Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Small business to take it on the chin in City Council @ 7:00?

Hoboken's business community often beleaguered based on pronouncements in recent years will be facing another challenge when regulation is proposed mandating sick pay in firms of ten or more.

The controversial regulation found itself on the agenda without any committee meetings or community outreach according to multiple independent sources. Grafix Avenger issued analysis stating it's driven by political purposes to impress Governor candidate in waiting, NJ State Senator Steve Sweeney.

Earlier reports suggest Councilwoman Beth Mason is seeking to obtain approval to win the Lt. Governor's slot on a possible Sweeney bid for governor should Chris Christie move to run for president. Mason previously tried to purchase the approval of State Senator Brian Stack for the Assembly seat he controls covering Hoboken and part of Jersey City in 2013.

That attempt failed after rumors of a bidding war between the Mason family and perennial Hoboken politico Frank "Pupie" Raia reached seven figures for the seat and echoed in Hudson County with fear it could become a Blagojevich affair. In the end, the departing Assemblyman Ruben Ramos is thought to have convinced Stack to go with current Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia.

That selection proved controversial in its own right with the incessant drive to redevelop the 15 acres in downtown Hoboken spanning its Housing Authority yielding millions in developer profit with the brochured plan Vision 20/20.

So here we are looking at a resolution copied almost word for word from one recently passed in Jersey City. Although a guest piece yesterday focused on the hospitality industry and the negative impact it could have, the proposal impacts ALL Hoboken based businesses with ten or more employees.

Talking Ed Note: Any potential impact of the resolution won't be felt by sponsor Councilwoman Terry Castellano who employs several people at her thrift shop on lower Washington Street, nor Beth Mason who calls herself "a small business owner." The business referenced is believed to be a bevy of political operatives who may be paid through a shady entity called Newton, Lao, Leonard & Locke.

Beth Mason's claimed 12 year career at "the company" has been deemed a sham by none other than Hoboken's satirical columnist Grafix Avenger, who investigated the suspicious entity more than three years ago.

Sidebar: As a reminder, the Ustream app available on both the iPhone and iPad allows you to watch the Hoboken City Council meeting without commercial interruption.

MSV wins another politically ginned up harassment case


A harassment complaint filed against MSV last June during a Hoboken Housing Authority meeting was dismissed in Hoboken Municipal Court earlier today.

A woman making the charge, an HHA resident was incited to submit the falsified complaint by a well known Beth Mason political operative standing next to her at its June meeting.

A HPD officer came over to several people standing along the wall near MSV after the alleged "incident" saying, "What are you children?" Soon after more Hoboken Police arrived to take the woman's complaint.

Since 2010, MSV has faced almost half a dozen filed complaints. The charges invariably revolve around Councilwoman Beth Mason and her well known political operatives seeking to advance her political career. 

The latest harassment charge was filed against MSV, this time by Beth Mason herself the week of September 15th after an initial attempt to deliver a legal subpoena. A change of venue was reported in yesterday's story.

Related: The original MSV story covering the HHA June meeting: "Insubordination mounts as the Banana Republic unravels."

In August, MSV was targeted during a special HHA meeting at City Hall, avoiding assault but was robbed of a camera bag containing equipment and wallet. None of the stolen items were returned and the story with unedited video was captured in "The Fracas."

From the June 16th MSV story:

Beth Mason with her political operative Matt Calicchio at the HHA meeting.
Coordinating an alleged victim claiming harassment while MSV was moving a chair to take notes
he approached on the early recess repeatedly saying,
"How's your dead brother."

Next: More on the four hour meeting marathon. During the meeting, as MSV moved an empty chair from the rear of the room to the front and sat three feet from the HHA Board dais, a charge of being shoved filed as "harassment" was claimed by a Hispanic woman. Working in tandem standing directly to her right, Beth Mason political operative Matt Calicchio. This with dozens of people and the HHA board in sight and a police officer standing not seven feet away.

The Hoboken police took the false allegation and a ticket is slated to be mailed in yet another court action against this editor.

An earlier 2012 harassment charge was lodged by Matt Calicchio himself, claiming he was repeatedly contacted by MSV against his will. Calicchio's false claim he requested the alleged contact cease was thrown out of Jersey City Municipal Court.

During an early recess prior to the phony harassment claim, Calicchio came within three feet attempting to take a dozen photos on his cell phone claiming MSV was "an elected official."

He followed repeatedly saying, "How's your dead brother."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mason and Castellano look to strike Hoboken small businesses proposing mandatory sick pay

A MSV reader submitted the following guest piece upon learning about a resolution on the agenda for Wednesday night's City Council meeting forcing all Hoboken businesses with ten or more employees to institute mandatory sick pay. 

The resolution sponsored by Beth Mason and First ward councilwoman Terry Castellano appears word for word to be lifted from one recently passed in Jersey City.

A resolution proposed by Councilwoman Beth Mason and Councilwoman Teresa Castellano proposes to enforce mandatory sick pay for businesses employing 10 or more in Hoboken.

This is an egregious overreach of municipal government—one that, at a glance, seems squarely targeted at Hoboken’s bar and restaurant owners.

The hospitality industry is not an office job—if someone calls in sick you don’t just sit there all day and look at an empty chair, you have to fill that spot with someone who can get the job done. The premise behind this legislation would essentially require bar and restaurant owners to pay twice for the same amount of work—once for the person who did the job, and another for the person who couldn’t make it.

Meanwhile the hospitality industry is typically self-correcting. If a person misses a shift, someone covers it—then the person whose shift was covered returns the favor. Everyone gets paid for the work they do, and no one gets screwed over.

In a town where the median age is increasing, bar stools are being replaced by highchairs, liquor licenses cost upwards of half a million dollars and customers can’t park, this is just another swift kick to the bottom line for Hoboken’s small businesses. Perhaps the city misses the revenue it used to get fining bars for the mess from St. Patrick’s Day house parties, so they need to make up the difference by getting into the books of an already taxed hospitality industry.

In the end, what this will ultimately mean is that the 10th guy hired in a Hoboken kitchen will probably start having to look for another job—not because bar and restaurant owners are necessarily heartless, they simply can’t run their business in the face of such invasive, predatory bureaucracy.


Beth Mason is preparing to stick it to Hoboken small business. A resolution she's sponsored with Councilwoman Terry Castellano mandates sick pay for all local businesses with ten or more employees. 

Talking Ed Note: This is classic government over regulation of the worst kind: local. It's bad enough when remote government bureaucrats gin up business killing regulations. In this instance, Hoboken council members should be looking to identify ways to help promote Hoboken business not kill it.

Unrelated, any attempt to obtain information on guest submissions to MSV has been and will be thwarted under the substantial strength of the NJ reporter's privilege, re: the Shield Law. Abuse of process, using the NJ courts to obtain the identities of anonymous guest submissions will be legally blocked by MSV.

If you wish to send a guest submission, either published in your name or anonymously feel free to do so at Guest pieces should focus on an area of interest to Hoboken readers and consist of 1,000 words or less.

Sign of the Times: Beth Mason leaves court after filing allegation against MSV

Beth Mason leaves Hoboken Municipal Court today following her harassment allegation against MSV.
The case exits Hoboken on a change of venue by the court.

MSV saw a change of venue in the latest action by Hoboken's litigious councilwoman from the second ward, Beth Mason, who filed a harassment charge against the editor the week of September 15th.

Beth Mason is anticipated to seek retaining the second ward council seat up for election next November, one of nine on the Hoboken City council. She's been mentioned in media reports as trying to obtain a coveted spot on a potential State Senator Steve Sweeney ticket for Lt. Governor.  The State Senator is thought to be a candidate in waiting for New Jersey governor bringing a south Jersey base in a possible match up against Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.

MSV issued two related stories on the action by Beth Mason in a story here and a prophetic one in advance at the link below:

MSV stands by its story and looks forward to both the truth and full transparency coming to light. 

You can support the fight for Constitutional and Civil Rights:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Analysis: Economic impact the major upside in Washington Street overhaul

Economic impact the focus of new website evaluating Washington St. overhaul

Hoboken's plan to upgrade Washington Street is a hot topic. The City's earlier final design announcement led to well over 100 comments, much of it heated on what should or should not be done.

The layers of improvements not ground up but below ground seemed lost with individual focus on one aspect or another of the City's proposed design. Funding will come from a variety of sources: federal, state and private to leverage the final redesign.

The Washington Street redesign will require six votes in the City Council as an unknown amount of funds will come from Hoboken itself. (MSV will update with the breakdown when possible.) The last attempt to upgrade Washington Street in 2012 was defeated when the Old Guard council: Michael Russo, Theresa Castellano, Timmy Occhipinti and Beth Mason refused to offer one vote among themselves to see passage.

City Hall is finalizing a proposed plan to overhaul Washington Street. A detailed plan will require approval
from six of nine members of the City Council.

With the vote on upgrading Washington Street ahead, there's a plethora of details to evaluate. A new website Gotham & Hudson focusing on development and urbanism outlined the proposed changes on Washington Street. 

The article notes the combined financial backing stating the proposed improvements are expected to cost $14 million, taking about 12 months to complete and Hoboken will coordinate the upgrades with "utility upgrades already planned by PSE&G and United Water."

The economic impact is directly addressed in the article concluding:

As it currently stands, Washington Street is a civic and commercial success not because of its design, but in spite of it. Anyone opposing these improvements has clearly shown they don’t understand, or are not willing to accept that reality. Washington street is too important to the city’s economic, social, and civic health to continue to prioritize the needs of drivers over all other users of the street, and the idea that reducing or reconfiguring parking would hurt businesses is an urban legend. A 2008 NYCDOT redesign of 9th Avenue between 23rd-31st Streets that has many similar elements to the proposal for Washington Street resulted in a 49% increase in retail sales over the three years following the redesign, significantly outpacing the 26% average growth over the same three-year period elsewhere in NYC. This project is essential to the economic, social, and cultural vitality of Washington Street, and will help Hoboken continue to be a leading destination in the NYC metro area for residents, businesses, and visitors.

The complete article is available at the link:

Talking Ed Note: The comprehensive economic impact to Hobokens's main economic thoroughfare has to be a focus in any final vote on the plan.

Washington Street upgrades will need 12 months to complete but approval in the City Council is required first.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Trolls R Us? Fear and Loathing in the land of trolls is ovah!

Hoboken knows Da Horsey loves a good conversation. Trolls however know that it's easy to overrun and turn any discussion into a troll fest and often do.

Free speech lives here; it's not an extreme endeavor but policy discussions and real critique are often lost with nothing more than trolling.

So, let's put the brakes on and see how that goes for a spell. Commenting is handled solely through the third party software Intense Debate. You'll need an account there or with Wordpress meaning  choosing an actual name and comment under it. The days of two dozen people or more arguing with each other as "guest" is kaput.

On the up side, MSV held the line in over two years of an attack on speech in Hoboken. Concern about the cynical attempts to obtain your personal information for the amusement of counte$$ is over too.

So, you are protected on two fronts. First, the third party commenting system you register with collects your information, not MSV. You may choose to take an extra measure of protection by creating and registering through a third party email you create solely for that purpose, re: yahoo, gmail, etc. If you are really concerned about the evil forces one day succeeding, you can also deploy third party software to shield your IP address.

Bottom line, let's see how quickly the trolling ends and who has a voice with a "reputation" they wish to value. There are regulars, Hoboken Owl is known as a long time righteous dude, but hey the bird is getting kinda lonely.

Important sidebar: Do not under any circumstances register a name with intensedebate that you have ever registered at Hoboken411. MSV is aware private information was compromised and shared with the worst fascist elements who seek to do harm to others for merely using their First Amendment rights. Similarly, MSV can not guarantee your anonymity is preserved if you use a similar screen name as on the Hudson Reporter. Act accordingly.

So here's the place to pick a name. Choose one and have a good time. Hoboken is listening and so is City Hall.

From time to time, MSV also posts its commenting and copyright policy. For those of inquiring mind, dive in and take a read there too.

Be a commenter speaking out to Hoboken, not a troll. 

Comment Policy


This site is rated R.  You may confess the worst thoughts about yourself.  You can get if off your chest about how good your boyfriend has been to you and how you still cheat on him all the time.  Or that you are not nice to your parents or siblings.  But if the language is in poor taste, it risks being edited or deleted.  It probably won't but why push it.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

If Truman gave them "hell" in Hoboken

"I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.”
            President Harry Truman

If Harry Truman wasn’t a midwestern take no guff kind of guy and found himself making noise in the political sphere of Hoboken, he’d be surprised how true his words applied today.

Hoboken has a unique mixture of narcissistic political entitlement. Truth is often ignored or flatly condemned as lies. The arrogance of some in the Old Guard repeatedly leads them down the road of excess. Whether there’s an election in sight or not, it’s money and power always lighting up their eyes and their decadent souls. You can't convince them otherwise. 

The levers of government are viewed as mere formality to enrichment, by hook or by crook. There's no interest to discuss policy with you, earn your vote or support. They'd sooner see you ignorantly write a check asking why taxes are so high and retreat back into the solitude of your life than argue why. Are Hoboken taxpayers remotely aware Hudson County taxes are now the largest local government bill two years running? 

Who do you think has been holding the line here in Hoboken the last five years? The double digit decrease puts Hoboken in a select group of a handful in the entire state of over 500 municipalities.

When it comes to speech in Hoboken, there's some well heeled people with a totalitarian streak a mile square large.
The democratization via "the internets" has driven them to crassly using the courts to level the playing field. 

The rest of this story is MSV premium. Sign up for the dish with a $75 contribution below.
Credit card for Paypal not required.


City of Hoboken announces:

Bird’s-Eye View Rendering of Washington Street (Downtown)

The City of Hoboken has completed a conceptual design for the “complete street” redesign of Washington Street. The design was presented at the final public meeting on September 23, 2014.

“I thank the community for providing their input on this important project through public meetings, focus groups, and surveys,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This plan builds on our award-winning main street by improving pedestrian safety and traffic flow, enhancing mobility for all users, and supporting local businesses. Now that we have community consensus, I look forward to working with the City Council and hope they will fully support this important project so it can be completed as quickly as possible.”

Complete streets are roadways designed for safe, attractive, and comfortable travel by users of all ages and abilities. The City’s plan proposes upgrading Washington Street with safety improvements and enhancements to get around safely on foot, bicycle, car, or public transportation. By providing safe and equitable travel for everyone—including children, families, older adults, and people with disabilities—complete streets stimulate active, healthy behavior, reduce automotive traffic and pollution, encourage more foot traffic to businesses, and enhance interaction on Hoboken’s vital main street.

Highlights of the final concept plan include:
Improved Road Operations & Traffic Flow
·         Roadway resurfacing for entire corridor
·         Designated commercial loading zones with time restrictions
·         Short-term parking for quick errands
·         Numbered parking spaces for quicker & easier parking and payment
·         New traffic signals and timing increase corridor average speed from 6-8mph to 8-12mph
·         Parallel and angled parking maintained on both sides of the street
·         Back-in angled parking for safer parking

Improved Pedestrian Safety & Lighting
·         State of the art signal design to ensure visibility for all users of the street
·         Pedestrian countdown signal heads
·         Improved lighting at intersections
·         Refurbish or replace existing street lighting to better illuminate sidewalk and reduce glare upwards
·         Concrete curb extensions at corners reduce crossing distances by almost 50% (from 50 ft to 26 ft) and provide additional space for pedestrian amenities
·         New high visibility, skid-resistant, retro-reflective crosswalks
·         Reconstructed curb ramps for improved ADA accessibility

 Streetscape Improvements for Aesthetics, Livability & Economic Vitality
·         New concrete sidewalks
·         New light poles and fixtures for improved street lighting
·         New benches and solar/smart trash receptacles, street trees
·         City-wide wayfinding signage

Increased Mobility & Transit Access
·         Redesigned "portal" style bus shelters
·         Protected bicycle lanes physically separated from motor vehicle traffic to accommodate all skill levels currently riding on sidewalk
·         New custom bicycle racks

Landscaping & Stormwater Management
·         Replacement of damaged and missing street trees
·         Improved street tree pit design for tree health and aesthetics
·         Green infrastructure to capture stormwater runoff: rain gardens at corners and expanded street tree pits

The plan will be presented to the City Council in October. The preliminary estimate for the complete plan is $14 million, and the City will seek State and Federal grants combined with bond funding to finance the project. Funding is already in place for completing the final engineering design and construction plans. The next steps in the project include:

·         Pre-Design Phase: coordination with utility upgrades, PSE&G lighting coordination, geotechnical investigations, stormwater/drainage analysis): (est: 3-4 months)
·         Final Survey/Preliminary & Final Engineering Design & Construction Plans (est: additional 6-8 months)
·         Construction (est: additional 12 months)

Additional project information is available at

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hudson County View: "Discord" on Freeholder vote with its legal counsel

Hudson County View provided this exclusive video below of the meeting and the Freeholder counsel's reasons leading to the recusal of two Freeholders from any vote last night including Anthony "Stick" Romano.

For the complete Hudson County View story, please see the link:

Reprieve on the Monarch as Freeholders lack quorum to vote

Hearing on important Monarch Project vote by Freeholders back on the table October 28th

A vote by the county legislature - the Hudson County Freeholders didn't occur last night on the controversial Monarch Project towers due to a lack of minimally required votes (quorum) on the nine member body.

One source is cautiously optimistic the County Freeholders may not be willing to overturn the Hudson County Planning Board's denial for the Monarch Project giving a green light to IronState, re: (The Shipyard) Applied which reneged on an original agreement to build tennis courts at the pier location.

Last night almost two dozen Hoboken residents showed up on opposition including from the Hoboken Tea Building. Freedholders Dorren DiDenico and Anthony "Stick" Romano recused themselves having voted previously as members of the county planning board.

NJ Advance Media detailed at the meeting:

Freeholders Anthony Romano and Doreen DiDomenico had to recuse themselves from the vote, since they are members of the county planning board. Vice-Chairman Thomas Liggio was absent from the meeting, and Albert J. Cifelli attended via conference call.

A vote is expected back on the agenda at the October 28th Freeholders meeting.

(MSV was not in attendance at the Jersey City meeting.)

Freeholder Anthony Romano with Lt. Gov.
Kim Guardagno back in 2011.
He's recused on the Monarch Project vote.
There's eight other votes he can lobby for Hoboken.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Beth Mason claims harassment in charges against MSV


Councilwoman Beth Mason files harassment charge in apparent attempt to prevent being served a legal subpoena

Beth Mason, Hoboken's litigious councilwoman is back using the courts!  In a phone call, the Hoboken Police Department confirmed Friday a harassment charge was filed against MSV by Councilwoman Beth Mason.

According to the mailed court notice, the charge stems from September 15th, the date an attempt was made by MSV Monday evening to serve civil subpoenas on Councilwoman Beth Mason and her husband, Richard Mason of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Partial actual court notice following Beth Mason's harassment filing.

Both subpoenas are related to the well known civil case involving this editor and a dozen other Hoboken residents.

Beth Mason declined to answer the doorbell and her husband Richard Mason refused to open the door and accept an announced delivery of legal documents.

Both subpoenas were later successfully delivered: Tuesday morning on Hudson Street between ninth and tenth street to Richard Mason and Wednesday at City Hall before the City Council meeting to Beth Mason.

Last Thursday, an announcement here pointed to any further violence and additional phony charges filed with the police against this reporter would result in Beth Mason being held responsible.

Councilwoman Beth Mason filed a harassment claim against MSV with the Hoboken Police Department last week.
Apparently, the latest Mason legal maneuver intended to prevent her being served with a civil subpoena. It failed.

Talking Ed Note: MSV stands by its Thursday announcement.
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