Friday, July 25, 2014

Finally, Bet is a winnuh!!

No movie short created more laughter in the Mile Square than the cartoon "Downfall of a wannabe shark." Penned back in 2010, the satirical cartoon character has become a cult classic seen tens of thousands of times.

Bet Mazin, checkbook hero of political operatives everywhere, works mightily to stop reform writers and residents who dare to speak out against corruption and trifle with the the political ambitions of Hobroken's Queen of Ethics and Transparency.

Bet was a true to life target, charged in Hudson County Superior Court in a $2 million civil civil action by her alter ego's embittered "friends" not paid for friendship. Our heroic cartoon character triumphed on the initial winning list of defendants in the SLAPP courtesy of Beth Mason and her family checkbook. Also on the initial winner's list: Klaussenfluffer.

Congratulations to both Bet and Klaussenfluffer on their victory. Bet has gone on from cartoon legend to becoming the voice of Siri.

How many cartoon characters do you know who have beaten their depraved real world counterpart's $2 million SLAPP suit?

Downfall of a wannabe shark from Da Horsey on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

72 hours or three days to enjoy a bootless bounty

The boot is dead. Long live the 72 hour boot!

While not quite dead, the boot is making fewer appearances on Hoboken streets. Although there's been no change in the City Council to the parking ordinances, stickers began appearing recently on cars stating said vehicle was parked illegally and had 72 hours to move or be booted.

The days of immediate terror with instant booting are apparently over by executive order. It hasn't taken long for bad habits to filter down from Washington D.C. and the attention on the austere booting policies in Hoboken created lots of bad publicity, bad will and some say a bad business climate.

Not a month ago uptown a friend and Da Horsey were having a chat and remarked of the strange occurrence seeing a parking meter worker out and about on a Saturday evening. An Acura TL sat silently and most definitely illegally near the corner into the danger red stripe zone.

The parking worker observing the lingering asked if we owned the vehicle. Told no, he began to write up a ticket as a young woman walked by who with no inquiry scooted past with a friend pumped her fist in the air and said, "Boot'em!"

True Story.

Talking Ed Note: In typical Hoboken fashion, residents will say the change from the rigid booting practice is a saner, more civilized route to handle the Mile Square's unquenchable desire for parking.

At the same time, it will follow with other residents complaining about how finding parking is now more difficult. And so it goes.

Some comprehensive ideas are going to roll out by September out of the City Council transportation subcommittee. One can only hope it will include changes to the signage using the same color scheme on both sides among other necessary changes.

One outcome is certain. Parking meters will go up in price to narrow the difference with local parking garages. Like it or not, it's on the table along with numerous other changes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spiraling down the rabbit hole with Carmelo Garcia


Hoboken is on a ride but many residents don't know it's underway. The descent is speeding up and plummeting to a crash as the Mile Square approaches the fifth anniversary of one time political corruption star in former Mayor Peter Cammarano.

The rise was steady, the tongue always loquacious and the belief he could talk his way through anything supreme. No, not Peter Cammarano - Mister Carmelo.

After being selected in the Vision 20/20 sweepstakes as an appropriate Assembly vehicle for one State Senator Brian Stack, the steady rise of one Carmelo Garcia as he was happy to tell you; he was "destined for greatness."

Then the scam started to come apart at the seams in the Hoboken Housing Authority. Here's where it's headed.

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Vision 20/20 was the biggest NJ snake oil promotion in years. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

HUD wakes from slumber announcing review "sampling" of HHA contracts

A July 15th HUD letter issued by Newark Director Sonia Burgos to Hoboken Housing Authority Chairwoman Dana Wefer says the federal agency plans to review a "sampling" of HHA contracts.

The time period of contracts available for sampling is stated as going back to 2010. Contracts issued outside of federal procurement rules and without any approval by the Hoboken Housing Authority's Board of Commissioners ran in the millions of dollars at the sole direction by its current contracted manager, Carmelo Garcia.

Last week News 12 ran a feature on the May MSV story where Garcia pocketed thousands of dollars from several current HHA vendors, questioning what laws may have been violated. While one state law may hold a loophole on pay to play, numerous other state and federal laws have likely been violated.

After months of revelations showed millions in procurement problems under Executive Director Carmelo Garcia and he pocketed thousands of dollars for his political committee last March, HUD is opting to take a look-see.

HUD recently overlooked these same procurement issues in order to weigh in and reject the HHA board's hiring a special counsel to investigate the procurement issues identified earlier in the millions of dollars.

The suggested HUD sampling comes after a scathing audit report issued last week revealing one among more than a dozen problems identified in its findings stating the HHA is operating outside of procurement laws. 

The complete findings by Fallon & Larson LLP are detailed from the audit report:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Questions swirling around Carmelo Garcia hits the big lights

Yesterday News 12 uncorked a little story putting Hoboken back in the corruption spotlight again featuring a report on the troubling pay to play no bid contracts HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia directed without authorization under federal procurement laws while taking thousands of dollars from several HHA vendors.

HHA ED Carmelo Garcia confers with ally Councilwoman Beth Mason before a recent HHA meeting. Yesterday News 12 spent some time conferring with the public about the emerging pay to play controversy one of many exploding in the HHA. State Senator Brian Stack must be observing with keen interest. The rest of Hoboken is watching with bated breath.

From the report:

HOBOKEN - The executive director of the Hoboken Housing Authority gave out more than $2 million in no-bid contracts to three companies who then donated thousands of dollars to his campaign for the state Legislature...

But state election reports show three of the companies who received those emergency contracts; Hauser Brothers, Haddad Electric and A.M. Construction, then donated money to Garcia’s campaign for the New Jersey Assembly. That has some members of the housing board questioning whether there was a quid pro quo...

“There are a lot of electricians in Hudson County,” says Hoboken Housing Chairwoman Dana Wefer. “There’s a lot of boiler maintenance companies and a lot of construction companies. We don’t need to be going to the ones that contributed money to the executive director-assemblyman’s campaign.”

The complete News 12 story with video is available here.

Talking Ed Note: Sometimes what follows the big lights is the big time. Look at me ma, I'm a star.

Related: The MSV breaking story back in May that brought to light payments to Carmelo Garcia by HHA vendors who were paid millions from the agency with no bid contracts.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Cablevision News 12 is blowing the lid off the MSV story broken here last May on the "contributions" to Carmelo Garcia with million dollar no-bid contracts to vendors in the HHA.

News 12 with investigative reporter "Kane in Your Corner." Catch it!

He's a star. Carmelo Garcia is the focus of an investigative corruption report 
on News 12
Are you ready for your close-up Mister Carmelo?

The report says Carmelo gave $2 million in no bid contracts to three firms who then gave him thousands of dollars earlier this year.

Carmelo is sticking to his cover story that it was an "emergency" but Chairwoman Dana Wefer disagrees and says otherwise and the facts are on her side. The audit report just released here earlier this week says the independent third party professionals aren't buying it either.

Garcia says there is "no quid pro quo." Then Garcia says he's being "targeted."

While the "ethnic cleansing" garbage isn't back the it's "a hostile working environment" nonsense is but Wefer says "the numbers" aren't political. The numbers are "cold, hard facts."

Talking Ed Note: Okay, I can't continue anymore. I have to stop laughing. Carmelo Garcia, yeah putting money in his pocket and you know, he's a victim.

The "emergency" story was smashed as a canard long ago. The HHA audit merely the cherry on top of what is clear to many is some very foul malfeasance. Or worse.

News 12 has the link up but they are not quite caught up on the Carmelo Garcia story. For now:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Grist for the Mill: Where in the world is Carmelo Garcia?


Carmelo Garcia is quite the popular guy these days. Well, he's undoubtedly a fav with certain HHA vendors who kicked in thousands to his political committee last March and certainly he's beloved by more HHA vendors for not making them go through that oh so unnecessary sealed bid process. (See yesterday's story below.)

Word is a certain news group is on the prowl around the Mile Square on the lookout for the whereabouts of a certain contracted Executive Director. Did said news crew catch up to him?

Be on the lookout around Hoboken for the News 12 helicopter. It's rumored to have put out an APB on one
Carmelo Garcia. One can imagine this won't be as friendly as a planted Hudson Reporter story.

Da Horsey hasn't the foggiest but Mister Carmelo may defer for once in his life from publicity after speaking to his lawyer. MSV can't say if it would be his "ethnic cleansing" barrister or a more able  (and subject appropriate) criminal attorney.

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