Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dogs Song Singing: Auld Lang Syne and holiday songs

Before we get to the current holiday song, here's some warm ups of two singing dogs, Sierra and Cody for your reference:

Happy Birthday:

O Christmas Tree:

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

And the song of the moment, Auld Lang Syne:

Another version of the New Year's Eve favorite.  This one Sierra decides is for a more relaxed practice:

See more at:

Beth Mason ain't no gold digger or Hudson County Executive material

The Hudson Reporter printed a year end county write up on elected officials and on Hoboken it got the essentials correct, at least in regard to Mayor Dawn Zimmer's re-election bid next November, describing her as exceedingly tough to beat.

It however missed by a county mile claiming Councilwoman Beth Mason was her primary opponent as the Hoboken opposition is led by Michele Russo in the form of her son, third ward councilman Michael Russo.

Mason is described as a candidate for a potential Brian Stack ticket for an Assembly seat, an idea pushed by Mason's political operatives over many months.  State Senator Stack however has not uttered a word over that time and Councilman Ravi Bhalla just completed a successful fundraiser headlined by Newark Mayor Cory Booker raising $40,000 with an eye on a potential Stack ticket himself.

The Reporter did mention Beth Mason coveting the County Executive seat, reported here earlier and most recently ridiculed by Grafix Avenger's Deep Throat source, the ever warbling Deep Uvula who found the idea utterly laughable. 

At the County level, others are finding more than a bit of holiday mirth in the idea Beth Mason can buy the executive chair fall off your chair funny.  Selling the idea via paid political operatives to the Hudson Reporter is far easier than convincing County power brokers and current elected County Executive Tom DeGise to step aside in a premature resignation.

Mason's brief control as the chair of the City Council in 2011 showed her consistently inept, incompetent and unprepared.  Thankfully, those talents combined in seeing her effort to deprive Hoboken of any surplus nullified at the State level.  Mason's budget amendment approved by her MORTe allies was rejected for numerous basic arithmetic errors.

She bitterly had it passed in her final meeting as the lame duck chair anyway.  This even when she and her MORTe pals were told by the Corporation Counsel such a vote was both illegal and moot.  

Now Mason covets the top executive seat of Hudson County with almost a half a billion dollar budget.

Not saying she's a gold digger...

The Hudson Reporter confirmed MSV's earlier report saying Beth Mason covets the top executive county position.  Can the Queen of Lawsuits Mean and incompetence buy the position?  It's already creating much laughter among county sources.

Talking Ed Note: For the second week in a row, the page three ad placed by Mason in the Hudson Reporter shows it's now sponsored in the name of the Mason Civic League, not the imaginary Mason Family Civic League as it has most of the year.

Both MSV and Grafix Avenger have repeatedly noted there was no such registered entity as the Mason Family Civic League.

 Now what prompted the sudden change in that sinister fraud?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

End of year favor: raise Hobokenite Jimmy B in prayer

It's the end of 2012 and for many one challenging year.  From the stories of horrendous damage to our Mile Square after Hurricane Sandy with an estimated $100 million in damages and thousands of buildings impacted to the emerging class action lawsuits for chintzy insurance payouts, things are tough all over town.

FEMA's initial assessment shows Hoboken is where almost all the severe building damage took place in Hudson County, fully 974 of 1011 buildings with major damage.

With that in mind, MSV is going to ask for a year end favor anyway.

Of the thousands of readers passing through the stable week in and week out in Hoboken and beyond, it's not always clear who the audience is as feedback direct or indirect via the comments section is always a minuscule fraction of the overall readership.

On occasion emails will show up from people you don't know with any number of views, ideas or questions.  Sometimes it's only to share encouragement as the veil has been lifted from their eyes on what has been going on here for so long.  

In recent months, one reader took occasion to share their thoughts on endemic corruption in Hoboken and Hudson County: their family's extensive local history and insights into that ball of wax and shared encouragement for the efforts here with the change brought under the leadership of Mayor Zimmer.

In recent months, this reader as has been just learned is undergoing major cancer treatments.  If you could afford a few minutes in the coming days, please add Jimmy B in prayer, a Hobokenite who also is fighting the good fight for a better Mile Square City we all love.

Please help raising Jimmy B in prayer.
He's battling though cancer treatments and needs your support.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The most interesting man in the world...

Hurricane Sandy was easily the biggest story of the year but the biggest political story was the Old Guard's all-in move to seize control of Hoboken's Board of Education with Beth Mason's untold thousands in illegal expenditures for the Move Forward slate and underwriting the Nazi Truck.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Michael Russo's political gift to Hoboken at Christmas

Most people expect a respite from politics on Christmas Eve and even Hoboken where politics is always on the agenda for the Old Guard Council, you'd think they'd take a break from hatching some rumor mongering, spreading ill will and all manner of fabrication during the year end holidays.

If you count yourself among a group in town who answered the phone from a strange phone number on Christmas Eve, you'd be wrong.

Michael Russo who holds the title of Third Ward Councilman opted out of Christmas cards to his friends and neighbors in Church Towers this year and recorded a robocall issued to people well outside his turf according to one recipient in the sixth ward, Grafix Avenger.

Michael Russo didn't let Christmas get in the way of his political announcement he planned to make a future donation for
Hurricane Sandy "across" the state.  The announcement came in a robocall on Christmas Eve.    

What caught her attention in the prerecorded Christmas Eve call was a pledge at some undetermined point in the future to make a donation for Sandy relief "across the state."  

The Russo clan holds some lovely digs down the shore at Belmar.  Was Michael Russo's planned unspecified donation inspired by coastal damage or was it in whole or part some new political operation he and the Old Guard is launching?

In pondering the two, it does coincide peripherally with ally Beth Mason's political fundraiser by her Mason Civic League "charity" to curry favor with Hudson County politicos.  The zip code demographic of the Hudson County fundraiser just happens to envelope Assemblyman Ruben Ramos' district in the county and Mark Smith's home turf.  Smith also happens to be the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) chairman and is mayor of Bayonne.

Wot a coincidence.

At the last City Council meeting, Tim Occhipinti assured Hoboken flooding residents they didn't have it so bad seeing they didn't have their homes "razed to the ground" like others on the Jersey shore.  Was that an ode to his fellow Old Guard grandstander or a dog whistle to undermine the mayor's efforts with

Hoboken residents are fighting to reach something resembling normalcy taking on insurance companies who are not providing coverage for most of their losses.  If there is a step down from street level in their garden units, the losses are worse or in total based on the flood insurance parameters, a problem the mayor spoke to remedy at a US Senate subcommittee.   An unknown number of Hoboken residents are looking to move back into their homes after losing everything and suffering major structural damage.

Occhipinti feels your pain if you are a hospitality owner in Hoboken and in the face of an outpouring of anger on his Facebook page, again called for bringing back the St. Patrick's Day Parade at the City Council meeting, most Hoboken and fourth ward residents outrage be damned.

In addition to insulting Hoboken residents who suffered massive flood damage to their homes, Occhipinti informed everyone of his concern where the federal government would get the money. (Touching isn't it?) It was all part of his staged grandstanding for a political purpose in his vocal opposition to the last of Hurricane Sandy's emergency spending in a $2.6 million authorization.

Are we beginning to see an Old Guard council pattern emerging?

The Old Guard Council has been frustrated in being coerced by Hurricane Sandy's aftermath to behave, this with a mayoral race and three at-large council seats up in a municipal election less than a year away in November 2013.  

Mayor Zimmer has stymied them in numerous ways in her term, from saving the hospital in a sale MORTe viciously fought to see collapse and with it the City's financial health to reducing spending by over $12 million (last count) while she's been in office.  That prudent restraint turns out to have been not discretionary but essential to the City's financial health in the wake of the storm.

The mayor had thrown down in a pitched battle back in the spring of 2011, where a lame duck council majority led by Beth Mason savagely fought to leave the City without one penny in surplus for a rainy day - or a hurricane.  That political operation failed when the State of NJ refused to approve the budget because of numerous budget errors and Councilwoman Jen Giattino was sworn in that July replacing the compliant Nino Giacchi.

Where municipal financial experts state 5-10% of a town's budget should be put aside in a surplus to offset potential problems and other issues arising in a fiscal year, the Beth Russo hydra desperately tried to stave off the good government practice in the hope to inch Hoboken toward a tax increase should a shingle fall off the roof at City Hall without any appropriated funds available to repair it.  You can hear them try to box the administration in similar ways at almost every single council meeting with the exact idea in mind.

Even simple year end budget line item transfers have been turned into hours long brawls over multiple meetings if the mayor doesn't have five votes available on the City Council.  In other New Jersey municipalities, the same line item transfers are voted on year end in fifteen seconds.

The budget surplus issue is representative of the savage battle over Hoboken politics in the last few years, what the Russo clan sees as the ebbing away of their political power with every dollar in spending reduced a threat to the municipal jobs they would see themselves doling out (with scams out the back door) buttressing the largesse on themselves and those they deem worthy.

Hoboken is in an election year.  For the Old Guard council the political warfare after Mayor Zimmer's inauguration never ended. No need to let something like Christmas get in the way.

The Russo robocall is the latest in the Old Guard call to arms, even at Christmas. 

Michael Russo robocall graphic courtesy of Grafix Avenger

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A glimpse of Old Hoboken: A Good Man is Hard to Find

The following guest piece appears courtesy of Joe Finnerty, a Hoboken born and raised resident 1927 - 1954.  His autobiographical website, available at is quaintly titled, "Hoboken Boy."

During the years I lived in Hoboken, Democrats ran the place. You may not have heard of its long-tme mayor. This vignette puts the spotlight on him and a couple of his successors.


The Democratic Party controlled many big cities during the years I was growing up. Among the more notable mayors were: Boston’s James Curley;Chicago’s Richard Daley; Kansas City’s Tom “Boss” Pendergast; and Jersey City’s Frank Hague. Not to be outdone, Hoboken’s mayor Bernard J. McFeely held office for seventeen years, from 1930 to 1947, during which time he made those other professional politicians look like amateurs. His name should be more reviled.

   During his years as mayor, he never earned more than $5,000 per annum. When he died, he left an estate said to be valued at $5 million dollars. He never married, but he was a member of a large family. At one time, the city employed sixty five of his relatives including one brother, the Superintendent of Schools and another, the Chief of Police. Once I saw the Chief enter a candy store, walk behind the counter, ring up the register, scoop out some bills, and saunter out.Cop's Grab was the term used by older schoolboys while swiping some younger kid's marbles. It was easy to see the origin of the game’s name.

 The mayor owned a sanitation company. Hoboken awarded its municipal waste hauling services contract to his firm every year he served in office. Even after WW II, his company continued to use horses to pull its open-top garbage trucks. McFeely did not believe in replacing anything that was still working.

 Anyone who ran a political race for election against the mayor had to endure rough treatment. One year, the Hoboken police arrested the Republican candidate on the eve of the election based on some trumped-up charge. He spent the day in jail while awaiting the outcome of the election. He lost. It was difficult to find anyone willing to challenge the mayor or the system.

 The New York Post ran a special edition one time, exposing the city’s political corruption. When their delivery trucks arrived in Hoboken by ferry, police commandeered them and accidentally destroyed the papers. McFeely did not like bad press.

 Of course, McFeely doled out city jobs to people and provided financial aid to others during the Depression era. These citizens rewarded his regime by continuing to reelect him. McFeely finally tasted defeat in 1947 when the returning veterans demanded a change in city government.
I recall the fervor that swept over me when voters installed a new form of municipal governance that year. Five officials were elected to a city council, and they voted one of their number as mayor. In that first year, three Italians and two Irishmen were elected to serve. John Grogan garnered the most general election votes. When the five council members met, the three Italians voted one of themselves (Fred De Sapio) to serve as mayor, setting the tone for what turned out to be years of controversy. Now, instead of just one person running the city and stealing it blind, we had five people trying to run the place, and steal too.

The first act of business of the newly elected board was to order nameplates for themselves, at a cost of $200 each, on a non-competitive bid from some friend of the new mayor. The number of players had changed, but not the game. It was business as usual at City Hall.

Grogan was persistent and eventually was elected mayor. When my mother died in 1961, he came to her wake, and shook hands with my father.Hoboken’s mayors made it a practice to attend wakes, an easy way to endear themselves with the family of the deceased and secure votes. His appearance pleased my father, not me. I doubt he knew either of my parents.

The year 1948 marked my initial presidential voting opportunity. A registered Republican, my vote went to Truman, the Democrat. I was swayed by the fact that Harry had sent me a nice form letter upon my discharge from the Army Air Force a year earlier, thanking me for my contribution to the nation. I felt duty bound to vote for a candidate who expressed such sentiments. In addition, the looks of Dewey’s mustache turned me off. You have to have a sound basis upon which to cast your ballot.

After moving to San Mateo, California in 1955, my desire to immerse myself in political issues waned. The elected officials there were all honest people. Who could be bothered taking an interest in a lily-white government? Hell, the city even used motor-driven trucks to pick up garbage. It would have pained McFeely to witness such unnecessary expense in the name of progress.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


"We Three Kings of Orient are" as performed by Miles Davis, David Sandborn, Marcus Miller on the David Letterman Show, 
December 1987.

Monday, December 24, 2012

US Attorney's Office obtains extortion plea in North Bergen Housing Authority case

The US Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey announces:

Director Of Operations Of North Bergen Housing Authority Pleads Guilty To Extortion

NEWARK, N.J. – The director of operations for the Housing Authority of the Township of North Bergen, N.J., today admitted extorting employees of a maintenance company contracted by the Authority, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

John T. Kennell, 49, of North Bergen, who was arrested in August 2012, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court to an Information charging him with extortion under color of official right and by fear of economic harm.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:

While the director of operations for the NBHA, Kennell used his official position to extort cash payments from employees of a company (Company One) that provided repair and grounds maintenance services. Kennell, who supervised the employees of Company One working for the Authority, accepted cash payments in amounts ranging from $100 to $400 from employees for, among other things, securing additional paid vacation days for these employees. Kennell assisted in securing these additional paid vacation days by falsely reporting to Company One that the employees were working at the NBHA, when they were, in fact, traveling outside of the United States. Between February 2008 and June 2011, Company One compensated employees for approximately 80 days of unauthorized vacation, totaling $12,498, because of Kennell’s actions.

Kennell accepted $2,000 to $2,500 in payments for his official assistance in this fraud. He also accepted cash payments of $50 to $100 from an undocumented alien employee of Company One for permitting that employee to twice change the alias that employee was using to continue working. Using his position of authority, as well as the threat of termination of employment, Kennell also regularly extorted the employees of Company One – sometimes as frequently as twice a month – for cash payments in amounts ranging from $10 to $20 per employee.

The extortion count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for March 25, 2013.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark, and special agents of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cary A. Rubenstein, and criminal investigators from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee M. Cortes Jr. of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

Defense Counsel: Arthur R. Carmano Esq., Englewood, N.J. 

All I want for Christmas...

Hey, it's the time of year for Christmas wishes.  Here's Da Horsey's short list:

1. Nespresso Arpeggio capsules.  (What's an Italian without his expresso?)
2. One chestnut filly under the stable mistletoe with a white Christmas
3. Inspired jurisprudence of Hudson County judges in 2013
5. The "go signal" for the Boys of Summer in Hoboken for "Operation Bernard McFeely"

Hoboken's best Christmas gift, no matter the season.

Talking Ed Note: While doing some research came upon a website of a Hobokenite born and raised.  He has encapsulated his autobiography online and it contains some interesting nuggets of the World War II period in Hoboken.

Here's a link to the old corrupt Hoboken of yore, "A good man is hard to find."
Corruption in Hoboken isn't so much a crime but a "tradition."  It's absolutely worth a read.  Leave a comment for the veteran and tell him Da Horsey said to share some love:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Grist for the Mill: Beth Mason Hudson County fundraiser a massive flop

The Hudson County recovers fundraiser Thursday night in a Secaucus restaurant crashed and burned so badly, hostess Beth Mason was forced to convert the political event into a free dinner.

One attendee described it as the Hoboken seniors Elks Club lunch circuit with groups bussed into Secaucus from the Fox Hills seniors building, the Hoboken Housing Authority and a coterie of Mason political operatives who clearly didn't pay the requested $300 per person dinner fee.

"I don't think you could get $300 from all of the people there combined," the source said of the diners.  Told about the original purpose of the dinner, the source feigned ignorance saying, "I had no idea. Why wouldn't Mason at least host the dinner in Hoboken where restaurants could use the business?"

Mason apparently gave a speech to her captive audience but the source described it as less than memorable and offered no opinion on its content before adding, "It looked like there was some media table set up to get publicity to the press."

Another Hoboken source mocked the turn from a Hudson County fundraiser to a Hoboken Housing Authority freebie dinner.  A Mason political operative attending had attempted to find out who among the HHA staff worked through the hurricane so they could be commissioned awards from Mason, according to this person's grapevine.

"Beth Mason had to have an operative contact the HHA to find out who the workers were so she could give them awards.  Shows you how much she knows what was going on down there," they said howling in laughter.

Beth Mason's fundraiser for Hudson County to ingratiate herself with the county politicos failed miserably Thursday.
It was the latest massive political fail for the spendthrift councilwoman coming on the heels of her major sponsorship of
the Move Forward BoE campaign swept away with the Nazi Truck by Kids First.

Talking Ed Note: Guess we'll have to await the press release for how Mason will spin her disastrous attempt to get traction with Hudson County politicos.  One thing is for sure, the political leaders in Hudson County won't be impressed.

Grist for the Mill is a rumor column but MSV is confident in the sources.  Got a juicy carrot for Da Horsey?  Send an email to  All information is handled in confidence.

Update: Although the Hudson Reporter editors moved their most commented on piece in some time from their homepage, it broke four figures anyway in likes with over three-thousand views.  

It's a letter originally appearing December 9th from second ward residents who have had it with Beth Mason.  Newark hear our plea.

Beth Mason on public's First Amendment rights, then and now

In 2011, Beth Mason says "We have no control" on public comment in City Council

Back in 2011, Beth Mason temporarily held the chair of the City Council and had an entirely different perspective on how public portion should be managed.

In the short video clip below, notice Mason's response to then Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin who interjects the council members are about to be made witnesses to slander.  Minutes earlier she is caught in a political operation attempting to manipulate the speaker's list.

Beth Mason voices a contrary perspective on public comment in City Council and has no concern about slander before the government body.  According to Beth Mason, "We have no control..."

January 2011 slander halted but "happy to republish on some blogs somewhere."

Compare that to her demand to suppress the public's First Amendment rights after Phil Cohen's comments last Wednesday criticizing the tactics of Mason, Russo, Castellano and Occhipinti to avoid a court ordered vote of the full eight council members on the Jim Doyle appointment.

Got hypocrisy?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beth Mason calls for suppressing the public in City Council

Councilwoman Beth Mason, the transparently anti-democratic council member with a hyperactive litigious streak called for the suppression of the public speaking before the City Council at Wednesday night's meeting.

After a blistering deconstruction of the Old Guard Council's legal subterfuge by Hoboken resident Phil Cohen, Mason demanded the Corporation Counsel intervene and silence the public from applying their First Amendment rights when addressing the City Council saying as part of her job she should halt them telling them "to stop," when they "start crossing the line" before adding "we've talked about (this) before."

Beth Mason called for suppression of the public's speech rights in the City Council Wednesday night.
She complained vociferously in July to Corporation Counsel when MSV asked that public information
of the Mason Civic League be released to the general public.

The volley demanding censorship of the public erupted after Cohen stated the Old Guard Council had intentionally staged absences, first by Beth Mason and then Michael Russo in order to avoid a 4-4 tie where the mayor would cast a tie-breaking vote on the open council seat appointment.

MSV cemented Cohen's charges shortly after noting Beth Mason was seen driving in her vehicle in Hoboken not two hours before the early October council meeting.  She gave no notification she would be absent and the entire council was already noticed the important at-large council seat appointment was on the agenda.

Wednesday night Terry Castellano tried to rebut Cohen saying Mason "was out of the country," then harangued former Councilwoman Carol Marsh who she said staged a "calculated resignation" setting up a council back filling appointment of the body and "don't you think that was a little disingenuous?"  (Castellano herself conveniently forgets she cast a vote in an earlier council appointment years ago voting for her own godson and cousin - Michael Russo!)

Not minutes later Castellano would deny she made any such a claim when challenged how she could support her contention Carol Marsh had made a calculation when her resignation came due to a family incident beyond her control.

In the video, Corporation Counsel Melissa Longo patiently explains the council members should not discuss or respond to the public's comments on a live legal matter in the courts.  To this sound legal advice, Mason interjects the Corporation Counsel is not her lawyer.

Sounding flippant, the comment is not incorrect.  Beth Mason has an army of lawyers on the payroll and they are suing four of her fellow council members, the City Clerk, the mayor, the Corporation Counsel, the Hoboken public as a whole and what many believe is another dozen or more Hoboken residents in a civil suit Mason herself announced in a July council meeting before it was filed in Hudson Superior Court.

Just don't call Beth Mason overly lititgious or she'll sue you.

The short video clip here begins with Councilwoman Terry Castellano looking out to Phil Cohen as she bitterly complains about Carol Marsh's "calculated" resignation not once but twice.

Beth Mason later calls for the public's speech to be repressed as Castellano points her left arm out toward the audience in agreement with that call.  MSV can also confirm, Michael Russo would make a similar demand after the meeting.

Melissa Longo informs the council the public's speech rights has wide leeway including on legal matters although it's not prudent for the council to act likewise in matters of ongoing lititgation.

Are Beth Mason's totalitarian demands sufficiently transparent in this video?

Talking Ed Note: The Old Guard council members are very frustrated with the election results.  Although the expenditures for the Nazi Truck, hundreds of vote-by-mail "campaign workers" are invisible and likely to remain missing from ELEC reports, the investment in suppressing the public (and this website) failed miserably leading into the November elections.

SLAPP suits, political operative intimidation tactics, Masonista paid online blogging operations, Nazi Truck videos, midnight fliers yielded not just a miserable campaign sweep across the board but signalled a complete waste of both time and money well into six figures when tallied together.

What's left other than stopping the freedom loving hordes at the gates of the City Council dais itself?

Beth Mason is running out of rope (in more ways than one).  MSV has obtained additional problematic information on the Mason Civic League. In due course, it will be presented for all the public and law enforcement authorities to review at a time and place of our choosing.

Happy Nightmares minions.

Today's MSV smash mouth feature stories are dedicated to my great friend Reformus Gianticus and my brother Dino.
Both never back down to a bully, no matter the form it appears.

Occhipinti insults residents as they didn't "have their homes razed to the ground"

Occhipinti argues against emergency appropriation and insults Hoboken residents suffering flood losses

Last night, the creeping petty insults and grandstanding started to overcome the good behavior in recent meetings where much of the agenda was dedicated to recovery efforts on behalf of the City.

The bubbling to the surface petulance of one Tim Occhipinti, the occupant of the fourth ward council seat was sadly on display again with his usual petty interruptions of others but the signal of the Old Guard's back to sabotage business came with the discussion of a $2.65 million emergency appropriation.

The edging of the Old Guard to their business as usual obstruction on regular business (outside of their legal action to block the appointment of Jim Doyle) became clear when Occhipinti questioned why the emergency appropriation should be approved since there was no ironclad guarantee from FEMA on reimbursement.

It was only at the previous meeting where Business Administrator Quentin Wiest explained the City could expect about 70% compensation for recovery efforts taking both FEMA and Hoboken's insurance into consideration with payment collected in not months but years.

Occhipinti decided it was worth grandstanding on the matter and promptly insulted fourth ward residents by saying their losses were not all that bad since their homes had not been "razed to the ground" as homes on the Jersey Shore.

Okay, let's admit Occhipinti was insulting not only residents who have seen huge losses in the fourth ward but every resident of Hoboken who has suffered at the destructive impact of Hurricane Sandy.

Councilwoman Jen Giattino, a model for good government and good behavior in her service as the sixth ward council representative could not stomach the insult and interjected "speak for yourself," before quickly apologizing without prompting.

Later, Occhipinti a proponent of the "hospitality" industry in town spoke during New Business about bringing back the St. Patrick's Day Parade.  He's concerned about the losses in revenue the bars and restaurants have gone through since the hurricane.

On Occhipinti's Facebook prior to the meeting he announced his plan to bring back the St. Patrick's Day Parade, enraging Hoboken residents.  Here's a sample of the fire and brimstone blow back from residents:

- hospitality industry my ass... what happened to the residents and what they want, what about " quality of life" .. Let the leprechauns go party in Newark, see if pissing in the streets is tolerated there for St. Patty's day!

- Lets see...... we are still in december, people in the fourth ward are trying to get there lives back in order.... hopefully everybody is coming along... some people had to relocate to other places ( friends, hotels, family etc.....) some people ARE HOMELESS BECAUSE OWNERS ARE OPTING TO SELL. (MY MOM IS HOMELESS. SHE CAN'T STAY WITH ME IN MY ONE BR APT, CAUSE ITS AGAINST MY LEASE AGREEMENT. BUT, WE WILL TRY TO GET THE ST.PADDY'S DAY PARADE FIXED.... PRIORITIES........ WHERE ARE URS...... 4TH WARD PROBLEMS SHOULD BE UR CONCERN!!!!! ALSO UR THE FIRST TO COMPLAIN ABOUT TRAFFIC LIGHT 1ST MONROE.....BUT WHEN IT GOT FIXED NEW CONTROLLER AND ALL...... NOT EVEN A TY.... COMPASSION IS PART OF POLITICS.....

-Tim, although I may not have used CAPS, I think Kevin's point is extraordinarily valid. Couldn't agree more. Homelessness, property damage, traffic, no PATH, and while we're at it... fiscal cliff, gun control, health care >>>>> FAKE St. Patty's Day. #priorities

To be fair, some residents were supportive of his idea.  One was a former Cammarano campaign staffer and wife of County Clerk candidate Paul Lichstein who worked on the Occhipinti campaign.  Another voiced support who was a donor to Tim Occhipinti's campaign.

But most were Hoboken residents outraged Tim Occhipinti would be looking to bring back a day when the town's citizenry is held hostage in their homes by thousands and thousands of people viewing Hoboken as a place for debauchery and an all day pukefest.

Talking Ed Note: None of this comes as a surprise here.  Tim Occhipinti learned about government operations from his Old Guard allies on the council as their bought and paid yes man.  Occhipinti "the independent candidate" immediately morphed into an Old Guard soldier paying back Beth Mason for her wheeled campaign dollars.  (She got to play Council President for a bit before voters had her booted.)

In almost every single meeting you will see Tim Occhipinti's petulance, grandstanding and dopiness without fail.  
Oh and he makes your ears hurt; it's that awful.

Anyone who wishes to contact Da Horsey can email

More on all this at Grafix Avenger:

SW Park under judge's bid review

Lots of questions erupted when Perry "the bloviator" Belfiore took to the microphone to crow about the City's legal defeat in the eminent domain case to purchase a surface parking lot for building a Southwest Park.

The Old Guard stalwart created some confusion at the meeting and also here on MSV where comments were raised about the matter.  As it turns out, the judge is analyzing the apparent disparity of a several year old assessment of the property versus the analysis of the City's current assessment.

Although the City has shown interest in using eminent domain powers to obtain the property, it has not deposited funds and committed to do so as part of a legal strategy apparently based on some comments late in the evening with BA Quentin Wiest.

The judge is deposing the City's assessor to better understand the difference in valuations and will then make a determination.

The idea the City of Hoboken has lost the case and owes 300K in legal fees is in fact a canard.

Councilman Dave Mello would note later the judge is looking at the disparity in the appraisals.

Talking Ed Note: There was more legal back and forth revealing frustration by the Old Guard Council which is clearly looking to cause more trouble for the City on any number of fronts.  One derailed was an attempt to have legal matters decided by the executive branch (mayor) reviewed and approved in advance by the council (legislative) which votes on the legal contracts.

Tim Occhipinti began the theoretical and Michael Russo tried to jam his foot in and pry the door open but Corporation Counsel Melissa Longo deftly explained the fine line of differentiation between the two.

The cracks however in the power struggle the Old Guard council lives for were all too apparent last night.  And ugly.

More on that later.

Phil Cohen gets the "led" out on MORTe obstruction

Phil Cohen a Hoboken resident, zoning board member and a reform activist has appeared before the City Council on several occasions but last night he sprayed more "led" than Jimmy Page at a Led Zepplin concert in his heyday.

This is not your low key lawyerly Phil.  This was guns blazing, blistering logic and scorched MORTe in his wake.

It was stupendous.

And it made MORTe hopping mad because well, the truth really hurts.  Phil Cohen decimated the Old Guard council laying waste to their obstructionist tactics in their avoidance behavior using legal stalling tactics to avoid voting as a full council on the Jim Doyle appointment.

It was the hit of the night.  MSV missed his live remarks but followed former Councilman Michael Lenz providing additional background on the first appointment vote in October when a reliable source contacted this website and said they saw Beth Mason driving around town with her younger daughter two hours before a council meeting she would later not appear with no excuse given to any of her colleagues or the Council President.

Mr. Cohen hit the mark and set off a combustion of commotion and defensive obstruction from the Russo clan.

It was a lovely sight to behold.  Respeck.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

MORTe legal plea: 'We don't want to vote'

Here's the brief for the filing by Beth Mason with Michael Russo, Tim Occhipinti, and Terry Castellano.

(For those who wish to review over the more tepid council meeting.)

Old Guard turns council showdown into council slow down

Live video from your iPhone using Ustream

With the temporary delay holding off a first ever full vote of the Jim Doyle, the Old Guard has put off the court ordered vote of all its members tonight.

Perhaps someone won't be at the meeting but knowing the Old Guard council members, they'll all be in attendance since they won't be forced to vote and do their jobs by a standing court order.  For the moment anyway.

Also on the agenda is a $2.65 million emergency appropriation request by resolution.
The full agenda is available here:

Old Guard Council interim request staves off court ordered vote on council appointment of Jim Doyle tonight

City of Hoboken announces:

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Wednesday December 19, 2012, 4:04 PM

City of Hoboken

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Community: Court Ordered Re-Vote on Council Vacancy Postponed

The court ordered re-vote on the proposed appointment of Jim Doyle to fill the City Council vacancy, which had been scheduled for tonight’s Council Meeting, has been postponed. The vote will not occur until the Appellate Division decides whether it will entertain an appeal at this time on the issue of whether Hudson County Assignment Judge Peter Bariso had the authority to order the re-vote.

Judge Bariso had ordered the re-vote last Friday, requiring that all eight City Council members participate. While votes on the appointment were taken in October at the two meetings immediately following the occurrence of the vacancy, the issue has never been considered at a meeting at which all eight remaining Council Members were present. Councilwoman Beth Mason and Councilman Michael Russo were each absent at one of the two October meetings.

At each of the meetings, four City Councilmembers voted in favor of Mr. Doyle's appointment, as did Mayor Zimmer, who is permitted by law to break a deadlock by casting the deciding vote in the event of a tie. At a previous hearing, Judge Bariso ruled that despite the four affirmative votes, the Mayor's additional vote could not be counted unless there were four votes cast against the appointment. As a result, there were not enough votes to fill the vacancy at the October meetings.

Surprisingly, this was not because of insufficient affirmative votes but because, as a result of the absences and abstentions of Councilwoman Mason and Councilman Russo, there were not enough votes cast against the appointment for a tie to exist.

Judge Bariso's ruling ordering all City Council members to participate would ensure that eight votes were cast, making it possible for a tie to occur. A hearing had been scheduled for January 2nd to determine whether any abstentions cast at the re-vote would be counted as "no" votes for the purpose of determining whether the Mayor can cast the deciding vote. If an abstention is considered a "no" vote, four affirmative votes plus the Mayor's vote, as were cast at both the October meetings, would be sufficient to fill the vacancy.

The request for an appeal asserts that Judge Bariso did not have the authority to order the re-vote because more than 30 days has now elapsed since the vacancy arose. While appeals are generally heard only after a final ruling has been made, the application asserts that special circumstances exist requiring the appeal on this issue to be heard prior to a final ruling “in the interests of justice.”

If the re-vote ordered by Judge Bariso is not permitted, the Council seat will remain vacant until December 31st, 2013, potentially resulting in a 4-4 deadlock on important issues.

Grist for the Mill: Old Guard Council applies for emergency stay to stop full council vote tonight

Word on the street is the Old Guard council has filed an emergency application to stop Judge Bariso's order to (finally) hold a full vote of the City Council on the Jim Doyle appointment.

Judge Bariso is reportedly on vacation and so there will be no opportunity to quash the request.

As MSV said just earlier, MORTe is fully invested in this obstruction tactic.

Talking Ed Note: These type of requests are typically not granted but the timing of the request with the holidays breathes life into the Old Guard sabotage.

For now.

Update: Technically this is a request to ask for an interim stay, called an interlocutory appeal.  MSV will try to identify more on this if at all possible.  For those interested, here's more in NJ.

Year end City Council showdown as judge orders council vote tonight

Judge refuses to go along with Old Guard legal scam and orders full vote of council on at-large appointment

Another Old Guard scam comes to ruin at the 2012 City Council finale after Hudson County Assignment Judge Peter Bariso ordered the full eight members of the City Council to vote tonight on Jim Doyle's at-large appointment.

The judge didn't buy the argument the mayor wanted to take "two bites at the apple," as Councilman Michael Russo told the Jersey Journal before he concluded, "that is not how democracy works."

Works as in taking taxpayer money and shirking your responsibility to vote on an appointment?  That's the canard put forward and one Hudson County Judge Peter Bariso clearly didn't buy in the usual legal 30 day timeline for completing a council appointment.

It's apparently easier to scam segments of Old Hoboken than the judge who didn't think sabotaging a vote by hiding out was legitimate.  With that, Hoboken gets another glimpse into the actions of the frustrated Old Guard council looking to wreak havoc on Hoboken to get at the mayor and the reform council members.  (Nothing in comparison to what they attempted against the hospital.)

The vote will be tallied and passed along to the judge for a scheduled hearing January 2nd.  Should the judge confirm abstentions are a "no" vote and the mayor's tie-breaking vote determinative as it was in 2009, expect more of Councilwoman Beth Mason's allowance money to be dedicated to further litigious appeals to stop progress in Hoboken and Jim Doyle's appointment.

As many residents contend with the carnage in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, don't expect MORTe (beth Mason, tim Occhipinti, michael Russo and Terry castellano) to cease their power grabbing ways.  

Councilman Michael Russo: gets a lesson on how democracy works from Hudson County Assignment Judge Bariso
who ordered him, Beth Mason and the full council to vote on the Jim Doyle appointment
The Russo-Mason scam hatched to avoid a full vote within the 30 day requirement failed.

Talking Ed Note: This is exactly who they are and what they do, Hurricane Sandy and the harm to Hoboken residents are mere impediments to their lust for power and (taxpayer) money.  

They could care less about the suffering of residents and their desire to see Hoboken pull together.
Vindictive to the end politics no matter the cost (to others) is how they roll.  

Sign of the Times: Last Call for the Boys of Summer

Tonight is the last Hoboken City Council meeting for 2012.  If a big splash is desired, there would be no better time and place to make a raid.  Of course such fanciful thinking is not likely considering recent visits to Hoboken by the heroes of our Republic, the Boys of Summer.

Let's put it this way, City Hall is not the only locale the Feds are showing interest.  And that my friends is all Da Horsey is going to say.

Hey someone get a Mayan calendar over to the guys in Newark.
We're up against the clock for Hoboken's Mayan transformation.

In related news, the NJ Attorney General Jeff Chiesa announced the indictment of North Bergen's Director of Public Works for ordering employees to perform work on political campaigns along with his personal chores.

Expect to be hearing more from the NJ Attorney General in the coming months.  As readers may recall, there's a file folder in the Attorney General's Office with Tim Occhipinti's name on it with signed affidavits specifying individuals connected to his campaign for voter fraud in 2010.  While there's been no arrest to date, Matt Calicchio who was named in the signed affidavits transformed into a full time paid political operative in service to Councilwoman Beth Mason and the Mason Civic League the following year.

One thing that's clear, the Feds have Hoboken completely surrounded.  All we need is a little love.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

PATH to 33rd Street reopening Wednesday!

City of Hoboken announces:

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Tuesday December 18, 2012, 2:52 PM

City of Hoboken

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The PATH train from Hoboken to 33rd Street will resume operation at 5:00am on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 and will operate seven days a week from 5am to 10pm. The restoration of 24/7 PATH service is expected by the end of the year in time for New Year’s Eve. Direct PATH service between Hoboken and the World Trade Center remains several weeks away pending ongoing repairs.

“The reopening of the Hoboken PATH station is a tremendous relief for our commuters and local businesses,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Hoboken is open for business and we welcome and encourage our residents and visitors to support the local shops that make our community great. I thank the Port Authority for their nonstop work to restore service and NJ Transit for accommodating our commuters during this incredibly difficult time.”

The City is providing free garage parking and a weekend shopping shuttle to encourage local shopping.

Free parking is available in municipal garages B (28 2nd St), D (215 Hudson St) and Midtown (371 4th St) seven days a week during the month of December between the hours of 9am and midnight. To receive up to 4 hours of free parking, visitors must present to the parking attendant a receipt for at least $20 from any Hoboken business during these hours. Any time beyond 4 hours will be charged at the regular rate.

A special free holiday hop shuttle will run from 11am to 2pm and 3pm to 7pm every Saturday and Sunday in December. The shuttle will travel along Hoboken’s commercial districts of Washington Street, 1st Street and 14th Street.

For a map of the shuttle route and parking garages, visit:

The full announcement from Governors Christie and Cuomo with additional details is below:


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Governor Chris Christie today announced that PATH rail service resumes at the Hoboken station with service to and from the 33rd Street station in Manhattan beginning tomorrow, December 19 at 5 a.m., following extensive, around the clock post-Hurricane Sandy repairs. Trains initially will run in both directions until 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Today’s announcement means weekday service between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. will be back at all 13 PATH stations and on three of PATH’s four regular lines: Journal Square to 33rd Street, Hoboken to 33rd Street and Newark to the World Trade Center. With the restoration of service from Hoboken, PATH travelers now can access the entire PATH system between New Jersey and New York. The return of Hoboken service provides more than 29,000 commuters with restored mass transit between Hoboken and Midtown Manhattan in time for the holidays.

The return of service to all 13 stations comes less than eight weeks after Hurricane Sandy decimated the entire PATH system, flooding the tunnels with as much as eight feet of water, and destroying critical signal and switching systems.

Thanks to the hard work of hundreds of PATH employees, the return of limited 24-hour PATH service is expected by year’s end and in time for New Year’s Eve. For the time being, service on weekends will be available between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m., on both the Newark to 33rd Street and Hoboken to 33rd Street lines. There will be no service to Exchange Place and the World Trade Center on the weekends to allow work to proceed on bringing back service between Hoboken and the World Trade Center. Travelers wishing to go downtown during those times may access a downtown MTA train nearby one of the PATH Manhattan stations.

Resumption of direct service between Hoboken and the World Trade Center remains several weeks away pending ongoing work and replacement of badly damaged signal equipment. PATH workers and contractors have been working 24/7 since the storm, and will continue to do so until full service is returned on all lines. In the meantime, travelers from Hoboken may access Lower Manhattan by connecting with one of several downtown MTA trains nearby one of the PATH Manhattan stations. For a complete list of alternate routes, visit the Port Authority’s website

Shutting down Newark to 33rd Street weekend PATH service the past two weeks allowed workers long uninterrupted stretches to make repairs, allowing the speedier reopening of the Hoboken PATH station. Each weekend closure has meant cutting five or more days off the agency’s recovery timeline to restore both Hoboken and 24-hour service. Since the storm, PATH workers and contractors have pumped more than 10 million gallons of water from system tunnels, and fixed and replaced numerous switches and signaling equipment.

For up-to-date information, follow PATH on Twitter @PATHTweet.

WSJ: Hudson County facing more problems on Upper Sinatra

According to a story on the Wall Street Journal, there's more roadway issues in need of repair on upper Sinatra.  The roadway in question is a County responsibility, as the sinkhole earlier.  The repairs are required as the decades old structure was not designed with cars in mind.

From the WSJ:
An antiquated roadway on the Hoboken waterfront is suffering from “cracking, rebar corrosion” and other defects that will require it be replaced, a complicated project that will disrupt traffic, according to a report to be presented Tuesday.

The work would cost up to $10 million and likely disrupt pedestrian walkways, boat traffic and private property along a faulty section of Frank Sinatra Drive North near Shipyard Park.

“Ultimately the roadway platform will have to be replaced with a new structure,” stated the report, a copy of which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal. “This replacement will be a complex project for a number of reasons.”

Read the whole story:

Hudson County fixed the previous roadway problem in the Shipyard area as seen in this video:

Monday, December 17, 2012

City: The judge ordered re-vote on at-large council seat is on for Wednesday

City of Hoboken announces:


Last Friday, December 14, 2012, Hudson County Assignment Judge Peter Bariso ordered all Hoboken City Council Members to re-vote this Wednesday on the proposed appointment of Jim Doyle to fill the vacancy created by the October resignation of Carol Marsh.

The City Council voted on Mr. Doyle's appointment twice in October, but Judge Bariso ruled in an earlier hearing that there were insufficient votes at those meetings to make the appointment. Councilwoman Beth Mason and Councilman Michael Russo each were absent from one of the October meetings at which Mr. Doyle's appointment was considered. Judge Bariso's ruling will ensure that all City Council members participate in Wednesday's vote.

Another hearing will be held on January 2nd to determine whether or not Wednesday's vote is sufficient for Mr. Doyle to be appointed to serve the remaining balance of Ms. Marsh's term, which expires December 31st, 2013.


Officially released minutes ago, a resolution appointing James Doyle to the City Council as ordered by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Peter Bariso is officially on the council agenda for a determinative vote of all eight council members Wednesday evening.

The order of the judge Friday calls the full Hoboken City Council to vote on back-filling the at-large seat meaning the four Old Guard council members will be officially in the legal spotlight and must cast a vote, either in-person or by telephone.

The judge's order Friday ended the legal effort by Beth Mason, Michael Russo, Terry Castellano and Tim Occhipinti to circumvent the council appointment by staging absences and avoid a 4-4 tie where a decisive fifth vote would legally be cast by the mayor.

The ruse concocted some observers say by Old Guard Boss Michele "five-bucks-a-tow" Russo with the financial legal cost underwritten by Councilwoman Beth Mason is front and center in the years long power struggle to dismantle the mayor's working five member majority on the council.

Old Guard Boss Michele Russo, mother of Councilman Michael Russo is said by some
to have pushed for the legal action with Beth Mason to overturn the council majority.

Beth Mason has reportedly said the judge can't make her vote.  With the judge ordering all council members to vote, what happens Wednesday night?

In a conversation earlier with a long time reform denizen of Hoboken politics, several Old Guard options were contemplated including a contempt action by Beth Mason making another secret, unannounced "trip" out of town, a bizarre inane protest staged by Tim Occhipinti walking off the dais or simply one or more of the four Old Guard council members voting to abstain and claiming their vote doesn't constitute a "no" vote.  The idea being without a 4-4 tie, the mayor is not able to provide a deciding vote in the appointment.

No matter which Old Guard rear guard action is taken, after a hefty legal expenditure and time wasted to eliminate a pro-mayor council majority, no one expects the old guard council to go down quietly.  This even with the scorn from scores of Hoboken residents suffering heavy losses in the tens of millions after Hurricane Sandy.  

An abstention has previously been counted as a "no" vote on a council appointment, most recently in 2009 when Mayor Zimmer cast the fifth decisive vote to fill her own 4th ward council seat.  The Old Guard council took action to forestall a repeat when Councilwoman Carol Marsh resigned by staging absences as they did last October with an eye on creating a legal case blocking a fifth vote by the mayor less a 4-4 tie.

Last Friday, the decision by the Hudson County Superior Court judge eliminated that strategy and orders a full vote of all eight council members.  Judge Peter Bariso will review the vote at a scheduled January 2nd hearing where any abstention cast will be ultimately weighed and decided.

Beth Mason gets to back up contempt of court Wednesday with another disappearing act.
Does she have the guts to do a repeat, unannounced disappearance?

Talking Ed Note: You feel lucky Beth?  Well do you?  Go on and stab the court in the eye with your contempt now.  I dare you.
I double dare you.

Up for a full vote of the eight member council Wednesday night is Resolution #1.

Rent control lawsuit claims uncounted ballots would change results

A lawsuit filed last week in Hudson County Superior Court seeks to overturn the results of the rent control question in the November election. The suit signed by 15 Hoboken petitioners claims absentee ballots (vote-by mail) were thrown out in sufficient numbers to produce a negative result in the election.

The suit doesn't specify details for the voter differential but claims Hudson County rejected significant ballots in VBM, provisional and mail-in ballots changing the outcome of the election.

Of close to 2,000 vote-by-mail ballots tallied, less than 100 were tossed out, a rather low percentage based on some recent Hoboken elections.

More on this later, here's the actual legal filing below:

Rent Control Suit 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

BREAKING: Judge orders City Council vote on at-large council seat Wednesday


Earlier today Hudson County Assignment Judge Peter Bariso ordered the Hoboken City Council to vote on the open at-large seat.  The vote is scheduled to take place this Wednesday at the regularly scheduled meeting and council members may vote in person or by telephone if necessary.

The legal wrangle ends the Old Guard council effort of avoiding a full vote of its eight members to avert a 4-4 tie where the mayor could cast the legally binding fifth and deciding vote.  At the previous hearing Judge Bariso ruled five votes were required and the mayor's earlier vote was not valid short of a 4-4 tie.

Councilwoman Beth Mason was seen by a reliable source last month in town driving her younger daughter in her car and  did not show up for the council meeting two hours later where a vote was held on the council candidacy of long time Hoboken activist Jim Doyle.  Mason has never provided a reason for her failure to appear at the meeting.

The following meeting Councilman Michael Russo failed to show up with his godmother Councilwoman Terry Castellano saying he was out due to a family illness.  Both Russo and Mason made no effort to call in and cast a vote on the council appointment.

In court, Mason lawyers attempted to hide behind the 30 day window for the council to back fill the at-large seat and make an appointment but the judge ruled against them and set forward the decision to hold a vote of all eight members.

The judge has indicated he will hold another hearing January 2nd to determine what the actual vote means.  It's expected at least one Old Guard council member will attempt to abstain and claim their vote is not a "no" vote.  In doing so, the Old Guard council will cast their last hail mary to prevent Mayor Dawn Zimmer from casting a tie-breaking vote and keep Jim Doyle from being appointed to the council at-large seat up for election next November.

Beth Mason and her Old Guard council colleagues Michael Russo, Tim Occhipinti and Terry Castellano could make a legal application to stay the legal decision today and forestall the vote on Wednesday.  It's unclear if an attempt for an emergency injunction will be filed and if it would be granted leading into Wednesday's meeting.

Will Beth Mason attempt to hide again from her council responsibility
and avoid a vote for the at-large seat risking contempt of court?
The ruse has been shot down in Hudson County Superior Court earlier today.

Talking Ed Note: Beth Mason is said to have told others the judge can't make her vote.  We'll see what Mason does now that the sabotage of the council has failed to stave off a legal vote this Wednesday as ordered by the Hudson County Assignment Judge Peter Bariso.

Mayor Zimmer statement on CT shooting

Office of the Mayor announces:


“I am horrified and sickened by the tragedy in Newtown. My heart breaks for the families of all the victims. On behalf of the residents of Hoboken, we extend our deepest sympathy to the community of Newtown for their tremendous loss.

The City of Hoboken will continue to assist the Connecticut State Police in any way requested.”