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.

Get the latest Hoboken news:
Email | Text |Website | Facebook | Twitter | RSS

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.

Get the latest Hoboken news:
Email | Text |Website | Facebook | Twitter | RSS