The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessNovember 30, 2007
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business

November 30, 2007


Nicholas J. Veliky

It's hard to believe 2007 is almost over with the city once again taking on its finest holiday finery. Christmas tree lightings scheduled for every section of town and the Menorah at City Hall to be lit at sundown during Chanukah. The city is getting ready for holiday season and 2007 is almost a memory. So much time has passed yet so much has stayed the same. Has there been any progress or are we all stalled in some kind of time warp where Board of Education issues keep coming over and over and over again. For instance 290 Brighton Road, the site where the Board of Education is in the process of converting an industrial building into a school while an appeal is still pending and no permits have been issued. The bill for this project keeps growing and we have it on good authority that the site may be contaminated. When completed it will not provide the type of school campus our students deserve. At times the saga of 290 Brighton Road is amusing and at other times it makes you shake your head and wonder what the Board of Education is thinking. . . Another reoccurring issue are the walkways which were planned, approved by the voters and funded, yet there is little said about this project. There are no permits, no final plan and no contracts to build these structures. Yet the Board of Education is moving ahead with construction at 290. Maybe they are hoping the walkway project will stall long enough to go over budget. Then they can move those funds into the general fund in a similar way they dealt with the funds earmarked to renovate the high school auditorium. . . One thing for sure, these issues are not going to go away. Maybe its time we did what was necessary to bring these issues to resolution so Clifton can move ahead and tackle some of the other pressing issues facing our community. We can only hope!

Mayor James Anzaldi will once again host his annual Christmas Party, Monday, December 10 at Clifton's premier banquet and catering facility, the Valley Regency located on Valley Road. This well attended community holiday get together is a don't miss 'em event where speeches or should I say brief remarks are kept to a minimum and the main emphasis is enjoying good food with good friends and neighbors and of course the much anticipated dessert buffet. The evening starts at 5:00PM so don't be late and not to worry, there is always room for one more with tickets available at the door.

Clifton PBA Local 36 will host their annual Ball on December 14th at 7pm at the Manor in West Orange. Michael McLaughlin is the man to see for tickets which are still available; the only catch is you have to be a city hall employee or a member of their family. This year the group will pay tribute to the 2007 Clifton Police Officer of the Year, John Kavakich; the 2007 NJS PBA Silver Card Recipients James DeLillo & John Cudworth. They will be recognized for their efforts in assisting law enforcement. Also expected to be in attendance are the State PBA President and Executive Vice President.

We frequently refer to Clifton Institutions as we report on stories and events that take place throughout our city. Well there is a Clifton institution that is celebrating a milestone anniversary, The Post Eagle, the local newspaper with a world wide reach, reporting news form around the world with a special emphasis on the Polish Community is celebrating its 45th Anniversary. The Post Eagle's founders Chet & Jean Grabowski have worked to maintain this family owned publication which is currently operated by Chris Whitmer Grabowski and Matthew Grabowski. Congratulations on this major accomplishment Sto La.

Clifton is a community, a mosaic of colors and personalities, some fill in the background and others leap to the forefront adding enthusiasm, and vibrant colors that make our community special. When one of these vibrant personalities passes on to a better place it changes the mosaic that is Clifton. Clifton's mosaic was changed with the passing of Louis Hakim. Lou was a man whose concern for his community was transformed into action as he chaired, belonged as a member or was a founder of many of Clifton's civic, political and philanthropic organizations. Lou was friend to many and respected for what he stood for. Our condolences and deepest sympathies to Lou's sister Marie and the entire Hakim family.

The Belvedere, one of Clifton's finer dining establishments has changed hands and the sale came as quite a surprise to many regulars who upon calling for "their usual table" were told the restaurant was booked and there was no room for them. We also understand that one of the professional service firms who provided business advice to the former owner was caught totally off guard and they can only hope the new owners will be willing to trade veal marsala for financial statements. Next times deal in cash, it's better for your cholesterol and probably now that you are left holding the bag, for your blood pressure.

What ever happened to the Stop & Shop project on Allwood Road? It was supposed to be well on its way to becoming a Super Stop and Shop. All approvals are in place, yet where is the redevelopment you ask? We have it on good authority that there is a landlord developer dispute which is stalling the project. Well if they take too long coming to terms, perhaps the city should step in and make the landlord fix all the parking lot lights and potholes making it safe for shoppers that visit the current location.

Work on the Van Houten Avenue overpass is making some real headway. After months of delays caused by Verizon's utility work that went way over schedule, the project is looking like a real bridge. No one will miss the traffic congestion and long detours that have plagued the area for almost two years. Completion date is still spring of 2008 but at least an end to this traffic nightmare is in sight. Next on the highway reconstruction schedule are the Route 46 bridges over Broad Street and the bridge near Paulison Avenue over the railroad tracks.

Stu Leonard's or Trader Joes - those are the names being bantered about for the big box store being constructed next to Liberty Lincoln Mercury and behind TGI Friday's on Allwood Road. Either way, Clifton is in for some new shopping experiences.
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