Thursday, December 30, 2010

City: Help cleanup by getting cars off streets, Stevens aids offering 200 spots

STEVENS PROVIDES 200 ADDITIONAL FREE OFF-STREET PARKING SPACES FOR RESIDENTS

As crews continue to clear snow from parking lanes, the process will be significantly easier if residents move their vehicles off-street and into garages or private lots, if possible. To facilitate this process, the City has coordinated with various entities to make additional off-street parking available to residents.

Stevens Institute has agreed to make 200 parking spaces available for free to Hoboken residents to park at the Babbio Center and to the west of the Griffith facility (not to the north) located at 600 Sinatra Drive. Residents may park at these locations from 5 pm on Thursday, December 30 through 8 am on Monday, January 3rd.

“We truly appreciate and thank Stevens Institute for providing free parking to Hoboken residents as we continue our cleanup efforts,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

The parking lot at the Connors School (201 Monroe Street) is available for resident parking on a first-come, first-served basis through noon on Sunday. Parking spaces are still available as of early Thursday afternoon.

Finally, the City is providing discounted garage parking in Municipal Garages B (28 2nd Street) and D (215 Hudson Street) for $5 through 9am on Monday. Garage employees have been notified of the discounted policy, and any residents with concerns about the amount charged should contact the Parking Utility during normal business hours for a refund.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/stevens-provides-200-additional-free-off-street-parking-spaces-for-residents/



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City: remember the rules on local taxi service

AS NEW YEAR’S APPROACHES, RESIDENTS ARE REMINDED OF TAXI RULES

Hoboken residents are reminded that the local fare is $5.00 for all yellow cabs and limousines and $6.00 for Indian Way car service regardless of weather or shortage of drivers.

In the past, it has been common for residents and visitors to be grossly overcharged by taxi drivers during inclement weather or high demand.

The City has reminded taxi drivers and owners of this rule and will be strictly enforcing this and other taxi rules and regulations, especially during the busy holiday season. Residents who are overcharged should report the incident to the Division of Taxi & Limousine by emailing taxi@hobokennj.org or calling 201-216-1090 and providing the date and time of the incident, a description of what happened, and the taxi number which is on the car door. The City will take action against all violators.

In addition, residents are reminded that contrary to popular belief or local practice, it is legal to hail a licensed yellow cab (although not limousines) anywhere in Hoboken, not just at the train terminal. Finally, taxis may accept only one $5 fare – a person or group of persons going to the same location – per ride. With the permission of the first fare, a second fare may join, but no more. This rule has been laxly enforced and widely violated in the past, but that is no excuse for continued violations, and the Administration investigates and takes action against all reported violations.

Additional information on taxis, including rates for out of town destinations, is available at: http://www.hobokennj.org/departments/transportation-parking/taxi-limousine-licensing/



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Mayor Zimmer: End of year summary update

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! I wish you and your family and friends
all the very best in 2011.

Thanks for the many compliments on my last update, and my apologies
if some of you felt overloaded by all the information that I packed into it.
Next year, I’ll try to do more updates so I can keep them briefer. 

I was surprised that some folks complimented “the writing of the person
that wrote the update….” Just so you all know, that writer is me, often
at 4:30 in the morning, and I take full responsibility for the content of
these updates. 

Learning from the Blizzard
First, in case you missed my official statement from City Hall, I want to
make sure that everyone knows that our City workers including
Environmental Services, the Police and Fire Dept., the Parking Utility and
Emergency Management, have been working extremely hard under very
difficult circumstances to clean up our city, and they are continuing to
work through the nights to improve the cleanup of our city streets.   

Yes, I recognize that there are definitely things that went right and things
that went wrong.  As with everything I do, I always believe that things
can be done better with reflection and evaluation, and that’s what my
Administration is doing with this storm.
I welcome your suggestions and any information you may have that
can help me to fully evaluate all that happened during this storm so
that my Administration can serve Hoboken residents much better the
next time around.

While there are many people working hard, there are unfortunately people
out there that will do anything they can to undermine my Administration
for political reasons.  My job, no matter the challenges, is to plow ahead
through all the “naysayers” and stay focused on the job at hand.

The reality is that this was one of the worst storms in the history of Hoboken.  
The bigger the storm the bigger the task of digging out and those who say
that Hoboken has experienced many such storms in the past are wrong. 
There have only been two larger snow storms in the last 100 years, so this
was truly a "big one" that needs a name...As you all know, our wonderful
urban environment is exactly that – a small space with essentially no room
for two feet of snow. 

Our biggest snow challenges: 
Where do we put all this snow? With all the packed cars, and parking such a
challenge, how do I convince an entire town to move their cars off the street
and enable us to fully clean up? And how do I prevent people from trying to
move their cars in the middle of a storm, and then leaving them abandoned
when they figure out their mistake in trying to drive?  (I am not making
excuses, but it is important for you to know that all of the abandoned cars
in the middle of the streets throughout our City made the clean up
excruciatingly difficult for our City employees.  Next time we will be much
more prepared for dealing with the abundance of abandoned cars that
resulted from this storm). 

During the storm we had to bring in a towing company with larger equipment
that could remove the cars in such high levels of snow.  I am currently
working on negotiating a new emergency contract that can boost our existing
outsourcing.  In addition, we are re-evaluating the best locations to dump snow.
(FYI – it is illegal to dump snow into the Hudson, and the issue presents
challenges to negotiating with private property owners for dumping snow on undeveloped property). 

To Tow or Not to Tow -- That is the Question:
With each storm, I have tried to be sensitive to the challenges of finding
parking and refrain from towing if at all possible.  We always run license
plates and call car owners before we tow.  All of this takes a great deal of
manpower and time. 

Going forward, I believe I’ve got to be stricter with towing.  As I reflect on
this storm, my Administration waited too long to begin the towing, and we
ended up with emergency routes that were not cleared quickly enough and
could not be navigated by our emergency vehicles.  While I feel for those
that may be towed, it is my job to look out for the welfare of everyone in
Hoboken.  I want to keep everyone safe, and if we have a situation that
prevents a fire truck from getting to a fire, or an ambulance from reaching
the hospital, then I will have failed in my job to protect all Hoboken residents. 
(For safety reasons Chief Blohm, Chief Falco and I decided yesterday that it
was necessary to tow on Willow Avenue to improve access to the hospital).  

For everyone’s protection in Hoboken, please spread the word that the mayor
is going to be tow-tough during the next storm and will be towing from
emergency routes. Since storms are unpredictable this means that with
20/20 hindsight the towing may sometimes appear to be unnecessary, but I'd
rather inconvenience a few people than lose a life.  (During each storm
we announce our emergency routes again and again.  Please heed these
announcements and know that it includes both sides of Washington Street,
and the west side of Willow Avenue for access to the hospital, among other locations). 

Free Parking: 
Yes, it’s an uphill battle, but I am working very hard to secure as much free
off-street parking as I can.  I want to thank Superintendent Carter and School
Board President Rose Markle for agreeing for the city to use the Connors school
parking lot at 201 Monroe as a free parking location through Sunday at noon
on a first come first serve basis.  Thank you to CVS as well for permitting
residents to park overnight last night for free. 

We are working on some other options, so check the City’s site for more
information at hobokennj.org.  The more cars we get off the streets, the
more we can clean up the streets!  For the next storm, I hope to be more
prepared with back up off-street parking locations.   

In addition, given these extenuating circumstances, residents can park
in Garage  B and D for $5.00 until Monday at 8:00 am.   

Helping with the snow cleanup:  Please try to remove your car from the
street, and as you do it, please try to pile the snow next to the road and
refrain from throwing it back into the street.  And, please, please do not
throw snow on the fire hydrants.

The Mayor on Vacation? 
It’s funny to think that I was feeling like a bit
of a work-a-holic as I had the last light on at
City Hall on Thursday night before Christmas.
(I let employees leave at 2:30).  

I love my job, but it is hard to get away from
our great City! I am glad to say that I had a
wonderful Christmas with my family in NH.
I was thrilled to go for an exhilarating hike to
an icy waterfall on Sunday with my parents,
and my brothers and their families. (Ice is so cool!) I had planned to take
only one day off and drive back on Monday morning, but the storm made it impossible, and so I was on the road with what seemed like everyone else
on the east coast driving back from NH on Tuesday.

My time in NH was great, but it was filled with many calls with my
business administrator, Arch Liston.  One time he called and my mom
answered and said, “I wish we had all the snow that Hoboken has….” 
As you can imagine, he quickly agreed!

The issue with the 911 Call system: 
On Monday night a concerned citizen alerted me to the problems Hoboken
was having with 911.  She called 911 herself to report a fire alarm at the
library and had problems getting through. (The library was fine, but the
911 system was not). I immediately contacted the Police and Fire Chiefs,
my BA, and I want to thank Freeholder Romano for working with me to
get information on the matter from the Chief of the Hudson County Sheriff’s
office.  Through various sources we confirmed that this was a problem that
Verizon was having, and that they were repairing the system as quickly
as possible. 

While Hoboken was at the mercy of Verizon to do the repairs, it was my
obligation to inform the public and that’s why we issued a press statement
to alert residents to call the Hoboken Police dispatch directly. I am asking
for an investigation into what happened, why the City was not informed
on the matter, and whether or not this happened in other Hudson County
municipalities.  I was also surprised that Verizon publicly stated that the
problem was not their responsibility at a time when they were already
working on correcting the problem with their system.  

Again, thanks to all the Good Samaritans of Hoboken who helped out
friends and strangers alike during the storm.  I am sure that this email
list includes many of those Hoboken saints that make our community
so special.  

Best wishes for a spectacular New Year! And please feel free to send your suggestions and/or information you may have to help me evaluate how I
can improve our City's snow response.  If you witnessed issues of concern,
such as trucks driving with their plow blades up, please let me know so I
can investigate to determine whether or not this was appropriate under
the circumstances. 

Have a happy and safe New Year!

Mayor Zimmer

P.S.  The hospital board meeting was moved to next Tuesday, January 4th.

Councilman Cunningham: Reflections on the Blizzard

Happy Holidays and New Year to all...
This is a brief note to thank you all...for what you did, or could do within reason...to help your neighbor, a friend or a complete stranger these last couple of days.  While I will not go so far to use a famous Paine quote that these were "the times that try men's souls" we came pretty close.  I have been around the Fifth Ward since Monday morning and would agree that there were things we did well, however other things which need further evaluation.

I am happy for the compliments as well as the criticisms placed not only on me, but the administration as well.  If constructive, it only serves to straighten, and improve the process; and I am thankful to all that have reached out on-line, or who I have seen in the streets.  However, I know our job is not done.
I have heard from some of you that there still may be areas that need attention, so please call me ASAP.

On another note, I expect to send out a recap before year end, and have set up a Twitter account to afford another media for sharing information.  There's a lot going on in Hoboken, and my gut tells me we could be in for a long winter.  Enjoy the balmy 40 degree weather the next couple of days and again have a Happy New Year.  And as always, please forward along, call or write with any issues or concerns.

Peter
cunninghamforhoboken@gmail.com


















Talking Ed Note: Per MSV policy, communications from any elected official may be published in its entirety without editorial comment.  Elected officials are invited to email correspondence to smartyjones@me.com.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mike Russo goes Politrickin

With the news of the State rejecting the Hoboken Board of Education's proposed Superintendent salary of $175,000 per year revealed earlier, questions arise concerning some dubious statements made at the end of the December 1st City Council meeting by Councilman Mike Russo on the subject of the salary.

Here is Mike Russo in all his politrickin glory throwing chum out to the "budget hawks," as he describes himself.  There's only one problem - none of it is true.

I hate when that happens.

Happy New Politrickin Year Mike Russo!  We're sure this is only the beginning of what is in store for Hoboken with your ally Beth Mason set to seize the crown of Council President.



Politrickin, it's all politrickin friends as Mike Russo would say.

Hospital Board meeting rescheduled to January 4th in the new year

The HMHA announces:


Delays in Public Notice Advertising Due to Weather Causes
Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority Meeting to be Rescheduled for January 4, 2011

Hoboken, New Jersey – The Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority ("HMHA") has rescheduled its meeting that was previously planned for Thursday, December 30, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. The new date for the meeting is Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will take place at the Hoboken University Medical Center ("Hospital") in Assumption Hall.

Public notice advertisements were submitted to the Star-Ledger and the Jersey Journal by the appropriate deadlines to have public notice published 48 hours prior to the December 30, 2010 meeting date, and the public notice did successfully run in the Star-Ledger. A public notice did not appear in the Jersey Journal as scheduled, due to logistical issues potentially resulting from the snowstorm.

The HMHA decided to postpone the meeting to ensure all interested parties receive proper public notice and to ensure the widest participation in the HMHA's ongoing process to privatize the Hospital. Accordingly, the HMHA elected to reschedule the meeting for Tuesday, January 4, 2011.

Towing operation on Willow St. - residents advised to move vehicles

City of Hoboken announces:


TOWING TO CLEAR EMERGENCY ROUTE ON WILLOW AVE TO BEGIN AT 6:30PM; ADDITIONAL PARKING OPTIONS FOR RESIDENTS

Residents are advised that towing to remove vehicles parked along Willow Avenue between 4th Street and 11th Street will begin at 6:30pm on Wednesday, December 29th. The decision to tow vehicles was made jointly between Police Chief Falco, Fire Chief Blohm, and Mayor Zimmer to ensure that the emergency route leading to the Hoboken University Medical Center is clear.

The City will be looking up the license plates of all parked vehicles and attempting to contact all affected residents.

In addition to providing discounted garage parking in Municipal Garages B & D, Mayor Dawn Zimmer has been working to arrange other parking options to permit residents to park off-street in order to facilitate the removal of snow along parking lanes.

The parking lot at the Connors School (201 Monroe Street) is available for resident parking on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 5:30 pm. A Parking Utility employee will be directing cars.

Also, after 5:00 pm, residents may park overnight until 8:00 am in the parking lot of the CVS located at 811 Clinton Street.

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Mayor Zimmer: Blizzard talk

City of Hoboken announces:


STATEMENT FROM MAYOR ZIMMER REGARDING BLIZZARD

I am incredibly thankful to all the City employees who worked so hard to get our City moving again after we were hit by one of the worst storms in 100 years. For days on end they’ve been working long shifts and overnight hours, and for that I especially want to thank Environmental Services, the Police Department, the Fire Department, the Parking Utility, and the Office of Emergency Management. I also want to thank our residents -- all the Good Samaritans who helped a neighbor dig out, who helped push a stranger’s car, or who directed traffic when other cars got stuck in the road. This may have been one of the worst storms in recent Hoboken history, but it brought out the very best in our community.

Cleanup Continues
The process to clean up our City continues, and while that is happening, I will also be evaluating what went right and what changes we need to make in order to make sure that we respond as quickly as possible in the future. I recognize that parking is an incredibly difficult situation. We have had crews working overnight to clear snow from the sides of the street for parking, including the south half of Washington Streetand 14th Street. We are bringing in more heavy equipment to continue that process throughout the night. Crews will be cleaning up areas throughout the City where there are empty spaces in order to provide more parking spaces, and residents can help in this process by parking off the street in garages or private lots if possible.

Parking Arrangements for Residents
Under these extenuating circumstances, residents with a valid resident parking permit may park in Garages B (28 2nd Street) and D (215 Hudson Street) on a first-come first served-basis for the discounted rate of $5 through 8am on Monday morning. Additional parking alternatives for residents are currently being arranged which will shortly be announced on the City website, www.hobokennj.org and through the press. Finally, I ask that residents who have information that may help us as we evaluate the response to the blizzard to contact me by emailing dzimmer@hobokennj.org. Thank you for your patience during this challenging time.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer



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Guest of the Stable: The Jolly Green Giant on the Blizzard

With all the pixels spilled on the blizzard's impact on Hoboken, MSV decided to hijack the points posted in the comments here by the Jolly Green Giant - Kurt Gardiner of the Hoboken Journal as he methodically balances out first hand accounts with additional background.

In fact, MSV doesn't know anyone who invested as much time out on the streets as THJ and it shows with the excellent photo essay he posted yesterday.  When not taking pictures, the giant was working with other Hoboken residents pushing out dozens of cars stuck in all points of town.  A City Hall source indicated dozens of vehicles were stuck all over town and creating a logjam of problems for the plows to clear the streets.  THJ noted one problem of a vehicle on upper Park in his pictorial as well with Councilman Peter Cunningham working to get it removed.

Based on the reports in Jersey City and the problems in NYC, it appears the people driving were a major factor in making things far more difficult as cars were stuck and then abandoned all over the place.  The State of Emergency called in Hoboken was ignored by those drivers who expected their vehicles would get through the snow.

Hoboken fared far better overall with operational normalcy within 24 hours.  The best comparable storm - 1996, shut down Hoboken over days.  Back then, Mayor Anthony Russo prevented cars from even driving into town while snow was removed from the streets and dumped into the Hudson River, an EPA violation.

The Jolly Green Giant offers some Paul Bunyanesque insights and suggestion on the  blizzard.


I gave the City a C minus on Hoboken Patch for its snow removal efforts. The best possible grade any city could get would be a B anyway given the amount of snow that fell and the wind. The timing of the storm being on a holiday weekend did not help either. 

Sure the City could do better. Should we hire more people back to sit around and wait for the big storm every 15 years? Most tax payers would not like that option. 

Areas for improvement: 


1) More plows sooner 
There intially was a subcontractor for plowing and they could not keep up due to the heavy volume. The solution was to bring in more plows with another contractor and the City did but perhaps not soon enough. Had the storm been only 12 inches they probably would have been able to keep up. Bam, one area that can be improved. 

2) Fire Mile Square Towing 
This vendor was not up to the job and did not have their plows running fast enough. In one case they showed up with the wrong kind of truck. The performance of Mile Square Towing appears to be a breach of contract and that led clogged up many sections of Park Avenue as well as between 8th and 9th and Bloomfield. Say bye bye to Mikie Squared Towing Company and results will be better next time. 

3) Get businesses to cooperate rather than have Mike Novak using his position of Chamber of Commerce President to slam Zimmer. 

While Mike Novak was twittering away some businesses were doing a great job removing snow from the sidewalks and others were not or could not. Understandable. Mike Novak didn't offer anything but negative twittering and Facebooking. Other business leaders need to step up and work with the City to help clean the sidewalks better next time. Mike Novak's leadership is not up to snuff and a bunch of stiff drinks won't improve that situation any either. 

And finally 4) Get people to not drive in the first 24 hours. Jersey City ambulances did their part to clog Hoboken streets. At least 4 emergency vehicles were stuck from JC and none had snow tires. Many other drivers without 4WD and even with 4WD got stuck. Juan Melli wasn't bullshitting that this caused problems with snow removal. I saw it first hand and either single handedly or with help pushed out dozens of cars that were stuck. I may not agree with Carmelo Garcia on politics but he was helping push cars out too rather than twittering negativity and offering no solutions like Mike Novak. Many other fine Hoboken and non-Hoboken residents helped as well but the sheer number of cars getting stuck was really hindering plowing efforts. I saw this first hand.  Trying to get to Carlos bakery is not essential transport. Those people should have not been on the road. 
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NJ rejects Hoboken BoE Superintendent contract

After weeks of catch-22 wrangling, the State rejected the Superintendent contract proposed between the Hoboken Board of Education and Dr. Mark Toback.

New regulations come into place in February but the Hoboken Board of Education attempted to sign Dr. Toback to a maximum length contract of more than four years beyond the established guideline of $155,000.  For more than a month a cat and mouse game with legal maneuvering took place with the State not providing a clear answer of any kind on the contract extended to fill the Hoboken Superintendent position.

Although the amount of the contract on an annual basis has not been made public, Claire Moses of Hoboken Patch references one unnamed source the contract does exceed the $155,000 threshold for Hoboken.  The amount however is nowhere near the amount stated by Councilman Mike Russo at a City Council meeting earlier this month.   A BoE source close to the negotiation rejected his assertion as false without disclosing the actual proposed contact.  To Russo's urging the BoE contract should be opposed as it was excessive with an annual salary of $225,000, no one inside or outside of the Hoboken BoE has put forward information making such a suggestion.

Previous to the State ruling, Mayor Zimmer wrote a letter to Gov. Christie asking for assistance in Hoboken's unique situation to fill the open Superintendent position.

Dr. Mark Toback is currently discussing terms with the Hoboken BoE apparently in the hopes to reach an agreement by the January 11th BoE meeting.

The Hoboken BoE is not considering further legal action at the moment.

Comment requested from two BoE members was not available at the time of publication.

For the full story:

http://hoboken.patch.com/articles/state-denies-proposed-toback-contract 

Related: Katie Colaneri posted her story this morning for the Jersey Journal.  Notable in the article is the BoE attorney praising Dr. Mark Toback for continuing to work with the district through the state impasse.

http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.ssf/2010/12/state_denies_would-be_hoboken.html

Update: One commenter notes he was told the contract was for $250,000 per year.  MSV will have to go back and check the City Council tape as Councilman Russo definitely claimed it was over $200,000.  He did not name any source to his claim.

Update 2: Claire Moses sent out a twitter noting the contract presented to Mark Taback and the NJ Department of Education was for $175,000, far lower than claimed by Councilman Mike Russo.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Was City's response sufficient for the blizzard?

The politics of a blizzard is already a rage for those left behind as others departed on vacation or to visit friends and families.  Some people feel the city could have responded better while others feel their area was neglected.

Jefferson St. heading south

As the blizzard was vastly underestimated by the media leading into the storm and it occurred with a very heavy Sunday night post Christmas wallop, the questions, some rhetorical will be ongoing.  Was the reaction fast enough and did the city escalate its operation sufficiently considering the increasing impact of the storm?

For the political operatives in town who never seem to take a vacation and that includes the guy who the Hoboken Journal calls Crazy Shorts at Mason411, the answer is always in the negative.

9th and Madison St.

As this storm ranks as easily one of the biggest blizzards in memory, did the city react too slowly or not?  You will be hearing a lot about this and expect well, the usual ax grinding to commence.  Reader Katie Scarlett sent in some shots of her disenfranchisement of the west side's "disparity" for that part of town.  While it's not clear what times the photos are from, one can say the roads were not perfect although plowed.  Earlier a section of Park had a burned out car that wasn't towed and the street was unplowed.

Questions about the towing of stuck vehicles is going to be a big question as it slowed the clearing of streets and emergency vehicles' movement.

7th and Clinton - by the A&P

Is Hoboken comparable to other areas of Hudson County?  Did Hoboken have sufficient staff on call and when did the extra plows arrive?  All of this will be chum for the sharks and food for the anti's - the people who want to see the state of the town return to the old hands of power even as the city council already has - by hook or crook.

So let's get on with Blizzardgate.

Update: Photos were taken 9:00 am this morning.

9-11 Service back up, State of Emergency lifted

City of Hoboken announces:


911 SERVICE RESTORED; HOBOKEN STATE OF EMERGENCY LIFTED

The 911 service is back in service. Thank you to Verizon and Hudson County for working to restore the system.

The Zimmer Administration has lifted the state of emergency for Hoboken. The state of emergency has also been cancelled for the State of New Jersey.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer thanks all Hoboken residents who volunteered to help their neighbors during the storm.

As residents dig out their cars, they are reminded not to shovel the snow back onto streets or fire hydrants. Residents and business owners are also reminded to clear a path along the sidewalk in front of their properties.

Reduced rate garage parking has been extended. Residents parked in Garages B (28 2nd Street) and D (215 Hudson Street) may remain there until Wednesday, 8am for the same $5 rate.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

City: 911 service temporarily out

911 SERVICE TEMPORARILY DOWN

Residents should call the Hoboken Police Department at 201-420-2100 for ALL emergencies. 911 service is temporarily down and will be restored as soon as possible.



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Digging out

Upper Bloomfield: some have shoveled in front of their residences making it easier for others to walk

But with sidewalks not consistently shoveled, people took to walking in the middle of the street as here on upper Garden.  Hey get out there and clear your sidewalk!  Teams of young people are out looking for work too.  (Click any photo to enlarge.)
An emergency vehicle stuck at 7th and Bloomfield as a worker tries to add weight over a tire to gain traction.
Cars are getting stuck all over the place and soon after a vehicle was stuck near the intersection with a woman sitting in the driver's seat.  The city has asked people not to drive as additional plows clean up a near record December snowfall.  NJ was hit very hard with two feet of the white stuff here and in Lyndhurst.

City: Don't drive!

CITY OF HOBOKEN WORKING TO CLEAR STREETS; RESIDENTS URGED NOT TO DRIVE

Six plows have been out continuously cleaning Hoboken’s streets since Sunday afternoon. The City has brought in a private contractor to help, and nine plows are currently on the road, with more on the way.

Despite the plowing, drifting snow due to strong winds has re-covered streets and made them treacherous to drive on. A state of emergency remains in effect, and residents are strongly urged to stay home and not drive. Only vehicles with chains or snow tires should be on the roads.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer thanks Hoboken Environmental Services employees, the Hoboken Police Deptment, and the Hoboken Fire Department for their dedicated service during this challenging blizzard. In addition she thanks Hudson County, which has been plowing continuously in Hoboken since Sunday, as well as Stevens Institute and NJ Transit, which are continuing to plow their respective areas as well.



Via Blogpress

Here come the big rigs - towing of emergency snow routes begins

City of Hoboken announces:


POLICE TO BEGIN TOWING CARS ALONG EMERGENCY SNOW ROUTES


Effective immediately, Hoboken Police will begin towing vehicles parked along all snow emergency routes. Abandoned vehicles anywhere in the City will also be towed. If your car has been towed, please go to the Parking Utility in City Hall for a tow release.

Emergency Snow Routes
Street                          Location
Washington Street        Both Sides
Willow Avenue             West Side- Observer Hwy to 11th Street
Third Street                  North Side- Jackson Street to River Street
Fourth Street                South Side- River Street to Jackson Street
Fifth Street                   South Side- Clinton Street to Hudson Street
13th Street                   North Side- Washington Street to Willow Avenue

Residents are reminded that dumping or shoveling snow into restricted fire hydrant areas or into City streets is a violation of the law and subject to a fine. Keeping these areas clear is vital for the safety of the general public.

Streets remain treacherous and only cars with chains or snow tires should be on the roads. Vehicles that get stuck make it difficult for plows and emergency vehicles to move through.

The Hoboken Parking Utility is extending the courtesy to Hoboken residents with Residential parking permits to keep their vehicles in Garages B (28 2nd Street) and D (215 Hudson Street) at the reduced Resident rate of $5.00 through 8pm on Monday. Regular rates apply at other times.


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Reduced rate residential parking extended to 8:00 PM

City of Hoboken announces:

Reduced rate garage parking has been extended. Residents parked in Garages B & D may remain there until 8pm for the same $5 rate.

Sign of the Times: Now the Big Dig

Clearing the way - now the big shovel operation gets underway. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hoboken Emergency Declared - City Hall opening delayed for 2 hours

City of Hoboken announces:


State of Emergency Declared In Hoboken


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The Zimmer Administration has declared a state of emergency for Hoboken. Residents are urged to stay indoors and avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.
Hoboken City Hall will be open on Monday, December 27, 2010. Essential personnel are required to report to work, and non-essential personnel who are able to safely travel to work are also requested to report to work.
Residents are reminded that sidewalks must be cleared of snow within six hours after completion of the storm and that cars must be removed from all emergency snow routes:

Street Location
Washington Street Both Sides
Willow Avenue West Side- Observer Hwy to 11th Street
Third Street North Side- Jackson Street to River Street
Fourth Street South Side- River Street to Jackson Street
Fifth Street South Side- Clinton Street to Hudson Street
13th Street North Side-Washington Street to Willow Avenue

The Hoboken Parking Utility is extending the courtesy to Hoboken residents with Residential parking permits to keep their vehicles in Garages B (28 2nd Street) and D (215 Hudson Street) at the reduced Resident rate of $5.00 through 8am on Monday. Regular rates apply at other times.

Dumping or shoveling snow into restricted fire hydrants areas or into City streets is a violation of the law and subject to a fine. Keeping these areas clear is vital for the safety of the general public.

On Monday, City Hall opening will be delayed for 2 hours.

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Lookout - Blizzzerd! City announces snow routes, reduced parking Sunday and Monday

City of Hoboken announces:

BLIZZARD WARNING, EMERGENCY SNOW ROUTES, AND REDUCED RATE GARAGE PARKING FOR SUNDAY & MONDAY

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning from 6:00 am on Sunday, December 26 to 6:00 pm on Monday, December 27. Wind gusts of 40-55 mph and 11 to 16 inches of snow are possible. Please be advised that as soon as City streets are covered with a layer of snow, cars must be removed from all emergency snow routes. These routes are clearly identified on street signs. They include:

Street                    Location
Washington Street    Both Sides
Willow Avenue            West Side- Observer Hwy to 11th Street
Third Street            North Side- Jackson Street to River Street
Fourth Street            South Side- River Street to Jackson Street
Fifth Street            South Side- Clinton Street to Hudson Street
13th Street            North Side-Washington Street to Willow Avenue

During a snow emergency there is no parking permitted on these streets. Violators will be towed. This is necessary to move ambulances and police and fire vehicles throughout Hoboken in times of emergency for the safety and welfare of all our citizens.

The Hoboken Parking Utility is extending the courtesy to Hoboken residents with Residential parking permits to keep their vehicles in Garages B and D at the reduced Resident rate of $5.00 from 4pm on Sunday to 8am on Monday.

In addition, please be advised that all sidewalks must be cleared of snow within six hours after the completion of the storm. Please be advised that dumping or shoveling snow into restricted fire hydrants areas or into City streets is a violation of the law and subject to a fine. Keeping these areas clear is vital for the safety of the general public.

Please stay tuned to the City of Hoboken website (hobokennj.org) or sign up for email or text alerts via Nixle for updates.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/blizzard-warning-for-sunday-monday/

Hoboken Parking Renewals

City of Hoboken announces:

HOBOKEN RESIDENTIAL PARKING PERMIT RENEWAL INFORMATION

Hoboken residents with a current Resident parking permit should find an annual renewal letter in their mail in the next few days. The Hoboken Parking Utility offers the following to points of clarification:

1. Current permit holders who do not receive renewal information should contact the Parking Utility by phone at 201-653-1919 or email at parking@hobokennj.org.

2. Please note that there was an error regarding the renewal deadline in the letter. All documentation is due by January 15, 2011. The validity of current Resident parking permits will be extended to that date.

Questions about Multiple Vehicles in the Same Household
Residential parking permits are issued and priced based on the number of vehicles in a household.  The first vehicle is $15, second is $30, and the third and all additional vehicles are $90.  If you received a renewal notice with vehicles listed other than those in your household, the Parking Utility may not have an appropriate apartment/unit number for your address on file, and your vehicle(s) may be combined with others at the same building also missing similar mailing address information. Simply submit or bring in the proper documentation indicating your apartment/unit number as well as the appropriate fee for all vehicles in your household. We will also contact the other individuals on the list to clarify their mailing address information.

Please note that it is the resident's responsibility to make sure that the Parking Utility has all current information, including the apartment/unit number of the household. If a resident's vehicle documentation issued by the State of New Jersey does not specify an apartment/unit and you believe that your household does not include the vehicle(s) on the list you received, please contact the Hoboken Parking Utility to learn what additional documentation may be necessary.

Q: Why are there other people/vehicles listed on my renewal letter?
A: These are likely your neighbors who also live in your building. We don’t have your or their apartment/unit number in our records, so we combined your information with theirs as the same household. If you are in separate household than the other people listed on your renewal letter, we simply need you to show your apartment/unit number on your New Jersey driver’s license and registration.

Q: What if I don’t have an apartment/unit number on my driver’s license and registration?
A: You can also demonstrate that you live in a separate apartment/unit with a current utility bill, insurance document, or a rent/lease agreement.

Q: Do I have to pay for these other people?
A: If the other people listed on your renewal letter live in separate households, you are not responsible for their renewal.

Q: What if I rent an apartment from someone else in a smaller building?
A: The City Code requires that all vehicles in the same household conform to the pricing schedule described above. If your apartment/unit is separate from others, all we need is documentation to demonstrate this.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hoboken-residential-parking-permit-renewal-information/http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hoboken-residential-parking-permit-renewal-information/

Saturday, December 25, 2010


"Glory to God, and on earth peace, toward men of good will"    (Luke 2:14)

Related: Saved by Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

The tree at Rockefeller Center

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Goodbye to 2010

With a week to go is it too soon to say goodbye to 2010?  Well things are slowing down with the countdown to New Years'a and people rushing to get all the last minute things done expected making the holidays frantic, harried and a drag for many.

So here's a turn of hand from Jib Jab saying goodbye, perhaps early but hey this will be the last hurrah for many who plan trips and family get together's heading to parts unknown tomorrow.

Hoboken has seen its share of ups and downs this year with municipal layoffs, a police reorg, initial tax reductions and a sinkhole.  All of it becomes fodder for the political operatives: the paid, the unpaid and those who hope to get paid who thought they were underpaid in Tim Occhipinti's invisible army.  They all get another crack at the checkbook in 2011.

Hoboken will begin the new year with the coronation of Beth Mason as City Council President.  She's the queen who will be your master of grandstanding ceremonies because well she paid for it.

Although not all media stories conveying the oddities of Tim Occhipinti's fourth ward election campaign arrived until much after MSV, they got in just enough so things won't look completely embarrassing should the NJ Attorney General's office and/or the Hudson County prosecutor perform their duties and make Hoboken the poster child for deranged electioneering operations.

Some people like Hoboken the way it is and treat elections here like we're some communist south of the border banana republic.  Well maybe they will be in for a surprise in 2011 too.

MSV will have more on the next step beyond Operation Bounty for 2011.  The New Jersey Attorney General is front and center.  More on that soon.

For now here's some identity theft from our colleague, the Jolly Green Giant and Jib Jab specialist at the Hoboken Journal.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Occhipinti blues: NJ Dems ask - How much to buy Hoboken's 4th ward election?

Blue Jersey, a state online Democratic website widely read including state officeholders posed this question in a story yesterday probing the antics of Tim Occhipinti's fourth ward campaign.

Noting the anomalies in the invisible army of Occhipinti 'campaign workers,' Blue Jersey flatly calls for an investigation.  The matter currently rests with the NJ Attorney General's office after the Hudson County prosecutor forwarded the case when a folder of criminal referrals showed up from the Hudson County Board of Elections after its own initial investigation uncovered multiple problems.

The punchline though comes with the website's plotting a graphic speaking volumes on how Tim Occhipinti's campaign stands against other Hudson County elections last month.  Blue Jersey writes:

Take a gander at this graphic, then tell me you don't see red flags. You're looking at a chart of the vote-by-mail percentages for the Hudson County general election. Compare Occhipinti's absentee voter percentages with other Hudson races, and with Lenz's race:




MSV earlier detailed this exact information on Tim Occhipinti's massive output of VBM to the overall percentage of his vote and noted it would be even higher if almost a hundred other paper ballots were not tossed by the County.  In addition, it's been previously noted here the current statewide average falls into the range of 5%.  There's been some clashes with people who insist on tossing red herrings to distract from that fact, some statewide elected officials.


As the attention on the numerous glaring problems in the election are becoming more widely known with stories from the Hudson Reporter and Hoboken Patch, the question remains open where this heads as we turn into 2011.


The graphic is the quickest rebuttal to the voices of denial.  In New Jersey, denial by those involved in racketeering is hardly news.


For the complete story earning statewide attention, click here.