Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hoboken411 saves the day, at least for the disgruntled

Hoboken411 the local website of distortions, copyright theft, smears and innovative lies in town is proposing giant billboards be used to raise money and maintain the existing size of the police force.  A reader emailed over the proposal as Da Horsey doesn't go there.  Ask yourself when have I learned something of importance doing so?  Less and less people do, and those that pop by don't stay around very long.  It's wham bam thank you ma'm.

Oversized billboards: a way to keep more police on the streets? 

The Hoboken Journal has done more timely stories on stores opening and closings of late and Hoboken Patch has been showing readers what a real full time news website in Hoboken can and should be for a while now.  Specialty sites focusing on Hoboken's food and bar scene are available with and the recently revamped and relaunched Eat Drink Hoboken looking to really make some noise.

Well if the uptown smear merchant isn't having his lunch handed to him, pretty much a daily certainty these days, at least you can learn some fanciful lies, quite appealing if you are on psychotropic drugs.  For the weak minded and easily led, the gravitational pull is on par with the affect of a full moon.  For the more sane though consider, how many billboards do you think it would take to just to cover one police officer's benefits and/or pension?

Is Hoboken ready to surrender its character and small town charm for a less than a fraction of the cost of one police officer?

Drink up Hoboken, you are now in anywhere USA
As Hobo411 finds itself more and more isolated in its uber-fanaticism on behalf of one former mayoral candidate, the seething anger he and his loyal minion churn out has devolved with their anthem "how low can we go."  His target audience are those angry at the world and looking for a place to focus that anger like he and his minion do with laser like focus on City Hall.

At least for Perry Klaussen, there is a business angle.  He's gone all in with a strategy to get Hoboken taxpayer monies by backing one perennial mayoral candidate.  It's failed but who knows what financial incentives are still dangling with envelopes of "street money" being passed.  So where does one of Hoboken's two full time websites go when the spiraling descent is upon it?  The answer: anywhere a buck will take you including generic google ads.

Urban blight, thy name is Hoboken?
So it should come as little surprise another stunt is rolled out on behalf of keeping civil servants employed.  It doesn't have to make sense of course, but then again, the uptown smear merchant rarely does these days.  It's been that way for quite a while now.

Poor Oscar.


Friday, July 30, 2010

A real world plan for Hoboken's only hospital

City of Hoboken announces:


On Wednesday, the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority took an important step forward toward ensuring that HobokenUniversity Medical Center continues to provide acute care hospital services.

The Authority, an autonomous public entity with nine community members, unanimously approved a Request for Proposal to solicit plans for the potential transfer of the hospital from city auspices.  Responses to the RFP are due back within a specified time frame, and an ad hoc committee comprised of a diverse group of individuals that represent a broad base of interested constituents, including Commissioners, physicians, and hospital staff, is being formed to review the submissions. The RFP will be posted shortly on the HUMC web site, as well as the City’s web site. 

“I congratulate the Commissioners for moving us towards the shared goal of ensuring that the hospital remains in Hoboken as a thriving acute care facility that provides valuable services and jobs to our community,” said Mayor Zimmer, an ex officio Commissioner. “Privatization will bring us one step closer to stabilizing our hospital’s finances and removing Hoboken taxpayers from the $52 million bond guarantee.” 

“Mayor Zimmer inherited a complex set of legacy hospital issues and has aggressively addressed them,” said Authority Chairperson Toni Tomarazzo. “The Mayor developed a consensus around privatization as a shared vision for maintaining access to hospital care, and making quality metrics as important as financial performance.”

The continued success of the hospital is critical not only to Hoboken, but to the entire region and state. On Thursday a new and expanded Senior Treatment & Evaluation Program (STEP) Unit opened to provide integrated behavioral health care to meet the psychiatric and medical needs of seniors. This service sets Hoboken apart in Hudson County and puts it on the forefront of providing essential integrated care for seniors. 

“The physicians, employees and management team of Hoboken UMC have worked hard not only to provide quality care but also to increase the value of the hospital,” said Hospital CEO Spiros Hatiras. “We appreciate the support of Mayor Zimmer and the Authority members as we pursue our common goal of maintaining an acute care hospital in Hoboken.”

Mayor Zimmer is soliciting resumes from Hoboken residents interested in filling a recently-vacated Authority position. Applications are available from the City Clerk’s office at 201-420-2070 or

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hoboken University Medical Center - RFP in progress

Last night, the Hoboken Journal covered the board meeting at the Hoboken University Medical Center.  While there were no actual finances mentioned in the story, there's been some positive developments with narrowing deficits of late and a new senior practice established.

A formal RFP process will begin a process to identify needed capital while retaining the viability of the institution as a hospital in Hoboken.  This is a major step forward in a much needed process to protect the interests of the City while keeping the potentials of the hospital viable now and for the future.

This hospital board deserves a lot of credit for putting these steps into place.

Read more here:


Hoboken Legal: City Council must follow one person per board position


A lawyer working for the Office of the Corporation Counsel stated a legal view all Hoboken board appointments should adhere to the written standard on the City Council's application form of one person per board position. That policy, not established under town ordinance is currently not being applied based on recent statements by some City Council members.

The recent North Hudson Sewereage Authority appointment escapes the provisio as it apparently falls under existing law.  Tony Soares was appointed to his second board position by the City Council at its last meeting in a 5-4 vote.

Alysia Smickley, a lawyer working for Corporation Counsel Michael Kates spoke last Friday outlining a legal view in the controversy over board appointments.  While describing the North Hudson Sewerage Authority appointment as falling under existing law, she said there was no current Hoboken ordinance applicable in the City Council's appointments to local board positions.

On the mater of the City Council's using its current form for candidate board applications, Ms. Smickley said, "the City Council should apply its existing standard," as stated on the form.

Candidates applying for Hoboken board positions must fill out a two page application.  Included is a question on page two asking if the applicant has any conflict of interest followed by a policy statement from the City Council: one person may serve on one board.  There are caveats to the limitation based on existing law as is the case with the North Hudson Sewerage Authority, (NHSA) a public-private agency created in 1988 by order of the federal courts and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Some City Council members have made statements overlooking the policy on page two of the application clearly stating one person per board position.  In an interview last weekend another member on background stated he was unaware of the policy stated on page two of the application.

City Council President Carol Marsh in an exchange with Hoboken politico Perry Belfiore at the last City Council meeting said she saw no reason why current board members should not be allowed to serve on additional boards.  Councilman Michael Lenz issued a statement last week saying he saw no controlling authority on the matter since his time on the City Council last November.  Both Council members were strong proponents of having Tony Soares appointed to a second board position at NHSA.  

Mayor Zimmer issued a policy position in interviews the next day calling for one board position per person except in "extenuating circumstances."

Tony Soares' appointment to the Hoboken Zoning Board expires in December, a month after the fourth ward City Council election.  Although fourth ward City Council candidate Tim Occhhipinti declined comment on the matter earlier, it's almost certain to be an election issue this fall.

MSV originally broke this story last week, "Is the City Council second board appointment illegal?"

Talking Ed Note: MSV originally submitted questions to Corporation Counsel Michael Kates.  As a follow up to the discussion with Ms. Smickley, MSV sought comment from the mayor's office and understands Mayor Zimmer is seeking to review the matter with Corporation Counsel Michael Kates.

Look for an update on this story next week.

Related: The Hudson Reporter noted the recent discussion in the blogosphere among Grafix Avenger, the Hoboken Journal and MSV.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In defense of patronage....

Our colleague Grafix Avenger has written a somewhat disturbing meandering defense of patronage, uhm I mean Tony Soares.  It trots out histories of "accomplishments" and makes a valiant call for the rehabilitation of the two timing board position holder (all with no apology from the guilty who made this mess mind you).

Now why does the Grafix Avenger feel so compelled to make this sidestepping defense?  One reason she offers is that Ravi Bhalla's brother received a mayoral appointment for a minor board position.  I thought sins of the father died out with those uber right wing church going Palin supporters?  Wait Ravi isn't Amar's father?  And he didn't make the appointment?  And he wasn't even aware the mayor had made the decision to offer the minor board position to that non-paying nest of viper fundraising at the Library Board? Okay forget all that, and let us pray, moral equivalence I shall not want.  Ye lead me to stipends and medical benefits...

Hey, I thought we were all on the same side?  Aren't we anymore?  Or are we now splitting reform officially into a new HudCo wing?  That sure sounds enticing.  Those guys really know how to take care of their own.  Okay, they may get arrested by the dozens every few years or so by Chris Christie and his friends, the boys of summer down in Newark but hey can't we all get along?

One question Grafix Avenger doesn't answer is the substance of why she feels compelled to trot out a "defense" for Tony "two timing board position holder" Soares just now?

Although we think he's been taken to task rather roughly, Da Horsey would note there's been very little of that here and Tony is no shrinking violet if you have been on the other end of a disagreement (or phone call).  Before forgiveness one must show remorse, repent and promise to go and sin no more.  Resigning one board position is where it begins.

That's not what we've been told by the players pushing two board positions.  That's not what they are saying at all.  Instead they talk of "synergies" as if Hoboken is three years back on the flooding issue and there's an essential need to have a voting board person on Zoning and the Hudson Sewerage Authority.  Last we heard, there was nothing stopping any citizen from attending more than one board meeting and participating without getting paid and receiving benefits.

We left a little stream of thought message over in Grafix Avenger land.  It follows below:

Lots of smoke and mirrors here. MSV did a full article on the concerns about two appointments. Soares was in the center of them. The photo has been spelled out now in complete context. Attempting to downplay its value without that context is repeating exactly what you claim to point out.

Now if you want to provide some context, then you should share something more personal like your own interaction with Tony of late and work done together. That would be insightful.

However you don't do that. Instead here you cite all kinds of historical "accomplishments" such as obtaining signatures, in this case thousands of them. He did that all on his own? Really?

This is not about what Tony has done or will do on two separate boards. It's about the reasonable expectations where everyone plays by the same rules and a policy advocated by the mayor.

You know the mayor who is the head of Hoboken's reform movement. Not the people who are undermining that policy for their own selfish interests that most would fairly call patronage.

When did patronage suddenly become the new reform?

Amar's situation is entirely different. The mayor made an appointment in June, some may argue about the particulars but the brother on the Council didn't know. It's funny how some in the reform movement wish to scuttle the main issue and focus on that. It's a minor isolated board position that is not going to impact Hoboken's skyline, it's functioning or anything on a broad scale at all.

This reeks of damage control. And this is not the Grafix Avenger I know. The Grafix Avenger I know doesn't carry anyone's water. Who's pail are you carrying here?

Now I do feel sorry for Tony and the obstacles and negativity he's encountered since taking board position number two. But it's all so unnecessary. Just choose one position - as the application he SIGNED AND NOTARIZED when applying says to do.

Tony Soares needs to resign. One board position of his choice and if he doesn't then he will aid the opposition to his friend Michael Lenz. As many recall Tony fought and aligned with the Russos back then to get votes and win that temporary appointment.

Is that the endgame here too?

Michael Lenz's loyalty to patronage may ironically lead to his own undoing.

This issue will not go away. The old guard is just preparing their posters on it. And Hoboken411 will be their vanguard of one sided propaganda on it.

But this time, it will be more true than false. Now which side of the truth do you wish to be on Grafix Avenger?

Photo: Chester A. Arthur's political career began when Ulysses S. Grant appointed him as port collector for New York's harbors. His penchant for staffing his office with Republican political cronies resulted in his firing by President Hayes in 1878. (Photo Credit: Library of Congress (Joseph Keppler)

Talking Ed Note: Humor aside, what MSV calls a sidestepping defense does not equal a defense of patronage.  It is however in some eyes possibly a means to change the topic.  And that's the point.  

Hoboken University Medical Center Board Meeting

Here's tonight's agenda.  No mention if Tony Soares will soon be named to it, apply his board synergies and save the day.  After all one board position good, two even better and three would be a synergistic orgy.

You want to know what synergy matters on flooding at the NHSA?
The pump!  Up to 80% worth of flooding synergies removed.

Okay here's the agenda:


7:00 pm Regular Meeting

1.     Open Public Meetings Act Disclosure Statement

2.     Roll-Call

3.     Pledge of Allegiance

4.     Election of Officers

5.     Approval of Minutes
May 26, 2010 Executive Session
June 23, 2010 Regular Session
June 23, 2010 Regular Session  

6.     Presentation by Special Counsel to discuss Strategic Alternatives

7.     Report from the Hospital CEO

8.     Report from the Authority

 9.   Committee Reports           
10.  Finance Report by Vincent Riccitelli, Acting CFO

11.  New Business & Consent Agenda*
·       Resolution approving the Sale of Surplus Motor Vehicles*
·       Resolution Amending the Contract with Lowenstein Sandler PC*
·       Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of a Request for Proposals*
·       Resolution Approving Transfer of Funds to HHI for August*
·       Resolution Approving Transfer of Funds to HHI for Sept. *
·       Resolution Authorizing Payment of Claims*
·       Resolution Adopting 2009 Budget*
·       Resolution Adopting Annual Schedule of Meetings*
·       Resolution Approving Official Publications*
·       Resolution Designating Bank Depositories*
·       Resolution amending OPRA fees*
·       Resolution Approving the Credentials Committee Report*
·       Any other matters that may come before the Board

12.  Public Comments

13.  Executive Session Closed to the Public (IF NECESSARY)

14.  Adjournment of Meeting




News alert: Update on City Council Board Appointments

In the investigative story posted last week, "Is the second council appointment legal?" MSV spoke to the Office of the Corporation Counsel following up on questions surrounding the process and posing additional legal questions of concern.  Da Horsey anticipates there will be a development on this front as soon as today.

At the last City Council meeting, newly elected City Council President Carol Marsh stated she saw no issue with second board appointments. Councilman Michael Lenz later issued a statement agreeing there was no obstacle to making additional board appointments as he understands it since his time serving on the City Council last November.

The mayor stated a clear policy the day after the last City Council meeting a second board position should be approved only in extenuating circumstances.

Related: The backstory on some questionable appointments was part of an in-depth feature investigation at the last City Council meeting: "Councilman can you spare a vote?"


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Political rivals raise $500 for Wounded Warriors Project

Last Saturday, a group of softball players representing two sides of the political fence raised $500 for the Wounded Warriors Project.  Despite the scorching heat, the teams played a full game with the Hudson County Young Republicans edging out the Young Dems 10-8.

For more details and also to add to the worthy total please visit:

Young Republican Team Captain Fernando Uribe stares down 
Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner in a mock-serious moment


This Thursday in Sinatra Park

 With the St. Anne's Church annual feast over, the entertainment moves by the river on Thursday night.  The BankRobber sent in a recommendation:

This Thursday, 7:00 pm @ Sinatra Park in Hoboken, guitarist Smokey Hormel will be appearing right here in our fair town.

Smokey's guitar work has appeared for a diverse group of popular artists like Beck, the deceased legend Johnny Cash, Kid Rock, Neil Diamond, Norah Jones and The Dixie Chicks.

Outside of his studio prowess, Smokey Hormel likes to put on his 10 gallon cowboy hat, his boots, and round up his group of top notch New York side men to play some sizzling Western Swing.

He'll be singing and swinging some classic old cowboy songs made famous by Gene Autry, Bob Wills and Spade Cooley.

This is clearly an innovative and highly respected talent.
Don't miss it.

You can read more about Smokey including his complete discography here:

You gotta love this town.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Weehawken joins in shared solution in Hoboken!

City of Hoboken announces:


Agreement will avoid closure of Clinton Street

Since assuming office, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer has been in discussions with neighboring municipalities to explore sharing services for municipal vehicle storage. Throughout the process, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner expressed strong interest in working with Hoboken if a suitable site could be obtained.

The day after Hoboken’s City Council voted to approve the closure of Clinton Street between 15th and 16th Streets for the storage of municipal vehicles, an opportunity arose that appeared to meet the needs of both municipalities. In the past, the same location had been discussed as a potential joint use location by the administrations of Weehawken and Hoboken. Mayor Zimmer and Mayor Turner immediately began negotiations to move forward together to share services between the two municipalities. The agreement is for joint use and equitable sharing of storage space at 1714-16 Willow Avenue. Freeholder Anthony L. Romano assisted in helping to identify the site as a potential location.

On Friday, July 23, the City of Hoboken entered into an agreement with Willow Avenue Enterprises, LLC for vehicle and parts storage services at the proposed joint services site, 1714-16 Willow Avenue -- a property located within Hoboken city limits on the North end of the Willow Avenue bridge. As a result of this agreement, Clinton Street will not be closed to vehicular traffic at this time.

The initial period of the agreement is for 60 days but can be extended by both municipalities for two additional 180 day periods. The cost is $15,000 per month. Hoboken and Weehawken will use this period to determine whether extending this arrangement for a longer term is in the interests of both municipalities.

If this temporary arrangement is determined to continue, the municipalities will work towards a long-term solution which may involve other neighboring municipalities and agencies.

The location includes both an interior garage and parts storage space and an exterior parking area for both municipality’s vehicles and salt storage. No garbage will be stored at the facility.

Vehicular traffic will be routed in such a way as to avoid residential neighborhoods.


Talking Ed Note: Hoboken411 is already spewing the typical derangement Da Horsey hears, saying Weehawken is bailing out Hoboken.

One problem: the location is in Hoboken.

Sorry Perry.

Photo: courtesy City of Hoboken

Councilman Ravi Bhalla - concern on bias crimes

The following is a press release from Councilman Ravi Bhalla regarding two bias crimes recently in Hoboken:

Ravi Bhalla Press Release 7 26 10

Councilman can you spare a vote?

Logrolling: n.
The exchanging of political favors, especially the trading of influence or votes among legislators to achieve passage of projects that are of interest to one another.

The practice of logrolling is not illegal in New Jersey.  In Hoboken, the City Council representative who annually demonstrates the best logrolling execution is presented with an an award and a taxpayer paid free dinner for two at Arthur’s Steakhouse.

HHA and NHSA: a sweet arrangement?

Which leads us to the point of our story here, an arrangement that placed two candidates into their respective appointments: Mary Camporeale, a senior citizen residing in Fox Hills, a fifth ward housing complex and well known stomping ground for senior votes and Tony Soares, the President of the Hoboken Zoning Board.  Camporeale rumored to be closely aligned and godmother of HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia earned a unanimous 9-0 vote while Tony Soares squeaked through on a 5-4 vote earning required votes from both Russo to get his second board appointment. How can those two votes so vastly different be connected?
In or out of the picture?  Councilmen Mike Russo (l) and Michael Lenz, a most unlikely pairing of logrolling interests.

Initial concern among the reform activist community centered on Russo backed candidate Irene Smith obtaining council approval for fourth alternate on the zoning board after Tony Soares’ nod on the North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA) but that notion is misplaced. The actual  arrangement based on multiple sources who wish to remain anonymous is the two sides pushing Soares and Compeareale merged and brokered majority support leading into the Wednesday meeting. That arrangement those sources independently verified was finalized between Councilman Mike Lenz and Councilman Mike Russo.

On the record denials

In an interview Thursday with MSV, Councilman Lenz denied any such arrangement. Initially Lenz refused to speak about appointments whatsoever saying he was open to discussing other issues although in his comment about the appointments in a statement last week he wrote, “…I recognize that this is a genuine issue deserving of an open and honest debate.”

“I deny the deal completely. That’s false,” Lenz replied to the idea there was an arrangement with Councilman Mike Russo.  "I didn’t seek a vote from Mike Russo. When I walked into the (Council) meeting, I had strong indications where four people were voting (on the NHSA appointment). Beyond that I was unsure of the vote.”

In an interview the same day with Councilman Mike Russo, the idea of any arrangement was rejected as well. “There’s always discussion what we’d like to see.  I expressed those concerns to (City Council President) Carol Marsh, (Councilman) Peter Cunningham and Lenz… I had those conversations.  We did discuss other appointments. We don’t do that (quid pro quo). At least I don’t do that."

Contradictions surface

But their interviews differed on the substance leading in to the Tony Soares’ vote on the NHSA. “I was lobbied and lobbied hard,” Mike Russo said specifically referencing calls on Tony’s behalf from Carol Marsh and Mike Lenz.  He advised they should instead have Tony contact him directly.  Later, Tony Soares did call Michael Russo describing that action as “reaching across the aisle.”

As late as the day of the Council meeting itself, Councilman Lenz was still working the phones to find the votes to ensure Tony Soares’ appointment to his second board position. This even as Mayor Zimmer backed Brian Assadourian, a supporter who may have even toured the NHSA earlier that week.

The deal to seal the votes of the Russo faction is described as coming very late possibly leading right into the Council meeting.  When the fifth vote was solidified for Maryanne Camporeale, the Russo votes were on board for Tony Soares.  But it wasn’t even clear if they would be necessary until Councilman Ravi Bhalla joined Council members Nino Giacchi, Beth Mason and Dave Mello in voting no. Councilman Mello just back from an overseas trip described his "No" vote against Soares saying, “It was the right thing to do” agreeing with the mayor’s position of one person per board position.

Councilman Peter Cunningham described his support for Mary Camporeale as a good one acknowledging some would see it as a pitch for Fox Hills votes in next spring’s council races. “I thought Mary was a great candidate.  She’s a senior. Why would I not support a constituent from the fifth ward who knows the issues?” He added his expectations on voter support in Fox Hills is positive whether Mary got the votes for the HHA appointment or not.

Regarding the Sewerage Authority vote, Cunningham distanced himself from any arrangement saying, “I just assumed Mike and Terry were going to support Tony.  Is it possible those guys (Russo and Lenz) worked out a deal to support Tony then giving Russo support for Mary?  I don’t know.”

According to Lenz, there was four votes leading into the meeting for Soares but it’s unclear where he thought the fourth vote was coming from as he also stated, “I didn’t think the votes were there for Tony” adding he had not spoken to Cunningham. The appointment requires five votes and the mayor’s coalition saw two of its normal five uncommitted and then decline to support Soares.  He could therefore only have three for Soares (Lenz, Marsh, Cunningham) or five for the appointment: Lenz, Marsh, Cunningham, Mike Russo and Terry Castellano.

To reach the magic number and get Tony Soares his second board position, the buzz said getting behind Mary Camporeale would secure the two Russo votes. One source suggested the vote for Soares was only locked up very late as Lenz felt pinned down by expectations for another candidate.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Guest of the Stable: Amar Singh Bhalla

As a new member of our Library's Board of Trustees, I write to respectfully introduce myself to the community and request support for this important public institution.

By way of introduction, I have lived in our amazing town for eight years now with my wife Dilly.
  We have a one and a half year old boy and another boy on the way next month! By training I am an attorney, but I have spent the past 9 years working as the co-founder of a small non-profit, building it from one employee (myself) with a budget of less than $75,000, to a national organization of 11 employees with a budget just over one million dollars, and offices in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, DC.

The non-profit I helped found, the Sikh Coalition, is the nation's largest Sikh civil rights organization. We work to protect the rights granted by our constitution to all people living in America. In all honesty, it is a tough job.  In the course of my duties at the Sikh Coalition I have had high stakes meetings with more than one United States Attorney General, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, and the Department of Transportation Secretary. I have also testified as an expert before numerous governmental bodies on civil rights issues, including last month before the United States House Judiciary Committee. I also worked for a short period as an adjunct professor at Columbia University before work at the Sikh Coalition demanded my full attention.

As you can imagine, building a non-profit necessarily entails recruiting staff, developing office policies, engaging a Board of Trustees, and communicating development to the community and stakeholders.  It is these life experiences --- as a manager, fundraiser, and advocate --- that I hope to bring the Library’s Board of Trustees.

I would like to thank Mayor Dawn Zimmer for her trust in me. I am also excited by the team Mayor Zimmer has appointed to the Library’s Board of Trustees over the past year. They include Ilise Benun (a marketing professional); Forde Prigot (who has significant experience in finance); and Mairead Patterson (who is presently pursuing a Masters degree in Library and Information Science).  Along with our past Board members, these new appointees present a strong mix of competencies for our Board." 

I look forward to helping make our Library even stronger. Please feel to reach out to me if you have ideas and thoughts on strengthening our library.  I can be reached at

The deaf, dumb and blind: Al Sullivan & the Machine

No matter how bad you think the state of journalism is, and based on the recent journolist scandal it's very bad, nothing really touches the inglorious standards and machinations of Hoboken's local rag, the Hudson Reporter.

Having lost a fine journalist in Timothy J. Carroll, edited heavily at times to accommodate machine standards - it's not only the hands of the editor you need to worry about, it's the essence of basic fact one needs to often question.

Although the cynicism of a group once owned by real estate interests is a given, a modicum of journalistic "integrity" you would think Al Sullivan could find manageable. His complete mischaracterization of the of the recent events of the Hoboken Democratic Committee election was so bad, so extraordinarily imaginary, he printed a mea culpa of sorts claiming he had been "spun hard." Gee Al, nice way to take personal responsibility. Way to go.

Outsourcing may be all the rage with American jobs being sent overseas continuously in many professions but is local news now one of them? Al might as well be submitting dispatches from China so out of touch is he with basic fact.

A call from Jimmy the K Sunday night inquired on Da Horsey's awareness about the latest "spun hard" column from ye ole Al. In it he carries more water for his favorite political operative, James B, aka Fin Boy, the Weehawken employee who loves to dabble as a gun for hire in the Hoboken political playground. Al hoped to scare off any further revelations, inversing the gun-for-hire sign on his door to "for sale" passing a warning signal to Grafix Avenger and perhaps yours truly. Apparently the heat on our friend fin boy is bad for the political operative business. It's reached code red status at some alarming senior levels. Hint: Hey boss, if you fire him now you will spare yourself the embarrassment when the Weehawken taxpayers ask for an explanation, say around election time. Da Horsey will make sure they do. Just call me Hudson Horse.

Now Al being the good tool of all things Machine issued a warning using the scary word "libel" to describe the near hits the Weehawken bottom feeder is taking in the hope it will end. Nice try Al. Why don't you just outsource your column entirely to the political operatives and spare yourself the effort of typing it up yourself? You can still issue yourself a check.

Describing Hoboken as a "graphic novel," Al's witty way to take another shot at the use of depictions by Grafix Avenger, our outsourced columnist laments, "How can anybody take Hoboken politics seriously these days when some of the key behind-the-scenes players are hiding behind on-line monikers such as "Hudson Shark," "Hoboken Horse," and "Grafix Avenger."

Well not only has "Grafix Avenger" been less than an open secret, she even sports her photo right on her website these days. In addition to Da Horsey's pic, our name is listed along with a tweet address. Some anonymity. Behind the scenes? I heard Grafix Avenger took Little Avenger and met some of the actors at a recent Hoboken High School play once. Da Horsey, not so fortunate.

So what is Al really getting at here? Well he's just doing the noble work expected of local rags to protect the interests of the Machine and perhaps recent and future advertisers. Carrying water even as in the case of a junior political operative is just second nature. (Sorry James.) It was just months back, Al even planted a challenge to Da Horsey on behalf of his friend, Hudson Shark. Now he decries the blowback for his friend, the wannabe shark.

Da Horsey replied on's Hoboken forum, that favorite stomping ground of James B, resident and Weehawken employee to up the ante of a physical challenge to wrestling and boxing. Fin Boy took a quick exit stage left and went back to his paymasters looking for more online dirty work and later became a big star in his own short film, "James B, downfall of a wannabe shark."  "For best actor as a political operative outside of Hoboken appearing in a short film animation, the winner is Jimmy Barra...."

Ironically, some of the funniest local Hoboken website humor these days is coming from another well trafficked website: the Hoboken Journal. The Jolly Green Giant also sports a photo along with his name but doesn't seem to catch the ire of the Machine and Mayor Zimmer hating fanatics. Perhaps that he hasn't sought a volunteer role on a local Hoboken board, and he's about 200 pounds heavier than Grafix Avenger has something to do with it. So eager are "they" to silence the free speech rights of Grafix Avenger and regurgitate some less than palatable depictions: the reference is often made of her City Council appointment as being by the mayor. Ironically, the Hudson Reporter just did a story on potential conflicts of Planning Board members speaking out. (More on that later.)

Of course Al will continue to churn out the same outsourced material quoting the same discredited "critics" and having them submit/write his story lines. He can't even be bothered to click a mouse a couple of times on the internet to check out who is real and anonymous. Apparently, he's been spun hard again from his outpost:

In Bejing.

Send us a postcard Al.

the less than anonymous 'Hoboken Horse'

Getcha, getcha your beautiful game here...

City of Hoboken announces:


Registration for the 2010 fall season of Hoboken’s Youth Soccer League is now open. The registration deadline is August 20, 2010 or whenever the program is full. Registration forms and instructions are available at Residents with any questions may contact

Within a few weeks, the City of Hoboken will also begin accepting registration applications online.

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Kids have the escape...

City Of Hoboken announces:


With weekend temperatures predicted to reach 95 degrees, the City of Hoboken is taking steps to help residents keep cool.

Though usually open Monday through Friday, the City will open the community pool at the Boys and Girls’ Club (123 Jefferson Street) for ages 5 to 12 on Saturday, July 24th as well, from 11 am to 5 pm. The City will also open two cooling centers at 11 am at 220 Adams Street and at 311 13th Street and will monitor the situation throughout the day to determine how long to keep the cooling centers open.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Gov. Christie on reform, 'I'm just warming up'

Gov. Christie coming off his victory capping property tax increases is moving on not to greener pastures but the nitty gritty.  Slowing down future growth of increases obviously does nothing in relief for the current overtaxed New Jersey homeowner.  The real challenge still lies ahead.

The State Legislature is going to be the place for key battles leading into the fall and determine if there is any chance to take New Jersey's current crisis and have the state reinvent itself after years of growing structural problems in pension, arbitration, and benefits.

The unions especially the teachers do not want to hear any of this.  They declined to take a one year pay freeze and spent millions to tear down support for the governor after the election.  Millions more spent before the election failed to persuade the electorate and it was Democratic voters who made the margin of victory and pulled the lever crying, "We can't take it anymore."

The Governor who kicked off his toolkit tour in Hoboken has come out of HudCo, deep in the enemy camp with a victory.  But it's only one battle among many larger ones looming ahead that will determine New Jersey's future.  The 2% cap battle is small in comparison to what lies ahead.

New Jersey's future is already showing close to an $11 billion deficit.  If that rings familiar, it's because it's the same gap "closed" earlier.  As it happens, the structural problems with the State's finances are so stark, only the symptoms have been addressed.  The root cause of the disease could very well kill the patient if left to its own devices.

Related: Gov. Christie has yet more hurdles ahead.  Some of the changes in cost for new hires hasn't even begun to touch the heavy cost for existing employees.  That's going to be a real test for effectiveness of all elected officials.  Even attempting to do so, will turn the dynamics upside down.