Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Irene Sobolov wins the nod

In a long evening with interviews among six different candidates looking  to replace Phil Defalco as a trustee on the Hoboken Board of Education, Irene Sobolov earned the nod.

As reported minutes ago by Amy Sara Clark in Hoboken Now, Irene's long 10 years of volunteerism played a large role in her earning the support for the role.   The vote in Irene's favor was unanimous.  Trustee Maureen Sullivan in the first round gave the sole vote for another candidate, Scott Delea.

Talking Ed Note: MSV is very pleased to hear the news of Irene's appointment. With ten years of participation in the school scene and children also attending, Irene has plenty of skin in the game.  In addition, she's invited Da Horsey to events and we had an opportunity at her last invitation to wish her good luck.  We'll take this opportunity to extend our congratulations and pass along the details of that invite:

Ringin' in the Holidays - Hoboken Public School -  Holiday Concert at Hoboken High School
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 7:00pm
Please join us for our annual holiday concert featuring students from the Hoboken School District at all grade levels.
$3 per adult or 2 for $5
Children accompanied by parents are free.

Photo courtesy Amy Sara Clark / Hoboken Now

The Cake Boss, Motorcycles and Social X-rays

The Cake Boss is making waves and Amy Sara Clark at Hoboken Now posted a piece about tonight's upcoming episode.  What will people do to get on a popular reality TV show these days?  It's all recounted in her interesting story.  Either get the DVR up or watch it live depending on if you will be at tonight's big Board of Ed meeting tonight.

That promises to have a lot more drama.  Tonight it will probably be like a City Council meeting.

Cake Boss and crew photo courtesy TLC

Talking Ed Note: Social X-rays is a term coined in Tom Wolfe's classic bestseller "Bonfire of the Vanities" for women who were older and exceptionally thin.

Coin Swindle - Das Autos

The Hudson Reporter posted a story referencing a report from the Ashbury Park Press on how cars were part of the million dollar coin swindle:

In pleading guilty to an accusation charging him with second-degree theft before Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson, Brian A. Petaccio, 49, said he split more than half of what he took with an unnamed municipal official who directed him how much to set aside for their personal take.

The indictment alleges that unnamed official is Corea.

Petaccio's principal's business, authorities said, is the manufacture, sale and leasing of arcade games and coin-operated machines with a crane claw used to grab toys. In its investigation, the state found coins from Hoboken parking meters were being commingled with coins from arcade machines and [allegedly] dumped in a lump sum into a United Textile bank account.

The money, authorities said, was then [allegedly] used to pay for Petaccio's personal expenses that included Porsche and Mercedes payments.
This is going to probably upset John Corea some.  After all, he was driving a 1969 Corvette and clearly he should have had at least upgraded to a second vehicle say a Mercedes.  If not that his partner Petaccio should have at least lent the keys to drive his car on occasion.  He's entitled.

Speaking of entitlements, the Parking Utility saga is far from over.  We've been in touch with some concerned residents who followed the strange circumstances going on at the automated garage up on 9th and Garden Street.  There's some strong interest on the events that occurred before, during and after the Israeli firm Unitronics took over from the original firm who built the garage, Robotic Parking.  At the time, the automated garage was the first of its kind built anywhere in the United States.

While on the wait list to get a parking spot, Da Horsey made a point to visit the facility and get a first hand glimpse on the status quo.  In addition, visits to City Hall were met with some very curious reactions along the lines of an invader who was asking the wrong thing, as in questions.  We have some stories to tell on this and here's a nugget.  On one walk up to the facility we had a chance to speak to the head guy, Gerhard Haag.  He made a point of showing us the front facade and in disgust he stated it was nowhere near the spec he had designed and yet the money for the original design disappeared.  Even more strange, a former City Councilman saw us hanging around and asked who we were before then explaining that the delay for the garage's opening was due to corrupt pols who were demanding more money.  He said more than one Florida vacation home was purchased with monies diverted from the building of the garage.  As we understand it, the original spec differs quite a bit from the final product.

To make matters worse, the eventual local investigation under the Roberts investigation went nowhere, the local press did not follow up on it with information they were handed and other law enforcement notified also similarly failed to follow up.  Are we starting to get the picture here?

Last, it struck us as utterly absurd that Robotic was kicked out of the garage it built and the contract issued to a foreign company who was allowed to come onsite and take over the full operation with Robotic's software.  It immediately led to a lawsuit against the city and we could hardly believe anything so ridiculous could occur.  Well it was no accident. No other domestic company would touch the garage knowing full well the software installed was under copyright and anyone going in to use it would be subject to a lawsuit.  

You think that was merely an accident?  Can you guess who was the Parking Director during this period?  Did funds find their way from the sole brave solitary vendor to a certain director?  

It ain't over folks.  Not by a long shot.  We're now just days or a month before the new sheriff comes into town in Trenton.  Mr. Attorney General Ralph Marra can you hear us now?  It's almost supper time. 

Update: 9:45 - In a surprise, Gov.-elect Christie has selected Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow to be the next State Attorney General in a formal announcement anticipated for later today.  Godspeed Paula and welcome to Hoboken.

Related:  The Hudson Reporter posted a story on 180 appointments being made by the outgoing Gov. Corzine administration, former Freeholder Maurice Fitzgibbons being one.

Amy Sara Clark at Hoboken Now details three local people named by the lame duck Corzine administration.

Loaded BOE Meeting tonight

Here's the listed agenda. A training session with the state is scheduled for 6:00 and open to the public.   Then the Board session and first up, interviews and a selection among the now seven candidates. More on the audit results since the last meeting.  (As we said previous we did not name the listed eight as dropping out retains privacy and one candidate has now done so.)
Amy Sara Clark at Hoboken Now summarized the big agenda tonight and will be covering it live!
Thanks Amy!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
6:00 p.m. Board Training
7:00p.m. Stated Session
Board Meeting Room
1115 Clinton Street
Hoboken, New Jersey 07030

Agenda - 6:00 p.m. Training

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. the Board will have a training session with the New Jersey School Boards Association.

Agenda - 7:00 p.m. Stated Session

1. Board President Report and Board Committee Reports.
2. Approval of minutes.
3. Report of Interim Superintendent.
a. Personnel: postings, resignations, re-appointments, appointments, program staffing, transfers, full and part time staff, training, stipends, substitutes.
b. Curriculum and Instruction: Curriculum and instruction matters; field trips
4. Business Administrator: financial reports and actions; payment of bills and payroll; food service program; facility matters; grants; student placements and services; workshops.

December 15 2009 Stated Session Agenda