Sunday, May 15, 2011

GA: McCarthyism strikes Hoboken in the form of Beth Mason and Mike Russo

The latest salvo in a battle of the local forces of free speech and Reform vs. corruption has begun not even a week after Hoboken's last election.  The defeat of the Russo-Mason led council is in the books but retribution from the degeneracy in their political alliance is far from over.

A late submitted resolution appearing last at this Wednesday's City Council meeting is a revised request for the emails of Mayor Zimmer's staff.  The objective in this witch-hunt is to uncover any questionable communications between two city employees and local media, reporters, and local political campaigns.

If there was a pretext to the request, it could almost be construed as somehow reasonable.  But it's basis is shoddy at best claiming undetermined "findings" by the City Council deem the city website highly politicized thus an intrusion into the executive branch is required.  The cost in both time and taxpayer monies for legal to review the thousands of emails a month generated by the mayor's confidential aide and the communications manager is also described as "exaggerated." Beth Mason and Mike Russo clearly don't believe the targeted city employees actually do this much work and say so in the resolution.  (Perhaps we'll find out.)

Although there's a side benefit in an attempt to intimidate and snuff dissent, the real targets here are the two city employees making $45K and $75K respectively who are doing far better in both service and value to the people of Hoboken than their far more expensive predecessors.  (Peter Cammarano actually created a position to the mayor's office called Chief of Staff for $125,000 but you didn't hear any complaint from either Beth Mason or Mike Russo about that added taxpayer burden in 2009.)

While MSV had predicted power plays from the sinking Russo-Mason ship only days earlier, this even surpasses our expectations.  A look at the primary media list shows the top three targets of the Hoboken citizen witch-hunt are The Hoboken Journal, (The Hudson) Mile Square View and Grafix Avenger.  A number of local reporters are tossed in for good measure as some sort of benchmark or just to muddy the waters and make it look less vindictive.  Beth Mason's favored website for leaks and hatchet jobs on her opponents and anyone she no longer likes in the form of Hoboken411 or Mason411 is added too.  (MSV would prize any of Hoboken411's email exchanges for its pure entertainment value with the public getting a purview into the mentally disturbed antics of Perry Klaussen himself.)

Grafix Avenger keenly notes there is one local editor missing from the list: the Jersey Journal's Augie Torres.  Torres was the lone editor to avoid even the briefest mention of the Mike Russo Bribe Tapes story broken on MSV as detailed in "The Jersey Sting."  He held out to the bitter end until the parent company went around him and intervened on behalf of the Star Ledger.  According to one Russo insider, The Jersey Journal's junior reporter then published the FBI surveillance video completely going around Augie Torres.

In a way it's comforting to see Mike Russo standing by Augie Torres: two peas in a pod.

Grafix Avenger details that and more at the link:

Beth Mason is going out in style as her Council Presidency is jettisoned by Hoboken residents in the last election.  McCarthyism is her new spring fashion color/statement and the fit is just perfect.

Talking Ed Note: One of the funniest moments in reading this Beth Mason sponsored resolution is the statement all emails will be treated confidentially.  This coming from Beth Mason is just fall off your chair funny.

MSV isn't sure the whole council would see let alone read the stacks of emails before Beth Mason or Mike Russo would turn over the information to the minion for the typical hatchet job on Hoboken/Mason411.  They apparently think they will get their pound(s) of flesh.

Well sure have at it.  Let the games commence.

Graphic courtesy of Grafix Avenger

Baby Parade today is cancelled, more from the Museum

Due to rain, the Baby Parade has been postponed until Sunday, May 21, at 1 pm. 
Join the Baby Parade, Sunday, May 22, 1 pm Under threat of thunderstorms, the Museum is postponing the Hoboken Baby Parade for a week. Join us on Sunday, May 22, at 1 pm for the 10th Annual Hoboken Baby Parade and help us celebrate the spirit and creativity of the Mile Square City’s families. The Parade begins at Sinatra Park—located at Fifth Street and the Hudson River—and proceeds along the waterfront to Pier A. The Parade is free and registration begins at noon. Volunteers needed!
Parents now have an extra week to enhance their children's costumes and festoon their carriages and wagons. Trophies are awarded for Best Dressed Child, Most Creative Carriage, and Best Dressed Family— the latter category has been awarded to twins and triplets, families with multiple children, cousins, and even playgroups. 
Hoboken babies flaunt their fanciest outfits
"Sweets Talk & Tour" Saturdays at 10 am!
The Museum’s current exhibit, "Yum Yum, Tootsie Rolls, and Chocolate Bunnies on Motorcycles…A Sweet History of Hoboken," traces a history of the city through its many commercial bakers, candy manufacturers and family-owned bakeries. Now, every Saturday morning, visitors can also see, taste and smell some of the sweet traditions on the Museum’s weekly “Sweets Talk & Tour.”
Visitors will meet at the Museum at 10 am for a guided tour of the exhibit, followed by a visit to Schnackenberg’s Luncheonette, Giorgio’s Pasticceria, and Biancamano’s Italian deli. Sample tastings are included in the $15 ticket price. The members’ price is $12. The tour will last about an hour and a half, led by volunteer Dennis English, who developed the program. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Call 201-656-2240 or
New Events in May: Poetry & Play readings 
Just added to our busy spring calendar are two events for anyone who loves good writing. 
The first is a staged reading of the play, "40 C.P.S.," written by local playwright Louis LaRusso IIon Friday and Saturday, May 20 - 21, 7 pm, at the Burchard Auditorium on Stevens' campus. The play explores father-son relationships through characters based on LaRusso's friend Michael Bennett, director/choreographer of A Chorus Line.
Directed by Hudson Theatre Works' Frank Licato, the reading features many of the same actors who performed in previous LaRusso productions, Marlon Brando Sat Right Here, and Lampost Reunion, including Vincent Pastore, Maureen Van Zandt and Robert Funaro, plus Tony winner Karen Ziemba. Tickets are $25, and proceeds will benefit both the Museum and HTW. For reservations, call the Museum, 201-656-2240; for details, visit HTW's

The second is an afternoon of poetry reading, on Saturday, May 21, at 4 pm at the Museum. Distinguished local poet Joel Lewis, who organized the event, will be joined by Eliot Katz and Ona Gritz in presenting some recent works. A $5 donation is suggested.
  • Joel Lewis is the author of Learning From New JerseyVertical’s CurrencyHouse Rent Boogie andKishka King, due out in 2012 from Hanging Loose Press. 
  • Poet/activist Eliot Katz is the author of six poetry books, including Unlocking the Exits and Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking Out from North America's Skull
  • Ona Gritz is a poet, columnist, and author of two children’s books and a poetry chapbook, Left Standing. She placed second in the Charlotte Newberger Poetry Competition (2009). 
Visit the Fire Dept. Museum, Now Open Sat.-Sun. 12 - 5 pm
When was the last time you visited the Hoboken Fire Department Museum? The Hoboken Historical Museum is helping the fire department staff the historic site, at 213 Bloomfield St., keeping it open from noon to 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The building served as a firehouse from 1881 to 1891 and later as a firemen's meeting hall. It features a restored 1932 fire engine and display cases of full of helmets, tools, photos and other fire equipment. Kids are welcome free of charge; adults are asked for a $2 donation to help support the Museum's upkeep and operations. 

"Open River" series continues in May-June
"Legacy, Lessons of Ground Zero" - The Open River series continues on Sunday, May 22 at 4 pm with a talk by Hoboken-born journalist Anthony DePalma, whose new book, City of Dust: Illness, Arrogance and 9/11, examines the repercussions of so many critical decisions made in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. "It was a nightmare scenario of one of the busiest and most crowded places on Earth being exposed to an unprecedented mix of known and suspected hazards." He will bring slides and dust samples to illustrate his talk. Suggested donation: $5.; members free.
"New York Harbor: Memories from the Age of Steam" - Steam engineer and historian Frank Vopasek IV returns to the Museum on Sunday, June 26, at 4 pm to present a virtual tour of New York Harbor through slides of the many types of boats that once plied the Hudson under the power of steam. Suggested donation: $5.; members free. 
In June: Garden Tour, Jun. 5; Vintage Baseball, Jun. 19 

This year's Secret Garden Tour, Sun., June 5, will feature a mix of fresh new landscape designs, carefully nurtured personal gardens and at least one popular favorite from a past tour that has been updated since its last appearance. Tickets will go on sale soon: $20 in advance, $25 day of tour ($20 for Museum and Hoboken Garden Club members). Tour groups depart every half hour from the Museum between 9 am and 4 pm, and last about two and a half hours. Volunteers needed! Email

The Museum's Spring Family Fun Day, June 12, 12 - 4 pm, is a hands-on celebration of our "Sweetsexhibit. The free event is open to all and features chocolate-making by Maricel Presilla, Yum-Yum ices by Mario Lepore, and fruit-carving with Nestor Lagman.

June 19 is the anniversary of the famous 1846 baseball game played on Hoboken's Elysian Fields. To celebrate, the Hoboken Museum is bringing vintage baseball expert Brad Shaw and his Flemington Neshanock Club to Stevens Dobbelaar Baseball Field for a competitive game against a Hoboken team using 1870s rules. FreeTo join the Hoboken team, call the Museum at 201-656-2240.

The Hoboken Historical Museum is open six days a week, Tues-Thurs 2-7pm, Fri 1-5 pm, Sat/Sun 12 - 5 pm, at the Shipyard complex, 13th & Hudson St. Call 201-656-2240 for more info. or visit

Real educational questions other than Ms. Theater Director

From the producer of the movie "The Cartel,"

Do You Consider Yourself Capable of Discerning Sarcasm?

Only those who respond with an unqualified "yes," are authorized to click on the following link:
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Q: What's the easiest way to share the message of education reform in The Cartel?
A: Get the physical DVD and loan it to everyone you know! Buy it here.
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But you could also buy The Cartel Soundtrack.