Monday, November 30, 2009

BOE Tape Snafu?

With all the big bad news coming out of the BOE recently, you'd think it would be available for viewing on Channel 78.  And if you did, you'd be wrong.

We've gotten multiple contacts from readers expressing anger about portions of the last meeting being cut from the video.  The major parts left out:  the audit presentation, the test score presentation and possible voting after the closed session.  This "random" happenstance seems deliberate and the question is why.

Word on the street is that the Kids First coalition didn't know about it and are taken aback by this.  The old practice of editing, a practice said common by the past administration and prior board is appearing much like the ghost in the machine.

Da Horsey will dig in and attempt to get an answer.

Safety First

After the Thanksgiving holiday it's worth noting there are not one but two meetings related to safety this week.  Tonight's the first, from the release:

The Public Safety Committee of the City Council will be meeting on November 30, 2009 at 6:30 p.m., at the basement conference room at City Hall. 

As some of the issues to be discussed impact residents in Hoboken, I would like the general public to be aware of the meeting and encourage them to express any views they may have on matters to be discussed.  Please consider posting information about this meeting through your respective media outlets.  The Agenda for the meeting is as follows:

1.       Street lighting safety – discussion of concerns relating to PSE&G’s replacement of certain mercury vapor and high pressure sodium street lights

·         Invited participants: Director John Pope, Hank Forrest

2.       Hoboken Fire Department – discussion of bond Ordinance on second reading relating to purchase of fire truck for Hoboken Fire Department

·         Invited participant: Battalion Chief Greene (on behalf of Fire Chief Richard Blohm)

3.       Contract between the Hoboken Housing Authority (HHA) and the City of Hoboken for the provision of security services by the Hoboken Police Department

·         Invited participants: Police Chief Anthony Falco, Public Safety Director Angel Alicea, Carmelo Garcia

Thank you,

Ravi S. Bhalla
Chairman, Public Safety Committee

cc:  Committee Member Beth Mason
       Committee Member Michael Lenz

And the second one is tomorrow on behalf of the 4th ward.  This is a follow up meeting with Police Chief Falco and comes through the effort of Frances Jennings.  A reader noted the information from the original flyer:

Hosted by the Hoboken Community Policing Unit Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Community room of 221 Jackson Street
For Residents of 1st to 6th Sts, from Madison Street. to the Western Boundary.
Presentations On: Burglaries, Traffic & Pedestrian Safety, Bike Safety & Bike Lanes, Light Rail Problems, Vandalism to Auto, & School & Juvenile Problems.

Co-Host- Mayor Dawm Zimmer 4th Ward Councilman Michael Lenz
Also a Police/Community Survey and a Question and Answer Period.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seesmic Video Comments Software Activated

For the brave the video comments software is now activated.  No tests have been done so let's wish those hearty souls good luck.  Appears enabled for the Microsoft side, but on the Mac, it looks like only the audio version is working, at least with the internal camera on laptops.  How many kids will grow up with this technology and make fun of the adults who used to write out their comments.  It's only a matter of time right?  

You need to make some settings for camera and your mic but it takes just a few seconds.  You can activate the software as an anonymous user too.  We'll wave the normal requests for one user id and email information to let folks give it a test run.  But the comments policy remains.

Maybe we'll get some static backgrounds with audio comments first.  Da Horsey would go with the outside shot from the living room window.  It overlooks the Empire State Building and the colors schemes are always changing.  Well that's just an idea, but let's see what folks do along those lines.  Initially we thought to restrict this feature to fillies only.  But some of those pretty horses like to just stare and bat their pretty eyes.

Brought to you by Seesmic.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Acting CFO - HUH Report

Acting CFO, Vincent Riccitelli presents the details of the financials and audit results and action plan at the hospital last Monday night.  He replaced the former CFO, Ron DeVito.  Along with the financial details mentioned is the $13MM for the current year.

Hospital CEO Spiros Hateras discusses the plan to close the current operating deficit of $1MM a month.

Reader Bob's Uncle posted earlier information from his "protest website" with more details on where things were at the time the hospital was St. Mary's. 

Related: Hoboken Now on the resignation and higher than forecast losses.

Back to reality: HUH?

Councilwoman Beth Mason asks some questions of the Hoboken University Hospital regarding cash flow and finances. We've edited this down to less than five minutes. Some of the latter exchanges were somewhat testy but not central to the discussion. What's important is the financial snapshot of the hospital's operating liquidity. What you learn is that on the day of this report, the hospital still had in the ballpark of six figures, $150,000. Not much better than the cash balance reported earlier of $94,000. This is the reality they and we as Hoboken residents are up against and illustrates how tight things are at the hospital.

Share some thanks

We're not done yet.  Get the kids involved - it's ideal.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

True Thanksgiving

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.  For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Psalms 27: 4-5

A Day of Thanks

On this day, Mile Square View offers thanks:

For the people of Hoboken who have never surrendered to the culture of corruption, neither excusing nor making accommodation over years and for some, decades.

To Eric Kurta, the Wilest E. Coyote any town is lucky enough to have and who encouraged "the experiment" by approaching after an event saying, "I have the answer to your question."

For Jimmy the K for being both a great friend and the sounding board and truest reflection of Hoboken.  If he's laughing when we talk over the newest posted piece, we know it hit the bullseye.

For the Jolly Green Vegetable at the Hoboken Journal, who has been gracious and helpful from the beginning.

For the good folks at Hoboken Revolt, especially Richard Pasquarelli who inspired us at the City Hall protest and at their site honoring free speech when less than a handful of voices complained and far far more were encouraging and reading.  Hat tip: InfotainMe

For Katie Scarlett who got Da Horsey off of the international policy wonk fix and propelled us to get up to speed locally.

For all the people who understand a pony can be a functional silo and information never ever gets out.  You make a fine "Grist for the Mill."

For the Grafix Avenger for giving MSV laughter and material even without ever meeting or speaking.

For the looks of surprise when we come out of the barn and someone learns we are that talking horse.

For my best friend Tracy who continually annoyed with his interloper mentality and called this effort "a hobby."

For all the readers who would email and share thoughts as if we were the oldest and best of friends especially the Bank Robber.  Rock!

For Amy Sara Clark and the Jersey Journal for the peer acceptance and gracious words.

For Timothy J. Carroll and the Hudson Reporter who showered the site with overwhelming hospitality when we made a small, we thought "anonymous" request.

For the candidates in the mayoral election who thanked MSV for the effort and all the candidates - who never complained or begged for mercy. Not even once.  Respeck!

For Sam Briggs, who never failed to work every possible angle at every possible opportunity. Still you couldn't help but be entertained and admire his effort and consistency.

For Judy Tripodi for obviously reading and trusting we would get the facts out.

For all the people who admit they read MSV when meeting and crack a bemused smile and have been so warm and kind.

For all the great folks we can't even mention for fear of their reputation being ruined that they might know or like Da Horsey. 

For all the readers who we'll probably never meet but keep coming back.

For the sacrifice of all Americans especially those who serve and their families on behalf of our nation.

For the Contemptuous Prince who inadvertently launched MSV and got us to stand up and say "No!"

For those knowing eyes staring right through to the soul.

Da Horsey lives for this.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

About the bond...

The Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority Board answers some questions from Hoboken residents about the Hoboken backed bonds. They were not able to provide all the details to all the questions but assured they would be willing to do so by having a bond person available at the next meeting.  

There's some open questions about the insurance on the bonds and after the holiday, that information should be available.  This video runs just under ten minutes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Verdict

Here's the bottom line. It's tight. They are hopeful on State aid next month.  They will implement audit findings, several impacting the financials sooner than later.  Plans are to cut spending by a million dollars a month, equivalent to 10% overall and the amount of the current deficit.  

Hospital administrators came over to some Hoboken citizens during a spontaneous post meeting discussion.  They wanted the exchange and a very good impromptu Q&A. They encouraged the public's attendance to their monthly meeting.  This was a positive sign.  As a result, we'll retract the Scarface bad guy reference. There's another reason and we'll explain more soon. 

Lots of questions revolving around the bonds and specifically what is the holder and any insurance.  The bondholder was said to be FSA.  Questions on wraparound insurance were not clear.  The Administration offered to have a bond expert available to answer these questions and also their attorney agreed to explain the two operating bond accounts and their amounts.  One capital account we believe is $9MM or thereabouts.  The other, a recovery account will be explained after the holiday.  City Hall does have all the documentation on the bonds.

There is some cause for optimism. One thing arose here as in the City Council meeting: this concept of State grants for hospitals and how its disbursed among several possible candidates.  The CEO Spiros Hatiras speaks of this as an obligation, something the State owes.  The hospital administration views this like Federal medicare payments.  We're not so sure this is actually the best designation since the State directs these monies on a rotating basis.  With so many hospitals crying for help, how does the State view Hoboken versus Jersey City or Newark, etc.?  One would guess less sympathetically as we are a "rich" community.  We don't have long to find out.

Might we strongly suggest, citizens contact Jon Corzine's office and ask that State assistance be provided to our hospital.  It takes a few minutes of your time:  (609) 292-6000.  Ask to speak to the Governor's aide.

There was some issue around obtaining financial records with manual deletions.  Councilwoman Beth Mason wanted to find out if this could be available without cost to the city.  The Hospital Administration stated the cost for doing so is $3,000.  Is this fair and reasonable considering Hoboken's existing bond obligations?  The Councilwoman did not agree.  Questions led to some conflict and more questions followed by a request to wrap up the questions.  Later Councilman David Mello asked some questions around the recent upgrades to the emergency room.  He also spoke on behalf of his colleague Beth Mason, suggesting the Administration allow her to ask any additional questions she had.  They agreed.

We'll have more in a short window.  Jimmy the K said he feels better.  For the moment Da Horsey will agree.

Photo: CEO Spiros Hatiras

Hospital Live Meeting Blog

We're on employee time. Spiros is the guy.  Mr. Patel and the hospital employees are standing behind him.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Hospital Live Meeting Blog

$62MM in bonds is the number mentioned  and the true liability to Hoboken. Discussion of FSA is the insurer. Is there wrap around coverage? TBD.

Saying with reductions they should be able to operate through 2010.

Councilwoman Beth Mason is here in the standing room area in back.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Hospital Live Meeting Blog

All reports now being approved as part of normal business. They are running through it with continuous votes.

400K grants notable - Metsch questioning. Slowed the voting.

Executive session looms.

People looking uncomfortable. It must be us taping with cameras.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Hospital Live Meeting Blog

1.9MM loss for October. 13MM for the year!

Saying uninsured driving it due to people losing COBRA. CEO calls October not as bad.

Talking about $12MM recovery plan. Realistic? It's the exact operating gap.

Audit and corrective plan - now they will do one. Lot of other audit items not $$$ related. One on financial entries, PIP accounts, uncollectibles writeoffs to be changed. Goes into effect 2010.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Live Blog Meeting at HUH

Six figure contract. They are approving. Not sure on details. We're taping. Councilman Mello is here along with Mayor Zimmer.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Kevin Kramer - Hospital Authority Chairperson

Talking about the event with over 500 beers and wine. Glad he wasn't "under oath" as he underestimated the number before. Nervous laughter. We're not.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

HUH Live Blog

Executive Session will happen. Moved to the end. Nothing new here from the CEO. Other than his comment, "The blogs we read. Their going wild.".

Gee we've taken it easy. Haven't called for AG oversight. Yet.

Standing room only. Where is Revolt?

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

CEO S Hatoras

Says there is a plan B and C. Says City Council discussions were out of context. HUH? Last Monday there was no contingency.

Cut expenses a million a month. 10 percent reduction overall. No employee reductions.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Onsite Now

We're here with Jimmy the K awaiting the appearance of everyone including the big green vegetable. Some people are here now, almost all hospital employees.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

HUMC Live Blog

We'll probably do a bit of live blogging from Assumption Hall at the hospital.  Internet is limited but we'll get something up.  For those attending or considering doing so, from the main entrance to the hospital it's right down the middle and left on the main floor, follow the signs.  Mayor Dawn Zimmer will be in attendance.

Horse Sense: The Cloward-Piven Reverse Auction

Tonight we begin the wondrous journey in our reverse auction for the hospital.  What is a reverse auction?  Thought maybe it was the sole creation of a horse's overactive imagination.  As it turns out, according to Wikipedia that's not true. It's real, it exists and like a Cloward-Piven strategy, it serves a higher purpose.  Namely maximize your "investment" while the ship is sinking and as in this case, you deploy a plan overwhelming the system.

Tonight, we begin the process of studying the big dance.  We have two clocks, one a fast timer set to go kaboom maybe as soon as December and another delayed into 2010 should the Governor come up with a stay of execution.  Which Governor?  That's a good question too.  We thought if Gov. Corzine ever hoped to stay in the powerful limelight of government employment, he'd find a way to cough up about $6-7MM and depart to the minted Senate seat Sen. Lautenberg would abdicate on his behalf.  But pulling a Toricelli required Sen. President Richard Codey to assume the reigns of the Governor's job on a temporary basis to complete the stunt.  As it turns out, the Hudson Reporter did a story, "The Lautenberg Problem" - suggesting there's no desire on Codey's part to go out into the sunset leaving a black cloud over his legacy.  

So is Gov. Corzine more or less inclined to clean up the mess in his own backyard now?  Can't say but we do know that Governor-elect Christie made very frank remarks that change is coming in New Jersey, stating no one should expect to be lining up at the trough much longer and to expect not only pain, but "continued pain."  Sadly, NJ is facing an $8 billion dollar deficit, and the truth is this state acted irresponsibly in the good times and is now one of the most ill prepared to face these uncertain ones.  How'd we get here? To sum it up, "What's in it for me?"  That's been New Jersey's modus operandi for a long time.

We're guessing Mayor Zimmer feels compelled to stave off the disaster and from where she sits, one can guess that's almost a natural reaction.  She's pretty much admitted that she gets pumped up for the challenge when approaching a hill.  We remember that feeling.  Back in our East Village days, we'd ride uptown and do loops in Central Park even when the weather was around 90.  Lots of open roadway on those overheated days and when you go, you just go.  There's an open question though if that's the best tact here.  Based on some of the comments from the the readers, the choices are already bleak.  With conjecture the bonds with interest now total $65MM and potential employee liabilities added, we're looking at a price tag approaching $100MM.  Our horse sense on this was all told this would land up being in the range of $80MM.  Every time you scratch a bit under the surface though, it gets worse.  And the deterioration and the bad news looks to be accelerating as you delve more into the details.

Although we did not obtain an official position from the mayor's office at press time, we did interview Councilman Mike Lenz last week and asked his view on what happens to the city if the hospital fails next year.  The Councilman offered the stark reality, "Hoboken entered into this, perhaps unwisely.  Hoboken will pick up the slack whatever it is.  I think that it's very possible we are at a substantial risk of financial pain."

We probed a bit further as Mike's financial background is one of the strengths often discussed in his appointment for the 4th Ward seat looking for any additional insights he might bring, "I don't (exactly) know.  We don't have any good solutions here.  People talk like closing the hospital means that somehow, we don't have the $52 million obligation.  We have the obligation.  The option to to close the hospital with no obligation does not exist," he added.

We'll see what comes out of tonight's meeting.  It would not surprise us one bit to see our readers have already spelled out what's about to occur.  We don't expect our local officials to wave any magic wands here.  They've been hoodwinked as much as we were with the performance art presented at the last City Council meeting by the people from HUH: Hoboken University Hospital. 

See ya tonight.

Talking Ed Note: We did contact the mayor's office seeking a position on the hospital's situation but we didn't provide enough lead time before publishing.  We'll look to revisit sometime after the holiday.  

Related: The jolly green giant has some links with more history for those with a strong stomach.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Say hello to the bad guy

Last Monday, CEO Spiros Hatiras (pictured left) of HUH, the Hoboken University Hospital* appeared to make a presentation to the City Council.  The bomb he dropped was an announcement the ticking time bomb was not set for next year but December was more like it with less than 100K on hand.  This crushing blow followed with his urging the City Council to join in going hat in hand to the State for additional hospital grants.  Either that or be prepared to absorb the mess of the hospital's closing, loss of jobs and oh this little problem of Hoboken being on the hook with a $52 million bond.

At the meeting Council President Peter Cunningham asked why the audit results were not presented sooner?  No answer to that question was provided.  This whole thing gets worse and worse and smells of a set up.  

The answers we'd like to see are when these people (among others) are put under oath and when the new Attorney General can get in there and find out how much similar UMDNJ activity has taken place.  Short of that, we're not buying anything being sold here.

The Hudson Reporter interviewed Spiros Hatiras Thursday. From their story:
Assets like the buildings cannot be sold off, Hatiras said, because they have been used as collateral on the $52 million in bonds that the city staked. So if those bonds came due, which Hatiras believes they would if the hospital were to apply for closure, the city would have to pay the bondholders roughly $65 million, which includes the bonds and interest.

They have not yet determined whether the city is liable for labor contracts, but Hatiras said the potential process of severing those agreements would “at the very least be ugly.” The roughly 800 employees represented by the two unions would obviously be opposed to the closure.

Yes, those lovely building that were part of the win win to offset any possible closure.  And we're not even sure about the underlying property rights.  One local legal bond beagle offered us this nugget suggesting one possible option, if only a hopeful one. "A HUD 242 Financing might be in order to clean up this Bond mess.  HUD 242 financings are a special low cost bond financing specifically for distressed hospitals."

The HMHA board will hold its next meeting Tuesday - 7:00 pm at Assumption Hall, 308 Willow Avenue.

Related:  The Hudson Reporter on the original "celebration" what former Mayor Dave Roberts called a "glorious night for Hoboken" when the $52 million hook was attached. 
Hat tip: Reader FAP, who posted the link.

* The official name of the hospital is Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC).  We'll use that name when they allow the new AG to go in there and see what's really been going on.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Grist for the Mill – 4th Ward Conspiracy Edition

Although some good citizens brought the transparency issue front and center last Monday night during the battle over the 4th ward council appointment, the real scuttlebutt was the behind the scenes maneuvering.  If you really believe the arguments on behalf of the fourth ward appointment's delay came from sincere caring or concern, let Da Horsey dispel you of such naive notions.

The skirmish over the critical swing vote on the City Council was nothing short of an all out Cold War with more skullduggery than a Soviet Union-US spy game.  Legal brainstorming mapped out earlier than most knew surfaced on the city's audio feed with Corporation Counsel Steve Kleinman heard saying on the break right after the swearing in of Councilman Mike Lenz, "Nino, all I can do.  I thought about this for the last four hours.  (Unintelligible)  Face it, what can you do?" The consolation was extended to Councilman Nino Giacchi who played his part charmingly well, consistently advocating a carpe diem version of "seize delay."  To his credit Nino did offer a grudging congratulatory handshake to the new councilman as Mike Lenz walked by, far better than the limp effort Kleinman extended.  

The hours long 4th ward saga had a kindergarten dance of the flowers recital quality about it. The truth is the legal strategy had been earlier plotted and peddled no later than that weekend.  Some leakage of a hazy Russo clan-Mason strategy devised to prevent any candidate from getting the coveted appointment reached us but without coherence.  With the 30 day clock almost half evaporated since the swearing in of the new mayor, the idea was to have it eclipse entirely and force a February 2010 4th ward election.  Then back to a full court four on four press in the City Council, blocking any significant advance of Mayor Zimmer's agenda and taking the war to the streets of the 4th ward.

The eventual dissenting vote was actually quite the Machiavellian strategy. The legal question: what technically constitutes a tie permitting the mayor to make a decisive vote. Is a 4-4 vote the same legally as 4-3-1 vote with the "1" being present/abstention?  Right after the vote, everyone immediately looked stage right as Peter Cunningham called on the temporary but more experienced counsel Mr. Ed Buzak to render an opinion.  The result was his declaration the abstention was legally a 5-3 result in the affirmative. Councilwoman Beth Mason, the Obama imitator voting "present," vehemently shook her head no and Counsel Ed Buzak continued to offer the second opinion stating alternatively the mayor could vote and break the tie. Steve Kleinman assented only offering a vague hope of a legal challenge.  Will Ricky Mason's checkbook please report to the Russo Association courtesy desk?

Naming a successor to Dawn Zimmer's fourth ward seat and maintaining her coalition against the obstructionist forces was also far from a slam dunk. The mayor's nature of seeking consensus was once again in play.  Candidates on the short list were given ample time to individually make a case and the coalition itself had a strong role in the decision.  When push came to shove, the importance of the selection remained with the mayor.  After all, this was a seat she had fought rough battles over on the streets of the fourth ward.  To this day, her opponents talk with disdain of her eliminating Chris Campos in some of the most heated contests in memory.

The idea that the pick was made long in advance with everyone else on the short list a sideshow is erroneous.  Ask yourself who to believe, Da Horsey who broke the Judy Tripodi taxes are going down story, or the uptown sleaze merchant who refused to admit, let alone mention that truth even after Hoboken Now and the Hudson Reporter did follow up stories confirming same. Hobo411 feeds readers more propaganda than a typical edition of Pravda before the Berlin Wall came down. The hatred of all things Zimmer has cast such paranoid delusions, he's still spinning away in his own self-made cannibalistic stew.  Go on Oscar, enjoy.  Good boy.

If you thought the drama was over after Councilman Mike Lenz was sworn in, well not quite.  After the vote, Mayor Zimmer was seen in the lobby trying to calmly explain to Tony Soares that he like other candidates were provided ample time to make their case for the 4th Ward appointment.  Apparently, the former city councilman did not take the finality well yelling with plenty of people nearby, "I was with you from the beginning.  You owe me!" Only in Hoboken folks, only in Hoboken.

Update: Monday 8:40 - In an email exchange Tony Soares offered a clarification.  To the question of whether the mayor had given him opportunity to present himself and his strengths for the appointment, Tony stated, "I did not yell at her, nor did I say 'you owe me' the rest I am not denying.  For the record: since that encounter the Mayor and I have talked and there is no conflict.  I remain a supporter of her administration and policies.  Mike Lenz is has been an ally, friend and close advisor of mine for nearly 20 years, I know he will serve this city well."

Related:  The Hudson Reporter is reporting that "Some old Hoboken people are considering backing Soares against Lenz in November instead."  For the record, we also heard this but did not have sufficient verification even for our rumor series, "Grist for the Mill."  As America's most beloved pony, we have to answer to an even higher standard.  

Update: 5:45  In a brief conversation, Steve Kleinman, the corporation counsel answered our questions on the process and role he and Counsel Ed Buzak played leading into the vote for the 4th ward appointment.  Steve had spent time researching any number of possible outcomes through the afternoon and also during part of the meeting itself.  Although he had not spoken to Councilman Nino Giacchi at all leading up to the time a legal opinion was offered, he did consult with various council members during the day on all sides of the issue(s).  The offhand remark in our piece was incomplete and not illustrative of those efforts.  Mile Square View wishes to thank Mr. Kleinman for his time in providing a complete picture and also being a self-described avid reader.

Sam Briggs, Man of the Hour

Break Maiden No More

Sam Briggs, Campaign Manger for the Zimmer Campaign both in the first and second election leaves with a blowout victory in hand. Sam's efforts have played a significant part in the success of the Kids First school board, a Democratic committee, city council and mayoral election.  Well three out of four ain't bad. Until he takes the true party back from George Soros, we refuse to declare him a genius.    The John F. Kennedy saying applies, "Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan."  Sam leaves Hoboken a proud papa.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mayor Dawn Zimmer's Inaugural Speech

 Clicking about two thirds along the slider brings you to the mayor's address.  It's past the 50 minute mark.

We will have more to say about the speech as there's some notable areas for review.  For now let's just say the lady continues to impress on every level.  There's some tremendous challenges ahead.  It will be hard and some will lose heart.  This community needs to come together.  When you listen to the speech, note the content more than the delivery.  There's a great deal of substance here. No matter what lies ahead, today we hold this moment with pride.   A big congratulations to Dawn Zimmer, her husband Stan and their entire family.  And a big salute to Keith Furman who put today's event together along with the volunteers.  It was both flawless and tremendous.  

Update: November 22nd - for those interested in a print version of the mayor's remarks, they're now posted and available after the jump.  

Also, the theme of the event was for "Support a Hoboken Soldier Foundation."  If you can spare a few dollars, it will mean more than you probably know. 

Last, this event proved a surprise in more ways than one.  Hoboken yet again, proudly demonstrated its civic pride.  That along with meeting folks and discovering new readers, eyes like jewels of the sea; what an absolute pleasure.  

Inaugural Live Blog

Cutting the cake.  This may have been the high point of the day.  It certainly was for the kids.  As a knife was being located, the kids started chanting, "Cut the cake, cut the cake."  You had to be there.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Inaugural Live Blog

The Cake Boss' creation.  The kids had surrounded it and were stalking the thing.  It was amazing to see the amount of attention showered on it.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Inaugural Live Blog

 The public swearing in ceremony.  Jimmy Farina was his great self as usual.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Inaugural Live Blog

Freeholder Anthony Romano
He's yelling at times but the mic is working.
Emphasis on honesty. Mentions the Lord too.  So he's up 2-0 on everyone else as a result.  No else did.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Inaugural Live Blog

Hudco Tom Deguise, County Executive
Taxes and other matters related to ineffective reductions.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Inaugural Live Blog

Congressman Albio Sires. He offered Dawn his personal support and his staff, a nice gesture.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Inaugural Live Blog

John Carey. Tearing it up right from the heart!  Just started tearing into the culture in New Jersey politics saying all the right things about fairness and not getting jobs based on connections or family.  How could you not applaud?  Other than the mayor's speech he got his point across and the crowd loved it.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Inaugural Live Blog

City Council sitting in the first row to the side of the stage.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Inaugural Live Blog

Sen. Menendez - leaving after speech to DC on Senate healthcare bill. He departed right after his remarks.
Had some questions.

- Posted by Jhnnynewman, intrepid photographer via iPhone

Friday, November 20, 2009

Please flush after deleting

Almost from the AP:
Dawn Zimmer's personal attorney has filed for a restraining order in Hoboken Municipal Court today, against the person known by various internet IDs, such as "RedHaven," "Professor Pinetap," "Colonelstevens," "David Zenn" and "MarkLower."
This deranged individual was deemed a danger to the mayor of Hoboken by virtue of his obsessive blogging about her, his pathological inability to separate her from natural phenomena like the four seasons, the sun's rising and setting, and the earth's daily rotation on its axis... lastly, this maniac's destructive impulses have led him to ruin the reputation and readership of a popular Hoboken blog with the publishing of his active fantasy life starring Mayor Zimmer.
It is believed that Mayor Zimmer resembles a former flame or his mother, and his refusal to seek psychiatric help has forced Zimmer to seek a restraining order.
The 'final straw' for Zimmer was when this lunatic lamented that "Zimmer/HCDO" would be selecting the replacement for Phil DeFalco, a Hoboken Board of Education member who has just resigned. The paranoid Zimmer-centered fantasies of this individual-- his belief that Zimmer controls the Hoboken School Board, on full display yet again, made the decision, what a Zimmer aide called "a no-brainer"
Mayor Zimmer's office declined to comment on this story.

Disclaimer: the above characters depicted are the sole work of the Grafix Avenger.  Any and all inquiries on copyright, publishing rights or reuse are strictly and solely enforced by the Toxic Avenger. Mile Square View makes no warranty, implied or otherwise as to the authenticity of the Star Ledger story, the obsessed maniac blogger, or even acknowledges who the douchebag is.  Rated G for general audiences, 501(c).  Any and all requests for information on the the Grafix Avenger are strictly limited and will never be forthcoming.  Graphic not sized for scale, your laughter may vary.  Please be careful when disposing. Flush after deleting.

Giving Thanks

We have one more bit of thanks to extend to the audience and this one comes courtesy of those who are doing their part leading into the Thanksgiving holiday.  Join in!  This event comes the day before the big dance:
The Hoboken Housing Authority Commissioner Jake Stuiver in conjunction with Executive Director Carmelo Garcia and Save the Youth Academy coordinator Luis Acevedo present:

The Hoboken Family & Friends Thankgiving Dinner
- A full Thanksgiving meal catered and served for residents of the Hoboken Housing Authority.
When:  Wednesday, November 25th
Where:  The Multi-Service Center cafeteria   124 Grand Street
Who: Seniors from 3:00 - 5:30 and everyone else from 5:30 - 8:00 pm
Thanks to Mayor Dawn Zimmer for her support for this event.  
For more information, call Jake Stuiver at (201) 978-8977 or
Happy Thanksgiving!

Quick note of thanks

One of our goals since we began what we deemed "the experiment" is to go out and ask people fair questions and do some real interviewing on the issues with people who are involved in the process of governing or similarly involved in the town we love. When the election season came, candidates thanked us for allowing various voices to be heard, sometimes more than once.  (Well if you put yourself on the line, shouldn't we at least listen?) 

It didn't take long to find out we had hit pay dirt when our earlier work started gaining a lot more attention than we ever anticipated.  Questions in the summer quickly followed, will you do more?  Well here we are after the election and still at it.  Why?  Because frankly, you guys keep coming back and seem to dig it.  Readership continues to grow even after the election which also has come as quite a pleasant surprise.  

Well please tell a few friends about Mile Square View aka the Hoboken Horse and also let us know what's on your want to see for our to do list.  Clearly there's a need to have a user friendly, intelligent, censor free place for ideas and fair discourse.  You know like a good dinner party conversation or a community.  And the numbers keep bearing it out.  At any given point, half if not more of the readers are returning visitors.  That's a pretty good number with a third spending almost an hour plus in a visit. 

Talking Ed Note: Numerous features are now enabled as noted previously and you can even subscribe to a post or the replies and reply via email if you like.  In addition there's numerous ways for sharing a post, a comment, etc. via facebook, twitter and a hundred others.  The comment feature for posting some remarks and adding a youtube video to it is working well and it's already been utilized.  The last video feature should go live soon and will allow a commenter to actually post their own video comment.  Welcome Aboard!
Da Horsey aka the Hoboken Horse
Hat tip: Hoboken Now, The Hoboken Journal, Hudson Reporter, and photographers Jhnnynewman and Jimmy the K

Parking meters clarified by the Clearview Cinema

During the marathon of the last City Council meeting we took an unofficial break to catch up on some questions we had about the parking meters proposed previously near the new Clearview Cinemas movie theater.  After rival photographer of Jhnnynewman, Jimmy the K sent over a bunch of pictures showing next to no parking spaces available we were concerned.  (Jhnnynewman especially since he doesn't like competing photographers.)

So we caught up to Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs, who like many stood around as lost zombies hugging the walls circling the room for hours to review our findings and compare notes.  Da Horsey was about to open the laptop with the hoof friendly latch to show the powerpoint presentation, but Ian quickly explained the actual location for the proposed meters was not in any of the places photographed.  

As it turns out, there's been a lack of clarity around the location of the proposal.  Ian explained its not the immediate blocks by the movie theater but north of it up on 15th to 16th street between Adams and Grand Streets (if memory serves right.)  He assured Da Horsey if we journeyed up there at that late hour there would be numerous parking spaces available.  We circled back with our colleague and he agreed, it's a ghost town up there.  We declined to take Ian up on the late night sojourn.  He's only a fullback as we learned and that's not enough insurance to go up against any rats.

We thank the Director for the time and the explanation.  Unfortunately as he explained to us, even the chart showing the location at the City Council meeting didn't help a lot of folks understand the potential locations for where meters may be installed.  It's the public's turn now to decide what will be the outcome but we're more assured of the revamped process and the person leading it.

We wish we could say the same about recession soccer.  Who's in charge of tending to the beautiful game now?  With unemployment in double digits, we need it more than ever.

Photo courtesy: Amy Sara Clark / Hoboken Now - Ian Sacs and Dawn Zimmer at the relaunch of the Crosstown Bus

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Helping a Hoboken Soldier

The mayor's office announced a program in support of our soldiers coinciding with the public inauguration this Saturday.  We applaud the effort and the people behind it.  


November 19th, 2009: Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced today that at her Inauguration this Saturday, November 21st, in lieu of accepting Inaugural donations, all in attendance are asked to give what they can to “Adopt a Hoboken Soldier,” a foundation that provides necessities and comforts to Hoboken soldiers overseas.
                  “It’s fabulous for Mayor Zimmer to do this,” Joann Peluso, founder of Adopt a Hoboken Soldier, said. “We are honored and thrilled to be a part of her inauguration.”
                  Adopt a Hoboken Soldier was founded in 2005 by Joann Peluso in conjunction with Tom Kennedy and the American Legion Post 107. The foundation sends monthly care packages to Hoboken’s soldiers in combat oversees. The care packages contain necessities, such as toiletries and basic healthcare supplies, and comforts, such as homemade cookies, Easter baskets and Christmas stockings.
                  “With Veteran’s Day fresh in our minds, I think this is a great opportunity to remember the brave young people from our community who are putting their lives at risk for us,” Mayor Zimmer said. “It’s very fitting that at a celebration of democracy we honor those that make our democracy possible.”
                  Checks should be made out to American Legion Post 107, and include “Adopt a Soldier” in the memo line. If you are unable to attend the inauguration but would still like to donate, checks can be mailed to the American Legion, 308 2nd Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Currently, Adopt a Hoboken Soldier is working on packages for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Dem Polls

Last Friday's announcement by the Obama Administration to try the 9-11 mastermind and his cohorts in New York City is now registering in the latest Rasmussen Poll.  As we thought it less than polite to not at least mention their arrival as neighbors with newly minted rights as American citizens, we even had Eddie Murphy extend a welcome from his SNL days in Mister Robinson's neighborhood.  

With no precedent of extending American citizenship rights to enemy combatants, the reaction in this poll comes as little surprise.  The only precedent Da Horsey knows was the Barbary Pirates under President Thomas Jefferson.  The US eventually responded by sending the marines to protect American shipping intercepted much like the Somali pirates today.  The only difference was those captured on the ships were often brought ashore in northern Africa and ransomed or sold into slavery.  The US did not have the marines bring any pirates back to the US for trial.

Okay, so when do we start training all our armed forces in giving miranda rights?  That's what they'll need to do should they come across Osama bin Laden.  Perhaps the ACLU has that program all ready to go.

President Obama's strongly approve rating has now fallen to 27%. Overall, 46% somewhat approve. You can figure out the rest.  We predicted the response and offered a wager with our favorite bartender's at Moran's handling the credits.  No one took us up on the offer.  And now Da Horsey's thirsty.

BOE Audit - Oops!

Okay back to matters of real importance, we just saw a review of the BOE audit and no it's not good.  Numerous and documented examples of waste and what's that word I'm look for... fraud.  Donna Antonucci spells it out rather nicely, original docs available too.  A succinct and impressive piece of work.

Nice job!

Nov. 20th - Amy Sara Clark at Hoboken Now also posted a detailed story on the audit results identifying two dozen problematic issues!

Update: 1:35 - Fallout from the bad news: Phillip A. De Falco, a CPA serving on the board has resigned effective the end of this month.  Keep it coming!

The Hudson Reporter's Timothy J. Carroll is now reporting on three resignations.

Related: The Jersey Journal reports on the school's bad test results.  It's disheartening to say the least.

In the famous words...

what were they thinking?  A professor said to be a valued statewide observer offered some sharp criticism for the newly minted, fully voter sanctioned Zimmer administration.  After reading it late last night, it was appalling enough to merit a stream of consciousness rebuke even with a typo or two.  For those interested in the corruption of the very obvious, it's a fine perspective into the absolute woeful state of affairs New Jersey finds itself in.  The more you look at these things the more you land up shaking your head.  See for yourself:
Comments and story via the Hudson Reporter.
Comments and original via

Oh and get this.  In preparing the links, we saw the "professor" has not only had the original comment deleted but he's replaced it under our own SmartyJones moniker with, "My comment has been edited because I behave like a child."

So in addition to being utterly exposed for poor basic scholarship, (you get an F doc) he has to go and remove the comment revealing such with a childish censoring prank.  The Hudson Reporter to its credit has not censored on behalf of "the professor."  

Now why is it when you turn even the smallest light on these critics, they turn into the biggest crybabies?   Take a read and decide for yourself if this was an offense worthy of censorship.

Update: 11:40 - The Hudson Reporter is getting a tidy bunch of responses now to our initial criticism of "the professor" and it further illustrates our point.  He has again edited our follow up post at, this time inserting the user agreement as cover.  (We knew he'd come up with something.)  As to the substance of the criticism by Da Horsey and others, nothing but goose eggs.  Here's a hanky to wipe the egg off your face professor.  

Our reply there which no doubt will also be censored in short order:
Too late professor. We've already linked the story and your getting lots of attention. You can stop censoring and editing under our moniker any time now. Yes you have been personally attacked: for incompetence. And that's well within the user agreement.

Update: 12:05 - censored again as we predicted, we left one more note for Mr. Hart:
Too bad you don't have censorship rights across the internet to help bury your "scholarship" professor. That's too bad. We're getting lots of traffic between us and the Hudson Reporter. Sorry.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Features including Video options

The level of discourse is really quite stellar and as a result we're happy to announce a bunch of new updated features.
Want to share your favorite story such as "The Pupie Maneuver" or a Horse Sense editorial?  You can link, login, bookmark and email posts any number of different ways including Delicious, Digg, Facebook, Twitter, and over 100 more social bookmarking and sharing sites. You can also do the same for comments.  Spell check is now built in and smileys are also added at no additional cost.
We've had some very well researched and insightful links posted. Those too are easier to post and available for easy linking.
You can even post youtube videos within your own comment!  Not good enough.  How about posting your own video comment.  Looks like that software feature is going live shortly too.  Click under post comment and you have an option to post a video comment.  Enjoy.  We now return you to your regular scheduled programming.  Okay let's see what political talking head is going to be the bravest first!

How about the mayor?!  Or a Director?  Or hey at least a Public Information Officer.