Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beth Mason Relaunch for Mayor ver. 2.0b

Today by the steps of City Hall, Councilwoman Beth Mason introduced her campaign team to a group of assembled media and a handful of supporters and Hoboken residents.  Acting as Co-chairs, Beth introduced David Carty, a long time resident of 21 years and formerly with IBM.  Another well known face joining him is Ines Garcia-Keim a staunch supporter of Mason's earlier campaign for the mayor's seat this past spring.  Ines has been a long time resident of Hoboken, spanning 24 years and her commitment to Hoboken is well known to all residents who have taken a part in supporting the community.

For those who wish to catch a one-on-one interview, News 12 will have coverage at some point today.  For the complete video remarks: right sidebar or HD here.  And for the full campaign press release here.

From left: David Carty, Ines Garcia-Keim and Ryan Yacco.  Beth Mason foreground.

Talking Ed Note: Although the press was invited at the conclusion of the introductions to ask questions, no one did.  Finally, we did ask Beth a two part question about her focus in this short five week campaign among the listed issues from her website.

In response, Beth spoke in great detail about the importance of Hoboken's budget and its prompt delivery being a top priority and how the process needed to be given immediate attention.

Regarding our second question: how she defines right-sizing as listed on her website platform (point no. 3) and what that means to Hoboken, she did not answer, prefacing her reply to us with, "That's two questions."

Mile Square View will attempt to get an answer to the second question.
(7:45 - An update is forthcoming from Beth Mason's campaign.)

At the conclusion in a side bar interview with News 12, Beth repeated her concerns about the temporary powers Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer holds as executive and head legislator as City Council President until the November 3rd special election.  We will be writing a companion piece on today's event as well.

Master of Ceremonies: Conductor, Director and Maestro
Paul Swibinski, center.

Listed as Media Consultant and Strategist, Paul was clearly running the show.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nathan Brinkman braves the rain

After the rains blew through Sunday, we took a trot out to catch some of the town's traditional fall festival.  We were surprised when we came across Nathan Brinkman, the new candidate in the mayor's race working the crowd for votes.  Accompanied by Sean Connelly, the former Jersey City counsel and advisor to the successful former Mayor Brett Schundler, we asked for a picture and the pair obliged.

We spoke briefly with Nathan, on behalf of Mile Square View and discovered he is a regular reader when he enthusiastically asked if he was in fact speaking to SmartyJones.  Didn't hold the gentlemen up as they seemed intent on speaking to real humans who vote in elections.  Looking forward to hearing more from Nathan and seeing what he brings to the table and the debate in this shortened election cycle.  There was also a sign at the Chris Christie stand.  As highlighted previously, Nathan's spokesman is Bill Pascoe, the campaign manager for Doug Forrester who ran for one of the two New Jersey Senate seats in Washington in 2002 against Frank Lautenberg.

Today Nathan Brinkman also received the endorsement of the New Jersey Conservative Party as reported in Hoboken Now.  Nathan lives on Grand Street in the Fifth Ward and is a co-founder of the Hoboken Republican Club.

The Nathan Brinkman campaign website lays out his platform and vision for Hoboken.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Line'm Up!

Hoboken Now is reporting on the ballot positions for the November 3rd winner take all mayor's race.  Patricia Waiters got the first spot, lower half of the photo under C.

Here's how the candidates will appear on your ballot, horizontally, from left to right:

Beth Mason (D), Frank Raia (E), Nathan Brinkman (F), Everton Wilson (G), Dawn Zimmer (H), Kimberly Glatt (I).

Photo courtesy: Jamie Schuh / Hoboken Now

Sign of the Times: Art reflects Life

Yesterday's soggy day brought some relief in the afternoon long enough for people to enjoy the Hoboken Fall Arts & Music Festival, at least until after it ended when a down pour broke out again.  This picture captures it well: art imitating life or is it the reverse.

More pictures after the jump:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Campaign mud or illumination?

There's a wave of Councilwoman Beth Mason's campaign literature arriving in people's homes this week.  There's been some discussion on whether this actually helps voters understand the issues facing Hoboken or if they are solely negative.  We've heard some opinions on the matter and we'll be revisiting it later.  Here's two, one recent and one from earlier this year.  How similar or dissimilar are they?

Halloween Store Opens in Hoboken

Ricky's the popular costume store chain with locations in Manhattan just opened a store in Hoboken last Thursday.  Located at 222 Washington Street, the place is huge and has everything from masks to full ensembles.  No doubt it's going to be a hit the next month and the folks inside said they may in fact stick around.

More photos after the jump:

That Comment Thing

Recently, we changed our comment system and unfortunately that removed the previous comments including one from someone who called us a jackass.  We left it up as we really don't care and also as a celebration of free speech.  Besides, we know who did it and that "voice" is well known.  

However, we do very much care about freedom of speech, applied responsibly and with respect to one's neighbors.  We also strongly support our colleague and fellow blogger Kurt at the Hoboken Journal who we note has honored a free exchange of ideas and somehow found himself in the middle of nonsense perpetuated by others who need to take a strong long look in the mirror.  Although we don't know the facts that led to the Hoboken Journal going on hiatus, we consider it a strong loss to our community.  No matter what your view on any issue or concern of the day in this town we love, Kurt built a site dedicated to Hoboken permitting voices from all sides, and along with it, a noteworthy audience.  

For reasons of liability and those who care about such things, our comment policy is now posted below at the jump.  It's our strong preference for people to self-modulate their voice and to focus on an issue and not use the internet to attack others. 

If you haven't done so, you can leave a public note or email of support to Kurt at The Hoboken Journal.  We look forward to his speedy return and continued contribution to our community.  

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Third Rail

City Hall in an unusual step issued a statement Friday on Superior Court Judge Tolentino's ruling on a rent control case at 206 Bloomfield Street.   Read both but it's reasonable to conclude it is not as far reaching as suggested in a statement by the Mile Square Taxpayer's Association.  

Hoboken Counsel Steve Kleinman views the case as applicable to a handful of cases where the proper paperwork was not executed per the judge's ruling and the court did issue some tough words around the mismanagement and application to the plaintiff (owners) in this case.  At the same time, the court backed away and did not challenge the constitutional grounding of the Rent Control Ordinance in Hoboken law and cites several important cases where it's upheld.  

The Mile Square Taxpayer's Association is holding to its position.  It's spokesman states on Hoboken Revolt, "once a judge finds that the ordinance was retroactively applied, that the administration was flawed, those same issues will be important in the next case."  The statement also goes on to say the City recognizes the problem and understands it needs to fix the ordinance.

We find both of those conclusions dubious but anyone can see the City has not concluded it needs to fix the ordinance.  Especially in light of the clear statement out of City Hall yesterday indicating only additional review, "as to whether any further legal proceedings are necessary or warranted in this specific matter."

Read Judge Tolentino's ruling for yourself and the City's statement and you can decide who is closer to a more accurate reading. It remains to be seen whether anyone will use this ruling to make a case as the Mile Square Taxpayers Association suggests. You can also follow the Hoboken Revolt thread for the ongoing discussion.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Let the pandering commence!

A bombshell of sorts just hit Hoboken but from the lousy news focus from some outlets in this town you couldn't be faulted if it escaped your attention.  We exempt our friends at the mother ship of Hoboken Now as they are almost always our source for solid and steady news reporting.  The bomb is a ruling from the NJ courts on Hoboken's rent laws or more accurately, the poor administration of them.

Back in the day when we were just a little pony, growing up across the street from Central Park, we'd play soccer with folks from all over the world.  The game itself was the language.  You'd hear Spanish, Italian and other languages interspersed but the bottom line, the game and your game did the talking.  Often we'd be asked "Where are you from?" meaning you don't play like an American.  Our fondest memory of that time was being addressed by a Brazilian in Portuguese convinced we were compadres.

Well what's that have to do with rent control?  In New York City, ever since World War II, rent control laws have been the de facto way of life.  Decade after decade followed with occasional questions raised about the regulation but the calls for continued protection would drown them out and the hackles remain. Rent control was the de rigueur standard of how politicians communicated their caring for the public.  What it created was a two tier system: one for those who lucked into such an arrangement and one for those who had not.  The latter were almost always people without longstanding ties to the community.  In other words if you had moved to New York after college, you would face the highest rents.  Why?  Because on any given day, the available occupancy rate would always remain around 3%.  As a result, demand for those available shoeboxes would be very high.  In Manhattan, this would also be compounded by the constant new herd stomping between downtown north of the financial district and up to 96th street running east and west.

Years later, we couldn't help but laugh when we read a report of a junior PR underling who moved to New York and had trouble living in the Big City on her 30K salary.  She didn't understand why she wasn't living the "Sex in the City" lifestyle.  She had fled middle America after watching the show convinced that she would become another Sarah Jessica Parker.  Reality presented something entirely different.

Now we've met lots of these types over the years.  They would triple up in one bedroom apartments just so they could say they lived in the Big City with a zip code in the neighborhood of 10001.  The irony of course is those who had older seeds planted sponged off the system with no practical restrictions at all.  You had millionaire actors with 10 room apartments who lived in California for decades who would sublet "their place" to others and only occasionally using the space themselves if at all.  This perversion of ownership has continued for decades and shows no sign of abating in the future.  The mere mention of it causes a rush of old ladies on fixed incomes pouring into the street in sheer panic.  Does any of this sound familiar?  Can you say Church Towers?

So now Hoboken is going to be facing a conversation on the matter.  A Hudson County Superior Court Judge looked at the policies in town and observed how owners were being kept from adjusting their rent based on a required form submission to City Hall.  The only problem, there was no such form for the owner to submit and the town said the owner could not create and submit one either.  How insane is that?  Well, that's pretty insane. But rent control is like the third rail on the subway system.  To even touch it means you get zapped with immediate life draining current.  It's terminal and it's final.  As we well know, politicians don't like terminal.

So where do we go from here? The City Council just made an appointment to the Rent Leveling Board and based on all the commentary, it was clear the voice of regulation was alive and well and most certainly in safe, re: pro-regulated hands.  Did any questions arise on any of this insanity? Not a solitary word.  But the New Jersey Superior Court has looked at this mess and found its religious zeal less than compelling.  It's estimated to have cost owners in the neighborhood of $10 million and for others, the draconian application's cost was bankruptcy.  And people wonder why the condo rush has been so strong.  Well here's part of your answer.  Faced with such imposing regulation, building owners figured it's best to get on the condo wagon while the going is good and not have to deal with the city's strangling bureaucracy at all.  Of course they then had to figure out how to make the city inspectors happy and come up with ways to satisfy their open palms but that's a story for another day.  (Ever try to get a home inspector to take a look at a problem in an offending neighbor's building?)

So if we're lucky maybe this situation will be highlighted and discussed in some capacity in this shortened election season.  It's certainly relevant and important enough to voters to do so.  Hoboken itself could be on the hook for damages well into seven figures.  Yes, again.  The town counsel is taking a look at the problem now in City Hall.  We suggest they begin a defense strategy to minimize the damage.  And there will be damage.  The only unknown appears to be the final tally.

And remember, the first politician to demagogue this issue wins.  Oh shoot, I just launched another Paul Swibinski flyer campaign.

Talking Ed Note: 5:45 Trying to get a copy of the actual legal opinion filed by the judge in this case.  The time period of concern for the town is probably in the middle of the decade but how many building owners it impacted is still unknown.  If those folks get together and file a collective action..... (shudder).

Update 9:20 City Hall's legal counsel has weighed in on the matter and disputes any major impact to the current rent control ordinance.  This is especially interesting being that the story's release comes on a Friday night and echoes clear concern on what could potentially lend itself to major political fallout.  While it's clear the ordinance itself does not appear to be in question, we notice the legal comments coming out of City Hall apply ahead and minimize the past concerns to a "handful."  The spokesman for the Mile Square Taxpayers contests that analysis.  We tried earlier today to get a copy of the legal opinion and hope to do so by early next week.  We'll have a follow up report at some point soon thereafter.


The first casualty in Hoboken's mayoral race is official.  Retired police officer Sal DeMeo has withdrawn his candidacy as reported in Hoboken Now.

The drawing for ballot position will be held for the remaining 7 candidates on Monday at 3:00.  Some corrections were made to Dawn Zimmer's petitions permitted by law within the 10 day period but were not required based on the valid numbers previously submitted.

Hat tip: Jamie Schuh / The Jersey Journal & Amy Sara Clark / Hoboken Now

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grist for the Mill

With fall officially here and the mayoral campaigns fully in swing, there’s already more nuts out to play in Hoboken than a typical ACORN gathering.  If you must go on the internet be careful out there, beware the trolls, political operatives and those of like mind filled with rancid bile. It’s said to be as contagious as the swine flu.

Did you miss the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new walkway between Hoboken and Jersey City?  There were more politicians collected in one place armed with enough scissors and ribbons to necessitate an EMS unit on-site.  Is there a law against that? If there isn’t, there oughta be.

Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer kicked off her campaign at the Black Bear with dozens of her allies.  Critics pointed to the scale of the crowd in attendance but missed the point.  It was a weeknight and folks have dueling responsibilities like getting the kids to bed.  It didn’t stop them from emailing in their donations. That green army showed up and remember, Kids First.

The three top ladies of the mayor’s race all appeared at the Police Chief Falco "Meet & Greet" the other night and were in superb civil form resulting in no fines or tickets issued to any of them. Even better no legal papers were served at the event.  It would be great if that civility could trickle down to the minions on the street and the web. Is there anything other than manufactured drama worth discussing in this election? We’re just asking and pointing a hoof at a certain Hudson rag.

Can anyone reach out to Beth Mason's campaign spokesman Paul Swibinski and find out if there’s better TV commericals coming? We’re already feeling nostalgic for the “I’m vot’in for Bet Mason” ads.  We hope her "base" isn’t feeling alienated by those local actors not getting paid for a part two of that masterpiece.

Which stacked up political army appears ready to descend from the hill and provide aid and comfort to a mayoral candidate in the Hoboken trenches?  Look out below!

There’s some background noise out there for Nathan Brinkman’s campaign.  Although we haven’t heard much more from him since his announcement we’d like to get to the bottom of it.  We know that Chris Christie certainly doesn’t mind a little irritant in Gov. Jon Corzine’s backyard. We'll venture a guess there could be some showing up in the area of four figures.

On who’s prodding did Patricia Waiters file her petition challenge?  Da Horsey doesn’t know but would like to.  Has anyone spotted Perry Belfiore since he was shown the exit door at the HHA?  After his extensive quote in Politicker NJ, it’s seems like he has a lot of time on his hands and reasons to stir the pot.  We’re betting he also would be better at filling out the forms.

There's a yet unannounced, unplanned political fund raiser unscheduled at Church Towers for Beth Mason's campaign.  Or is it for internet comic InfotainMe?  We can't be sure as the residents tell us they know Beth will be there but it's a secret.  And the first rule of Church Towers is you don't talk about Church Towers. The mere mention of it can be your undoing: either in the parking lot or on Hoboken411. 

You can either thank or blame us for highlighting the Beth Mason's “dualjobdawn” petition.  It’s become something other than a petition with the vast majority signing anonymous (doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a petition) and people posting to or at each other.  There’s also haggling about comments being censored like at  Will it continue?  We hope so.  It’s the best comedy in the campaign so far not including the legal “sources” spoon feeding fairy tales to the Hudson Reporter.  We’d like to encourage people to play fair and only sign the petition once. Or not.

Have some grist for the mill?  Contact Da Horsey at 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

With zero votes cast, Glatt goes for the KO

Monday afternoon with the challenge deadline looming since last week's eight mayoral petition filings, former Municipal Judge Kimberly Glatt lodged an electoral complaint to potentially KO an opponent.  As was widely reported last week, both Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Councilwoman Beth Mason had potential issues on their respective petition filings.  The Acting Mayor was summoned to sign additional package pieces after being issued a receipt before the deadline which later proved to be a County clerical error and Beth Mason claimed a faulty elevator and poor building directions causing her to miss the 4:00 pm deadline.

So is the Glatt legal challenge binding to both parties?  Well no, as it turns out, Glatt's legal team has chosen to pursue the weaker case with the target being the Acting Mayor.  Last week Frank "Pupie" Raia indicated a willingness to legally challenge both ladies who lay claim to the reform movement.  In the end, it was only Glatt taking the ultra aggressive move before the deadline which New Jersey election officials have already discounted as being problematic to either candidacy.

Rumors emanating from the Pupie and Glatt camps as reported in Politicker NJ also suggest the two competing candidacies may consider unifying forces behind one candidacy not even a week after the filing deadline.  Frank "Pupie" Raia suggests it is he who is the rightful person to lead the Hoboken "birther" movement.  Both Frank "Pupie" Raia and Kimberly Glatt are natural born residents of Hoboken, a distinction that many if not most voters are indifferent to but one that "birthers" view as all important in retaining last century's local government "standards" of operating.

With a week into the campaign, the field may already be reduced to seven or less shortly, depending on the outcome of Kimberly Glatt's legal challenge.  The similarities however to the illegal resolution (deemed such by Hoboken's legal counsel) offered by the Russo clan, Councilwoman Terry Castellano and Councilman Russo indicates a concerted effort to find any way possible to strike at Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer.  The Acting Mayor who lost in a narrow and controversial election last May to Peter Cammarano finds herself once again in the gun sites of the Russo clan.  This time via a potential stalking horse and the New Jersey courts.

Update: A hearing on the Glatt challenge yesterday in New Jersey Superior Court is rumored to state that a 30 day requirement for the City Council to vote on changing the designation of the Acting Mayor to Interim Mayor may be possible based on an earlier 2002 case.  We await confirmation as the two items are completely unrelated and it's unclear how such an issue would arise on a hearing on the merits of Glatt's initial challenge.  Stay tuned.

Talking Ed Note: The "news" story making the earlier claim has now been replaced re: whitewashed and now only suggests the 2002 case may be applicable.  If the sources are (ever) named, we'll update the story.  As for the original headline claiming the City Council could still name the Acting Mayor the Interim Mayor, consider it suspect.  It appears there's another contender to Hoboken 411 for most biased coverage not a week into the full campaign.  Is it a stretch to conclude that the source(s) were Kimberly Glatt and/or her lawyer all along?

Hoboken Now is reporting that Patricia Waiters has also filed a complaint on both Councilwoman Beth Mason's and Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer's petitions.

(Only in Joisey baby, only in Joisey.)

Photo courtesy: Evil Erin.

Disclaimer: Photo is strictly for symbolic purposes and should not be construed in any shape or form, implied or otherwise to be representative of any current candidate in the Hoboken mayor's race.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Horse Sense Sunday Special: The Art of "Abstain"

One of the more questionable practices in elected office is the artful practice of voting present or in similar parlance: to abstain.  Not too long ago, the Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer felt compelled to do so in a budget vote indicating insufficient information on the matter to make a qualified vote.  It proved to be both a contentious and controversial choice.  

Elected representatives being who they are, can sometimes forget the chief purpose of their presence in an elected body: representation.  Almost always, a vote of abstention requires an explanation, either in the political body where cast but certainly to the public at large.

When someone chooses to vote present or abstains on a vote, they alienate all the other voting participants of a body and their own supporters, not to mention the entirety of their constituents in one fell swoop.  Which brings us to the present matter at hand.  How do we even begin to describe the most recent abstention by Councilwoman Beth Mason in the last City Council meeting?  We've been thinking about this one for a few days and it still doesn't make any sense.  

We're of course talking about the Russo Clan resolution to force an illegal vote to rename the acting portion of Acting Mayor with the replacement adjective of Interim.  A victory for the old guard would push the Acting Mayor out of the Council Chambers but that was certainly unlikely to occur if the matter was brought to a vote. On the issue of tabling (removing) this designated illegal resolution from further discussion, Councilwoman Beth Mason, clearly uncertain how to cast the vote based on the clear direction of the Hoboken counsel several times over two meetings choose the fine art of "abstain."

The humor of this choice is multiple. Her former political allies and the old guard as a whole are united in their desire to stop any operational governance in not keeping with the old, dark ways.  At the same time, Beth Mason has positioned herself over some years as being for transparency and has launched both an online petition sharply critical of the Acting Mayor and is about to spend quite a few dollars to air equally critical ads on the matter.

How does one spend thousands of dollars to highlight an issue to the public and yet refuse to bring the same matter before the City Council when it's offered to them?  We're waiting for someone to question either Beth Mason or Paul Swibinski for an interesting explanation of vote. We can only guess she choose not to go on the record in a losing effort.  Instead she'll throw tons of money to highlight the very same issue to the Hoboken voters at large, which speaks volumes on the level of cynicism on the matter.

(Graphic: the universally recognized symbol for abstain.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crated away!

The Hoboken Police and Jersey City Bomb Squad finally completed the removal of all dangerous materials from 632 Garden St. They used a special disposable chamber. It did some sort of internal processing. You can see the swinging arm to the left of the device that seals any dangerous materials in the picture. (Click photos to enlarge.)

And finally, that unit along with the two Jersey City Bomb Squad Vehicles has left. The Hoboken Police are still in the building. We have no idea what remains for them to complete. One rumor was that there was some home made ammunition and this had to be disposed of as well. But there's no confirmation on that. We're reluctant to pass along even that as so much bad information has been going around today, along with some other very bad mojo. It started with this poor man Frank (Francis his official name but we aren't using his whole name without confirm), and continued with plenty of screwballs along the way.

Was it something in the water?

(All rights reserved except with expressed written permission.)

Hoboken411 Theft

We emailed Perry Klaussen. If you notice he's now taken today's photos that were specifically copyrighted per the exact story and posted them without permission on his website.

He claims a "reader" sent them to him. We have served notice to him twice now via email. Our attorney is clocking it now.

Then again, it would be fun seeing someone try to produce how they got the photos given to them in court. (That's what my litigator said. Industry humor I suspect.)

Update 7:15: Well Perry did the right thing and removed the copyrighted photos. We've saved the offending page per the attorney's direction. Unfortunately, we can't print the mocking email he sent though as we were advised it would be detrimental to any potential action.

A little idea lifting is flattery, but this isn't the Piri Piri story. Let's put it this way, if you want to do such a thing, it's better to be far away like in Brazil where copyright law is harder to reach you. The Portuguese food is also cheaper. Copyright infringement as I have been told, can be very expensive.

A posted apology is much cheaper. See one we just did yesterday as an example.

Bomb Squad still working

Indications are that it's going to be a while still. They are carefully packaging and cataloguing all items before moving them. Garden Street between 6th and 7th will be closed during this time.

Police are much more relaxed now that their survey shows no explosives. There was some concern about terrorism earlier but that was quickly discounted. Ironically enough, just today, the suspect who traveled from Denver to New York City found with bomb materials in his car is now going to admit to terrorist ties to Al Qaeda. He initially denied he had any ties to Al Qaeda or terrorist intentions.

Apparently, discussions are underway for him to plead guilty.
The Daily News is also reporting of a plea to terrorism deal with the Afghan national.

Some people may recall that terrorists going back to the first attack on the World Trade Center launched their plans while staying in Jersey City.

Jersey Bomb Squad on scene in Hoboken

Although the suspect was arrested this morning, the police were concerned about dangerous materials in the home. They restricted the block and took all necessary precautions for the residents and their force. Currently, the Jersey City Bomb Squad is performing a complete sweep of the premises.

The suspect was said to have brandished a .45 revolver and the weapon recovered. The police could have been in a dangerous situation with the suspect, but managed to subdue him without any extreme force.

The home is described as being "a mess" with an arsenal of guns that are legally owned. Some additional armaments may also be on the premises, some of which may be World War II vintage grenades. Some found and they were classified as inert. A specially designed mobile storage truck has been brought to the scene and looks to being prepped for the storage and removal of all of them.

All rights reserved unless with expressed written permission.
(Click on the photo to enlarge.)

Bomb Squad in Hoboken

We withheld pictures and this story at the request of the Hoboken Police Dept.
(All rights reserved.)

Pictured above is the suspect from 632 Garden St. He is said to reside at that location and may be a veteran possibly with some personal issues. Hoboken Police, EMS, two trucks from the Jersey City Bomb Squad and a bomb sniffing dog are on site and tending to a clean sweep of the location.

The police issued a statement on an action on Garden St. near 7th St.:

At approximately 11:15 A.M. this morning the Hoboken Police Department received notification that an individual brandishing a weapon had been sited on Garden Street between 6th Street & 7th Street. Police were dispatched to the area and apprehended the individual without any incident. At that time, police officers on the scene were made aware that the individual in question may have had other weapons in his place of residence located on Garden Street between 6th Street & 7th Street.

According to Public Safety Director Angel Alicea and Police Captain James Fitzsimmons, a preliminary search of the apprehended individual’s residence is being conducted. To ensure public safety and provide access to emergency vehicles and personnel participating in the search, Garden Street between 6th Street & 8th Street has been closed until the completion of the operation.

Local schools have been notified of the incident and all precautions have been initiated to ensure the safety of all students and staff.

Updates regarding this incident and the closure of Garden Street between 6th Street & 8th Street will be provided as soon as new information is available.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Challenge Update Correction

Earlier today we indicated a legal challenge to the petitions of Councilwoman Beth Mason and Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer. We attributed the challenge incorrectly to the Nathan Brinkman campaign. The credit for this stated intention should have been to Kimberly Glatt's lawyer who was present at the filing.

We sincerely apologize for the error.

Update: Hoboken Now has also confirmed similar details of the potential challenges here. For the record, we independently discovered/posted our error separately.

Horse Sense: How to double down as a loser

Barely a day into the fully fielded mayoral race, the mud has already started to fly. If you watched the Council meetings last night and or meeting previous, you know the concerted efforts by the Russo clan to force a vote on a resolution to have the Acting Mayor surrender her Fourth Ward and City Council President seat by having her renamed Interim Mayor has been a large bone of contention.

Although the deadline has long since passed for such a resolution, and the votes certainly not evident for passage, the last two meetings have featured Councilwoman Terry Castellano and Councilman Mike Russo pushing it with reckless abandon all in the hope to get a vote on the record or eject the Acting Mayor out of the Council Chamber altogether. In order to do so, they needed a majority vote renaming the Acting Mayor as Interim Mayor, an action that would force Dawn Zimmer to remove herself from those temporary duties following Peter Cammarano's resignation.

The loutish behavior although declared quite inert by each Hoboken legal counsel, not once but several times over the last two City Council meetings produced little to no effect on the boorish behavior of Mike Russo who repeatedly demanded a vote. After being informed that the requested vote on such a resolution was yet again a waste of time and not to be viewed by a NJ Court in a favorable light which would result, Russo nevertheless kept demanding that such a vote be called. Unfortunately, his citation of procedure known as the Robert Rules of Order is to be polite questionable at best. His outcries and comments without due recognition in turn from the Council President another mere formality in his mind. At the end of the long meeting, several Hoboken residents in the public portion period were incensed, voicing strong disapproval for the useless actions. You can review some of the proceedings as it happened in part 2 here. Notice that not a minute after both legal counsel conclude similarly, Councilwoman Terry Castellano declares the Russo clan was denied a meaningless vote at the last meeting. Hoboken meet the Twilight Zone.

An online petition called dualjobdawn, equally of no legal value as the Russo clan's efforts in the City Council, has been posted to coincide with a similar yet unreleased attack ad by Councilwoman Beth Mason. That petition has to this point obtained but 19 signatures, some anonymous but it counts among them: Michelle Russo, Bob Castelllano, P Cammarano, Mickey Mouse, Fluffer Lane, and Jessica Hosbach.

While we look forward to a short election cycle with all candidates having an opportunity to put forward their platform, we wonder how effective residents will feel about this "petition" effort. We're going to venture a guess and suggest it may not change many minds.

The complimentary commercial is already in the bag and awaiting a run on local television and cable stations. If this is the kind of effort Paul Swibinski is bringing on behalf of Beth Mason, we'd suggest she get a refund. Hoboken voters on the other hand are not being well served by any of this with the onset of the electoral season.

The Pupie Maneuver

If there was any doubt that Frank "Pupie" Raia would enter the race with victory his goal, those questions can be safely dispelled with his stated intent yesterday to legally challenge his main rivals petition submissions for office of mayor: Councilwoman Beth Mason and Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

As reported in Hoboken Now, Raia indicates he will engage the NJ courts to evaluate the legal entry of both of his main rivals for office of mayor in the November 3rd special election. The rumors being pumped furiously not a day after the official petition filing deadline that Pupie was merely a stalking horse in the race and a deal cut with the Acting Mayor for later electoral support have died a quick, brutal death.

The Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer was issued a valid receipt upon submission of over 400 petitions to enter the race, but a clerk in the office suggested additional signatures were required. As a precaution, Dawn Zimmer arrived and signed the additional sheets, receiving a second receipt minutes after the 4:00 deadline. Her legal counsel indicated those additional signatures were not necessary. At least one other potential candidate expressed concerns about late signatures and notarization procedure.

In what can only be described as an Act of God, Councilwoman Beth Mason's campaign spokesman, Paul Swibinski claimed she was lost in the building having been directed to three incorrect rooms and in addition was trapped in an elevator for an unspecified time. All this he says led to her entirely missing the 4:00 deadline.

Talking Ed Note: If you had any doubts this is a Hoboken election, let's rest that concern. Should Raia file a legal challenge, the Pupie Maneuver will without question earn him the unqualified loyalty of numerous "birthers," those town born residents who will eagerly embrace the disqualification of Zimmer and Mason without a ballot being cast.

The NJ Courts however are a different matter. Election law application previously has shown some wild interpretations on what appears to be clear cut statute. When Senator Toricelli dropped out of his Senate race in 2002, Frank Lautenberg was placed on the ballot long after the deadline passed. The NJ Court later ruled in favor of Frank Lautenberg's late entry. This potential case, pales in comparison.

Should Raia file a challenge, legal opinions indicate Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer already holds a valid receipt for her submitted petition while Councilwoman Beth Mason does not. The secondary issues about county error in requesting additional signatures would not disqualify the Acting Mayor but Councilwoman Mason may face a different hurdle with the complexity of her "trapped in an elevator" defense.

As for the wild rumors that Raia cut a deal to be a stalking horse in this race, consider the source.

Update: 1:52

The likelihood of a successful legal challenge to either Dawn Zimmer or Beth Mason by Frank Raia is remote. A new candidate on the Hoboken scene, Nathan Brinkman released a press release yesterday indicating he did not support Zimmer or Mason being barred from the race. His spokesman, Bill Pascoe, is a veteran of the controversial late entry of Frank Lautenberg into the 2002 race when he was campaign manager for the Douglas Forrester campaign. Pascoe referring to that court outcome, suggests it will not be problematic for either Beth Mason or Dawn Zimmer.

Earlier today, we cited that exact race as a significant factor in any legal challenge here.
We missed a previous article with a similar conclusion over at Politickernj.

Hat tip: Hoboken Now/Agustin C. Torres/Amy Sara Clark

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And then there were...

Eight? Yes, a full plate in at the deadline. We now have a full mayoral field worthy of the Kentucky Derby. As reported by Hoboken Now they are in no particular order:

Nathan Brinkman
Everton A. Wilson
Patricia A. Waiters
Kimberly Glatt
Sal Demeo
Beth Mason
Frank Raia
Dawn Zimmer.

The new light is on some of the independent candidates. We spoke to the campaign manager for Everton Wilson and knew he was looking to come in under the radar.
Everton A. Wilson is a very strong technology professional working on a doctorate at Stevens with a page on Linkedin.

The other day we looked up some information on Sal Demeo. He's apparently a local resident who went to high school in town but we don't have much more than that. Is it the same guy with a Facebook page? (Hoboken Now is reporting Sal Demeo is a 60 year old retired Hoboken police officer.)

Talking Ed (yes as in the horse) Note:

Now that the petitions have been submitted, are you ready to sign an online petition? Yes, brought to you by Paul Swibinski the political operative who ran the Cammarano campaign to victory (with some developer/federal sting money mind you) is leading the charge for the Beth Mason for Mayor 2.0 campaign with a let's get Zimmer's negatives up campaign online petition. Our least favorite local political site is already proudly running this catfish laden commercial and that's the last plug we will be making to Perry, the unGlenn-Beck of censorship this campaign season.

Now we are cognizant enough to take stock of the political reality here, we know how the game is played. Already, here is the dirt slung before any hope of illumination on the issues of the town coming to light, but taking this into account; we note our opposition to the utter contempt it expresses for the town's voters.

After yesterday's launch, where Beth Mason basked in the glow of her experience, does this, not a day after actually show confidence in said experience? That's not the message your campaign is sending Councilwoman. Did you think about that?

The dreams of Opening Day

What day is it today? Officially, it's the filing deadline here in town signaling to the world of New Jersey to stay away: Hoboken is about to once again go crazy. It's sort of akin to the end of spring training with Opening Day, when all baseball dreams are real and every team a contender.

Okay so not every campaign will be a contender but haven't you seen all the happiness when they announce? The joy that dwells in the hearts of all candidates is there for everyone to see until the polling and political operatives are replaced with the stark reality of ballot counts. And recounts, and recriminations, and finger pointing....

As we await the 4:00 pm deadline to see who can muster the 100 petition signatures and get on the ballot for mayor of Hoboken, remember: there is no dream like the dream of being the chief, even if the pay has been reduced by Madam Acting Mayor to 115K. How much is it now worth?

To some, it's worth spending similar to the payroll of the New York Yankees. To others, it can only be the payroll of the Oakland A's. But they all share the dream.

Good luck and happy hunting.

Play Ball!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beth Mason for Mayor ver. 2.0

As anticipated, Councilwoman Beth Mason made it official launching her second bid for Hoboken mayor this year in the November winner take all special election. As reported in Hoboken Now, she highlighted her overall decades of experience in both the private sector and government.

Emphasizing this experience, Councilwoman Mason spoke of combining her past work in open government including the legal efforts to make public Hoboken records held out of the public eye along with her vision of the future promising to lay out a 15 year workable fiscal plan for Hoboken. Her platform includes a focus on creating additional affordable housing, environmental enhancements/infrastructure and training City employees to make a stronger impact in all areas.

Speaking before about 50 of her supporters at the Brass Rail, Beth sought to differentiate herself from her main rival, the Acting Mayor, citing her significant experience in and out of government and what she described as a moral conflict in holding the temporary roles as both Acting Mayor and City Council President.

Photo courtesy: Hoboken Now/Amy Sara Clark

"My Turn"

Hoboken Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer has countered her major opponents moves for her office at City Hall with some election events of her own. Kurt at The Hoboken Journal posted the details:

This Thursday, September 17th, we are kicking off our campaign at Black Bear Bar and Grill, and we want you to be there. Join me and supporters from across Hoboken to voice our desire to keep making the change that Hoboken needs.

In addition, we are having a fundraiser tonight, Tuesday, September 15, hosted by Helen Hirsch. We are asking for a donation of $161 dollars, to signify the 161 vote gap we need to bridge on November 3rd. Be the difference in this election! I look forward to seeing you at either, or both, these events.

Thank you for your support, Dawn Zimmer

Your favorite ringworm

Stealing an opponent's thunder is one of the oldest tricks in the book. And today no matter what you think of the new candidate for mayor, Frank "Pupie" Raia did exactly that announcing his formal entry into the ring this afternoon just hours before Councilwoman Beth Mason's official announcement.

Seems like it was only yesterday, that as the Acting Mayor was sworn in under the cloud of Peter Cammarano's resignation, Beth Mason was announcing while on "vacation" her intention to consider running for mayor. That lad karma certainly does have a sense of humor.

Are your ready to say Mayor Pupie? Many Hoboken "birthers," - a term coined by InfotainMe, have been suffering since their support of Peter Cammarano ended in ruins. Frank Raia is looking to pacify that frustration and garner their votes. Should he do so, he could be a formidable candidate in a potential race of six or seven candidates.

Photo courtesty: Hoboken Now, Amy Sara Clark

Mayoral field rounding out

As we anticipate the official launch tonight of the Beth Mason 2.0 for mayor campaign, the Hoboken Reporter stated today a field of six: Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Councilwoman Beth Mason, Frank "Pupie" Raia, Patricia Waiters, Municipal Court Judge Kimberly Glatt and Nathan Brinkman.

So that's confirmation on Nathan Brinkman who we exclusively reported as a candidate yesterday but Frank Raia's entry seems oddly stated, with him "announcing" last night. We've been expecting Raia's entry but until the papers are in, it's not official. Our prediction about Raia's entry came in a lighthearted satire before Labor Day, "Hand over your vote, support or your political life."

It appears that on the basis of this field, Judge Glatt will be the home team candidate to replace Cammerano. Expect to see a lot of the same money moving from Cammarano's contributor sheet to hers along with Frank Raia.

There's also one other local independent candidate we're awaiting word. We won't be naming him as they are finalizing ballots petitions but they have a strong connection to the business community and Stevens with a sterling professional background.

Update: It's official as reported in Hoboken Now; Frank Raia is a candidate and submitted his petitions this afternoon.

Hat tip: Amy Sara Clark.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Race for mayor: and then there were three?

We're not quite a field yet but Hoboken Now is reporting that Beth Mason is a go and will announce at the Brass Rail officially for the office of Hoboken mayor on Tuesday.

In addition, we also discovered that Nathan Brinkman, a co-founder of Hoboken Republicans and fund raiser for Steve Lonegan's bid for governor on the Republican ticket earlier this year is obtaining petition signatures for a possible run as well. (Chris Christie would eventually win that bid.) Brinkman had been spearheading a fundraising effort on behalf of Lonegan to bring in $340,000. Would that amount be formidable in a Hoboken race for mayor? You bet.

Pictured: Sean Connelly (in dark suit) former Jersey City counsel and advisor under Mayor Schundler leads the Brinkman petition collection efforts Sunday afternoon near the Italian festival.

Update: 5:25

We've received some additional information regarding the impending campaign of Nathan Brinkman. He's in! Unconfirmed sources indicate an official statement will be forthcoming after this week's filing deadline.

In addition, this will not be a minor entry but a well funded effort led by the former consultant to former Jersey City mayor Brett Shundler. The former Jersey City mayor as many recall shocked Hudson County with an out of nowhere campaign and made Jersey City an example of good governance not unlike Rudolph Giuliani's efforts in New York City.

You heard it here first.

The more things change....

The more they stay the same. This version of the Mason 2.0 mayoral campaign has some familiar themes to voters. Perhaps it's more than a little familiar. To those who recognize it, perhaps it's because this new message is crafted from another similar candidate's message this past spring.

Can you guess which candidate?

Here's a hint: Paul Swibinski was in charge of that eventual winning bid. And it appears he's now running the show here too.

Piri! Piri! First Open Photos!

While it's probably not best to open a new restaurant while a longstanding festival is scoring all the local patrons, Piri Piri's doors are now open.

As you can see from their specials board yesterday, they are keeping to their tradition with a steak cooked in the Argentine tradition, a mother's shrimp dish and for dessert, what else: flan.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Previously unseen video

Video not seen until recently of the second jet flying into the second tower. Almost every single human being who went to work that day above where the jet struck died that day. Like the people on the jet and those on impact inside, they never had a chance.

Never ever forget.

As Real Today...

As it was that day: the loss, the suffering, the barbarity. Hoboken knows the loss and shares it with the nation: all those who have fallen, those that have sacrificed and continue to do so on behalf of our Republic, here and abroad.

Today we're reflecting and praying on it and recognize the needed support to:
  • the families and lives who were changed forever,
  • the families and lives of the fallen whose numbers continue to grow,
  • the families and lives of the injured, some permanent,
  • the children who said goodbye the last time to a parent and those that still will,
  • the continued resolve of our nation.
We note that the victims of the attack grow and they need your support still; a vet who is trying to find a job or a child who has lost a parent in service and college lies ahead without the ability to pay.

Some references:
Soldiers' Angels
9-11 Scholarship Fund
Children of September 11
Twin Towers Orphan Fund

The national 911 museum just went online yesterday.

Other notable sites here and here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Now That's Italian!

Tonight the Hoboken Italian Festival kicked off at Sinatra Park and the weather change couldn't come sooner to help build up a good appetite. It's just warming up and will peak through the weekend but we scoured out early to beat the crowds.

After talking to a couple of vendors about what they were eating we soon found our way to the Argentine Grill Corp. The steak with onions and garlic is out of this world but with a soda it certainly wasn't cheap. It came to an even $11. Split it with a friend and you'll both be happy.

The Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro will be making a special replica of the 800 pound statue scheduled to be carried Saturday at 2:00 through the festival, the Madonna dei Martiri as reported in Hoboken Now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

All Systems Go!

Updated: 5:45.

In what looks suspiciously like a green light to run again for Hoboken Office of Mayor, Councilwoman Beth Mason's political consultant, Paul Swibinski, the former campaign manager to the Cammarano mayoral campaign is indicating it may be all systems go based on a report from Hoboken Now earlier today.

The unofficial answer may come as soon as later today, based on the typical needed electioneering machinations but things may officially simmer until early next week based on Beth's official statement posted by the Hoboken Journal.

We're not surprised Beth Mason has the taste to go for the gold again as the flavor of the last mayoral race is certainly not gone. We do however question her judgment in doing so as we expected a Russo machine candidate to make the first move along with Frank "Pupie" Raia. Perhaps Beth's polling data shows some operating room since the Governor's race in November is anticipated to add thousands of new votes to the race held last spring. Those votes will certainly be up for grabs.

But this leads to the real question of the moment: is this an early salvo to discourage a Russo candidate or has a deal been cut (again) over the long holiday weekend? Councilwoman Terry Castellano was quoted Thursday in Hoboken Now saying a candidate would be confirmed by Monday after polling data was analyzed but she added that no conversations were even taking place with Beth Mason. Has that analysis suggested standing behind a potential queen is better than standing alone? Beth Mason lost a sizable number of reform minded voters when she signed on to the status quo pilot extension at Church Towers. That vote certainly didn't show up and deliver last time and can any assurances it will this time be believed? Well, in Hoboken alliances are often temporary and ever shifting, and Beth Mason has the powers of the purse. Money does talk volumes, and those votes that were on the whole picked up by adopted son Peter Cammarano will need to find a new home.

After the marathon of last week's Council meeting, the language in Beth Mason's statement is eerily similar to the assault by the Russo coalition of Councilwoman Terry Castellano and Councilmen Mike Russo toward the tail end of the five hour plus saga. During that harangue, Beth Mason sat rather glumly and was not very animated throughout. But during a late five minute break, she was very much so as the camera man followed her vigorous pantomime of protest to Acting Mayor and City Council President Dawn Zimmer in one of the many disputes that evening. Coincidence?

If Beth Mason's campaign utilizes the dual office holder theme to attack the Acting Mayor, it would come as no surprise. Dawn Zimmer as Acting Mayor has generally received good marks for appointing professionals and showing restraint in curbing spending, even in the Mayor's office itself.

Paul Swibinski who headed up the Cammarano mayoral bid last May, used all resources rather well, even confusing enough of the electorate to view Cammarano as both competent and for "real change." Boosting the Acting Mayor's negatives is one way to narrow the deficit, but how to frame her campaign platform? We certainly don't believe it will be around the northwest concept plan as after its introduction, hostility was widespread to such an idea around town for a whole host of reasons from the current budget woes to the flooding problems. That leaves Beth's much trumped experience where titles of management consultant abound, but what of achievements?

No doubt we'll be updating shortly on the official Beth Mason 2.0 mayoral campaign.
But we wonder who will be standing at the announcement as her new campaign manager? Or has Paul Swibinski deposited that check too?

Our prediction for this race: expect more dirt than sizzle.

Hat tip: Carly Baldwin, Hoboken Now
Photo: Courtesy Carly Baldwin/Hoboken Now

Just for laughs:
Last (again) to the big dance, Hoboken 411 offers this on Paul Swibinski, "You might remember Swibinski - as he supported Dawn Zimmer in her race against Chris Campos - as well as did all the campaign literature for Carol Marsh when she ran for Assembly."

Can someone fill him in on what Paul was doing in Hoboken earlier this year?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Summer: go on, get some.

This is the official end to the season and great weather is in our favor. We wish everyone in the town we love a great holiday weekend. Go and and get some. Photo taken at Pier A Park last weekend with an iPhone 3GS.

We have some surprises in store when you get back. Promise.

For those junkies out there, here's the satire of Jimmy Breslin's interview with Mike Russo.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Meeting Post Mortem: Let the games begin!

Last night's City Council meeting ran until almost 12:30 in the morning. A grueling affair and one that revealed the difficulties ahead in moving the town's business forward. The attempts at obstruction and the disingenuous attacks on Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer came to the fore for all to see. Kurt at the Hoboken Journal has posted up the links in two parts. If you want to see the old dark ways at their finest, watch the end of part two at the two hour and one minute mark where Mike Russo along with family member Terry Castellano attempts to force Dawn Zimmer out of the City Council by accepting nomination into being interim mayor only. And notice his smirking at the end when his ruse is upended. Transparency or transparent?

As reported in Hoboken Now, one of two roles for Hoboken Housing Authority Board was voted on ending with a 9-0 vote for Jake Stuiver, the former campaign manager for Councilwoman Beth Mason's spring bid for mayor. Although the process was somewhat contentious, foretelling every future bit of business at City Hall it appears, we heartily congratulate Jake on this position. Hoboken could use more like him.

Hoboken Now's story on potential candidates who have picked up petitions for mayor in the November election is out and it features some great quotes making clear that last night's efforts were no mere distraction, but a call to arms.

Our earlier bet and satirical piece on Frank "Pupie" Raia running looks solid and also Terry Castellano who is positioning herself with some less than pleasant comments about the Acting Mayor's leadership. Said leadership that she of course looks to undermine to bring back the old dark ways.

Here's a classic City Council video of Terry Castellano promoting "affordable housing" at Church Towers from Hoboken's chronicler of government events, etevens. Note that it's estimated that 40% of the Church Tower residents exceed the income requirements but Councilwoman Castellano doesn't fight for the Hoboken civil servants like our teachers, police and fire who deserve an opportunity for such apartments. Instead she fights to continue the status quo so those that exceed the income limits never have to consider moving on. And if you don't like it she advises you to get out.

For those who don't already know, Councilman Mike Russo also lives in subsidized housing at the same Church Towers (when he's not at his Jersey shore home).