Friday, October 31, 2014

Beth Mason in drag scares the children on Washington Street

Be afraid Hoboken, be very afraid!

Beth Mason with a cohort who is not likely a lawyer .
Hoboken residents are safe from her litigious appetite and perjury. At least for one day.

BoE candidate Monica Stromwall: 'No new legal funding to stop HoLa expansion'

Board of Education trustee Monica Stromwall is making waves announcing in the twilight of the election race Tuesday she no longer supports legal action constricting the expansion of the HoLa charter school.

Stromwall voted twice with the Kids First majority on the Hoboken Board of Education previously to start legal action in the hope of overturning NJ's state approval allowing expansion to seventh and eighth grades next year.

As stated in the pro Old Guard developer founded Hudson Reporter, Stromwall is reported saying she would no longer vote to continue legal action to overturn the HoLa expansion. Of the nine member body she is one of seven votes that initiated the legal action.

A day earlier Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced she would be voting for Stromwall and her two running mates on the Parents for Progress ticket in the upcoming Tuesday election. The mayor's letter published in full on MSV outlined her opposition to using legal means in an attempt to overturn the proposed expansion of HoLA and a desire for officials on the BoE "when appropriate to dissent."

The mayor has children in the Elysian charter school but one graduating next year is expected to be enrolling in Hoboken High School.

It's unclear if Stromwall's other two running mates will publicly endorse her position. At the time of this writing it's not clear if the Kids First majority on the BoE will back Stromwall's position either as five votes on the nine member body is required for passage.

Stromwall is quoted as saying she does "not wish to close HoLa or limit their expansion" and isn't backing additional funding in her role as trustee for the existing BoE lawsuit.

Monica Stromwall a trustee on the BoE seeking election to a full term Thursday stated she will no longer back
additional legal funding to overturn the State's approval to allow the HoLa charter school to expand to 7th and 8th grades.

This past year, controversy erupted when funding problems forced the wider Hoboken school district to make severe funding cuts. Warning signs by its former Superintendent Mark Toback among others said the continued expansion of charters in Hoboken would lead to layoffs and harm the district.

The issue exploded last March when controversial BoE President Leon Gold saw his comments published in Salon magazine describing the issue with Hoboken's four charter schools. He was quoted  saying the charters were "bankrupting" the wider district and creating "white flight."

The statements created a fracture among Hoboken's growing population of young families and elements within the reform movement holding majorities at City Hall and the BoE.

In related Hoboken education news, Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced her son who will be attending high school next year has decided he will be choosing Hoboken High School.  That announcement has been met with surprise and celebration among parents with children in the district where test scores have risen.

Recent enrollment analysis also shows the income levels of the student body are balancing out reflected in the lowered figures for those receiving free and reduced lunch now below 50%. The new figure represents a significant drop, meaning a wider group of higher income families in Hoboken are sending their kids to the district.

The funding issue determined by the State is expected to continue to be problematic for Hoboken. Charters are funded almost exclusively with local tax funds, in the area of 90%. Grafix Avenger published a story recently challenging the HoLa charter school to remove incorrect information on their website stating the funding comes from the State. She cited their homepage stating, "Charter schools are free public schools funded by the State."

Talking Ed Note: Stromwall's remarks are not clearly made in the context of her own position or her slate Parents for Progress. It's also unclear how Mayor Dawn Zimmer's remarks factored in coming one day earlier. There's likely to be speculation on all of it in the closing days of the Hoboken BoE race.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mayor Zimmer marks Hurricane Sandy at Hoboken City Hall

After the comments by the Mayor other officials and a Hoboken resident, City Clerk Jimmy Farina led the audience singing "God Bless America."

Video and story courtesy of John Heinis - The Hudson County View

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mayor Zimmer's statement on the Monarch Project and 2nd anniversary of Hurricane Sandy

Office of the Mayor announces:


Mayor Zimmer today issued the following statement regarding the Monarch project on the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy:

“Last night the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders upheld the County Planning Board's denial of Shipyard's application for the Monarch project. The denial was based on concerns regarding traffic and waterfront walkway issues, among other issues. The Freeholders’ decision will now be referred back to Superior Court as required by the Judge who maintains jurisdiction over the County Planning Board's review of this matter.”

“While the decision last night did not concern the wisdom of building large residential projects on piers, today, on the anniversary of Sandy, it is important to reflect on the public safety problems of building on any waterfront piers in a post-Sandy world. As a result of the impact of Hurricane Sandy, on December 18th, 2013, the City Council passed legislation that bans development on all piers in the high velocity zone, not just the Monarch project.”

“As we mark the second year since Sandy, I want to remind everyone of Governor Christie's clear public position on this issue that I agree with 100 percent.”

“In his veto of State legislation that would have made it legal to build on piers, the Governor had this to say”:

This bill would require the Department of Environmental Protection to approve development projects on existing piers located in “coastal high hazard areas” in certain municipalities along the Hudson River. Because this bill has the potential to jeopardize National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”) eligibility for impacted municipalities, I cannot sign this legislation.

Allowing new construction on a pier in a coastal high hazard area as this bill provides contravenes that federal regulation and may therefore jeopardize NFIP eligibility for those municipalities with existing piers along the Hudson River. I cannot condone such a risk.

Link to the Governor’s full veto message:

Mayor Zimmer to Vote for Parents for Progress

A letter from Mayor Dawn Zimmer on the upcoming Board of Education election this Tuesday.

Dear Horsey and MSV readers:

Since first being elected to the Hoboken City Council in 2007, I have always publicly shared my thoughts with respect to Hoboken’s annual School Board elections.  This year’s election is taking place this coming Tuesday, November 4, and I will be casting my vote for the Parents For Progress slate consisting of Monica Stromwall, Sharyn Angley and Antonio Gray.

While I do not know the candidates well, I had the opportunity recently to sit down and speak with them about the issues facing our schools.  I share their excitement about the enormous progress the Hoboken School district has made in recent years.   In fact, last week my husband and I, together with our 13 year old son Alex (an 8th grader at the Elysian Charter School), attended the Hoboken High School open house and were all extremely impressed.   As we walked home,  Alex let us know that he has decided to attend Hoboken High School next year because of the opportunities it provides to high achieving students for independent study.

Perhaps the most controversial issue with regard to Hoboken Schools at this time concerns the decision of the Hoboken School Board to oppose in Court the State’s decision to permit the expansion of the HoLa Charter school to 7th and 8th grade.  I have made clear my support of the State’s decision to permit the expansion, and while I respect the School Board’s right to take the steps that it has in opposition, I have made clear my strong disagreement with their decision to do so.   In my conversation with the Parents For Progress candidates, I was pleased to learn that the candidates’ views reflect a spectrum of opinion with regard to this and other issues relating to the relationship between the traditional School District and our Charter Schools.  I believe that this diversity of opinion would be a real asset to the School Board going forward.

I respect the Parents for Progress candidates for their decision to run independently of any political affiliation and hope that, if elected, they will make their voices heard not only in agreement but, when appropriate, in dissent.  This would help the School Board as a whole make the best decisions possible for Hoboken’s children.  That’s why on Tuesday I will be casting my vote for 2-3-5 Stromwall, Angley and Gray.   

Mayor Dawn Zimmer

Mayor Dawn Zimmer last night
at the Freeholders Meeting

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


After two hours of deliberations and hearing from dozens of Hoboken residents, the Hudson County Board of Freeholders finally weighed in voting to uphold its Planning Board in a 5-0-1 vote.

With over 125 residents in attendance but some departing on a break, the vote in the end was anti-climatic as the weight of residents and county attorneys all agreed asking the Hudson County Planning Board application by Ironstate be denied.

Previously, the County Planning Board voted 5-2 to deny the Monarch project application to build two towers east of the Hudson Tea Building.

The project already in the courts is likely to continue on that front.

This story is breaking... reported on the story:


 City of Hoboken announces:

The Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders will hold a special meeting at 6:00pm on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 to vote on whether or not to uphold the Hudson County Planning Board’s denial of Shipyard’s application for the Monarch project.  

The Hudson County Planning Board’s denial was based on the effects of the proposed project on traffic and pedestrian safety along an abutting county roadway (Sinatra Drive). The Hearing will be limited to those issues. The meeting will take place in the cafeteria of the Wallace School, located at 1100 Willow Avenue.  The meeting is open to the public, and concerned members of the community may attend and voice their opinions.
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