The Jersey InsiderOpen For BusinessSeptember 12, 2008
Vol. X, Issue 1. Friday, January 1, 2014
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Open for Business

September 12, 2008


Nicholas J. Veliky

School's open make sure you keep an eye on the kids - how could a 7 year old child get on a bus carrying students to Woodrow Wilson Middle School (WWMS) all of which are much older. Why didn't anyone notice him when he got off the bus at WWMS no one thought a seven year old arriving at the middle school where students are usually much older was strange? It's amazing that no one notice what must have been an obviously bewildered child? The fact that a child was lost is bad enough, however, when you think of all the school personnel around on the first days of school, the bus driver, bus driver's aid if one was present, school administrators and teachers, the crossing guards, parents and other students, all who must have seen this young child walking away from WWMS and down Van Houten Avenue is amazing.

The child slipped away and began a journey across town in search of School 17, a grammar school just off Lexington Avenue in the Botany section of the city. Have we all become so lost in our own thoughts that we don't notice the obvious, or has our city become a faceless community where a child in obvious need of help is overlooked by everyone? There are some who say the parents should have taken the second grader to school, possibly so, but if mom and dad are at work they entrust their children to the care of the school system, and it's up to the school system to make sure the kids are safe from the time they leave their home in the morning until they return at the end of the day. On that note we also need to address the hoards of students leaving Clifton High School throughout the day in search of a snack, smoke or smooch that they can't get in school. Kids need to be guided and like it or not, keeping them in the building for the entire session is a part of the school system's responsibility. Parents expect their students to be in school, not wandering the streets or walking along the rail road tracks. Imagine the Board of Education is actually thinking of awarding a certificate to this young child for completing his incredible journey.

Irate over sewer fees local taxpayers storm tax assessor's office and police are called in to calm the angry crowd. Who isn't upset at getting a bill for sewer services especially when the bills are almost twice the charges on the original bill issued back in March. Many are also questioning the lock box, located in Newark, service charge added to each quarterly bill. Lots of questions and not too many satisfactory answers, the only thing that's clear is that Clifton Taxpayers are paying more and getting less. There is only so much you can blame on cuts from the state.

Christopher Columbus Middle School skate boarders are wrecking havoc with the concrete stairs and shrubbery around the building - with the city owned skate park just a few blocks away it's a wonder why these kids continue to congregate at the school causing damage to city property which taxpayers will ultimately have to pay for. What about the liability if one of the kids gets hurt jumping off the steps which were never designed for skate boarding? Or what happens if a skate boarder performing an acrobatic like jump off the middle school stairs runs into a passerby? These extreme (if you can call jumping off a 3 foot step extreme) sports addicts need to be moved off school property and into the skate park where they belong.

What's up with the ethics charges filed against Board of Education Commissioner Michael Paitchel? Word on the street is that some of these charges are going to be pursued. It's kind of interesting how ethics charges which are supposed to be kept in strictest confidence seem to be leaked by a number of current board commissioners. The system for filing ethics charges is constructed in a way to maintain a person's integrity during the entire process from accusation to prosecution. Obviously some members of the Clifton Board of Education see this more as a vehicle to pass judgment and besmirch the reputation of a fellow commissioner. Perhaps ethics charges should be looked into for other members of the BOE, but wait, more serious charges from the State Department of Education may be of greater consequence to some.

How do you like this for watching out for tax payer's money? Electrical Components said to be worth over $100,000 which were ordered by the BOE and originally earmarked for the industrial building to school conversion currently under way at 290 Brighton Road are now being kept under wraps, oops I mean stored at Clifton Stadium. Apparently someone jumped the gun and ordered the parts before the final specs were decided on and now $100,000 worth of electrical equipment said to be either switches or transformers are collecting dusts.

Did you hear the one about the new computers purchased by the Board of Education? Apparently they got a good deal on the new equipment but when it was suggested that the six year old computers that were being replaced, be offered to students, the technology company rep. had to tell the public that this could not be done because the computers were "disposed of" back in June.

Korman Communities, the extended stay on Passaic Avenue is even advertising ultra luxe residences both furnished and unfurnished suites in one and two bedroom varieties on placemats distributed and the Tick Tock Diner. These rentals, which were to be extended stay units for business customers and people in transition, are being offered as year round permanent homes, contrary to what they were originally approved for. Clifton got scammed and we now have a new apartment complex in the city. Let's make sure the building is up to code for uses as permanent residences.

Montclair State University is looking for a developer to build a 1,000 student dorm off campus within a 5 mile radius. Botany Village is looking for a space to locate the MSU dorms in that section of the city. The 1,000 students would be a boost to the Botany economy. The question here is, where will they find the space?

Sunday's Hamilton House Antique Show is a sellout - The good news is another is being scheduled for the spring.
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