Monday, April 11, 2011

City to NJ Transit: Add buses to Port Authority

City of Hoboken announces:

Buses at full capacity during peak periods

The City of Hoboken has asked NJ Transit to increase the frequency of bus service going towards the Port Authority Bus Terminal, including adding an additional rush hour bus route along the western edge of town.

“During the morning commute, buses regularly skip the uptown stops because they’re completely full by the time they get there,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I have asked NJ Transit to add more buses and create a new route on the western side of town during peak periods to handle the increasing demand as Hoboken continues to grow. This is an opportunity to enhance transit service for residents and encourage greener transportation alternatives while increasing revenue for NJ Transit.”

Based on resident concerns, the City conducted a preliminary ridership study of NJ Transit’s 126 bus route. In one instance, five consecutive buses within a 10 minute span skipped the stop at Willow Ave and 14th Street because they were at capacity. The analysis, which recommends skip-stop or express bus service focusing on northern stops and adding buses or a new western route during peak periods, was provided to NJ Transit.

NJ Transit is reviewing the report and expressed a willingness to work with the City to address the issue. In addition, the City is currently conducting a similar analysis along Washington Street based on concerns about service from residents.

The letter to NJ Transit and analysis are available on the City website:

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Assemblyman Ramos: End the $5 surcharge on Corner Cars/car sharing programs

Office of Assemblyman Ruben Ramos announces:

Measure Stems from Hoboken Program

(TRENTON) – Assemblymen Ruben J. Ramos, Jr., and Ralph R. Caputo are sponsoring legislation to promote car-sharing initiatives by exempting the programs from the $5 state surcharge on vehicle rentals.
“This is a new and innovative program that can bring savings to taxpayers and dramatically improve the quality of life for urban residents by reducing congestion, eliminating parking hassles and cutting pollution,” said Ramos (D-Hudson).  “Anything we can do to entice people to use services like this is a plus.”
A car-sharing organization offers members an alternative to car ownership by allowing members to schedule time to utilize vehicles from a fleet on an hourly basis.
The Hoboken car sharing program – Corner Cars – is a public-private partnership though which car-sharing vehicles are distributed citywide at reserved on-street locations.  Started in June, 2010, the program has over 1,000 members.  City officials estimate that the program will result in removing 750 cars from Hoboken streets.
Under the Ramos/Caputo legislation (A-3233) car-sharing organizations would be exempt from the $5 surcharge on New Jersey motor vehicle rentals put in place in 2002.
“With this legislation, we’re making it clear that we support this concept and want to see it succeed, not just in Hoboken, but in urban communities across the state,” said Caputo (D-Essex).  “Car-sharing programs benefit everyone, especially low-income residents who might need the mobility a car provides but who do not have the means to purchase one outright.”
The measure was recently released by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee and heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for further consideration.

Kids First announces: Before spring break, be sure to vote

Hi Everyone,
The Board of Education elections are on Wednesday, April 27th from 7am-9pm
Unfortunately, this date falls during the Spring Break for many Hoboken schools.  If you, or anyone you know, will be away during the Spring Break, please make sure to Vote by Mail (absentee). 
The final date to request a Vote by Mail ballot is April 20th. You must complete and then mail in your actual ballot for your vote to be counted. We know in Hoboken EVERY VOTE COUNTS!!!!
Go Kids First!!
Please pass this along to your family, friends and neighbors

Letter: Nino Giacchi and Terry Castellano just refuse to 'get it' on corruption

Dear Editor,

Anyone who thinks that Councilman Mike Russo has done anything but embarrass Hoboken and its residents is blatantly ignoring reality.  Agreeing to break the law by pocketing a $5,000 bribe and rushing through development deals with the same man who brought down ex-mayor Peter Cammaranno has thrown Hoboken’s name through the mud once again.  But what makes the situation even worse is elected officials like Councilwoman Theresa Castellano and Councilman Nino Giacchi who are not outraged at the corrupt behavior displayed by Councilman Russo, but instead act like Russo’s actions were a simple lapse in judgment.  

Castellano and Giacchi’s display of ambivalence at the April 6 city council meeting towards Councilman Russo’s meeting with undercover FBI informant Soloman Dwek is inexcusable. Giacchi must not understand the higher moral standard to which elected officials are held and the subsequent effects of their negative behavior when he referred to the outrage against Councilman Russo just as “political theater.”  Does he not realize that, because of Councilman Russo’s actions, residents of Hoboken and colleagues of Councilman Russo can’t even trust him to abide by the rules he helps regulate?  He also stated that he was ready to get back to the business of improving Hoboken.  I’ve got news for you, Councilman Giacchi – residents can’t rely on public officials like Councilman Russo to improve Hoboken if they’re ready to sell out our city to developers while lining their pockets with thousand dollar bills. 

Similarly, Councilwoman Castellano shamelessly defended Councilman Russo, her cousin, stating several times that he “did not commit a crime.”  No, Councilwoman, your cousin did not technically break the law; his actions, however, were just as bad if not worse – he erased every ounce of credibility and trust with the residents of Hoboken that he had left as an elected official.  Simply calling his behavior “irresponsible” is ignoring the fact that Councilman Russo did not just display arrogance and boastfulness – he was ready to throw Hoboken residents under the bus for his own personal gain.  

You can’t tell me that any upstanding Hoboken resident can look Councilman Russo in the eye and believe a word that comes out of his mouth or trust him to do the job for which he was elected.  I’m embarrassed for Hoboken that people like Councilman Russo who not only refuse to take responsibility for their actions, but also for elected officials who allow this to occur – especially those who refused to ask Russo to step down from all posts of authority on the city council and instead let him pass with a small slap on the wrist.  

It makes me think that certain council members have learned nothing from the mistakes of elected officials-turned-criminals like ex-mayors Peter Cammaranno and Anthony Russo.


Vijay Chaudhuri
1st Ward Committeeman

This letter first appeared in the weekend edition of the Hudson Reporter.  

For reference, brief video of the complete remarks at the City Council meeting portion on Mike Russo's bribe videos by Councilman Nino Giacchi and Councilwoman Terry Castellano follow:

Russo Insider: 'By hook or by crook, win at any cost'

Deep Uvula, the Russo insider bleeding its little wobbling guts to Grafix Avenger announced earlier today the gloves will be coming off now in the homestretch to the May 10th citywide Council elections.

The aim is to snatch victory from the jaws of corrupted defeat with lots of exciting election developments delivering generous servings of Old Guard smearing dirt, absentee ballots, and uncorking the wheeling monies of Beth Mason's checkbooks worse than a drunk emptying his wallet in a casino.  As Deep Uvula says with great appreciation, "God Bless Beth."

Sort of a reverse morality run amok.  But you knew that already, didn't you?  They believe they can even get Beth Mason past the finish line in a squeaker saying there are "enough of us" left in the second.  The implication being there are enough people in Applied Housing in the second ward with votes available for the taking, or rather the buying.  How many of those Applied Housing voters will be turned into magical Beth Mason campaign workers at $40-75 a pop will be an object of intense interest (and scrutiny).  Hey, if Beth Mason was willing to donate a big wheeling chunk of change to get the council chair and see Tim Occhipinti buy off the 4th ward election, imagine what she'll pay for herself.

Here's Uvula's deep dish on what they think of reform voters:

For certain, everyone of us will vote. You sure as shit can’t say that about “reformers”.  If it is a nice day, they’ll be too busy playing Frisbee at Pier A with their dogs and if it is raining, they’ll stay in their cardboard condos with a mocha frappy something that they had effing delivered. 

Da Horsey thinks he's falling in love with an Uvula.  For the complete dish on the never wrong Deep Uvula: 

Talking Ed Note: This is interesting but not exactly shocking to hear that the Russo-Mason cabal will again embrace absentee ballots to change the possible negative tenor of the council races across the city.  The King of Absentee ballots himself was overheard to say he was looking to generate a massive citywide paper ballot effort this time.  He must be bored with the mechanics of the fourth ward plantation effort he's cranked out on a regular basis on the BoE.  His new BoE slate stands to benefit with more than 300 votes for the April 27th BoE election, although one of his first time candidates told an MSV source it won't happen this time.  Who is he deluding, we wonder? 

Regardless, the BoE is just a dry run for what they are obviously planning May 10th.

Of interest here, it's clear there is joy in the Russo camp that Beth Mason has sprayed her wheeling money sufficiently for them to snatch victory from Reform.  Money is the mother's milk of politics and Beth Mason is on the record in City Council stating she's more than willing to aid the corrupt forces ensuring they have plenty of it. They are counting heads and feeling cocksure they are in position.

But elections are won and lost on the street, not online, not via checkbooks and not by unchallenged, unaccounted paper ballots.  In short, we are now less than a month from a defining election for Hoboken and one side is not going to be happy with the results.  

Hoboken's very future is at stake here.  Your voice, your energy is going to either make a difference on the streets or fall short.  While the Old Guard can outspend Reform with Beth Mason's wheeling and who knows what other money laundering techniques she'll employ, getting people to the polls or if too busy actual, real legal voting by mail can play a big difference.

For the first time, my best friend who married a local Hoboken girl will be voting in the municipal election.  He asked me who should be the guy?  Should it be that Lincoln guy he asked?  Now he has picked up a whole lot more about Mike Russo.  Finally, he's taking it seriously and is committed to doing his part.  He's been part of the vast majority of voters who just don't pull the lever in local elections.  

How many of your friends and neighbors fit that description?

The showdown is just about here.  This is for all the marbles folks.  It's either back to progress moving Hoboken forward working with the mayor or back to looting the store.

There's no middle ground here, it just doesn't exist.

2nd ward council candidate Tom Greaney calls out Beth Mason on Russo corruption

There's much left to sift through in last Wednesdays City Council meeting but one of the more spectacular moments of the night occured when Tom Greaney, a 2nd ward council candidate rose to discuss Mike Russo's corruption and highlighted the failures of the chair, Councilwoman Beth Mason on the matter.

Beginning with her statement issued to the press before the meeting, Tom Greaney noted even with the obvious corruption demonstrated in the Russo bribe videos, her release called for no action.

Greaney laid out a number of missteps Beth Mason has taken in her short time as chair of the council recalling her maneuvers to gain power of the chair through a midnite "emergency" resolution, her mistreatment of council colleagues during meetings, preventing council members from introducing legislation, and manipulation of the order of speakers to advance her political agenda via her friend and Hoboken411 ghostwriter.

"These are not about things that have been said, these are about actions," Greaney stated, linking Beth Mason's behavior to what surveillance tapes revealed about Mike Russo. 

"Mr. Russo stepped down as Vice President, you should step down as President," he added to a thunderous ovation.

Greaney then continued to provide several more reasons why Beth Mason's alliance with Mike Russo has been severely detrimental to Hoboken in the City Council past and present.

An ad featuring his endorsement by Mayor Dawn Zimmer appeared in the Hudson Reporter this past weekend.

Tom Greaney's complete remarks follow: