chosen as the School Czar for the Michigan community. While the Clifton Insider has not always sung the praises of Michael Rice, I do have to give credit where credit is due. While his tenure was marked with controversy and great debate, the students of Clifton will enjoy a full day kindergarten program, district wide, when schools open in September, this a direct result of the efforts of Dr. Rice. While Dr. Rice and I have not always seen eye to eye, our focus is the same, to make sure Clifton's students get the best education possible. While we wait for the final outcome, we can only hope that this will be the beginning of a new era for the educational process in Clifton. An era marked by a united community, a spirit of cooperation and a focus on being the absolute best!

Commissioner Norm Tahan, who had not even been sworn into office for the start of his narrowly won new term on Clifton's Board of Education, is at it again...His letter to the editor, which appeared in a local publication attempts to assign blame on one particular section of the city for defeating the school budget. Many had hoped that this new term would be an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start the healing process. It appears that this isn't the case, and in spite of comments to the contrary at a recent BOE meeting, we can most likely expect to see the same old same old. Let's hope they prove me wrong.

How many realized that the Sybase Classic, a premier event on the LPGA calendar took place recently at the Upper Montclair Country Club located on Hepburn Road? Probably the only ones aware were the country club members that had to yield their tee times to the tournament. Clifton's LPGA non-event, which had been hyped by its promoters as something that would once again put Clifton on the map in golf circles, fell far short of expectations. We can look for it again next year and only hope that the promoters will give it some local hype.

It's Fleet Week in New York City. If you are at a loss for what to do this holiday weekend, what better way to celebrate Memorial Day than to pay the fleet a visit. Some of the ships will be open to the public.

It's a sight to behold and shouldn't be missed. If you have never experienced Clifton's Avenue of Flags you should make it your business to stop by the Municipal Complex on Clifton Avenue Monday, Memorial Day, to experience moving and spectacular display of patriotism. Said to be among the largest in the nation, this red white and blue tribute is sure to stir an emotion or two as you take a stroll along any of the flag lined avenues and remember those they represent. If you know a veteran that you would like to remember with a flag, see the order form printed on page 11 of this issue of the Clifton Insider.

Wow! (or something of a more expletive nature) will definitely be your reaction when you make your first visit to the Showcase Laundromat currently in final stages of construction on Main Avenue. This state of the art Laundry facility will be opening its doors on June 10th. Showcase Laundromat will feature smart card technology, adding an additional layer of security to this clean, bright, comfortable brand new facility. For customers, smart card technology also means no more searching for change and juggling quarters; Showcase Laundromat is like nothing Clifton has even seen before. General Manager Martha DeLeone will be on hand to make sure your experience at Showcase Laundromat will be a pleasant one. With 74 dryers, 65 washers, multiple wide screen televisions, a very attractive interior color scheme and comfortable seating, this newcomer to the Avenue will undoubtedly set the bar for other businesses entering the area.

Clifton's first Middle School Carnival is rapidly approaching and from what we hear, this is sure to be an event that you won't want to miss. The Middle School Midway will boasts 20 games of chance, a food court featuring 12 vendors that will provide all types of food including some international cuisine, 25 rides and an additional 5 rides in the "kiddy Corner" which are more suited for younger children. The Carnival is scheduled to take place from Wednesday May 30 and run through Sunday June 3. This first of its kind event has already proven successful in bringing together Clifton's two middle schools working toward a common goal. This is great preparation for the time when the students from our middle schools come together as one group in Clifton High School. . . Oh . . . I almost forgot to mention, there will be a dunk tank. The list of notables that have already signed on for a stay in the tank is growing every day. The current lineup includes Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Rice, Board of Education Commissioner Norm Tahan (we hear that Norm will be promoting his appearances in the tank with a sign in Latteri Park) and "Elected Councilman" Antonio Latona. There's no telling who else may end up in the tank, rumor has it that Mayor James Anzaldi has been in Modell's looking over their swimwear selections, who knows.

And there off! - With only a few months to go before the special Clifton city council election, the field is beginning to take shape. The seat, currently held by eighth place finisher Matt Ward, was vacated by Councilman Antonio Latona after the courts ruled that there was a conflict of interest in his serving as a councilman and as a city firefighter. There is one officially declared candidate, George Silva and a few names being bantered about are Former Councilman Ed Welsh, Board of Education Commissioner John Traier, former Councilman Stephan Tatarenko and Councilman Matt Ward. While the race is still in the formation state, we can expect a good run for the unexpired term.

What is going on with the bridge construction on Van Houten Avenue at Grove Street? The original plan called for an April 2007 completion of the project and here we are at the end of May only to be told by New Jersey Department of Transportation that the project is expected to be completed in October or November of this year, six to eight months behind schedule! The reason cited is that Verizon, our local telephone company, has failed to complete their utility work which is necessary to allow construction to move ahead. Interestingly enough, Verizon trucks have been on site working underground with one employee manning a chair near a manhole reading a novel! Congressman Pascrell has been contacted and has interceded with Verizon to no avail. The entrance and exit ramps on the east side of Route 46 are complete and ready to go except for the fact that because of the delay, bridge parts are currently being stored there waiting for the construction of the East side of the bridge. So while Verizon keeps doing whatever it is that they are doing, motorists continue to be inconvenienced with long detours to exit and enter the East side of the highway. Too bad Verizon didn't pay as much attention to the construction project as they have to increasing their market share in the cable television arena selling their FIOS services door to door.
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