The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessAugust 24, 2007
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business


August 24, 2007

By:

Nicholas J. Veliky

Alvin Kipnis, famous for his red suspenders and outspoken no holds barred common sense approach to local issues, is back! He is sporting a new hip much like the "Bionic Man", and is better than ever. Alvin, you are a local living legend. I wish you many good years and many miles from your skeletal revitalization.

Glad to see the Quinn Road issue is still very much in the forefront. This one can't slip through the cracks, there is just too much at stake. The additional traffic flowing onto Valley Road will make travel for local residents a real challenge. Perhaps the Mayor is right in his statement that this is going to take intervention from Governor Corzine to make this predicament go away. He cited the proposed incinerator that was supposed to be built near the Clifton border in Passaic. It was intervention from Governor Florio that halted that unpopular project. Mark your calendars, the Quinn Road project is going before the Clifton Planning Board on September 25th at 7:00 pm. for a courtesy review. A good show of interested parties always sends a message, please make every effort to be there.

It seems my comments on GlaxoSmithKline in last months "Clifton Open for Business" weren't taken in the spirit in which they were offered. There was no implication that the corporate giant should win by virtue of their size and deep pockets, rather the message was to the city. Since GlaxoSmithKline was not taking a proactive approach in dealing with their neighbors, the city needed to step in and take the lead in mediating the situation. With that said, re-read the comments again and see if you get the same message. . . Now just how business friendly is Clifton to its corporate residents? We have a corporate citizen, GlaxoSmithKline, who has been operating in the city for decades. They make tooth paste and lots of it, they always have and that's what they want to continue to do. If you have a tube of Aquafresh or Sensodyne toothpaste in your medicine cabinet, chances are it was made in Clifton. In an economy where manufacturing is leaving the state in droves and most manufacturing has headed overseas and to the south, GlaxoSmithKline wants to make a $20 million dollar investment in their Clifton Plant so they can continue to do what they have done here for decades, only more efficiently. At every turn there seems to be obstacle after obstacle placed by the community and the city. Should GlaxoSmithKline get a free pass? Absolutely not, what should be done is to extend every courtesy and have the city act as a mediator between residents and their corporate neighbor. This project holds the promise of good jobs and continued tax revenues for Clifton. There is probably more incentive for GlaxoSmithKline to leave than there is to stay, so maybe some extra care should be taken to make sure the quality of life is preserved so the neighbors and this corporate giant can mutually co-exist within the City of Clifton. Come on lets make this priority one. Oh and by the way, it's pronounced GLAXO not Glasko. . . If you expected to hear that the neighborhood is 100% right and GlaxoSmithKline is 100% wrong or vice versa that's not going to happen. This situation requires leadership, diplomacy, discussion and compromise. If this isn't handled correctly than no one comes away a winner.

The Botany Village Merchants Association will sponsor their annual Carnival from August 30th through the Labor Day Weekend and end on September 3rd. The festivities will run daily from 5 pm to 10:30 pm. This year, the event also known as the "Festival in the Park" will be even more fun for children as a result of a generous gift from city council candidate George Silva who has stepped up to make sure all the children in attendance have a good time by providing money for free rides. George Silva is a well known businessman who takes his commitment to his community very seriously. Thanks George you are really a class act.

The Athenia Business Association will once again present their Van Houten Avenue Street Fair on Sunday, September 16th from 11am to 5 pm. The event will include a classic car show, food, entertainment, vendors, a train ride, petting zoo, pony rides and rides for children. This family oriented event has attracted crowds that come early and stay late to enjoy all the flavor and fun the fair has to offer.

Channel 77 continues to be the most valuable yet mismanaged resource the City of Clifton has. The volunteers are fantastic, the programs, when aired are informative and entertaining, and watching the local council meetings, zoning, planning board and Board of Education meetings is not only convenient, but it keeps the community informed. So why it is so difficult to fill the air time with programs instead of a black screen and why can't I get a copy of the cable broadcast schedule to print in this paper to satisfy the request of numerous Clifton Insider readers? All we want to know is what is to air and at what time, is that too much to ask? Apparently it is...

The sale of the County Golf Course is still very much alive and the Clifton City Council has made it very public that they are not happy with the county's attempts to sell the county facility located in Wayne. I can't get over that, In spite of the popularity of golf and the relatively few public golf courses in the immediate area, how could this facility be running in the red? The idea that selling the facility to yet another government agency is going to fix anything is beyond me. I will repeat, perhaps all that is needed is a review of the course business plan, an advertising and marketing strategy and a few changes in management and just maybe this thing could break even, if not make a buck or two.

Passaic County Investigator Robert S. Calcagno and West Paterson Councilman Dominick DiDomenico, are hosting a Business Leaders Reception honoring Senator Nia Gill (34th Legislative District). Senator Gill's special guests are Homeland Security expert, Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale and keynote speaker James E. Johnson, former Undersecretary to the Treasury and Director of Enforcement during the Clinton Administration. This intimate meeting of the minds will occur on September 12, at P.J. Rufo's Restaurant located in West Paterson and will feature gourmet dining an open bar and music. Availability is limited. Please call Robert S. Calcagno for more information at 973-472-9818.

To the Clifton PBA Local 36 who will be holding their annual picnic this Saturday, I wish you all a great day filled with camaraderie, good food, good drink and great weather. You do a fabulous job of maintaining our quality of life, keeping the city of Clifton safe and secure and for that I thank you.

To all those young people who have made the decision to continue their education and will be entering a new chapter in their lives by attending colleges, universities and institutions of higher learning, I wish you much success. Study hard, work hard and may you find your life's passion and follow your dreams.
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