Friday, August 17, 2018

hob’art gallery: ya gotta have art


“Two Visionary Guys”

Don Sichler & Rich Roberts

Friday, August 24 – Saturday, September 22 
8/30- 9/3 

Opening Reception
Saturday, August 25th, 6-8 PM 

Closing Party
Saturday, September 22, 6-8 PM

hob’art gallery
Monroe Art Center, 

720 Monroe Street, E208, 
Hoboken, NJ 07030 

Gallery Hours: Thursday & Fridays 4-7 pm. Saturday’s
1 to 5pm and by appointment: (201) 319-1504

Don Sichler www.donsphotoreality.com

Rich Roberts http://hob-art.org/richie-roberts/

Don Sichler is an artist who uses a camera and a computer as tools. As he puts it, he doesn’t create art, rather he discovers it, “My camera records what I find and the computer is used to develop and expose it.” He records with his camera what most people look at but do not see.

Rich Roberts discovered kiln-formed glass late in life. His art & life is an ongoing experience of unplanned encounters.

Fused glass is very different from traditional stained glass. Pieces are fired in an electric kiln several times up to 1,500 degrees. Each heating-cooling cycle takes about 18 hours. 
The colored glass and small pieces are completely melted (fused) into each other.

At the Opening Reception on Saturday, Agust 25, 2018 from 6-8pm and the Closing Party, September 22, 2018, from 6-8pm, the artists will talk about their artwork and welcome questions from visitors. 

The artists thank the Monroe Art Center and the Hob'art gallery for their support of this exhibition.
Don Sichler

Rich Roberts

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sign of the Times: Attack dog appearance in council meetings connected to Ravi Bhalla Chief of Staff John Allen

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE

The following report is a cumulation of MSV's investigative efforts, analysis and opinion now into the tenth year covering Hoboken government, politics, and corruption. The opinions stated below are the sole responsibility and copyright of MSV.


Since last year's abbreviated mayoral campaign, dirty politics in the Mile Square City hit new lows. The "terror flyer" electing Ravi Bhalla to mayor with 32% of the vote isn't an anomaly; it's a feature.

That political operation contradicted some basic political facts. First, after serving more than eight years on the City Council, there had never been any kind of personal attack on Ravi Bhalla connected to any religious group. Most of the criticism vented at him were of the ethical variety.

Then just a few days before last year's November election, a "midnight" flyer appeared doing just that. Not in the middle of the night as a midnight flyer is known but all over midtown on an early Friday night when Hoboken is more than a little busy with pedestrian traffic.

The smell lingers with questions about the shadowy PAC spending tens of thousands backing Ravi Bhalla for mayor and singing union praises of being the "Stronger Foundations" in doing so.

The connected crimes remain officially unsolved. Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante has publicly urged members of the public to come forward with the conclusive information. None have done so.

Last month, another politically charged bomb of a different variety appeared at the City Council meeting. Unlike others who came to advocate for an issue or concern, this one arrived tossing bombgrenades out of the gate at many members of the council not aligned with Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

It was by most close observer accounts, a most odd introduction to the City Council and public at-large. The appearance, courtesy of uptown resident Mike Donnelly featured direct attacks on a number of council members firing off political talking points sounding exactly like those made out of the mayor's office, in public - and more oddly - in private.

Among those on the receiving end of Donnelly's written and prepared remarks: Council President Ruben Ramos, Councilmembers Jen Giattino, Tiffanie Fisher and Mike DeFusco.

At the beginning of this month's council meeting, Donnelly returned again to lay into several council members but noting that we can all agree, "Ravi isn't perfect."

He concluded his remarks saying to Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher that "no one" had sent him. He just made two first-ever appearances before the City Council and immediately launched ethics allegations and political attacks on his own was his claim.

Last week, Councilman Mike DeFusco who received most of the attention along with a very deflective legally inspired ethics complaint pointed directly at him, fingered the mayor's office for political retaliation.

From the release:


Did anyone see any public notice from the mayor's office denying the charge?

There's been nothing but silence. Silence from Ravi Bhalla, silence from City Hall issued communications and complete and utter silence from the Chief of Staff John Allen and one Mike Donnelly.

Sometimes a picture tells the story better than a thousand words. Here's one off Instagram that didn't escape social media scrubbing in time, circa December 2015. Neither Donnelly or his "close friend" John Allen were seen involved in anything related to a Hoboken issue then.

These added words come courtesy of your friendly neighborhood muckraking Horsey.

This photo with Hoboken resident Mike Donnelly (middle) and Ravi Bhalla Chief of Staff John Allen (right)
may help to explain the formers odd appearances launching political attacks on a number of City Council members. The prepared written statements sound exactly like the whining that comes out of the mayor's office.


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Place your bets Losers, I mean Cave-dwellers

So MSV is receiving inquiries how many bets have been placed on the latest whopper exposed at Sybil's Cave.

Would you be surprised to learn that zero credibility = zero bets placed on Sybil, head cave-dweller?
Not a single person across the Mile Square is willing to bet a measly dollar on a reckless fabricator.

Instead, there's this suggested legal defense. It falls under a pleading of insanity. Poor Sybil.
Maybe the mayor's office can put up a few straw bettors to make it look good.
Hey Donnelly, where you at?

                            

Monday, August 13, 2018

Forever Advocate for Hoboken sends Ravibot cultists into tizzy

A comment by an anonymous but insightful screen name called Forever Advocate has sent Sybil's Cave and its mistress of misinformation and fabrication for its small band of Ravibot cultists into a lather.

According to crazy lunatic fringe conspiracy promoter Sybil, re: Nancy Pincus herself, she's claimed the commenter is current Second Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.

The undressing here is a matter of public concern and mental health. Prepare the rubber room!

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher is attacked by Nancy Pincus once again.
This time the latest Pincus lying screed claims she's commenter Forever Advocate.
Except Hoboken's biggest policy wonk isn't. MSV is taking bets from any
loon stupid enough to wager on the latest foaming frothy stupidity out of Sybil's Cave.

What facts does Nancy Pincus, the head cult of personality loon for Ravibots present as her evidence?

Zero.

That's zero, zip, nada, nunca. Add whatever language you like to the reign of error and stupidity as not a single morsel of common sense exudes anywhere there.

Facts be damned, there's Hoboken's chief policy wonk in the councilwoman the chief target and it's the usual Hoboken411 Bajerkoff style of character assassination not even mixing in a morsel of fact.

Nancy Pincus just made it all up. This after she's proven wrong yet again in pronouncing an ordinance on rear egress to Hoboken homeowner's backyards a threat by big developers, per Mayor Ravi Bhalla's orders from reality. (That homeowner relief will be back and likely see overwhelming support in the City Council next month.)

Here's the comment that set off the head Ravibot cult of personality fanatic Nancy Pincus below.

If anyone is all about protecting their "friends" (a.k.a. donors) it is Ravi. The only thing he gives higher priority to than that is moving his Washington D.C. aspirations forward. The item that Ravi was censured for is very real, very unsettling, and very serious. For him to continue to try to spin this narrative of Bhalla = "good guy" and DeFusco = "bad guy" is absurd and not based in reality nor facts. 

Ravi will demean an upstart, dynamic Democrat to build political capital with his campaign manager's guru. Ravi will take pictures with controversial "leaders" on trains, without any thought as to who they have or have not offended. Ravi will bad mouth a fellow charter school parent, colleague, and neighbor via thousands of dollars of inappropriate campaign literature, and try to say it's all being done in the name of fighting Donald Trump. 

Ravi is a joke. His lame, politically motivated narratives are far from funny though. Maybe Ravi should focus on running a city properly, instead of pulling a fast one on the Hoboken taxpayer, lining up a "nothing to see here" second income stream, bloating his administrative staff, or using his staff as a personal bully pulpit and PR hammer against the Council members who actually see service to the community of Hoboken as their first priority. 


#ThoseWhoLiveInGlassHousesShouldNotThrowStones
Hoboken's mayor Ravi Bhalla took this photo on a train from Washington DC with anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour. Last week, a terrorist facility abusing children was busted where training the kids to become school shooters uncovered. The person arrested running the facility is the son of an imam Sarsour calls her mentor.
Another story points to the imam an alleged conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing.

The comment apparently hit far too close to home and sent Sybil's neurosis out to immediately "strike back." Although thought to be visiting family in Japan, (hey look into the restrictive immigration policy there Syb) she's obsessively reading MSV across oceans and issuing more misinformation and fabrications from there.

Can Nancy Pincus give the lying and Hoboken411 imitation a rest for a few days on vacation? Not a chance.

MSV doesn't know or post information about commenters and if it does know in a select circumstance would never give up that information. Seven years into a frivolous litigation, no one has ever been given up even as this website never saw as much as a single allegation made against it when its operation and commenters were obsessively targeted.

Definitively, MSV can state that Forever Advocate is most certainly not Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher. The second ward councilwoman is a notorious policy wonk who rolls up her sleeves and dives into issues deeper than any Hoboken elected official. That includes the often City Hall absent, second job holding Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

Forever Advocate has struck a nerve and apparently is a very knowledgeable observer of Hoboken and its ambitious mayor who is on an eternal tour to get the job of elected politician elsewhere.

Nancy Pincus going batshit crazy while on a family vacation
thousands of miles away in Japan. Sad.
She falsely accused Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher of
making an insightful comment on MSV under the screen name:
Forever Advocate. 
MSV reached out to Councilwoman Fisher on the accusation but couldn't decipher the full answer refuting the allegation. She was laughing too hard.

Talking Ed Note: Anyone who wants to place a bet on Nancy Pincus being correct in her latest fabricated attack on Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, place your bets at smartyjones@me.com.

The Horsey will be happy to take your money. Place your bets moronic Cavedwellers!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: "A MUST READ …. TRAFFIC THAT WILL EFFECT EVERYONE"

Offical release:

Dear friends and neighbors:  
I only wish this was just a “Happy Friday and Have A Great Weekend” email….but sadly it isn't...
The 80 year old Rt. 495 Bridge that goes over Rte. 1 & 9 is being replaced.  This is the part of Rt. 495 that is just west of the Columbia Park Theater and before you hit the ramp to Rt. 3 and the NJ Turnpike.  Closures begin tonight and will continue throughout the week.  
Beginning next Friday the 17th, one lane in each direction will be closed FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS.  Look at this picture of 4 lanes moving in each direction to help you envision what reducing to 3 lanes will be.
It is expected by all to be U-G-L-Y for all those who use this route.  An NJDOT representative told me last fall when I asked which route will be most impacted, after first wincing, that those who use Rt 3 coming back towards Hoboken in the evening should expect their returning commute time to double.  frown
Although the nightmare will now primarily be to those who use the north end of Hoboken to come and go, as we all know this will have a ripple effect to the other egress routes as well.  
CLICK HERE FOR A NJ.COM ARTICLE THAT PROVIDES IMPORTANT AND INFORMATIVE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
A notable one:
Q: Are there other driving options?
A: How about the George Washington Bridge or Holland Tunnel? Seriously, those are suggested by officials as the other highway options to New York. There is no other highway that parallels Route 495 to the Lincoln Tunnel. That has officials in Union City and North Bergen fearing an influx of traffic detouring off 495 and inundating local streets.
Detouring on local streets is a bad idea. If you aren’t familiar with Hudson County’s urban roads, don’t even try to do this. These are on narrow, mostly one-way streets with stop signs or traffic lights every other block. In other words, they are unsuitable for through-traffic and have the potential for tie-ups that could be as bad as driving Route 495.
To stay updated on the project, go to http://www.RestoreNJ495.com to sign up for alerts. 
As always, feel free to reach out if you want to discuss further by email or by phone/text at 201/208-1674.  PLEASE ALSO FORWARD THIS TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW.  THIS AFFECTS EVERYONE IN HOBOKEN AND OUR VISITORS.
And Happy Friday and Have A Great Weekend!
TiffanieFisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”
   

Dollars to donuts, this is one explosive Ravi Big Lie political nuke

You have to appreciate this Donut situation.

There's been a lot of political capital invested in this. So too, there's quite a bit of deception invested in the political retribution with a veto about allowing Hoboken residents the ability to add a few steps in their backyard for egress. More importantly, the rear access to a Hoboken home has been the difference between livable space and rendering a home unbearable after SuperStorm Sandy in 2012.

Recall the many tales of woe when people were not permitted to repair their homes and meet the rigid bureaucratic standard of minimum flood elevation? The results were catastrophic as the owners bailed and new owners would raze the existing disaster area and then rebuild - higher.

Stairs. What we're talking about with this Ravi Bhalla vetoed ordinance is not developer threats to the well-being of mankind and Hoboken residents.

Stairs.

Ravi Bhalla, Hoboken's mayor may not be on schedule for the Washington St. renovation but when it comes to taking political dirty shots; he's singularly on top of it. A nuke has been designed to once and forevermore end the discussion about the many whoppers and ethical problems stemming from a Supreme Court censure almost yanking a Ravi Bhalla law license and his in your face second job with a Republican land use law firm, etc., etc.

Forget all about that and let's focus on the political operation designed to drown out and distract from those issues.

As one comic Ravibot who lives nowhere near a donut homeowner situation said in the last City Council meeting; any Hoboken homeowner who puts stairs in the backyard helps "developers build further into people's backyards."

Developers?

Is this lunacy due to a 'member of the public' mindreading fanciful narratives constructed out of the Hoboken mayor's office? What are the odds?

A short clip from last month's City Council meeting highlights the policy dispute. On one side speaking in favor of a Nanny State "no" for what would amount to literally one-percent of lot coverage or thereabouts in a homeowners backyard with stairs at ground level: Councilman Jim Doyle.

On the other side, the ordinance sponsor and advocate for codifying common sense so Hoboken residents can meet the rigid elevation requirements and egress for stairs in the rear of their home to what is typically a kitchen: Councilman Mike DeFusco.


Note in the policy dispute and this is is nothing more than a policy dispute, each side points to their assets. Doyle uses the unelected Planning Board and Master Plan documentation as his reasons to not allow this approximate one-percent encroachment on 60% lot space limits.

(Yes, the stairs under discussion for rear egress are an encroachment of approximately 1%.)

On the other side, Councilman Mike DeFusco highlights it's the council's responsibility to codify and correct the burden on Hoboken residents who typically have gone to the Hoboken Zoning Board to see stairs added in order to enter and exit the rear of their home. The cost of that onerous process often runs into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Stairs.

DeFusco recounts his time on the Hoboken Zoning Board and how ludicrous it is Hoboken residents have to go to that body to obtain approval to put in a few stairs so they can enter and exit their backyard and often to satisfy the flood elevation requirement after Sandy.

In the discussion over rear entry stairs, there's not a word by anyone about any threat of developers who will swoop down and destroy the light and air for ants and earthworms.




Talking Ed Note: Ravi Bhalla has stepped into it with a concerted and coordinated political attack deploying a nuke. The Big Lie technique used here about his protecting Hoboken from developers is quite a fanciful tale.

Are we seeing the effects of paranoia and ultimately self-destruction?

More to come.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Councilman Mike DeFusco: "Can Hoboken be fooled?"

Official release:

Since I first challenged a long-time incumbent and ran for City Council three years ago, you've always known me as someone who’s willing to stand up against the patronage system and entrenched politicians that typify the political establishment in New Jersey.

This is why I’m writing you today.

In June, Mayor Ravi Bhalla was censured by the NJ State Supreme Court for "unethical conduct" for failing to pay into his employee’s retirement account and being "nonchalant" about rectifying it for five years.  That’s not just wrong, it’s heartless. To give some perspective on just how serious the Supreme Court decision is, Ravi was just one vote away from having his law license revoked. This comes on the heels of another scandal Mayor Bhalla caused when he broke a campaign promise and took a second job at a politically connected law firm.

And earlier this year, Hoboken paid $186k to settle two cases where Ravi Bhalla allegedly infringed on the first amendment rights of two residents who spoke out against him at City Council meetings.


ICYMI - the cover story from The Hoboken Reporter reporting on the Supreme Court's censure of Ravi Bhalla 
But more recently, I uncovered that Hoboken taxpayers have unknowingly spent $10,000 over the past seven months funding the Mayor’s appeal of an ethics violation where he was reprimanded for voting on a business partner’s contract with the city.  The City's continued funding of his defense wouldn't be an issue if Ravi Bhalla hadn't lied to our city’s legal team, which directly led the city to enter into this folly in the first place. Instead of acknowledging his clear mistake, Mayor Bhalla instead has doubled down and ordered a city attorney to quietly defend him, without any transparency towards residents or the City Council.
In response, last Wednesday the City Council voted overwhelmingly (7-2) to terminate the contract with the law firm retained by the administration to stop this taxpayer ripoff. Yet again, instead of doing what’s right and accepting fault, the Mayor refused to enforce the resolution, setting the Council on a collision course with his administration that could have serious consequences.
How has our Mayor responded to these continued scandals? By lashing out at me for leading the charge to hold him accountable and trying to distract from his own problems by making false claims against me.

A DISTRACTION FROM THE ISSUES


To distract from the mounting controversy, this week a close friend of the mayor’s Chief of Staff was sent to file a bogus ethics complaint against me. Their baseless allegation is that I am somehow benefiting a campaign donor by authoring an ordinance that helps homeowners affected by the city's oppressive flood ordinance, access their backyards without arduous municipal bureaucracy. This is something that the Zoning Board has urged the City Council to consider every year since 2012, and after half a decade of recommendations, it was approved by an overwhelming 7-2 vote. 
Updating our outdated zoning isn’t exactly a front-page issue, but it’s essential to keeping families in town and one of the main reasons I ran for City Council in the first place.   Read more about how out of date zoning hurts residents and forces them out of town.

The fact of the matter is that the donation was from a well-respected restaurateur in my district, not a developer or special interest as the mayor sensationalized and it had absolutely nothing to do with my decision to take up the zoning issue.  On the date of the contribution, the donor didn’t even own the property that he would later bring to the Planning Board.  As soon as I became aware that this donor was submitting an application, I recused myself from that meeting to avoid any appearance of a conflict. There is absolutely no merit to the mayor’s lies against me and worse, his attempt to defame a Hoboken-based small business for petty political gain.
Perhaps most telling, after concocting the story, Mayor Bhalla sent out a fake version of a news article to his supporters that intentionally removed crucial facts, such as editing the headline to change the meaning and mislead residents.  In a truly Trump-like move, he’s trying to manipulate the local media to fit his own twisted and false narrative.

PUTTING POLICY FIRST  


Despite this political side-show, I remain dedicated to elevating good and rational policy-based ideas that help Hoboken and all residents.   The Mayor and his two allies on the Council are misrepresenting the goals and impacts of the proposed legislation and are attempting to turn a common sense policy decision to help homeowners into some kind of giveaway to developers.  For a spot-on analysis of what this ordinance actually aims to achieve, my colleague Councilwoman Tiffany Fisher has expertly broken it down and countered the mayor's false narrative.

Over the past two weeks, I have had the chance to listen to more community feedback on this issue and I plan to re-introduce revised legislation next month with additional assurances that limit this to the smaller, family-friendly, homes most negatively impacted by the city's flood ordinance.  Much like the original ordinance, the revised will continue to maintain the 30 percent rear yard standard currently required, ensuring green space, light and air is preserved for all residents, while still allowing them to access their backyards.  This is an opportunity to make a small but important change to the way our city treats homeowners, and I’m not backing down from it.

Ravi Bhalla might think that this political hit job, a gross misuse of his office and taxpayer resources, would silence me. He could not be more mistaken. He might also believe that he can scare Hoboken with wild accusations about donors and developers that don’t have a grain of truth to them. But I'm not going to stop fighting to hold his scandal-plagued administration accountable, or to keep moving our city forward. I know that Hoboken won’t fall for this kind of misdirection and that residents want the City Council to continue putting the needs of our city over the personal interests of the Mayor.
Your Councilman,
Mike DeFusco
Hoboken City Councilman

P.S. Should you ever need anything, please email me at Mike4Hoboken@yahoo.com or call me at 646.372.4341.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: I Am Committed To Protecting Hoboken's Donut

Official release:

 
Dear friends and neighbors:  
I want to clarify some of the misinformation that has been distributed and published concerning the recent zoning ordinance I co-sponsored with Councilman DeFusco regarding Hoboken’s “Donuts.”  Contrary to what our Mayor and two of my fellow council members are attempting to make you believe, I am fully committed to protecting Hoboken's "Donuts."  
For those unaware, the Hoboken “Donut” is sacrosanct in Hoboken and frequently discussed and defended at planning and zoning board meetings.  You can see them in the map below – they are the residential blocks that look like loops where the interior are the backyards of the homes on that block.  Protecting the Hoboken “Donut” is something that has long been a position for most in Hoboken, myself included both when I was a commissioner on the Zoning Board and now as your Councilwoman. 
Most often not publicly accessible, Hoboken “Donuts” are still considered part of our overall open space that dense communities like ours need.  The encroachment of one property on its own rear yard clearly impacts the light and air of all the neighbors surrounding that property.  But in addition to protecting our interior open spaces, we also need to allow access to it – both for safety and enjoyment.  And such access has been limited in many instances due to our 2015 flood ordinance which some believe encourages teardowns of properties to add more economic square feet and/or requires the elevation of the lowest livable floor to a level that is often much higher than the grade of the rear yard and thus removing access to the rear yard from the living space.  
The ordinance proposed by Councilman DeFusco and myself was meant to address these issues.  It was meant to allow property owners to refurbish/rebuild their existing footprint, comply with our local flood ordinance, but not have to apply to a municipal board to have safe and enjoyable access to their rear yard while still working within the same width constraints afforded within our current zoning laws.  That is it.  
This is not by any stretch of the imagination a way “for developers to reap the benefits of larger units” as our Mayor would have you believe.   
Here is some background and more detail behind what was proposed that I hope will give you more understanding behind why I supported this ordinance and asked my council colleagues to do as well.   
  • On July 11th, the City Council, on second reading, passed an ordinance being referred to as B-40 which effectively expanded what could be excluded from lot coverage for purposes of exiting a property.  
  • Prior to B-40, our zoning code already allowed for Fire Escapes so long as they did not extend into the yard beyond 54” (see § 196-24 D. (a)). 
  • Additionally, in a 2015 ordinance sponsored by Councilmen Doyle and Russo, the code was updated to include, among other things, egress stairs extending from a rear deck from the first dwelling floor so long as they were no wider than 36”  (see § 196-28.1 A (1-3)).  
  • In B-40, we proposed that these effectively remain unchanged with the following exceptions that we felt gave more clarity, more relief to property owners negatively impacted by our flood ordinance, and in some cases improved protection of our Hoboken “Donut”: 
    • Added “Fire Escape” and “Rear Egress Stair” as defined terms that previously didn’t exist that both the same maximum width restrictions as in our current code, but actually reduces the width allowed without variance to anything more than minimum required.  
    • We also added clarifying language that said any Fire Escapes or Rear Egress Stairs wider than the minimum allowed size would in their entirety be added back into the lot coverage ratio – currently for fire escapes minimum code is 30” for single stairs and 50” for double stairs (vs. 54” allowed under our code).
    • In both definitions, it was explicitly stated that “Under No Circumstances, Shall A Rear Egress Stair Be Used As Outdoor Living Space” which provides an enforcement mechanism that did not previously exist.  
    • For Rear Egress Stair, we inserted the ability to have a 3’x3’ landing so a homeowner didn’t have to build a much larger deck to gain access to the backyard
  • What is not currently provided for in our zoning code is what we referred to as a “Fire Stair” for which we added a definition that contemplated combining the context of a Fire Escape with that of Rear Egress Stairs – ultimately a Fire Escape that is slightly wider but touches the ground akin to a Rear Egress Stair.  As proposed:
    • An open staircase affixed to the exterior of a building, and servicing all floors, for the purpose of providing secondary egress in lieu of interior stairs required for the same purpose.
Currently, building codes require in most instances that at least two forms of egress (depending on occupancy) are available for safe exit from the buildings – and if both cannot be accommodated internally, then one can be accommodated externally as a fire escape or fire stair.  A Fire Escape as currently allowed adds ~ 30-70 square feet to lot coverage for a typical single residential lot.  A Fire Stair as proposed in B-40, which was meant to provide the same function as a Fire Escape, might be a further 10-30 square feet to accommodate the difference in width between a 2’ fire escape and a 3’ stair.  
Given what our zoning code currently permits without a variance, the idea was to codify a way to allow a safe and more comfortable way to exit the building to the rear yard, allow ‘as of right’ access from livable space to the rear yard without having to build a large deck for those whose access to the rear yard has been limited under our flooding ordinance, and also not result in a material change to our current zoning code.  We believe B-40 accomplished this but will be taking a second look at the language to ensure it achieves these goals.  Any next version of this ordinance will continue to reflect my commitment to protecting Hoboken's Donut. 
As always, feel free to reach out if you want to discuss further by email or by phone 201/208-1674.
 
TiffanieFisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
 
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”
 
PS - the Mayor has an extensive email distribution list that probably exceeds mine by a multiple of 10.  So if you could send this to anyone you know who may be interested or concerned about this, I would appreciate it.
 
PSS - I plan to send a longer update that will include more color, but the Dog Run resolution passed last week by a vote of 6-2.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Ravi Bhalla goes all out Fake News on homeowner zoning changes by City Council

It may be August and the dogs days of summer but Hoboken is never short of politics and in the case of today's Mayor Ravi Bhalla fake news release, hyper-politics.

Addressed in his official Fake News release (Bhalla recently applied the term himself) he castigated the Hoboken City Council for modifying a change aiding Hoboken homeowners in their backyard as a "matter of right."

Bhalla had vetoed the ordinance overwhelmingly approved 7-2 by the City Council.

The change to the ordinance B-40 impacts Hoboken residents limited after Hurricane Sandy where elevation became an impediment to making renovations. The other Hoboken owners most impacted in their backyard, the "donut hole" areas are those who wish to add narrow stairs or a fire escape to their floor above the flood elevation line.

Ravi Bhalla, however, is trying to snooker the public as he anoints himself savior from developers. There's that pattern of self-worship appearing again.

Why are Hoboken homeowners being insulted and condescended to like this?

From the Bhalla Fake News release:

RAVI BHALLA FAKE NEWS
As Mayor, maintaining the charm and character of our City while protecting our community from overdevelopment is a major priority. You can rest assured that I have your best interests at heart, and not the special interests of developers and their profits. 

That's why I recently vetoed a developer-favored ordinance championed by Councilman DeFusco that would have reduced the amount light and air in the open area in the middle of our residential city blocks, also known as the "donut hole", all across the City. This ordinance would have resulted in the gradual erosion of rear yard open space and allowed developers to reap the financial benefit of larger units, at the expense of Hoboken's charm and character.

The Bhalla Fake News release goes on to lambaste Councilman Mike DeFusco who sponsored the ordinance and is accused of aiding a developer and taking funds from them for this ordinance. All of this is worse than Fake News, it's flat out insulting and condescending to the Hoboken public. The homeowners are local business owners and the ordinance has nothing to do with their commercial business location. DeFusco did nothing wrong here.

Previously, the misinformation was put forward on the Ravi Bhalla propaganda site Sybil's Cave via her Theftbook page. Here's another batshit crazy attack on the good governance trio of Peter Cunningham, Jen Giattino and Tiffanie Fisher.

Note the false information making this ordinance out to be about developers.

The endless down and dirty campaign sliming never ends with these people. Sad!


Talking Ed Note: This is a pathetic political attack over a modification most Hoboken residents would welcome. Too often, homeowners in the Mile Square City face onerous zoning burdens to make the most reasonable changes to their homes as in this proposed ordinance.

They are forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars and make intensive applications and costly appeals to the Hoboken Zoning Board. Often the process ends in tears, anger and sometimes with departure from the Mile Square City.

One such nightmare was reported in this feature: