Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Councilman Cunningham: On the Extended Parking Additions

From the desk of Councilman Peter Cunningham:

Good evening,

Many of you inquired on the above subject program.  This new law has created up to 850 additional parking spaces located at our intersections throughout Hoboken.  I sponsored the new legislation, worked very closely with the Administration to have the legislation written, worked with the subcommittee to fine tune it, and off to the council to get it passed.  It took approximately four months to get this done.

Here's how it works (as simply as I can without a visual - check out city website link below).  From the hours of 7pm to 7am (overnight parking), an additional parking spot becomes available on the outbound segments at each intersection.  Prior to this change, the state mandated no parking at each corner, at no less than 25 feet from the crosswalk (50 feet when a stop sign's present).  Now we have a 15 foot minimum at the outbound segments of each intersection during the times noted above.

The Parking Utility is working on identifying the 15 foot spot with a red hash mark.

This will provide some relief to the neighborhood with an overnight option.  However, it will be important that we stay outside the 15 foot minimum to keep corners clear as well as provide for our emergency vehicles to navigate the corners.  This parking flexibility is a delicate balance between convenience and public safety.

http://www.hobokennj.org/departments/transportation-parking/extended-parking-zones/

Thanks and please pass along.  Peter





Horse Sense: Let the People be heard in City Council

Engaging the wider public is always a challenging issue in Hoboken elections.  The recent move to November BoE elections puts Hoboken in the same framework as almost 87% of the State and will see more people using the direct vote at the polls later this year but what of their literal voice?

When MORTe made its notorious midnight power grab to hand the council chair to Beth Mason, the public had no notice and no means to speak on the matter at a reasonable time.  For several meetings thereafter, a member of the public would need to sign up and wait for hours and hours - well past midnight for an opportunity to speak on the matter of the most egregious action we've witnessed in person.  No one did but the outrage was there.

It was a cynical, craven act by MORTe but showed their true colors, transparency of any minimal variety be damned.

Currently, the City Council public portion structure allows members of the public to speak on the subject of individual resolutions and ordinances for five minutes.  But if someone has an issue not part of the council agenda, they must sign up on the list and then wait four, five possibly six plus hours until public portion comes up at the end of the evening when any topic may be discussed.

This is simply unseemly to engage the public over hours and allow them to speak directly to both their elected representatives and other members of the public in the dead of night at midnight or even later on a matter they deem important.

MSV proposes City Council meetings begin with public portion for several reasons.  First, if there is a resolution or ordinance under consideration they can speak to the matter in detail and don't need to spend hours on end until that specific resolution comes up.

Second, the speaking rules as they exist now don't encourage public participation; they discourage it.  This needs to be changed so a broader part of the public can express themselves for the good, status quo or what have you.

Third, while the current system permits public speaking, it acts as a closed system.  As it stands, the City Council meetings are more akin to public meetings with occasional input from the public.  It would be far better for all members to hear from the broadest voices of the public early in the evening not when they are most eager to leave chambers and call it a night.

For all these reasons, the antiquated system for public speaking badly requires updating.  Call this horse sense editorial the 3-3-3 plan.  Let's give the public an opportunity to speak on any topic in public portion for three minutes to start, three minutes on an issue for a resolution and ordinance and three minutes to close if they make it to the end of the typically long evenings.

If time is a concern, this can be altered to give members the opportunity to speak on limited resolutions ensuring the broadest group of people are heard, not the people who wish to speak most often.

The door to hear the public petition their representatives needs to be opened and those doors should be welcoming long before midnight strikes.

For the public to speak on matters it values they must sign early in the evening and then wait often past
midnight to publicly petition the council on an issue.  There has to be a better way for them be heard.


Talking Ed Note: Council members will no doubt be concerned meetings may be stacked with staged political operations at the start of meetings.  That's part of the burden of elected officials to suffer through as no doubt, there will be occasion when this will occur.

The public as it stands now suffers through any number of meaningless discussions in the council on non-binding, purely political resolutions or worse with pure unadulterated and often contradictory grandstanding.

Allowing the public to speak first sets a different tone and may act to minimize some of the worst behavior witnessed on the council.  Updating the structure of when the public interacts with the council will allow the broadest public voices to be heard.

Let's change the trend and encourage it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Be my friend, Godfather?

Another corruption scam this one likely retired for now has come to light with an unusual story in the Hudson Reporter of all places.

The final gift to Hoboken from Ray Smith who moved on to PolitickerNJ this week, comes in the form of a scam where the grift presents itself demonstrating certain municipal employees were more equal than others.

If someone "protected" found themselves in trouble for not doing their job, a Godfather could step in and squash their problems.  Ray Smith described it thusly in an interview with Director Ian Sacs:

“If you were protected by a Godfather [a powerful person in Hoboken],” Sacs said last week, “and you weren’t doing your job, and somebody took you to task about it through a disciplinary civil service procedure, that individual could provide information to his or her Godfather. A representative of a Godfather would contact a superior and basically say, ‘Hey, what the hell are you doing? Leave this person alone.’ ”

Under Director Sacs the corrupt practice of having a Godfather protect you from doing your job went down the tubes and is just another reason explaining the rampant abuse he's faced in the Hoboken City Council at the hands of Councilman Mike Russo.

Sacs stepped in as Director and has replaced some notorious figures in the position before him including John Corea who will be sentenced in April for his role in a $1,000,000 quarters swindle of Hoboken Parking meters and Michele "five-dollars-a-tow" Russo.

Who did John Corea kick up to pay tribute? Who was his Godfather/Godmother?

Just another day in the land of the Soprano State, Hoboken way.  You can't make up this kind of systematic corruption.  It explains much and although MSV can't say with certainty, we have a feeling there's a folder rife with similar stories in the mayor's office; a folder she will never make public.  To do so would likely be considered divisive.

The truth of corruption in Hoboken is far stranger than fiction.  You know it absolutely doesn't end here and explains how the rampant looting of communications coming and going inside the mayor's office would be viewed simply as business as usual.

The FBI arrested one Michael Russo pal, IT manager Patrick Ricciardi last November in a post election surrender.  It should be the first of several acts.  Showtime!

Mikie, be my Godfather?

Talking Ed Note: The late Judy Tripodi did a lengthy interview with MSV and as soon as the tape recorder stopped and the public information officer left the room, she began adding light on corruption she didn't want to discuss on the record.  One of her stories was about the rampant abuse of municipal workers disappearing, often to local bars and not returning to work that day.

Was this a corrupt godfathering activity too?  (Tripodi countered the practice by instituting electronic time cards plugging at least one hole.)  

The question of how many godfathers there's been in Hoboken is an open question and not one MSV can readily answer.  Perhaps some people on the other end of the system doing more than their fair share of the work would like to swap those stories?  Your identity will be held in complete confidence.

When the Old Guard talks about transparency, this is another of their little inside jokes mocking the Hoboken taxpayers.  Next time you hear them moving large amounts of hot air on behalf of the taxpayer, think about this story and you'll have a truer context.

A closer parallel is from the short clip below.  What the Russo clan would call the good old days, ones they wish to resurrect.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Old Guard laments defeat over November BoE elections

The Old Guard lost a key vote in Hoboken, and in the case of their opposition moving to November BoE elections, it's nothing short of a monstrous defeat. A month after the option was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie almost 87% of State BoE election districts made the jump. It's not been very controversial but to the Hoboken Old Guard, avoiding November elections and a bigger turnout is a life and death affair.

With a mayor not increasing the number of municipal employees, their voting base is decreasing not increasing. A slice of Old Hoboken is becoming more disenchanted with the Old Guard, especially in their reckless and incessant sabotage of Hoboken, their attempts to scuttle the sale of the hospital and repeated refusals to back capital improvements such as for police, fire and environmental services through much of 2011, just to spite the mayor.

With this backdrop comes a truculent letter from Old Guard politico Perry Belfiore. While awaiting a 2013 mayoral race where he hopes to see Mayor Zimmer replaced, he submitted a letter to the Hudson Reporter. On first reading, it wasn't clear to Da Horsey Perry was highlighting MSV in the first paragraph as we did not interview Theresa Minutillo as claimed, it was Frank Raia.  Nor did we assure the BoE election would move from April to November.  MSV merely broke and stood by its story as in the Hoboken411 criminal coercion case.

Da Horsey most definitely did urge attendance at the BoE meeting on a Valentine's Day where turnout would be a challenge and a question mark for a besieged duly elected body. The turnout was good and offset what was clearly a desperate attempt at creating a circus atmosphere or worse in the hope to stop a legal vote for November BoE elections.The Old Guard has been crying about the result for days on end since.

In the City Council meeting last Wednesday, an exorbitant amount of time was filled with whining and tossing out every falsehood the Old Guard could come up with  to put a meaningless question on the ballot this November.  This as a real BoE election is actually taking place.

The move to November BoE elections is a huge loss for them, they know it and their paid political operatives in service to Beth Mason are still kvetching about it endlessly on Hoboken Patch.

 Perry Belfiore (c) with Franz Paetzhold in happier times outside the Democratic Committee meeting last May. Has the death knell tolled for the Old Guard with BoE elections moving to November? 
Based on their reaction, it appears they may in fact see that writing on the wall. 


Here's the letter to the Hudson Reporter by Perry Belfiore: 

For weeks, a local for-profit Blog Site has maintained a consistent message assuring movement of the school board election from April to November. The blog interviewed Theresa Minutillo, a sitting board member whose term expires this April, about the wonderful opportunity the move presents, published an election analysis demonstrating how November would reverse city-wide losses sustained by the Zimmer Administration, and sent out a clarion call to all Zimmer supporters urging attendance at the school board meeting.

Dutifully, a dozen or more ardent Zimmer supporters, including First Husband Stan Grossbard, braved the incredibly hot, cramped board meeting room where they were met by an equal or slightly larger group of administration critics.For two hours the meeting droned on with issues warranting lengthy discussion, such as the budget and labor agreements. Finally, it came time for the public to speak. Positive some in attendance wished to speak on more personal issues such as the schooling of their child, the first speaker chose to address the date of the election. At this point, the board president informed the speaker and all attendees that public comment would be shortened from the standard five minutes, which appears on all board agendas, to two minutes.

The uproar was instantaneous. Several times the board called a recess and approximately one hour later when the meeting continued, in rapid succession the motives of the chair were questioned, a motion to override the chair failed and finally a three minute gag rule was imposed by the Zimmer-supported majority.

Of course, I spoke. Trying to convey how the elected unilaterally extending their time in office was a major concern, I spoke of our representative form of government, which allows the elected to make decisions in the name of the people for a prescribed period and how this contract between the elected and the governed cannot be amended, to extend time in office, without consent from both parties. Midway through I was told my time had elapsed and threatened with arrest if I continued to speak. Debate on these consequential issues stymied, the threat of removal by uniformed police indicates not the lofty stated goal of increased voter participation but a tyrannical board obsessed with abject self-preservation.

I recognized a fait accompli and the affront to the democratic process was exemplar. Zimmer’s board members will tell you other districts enacted similar resolutions, or how not voting on the budget isn’t important. Left unsaid is how recent similar effort to extend the terms of Mayor Zimmer and her council cronies was rebuked by the people.

I don’t want to conflate the people’s right to set the course of term limits through referendum with the operations of the district. Our goal should be to provide the best education. However, the tumultuous 1960s imparted a healthy suspicion of government leaving indelible denying any governing body more than the will of the people freely gives. The will of the people was never considered at the board’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.With a ruckus underway, Nick Calicchio continues yelling at BoE members exiting to a side room even with the microphone down and the cameras not rolling as Old Guard row (rear) is seen. 

Nick Calicchio continues yelling at BoE members even with the microphone and cameras off as they depart the fracas to a side room.  Councilman Mike Russo rear left is pictured with Ma Russo and in-between a smiling Perry Belfiore enjoys the circus.  Frank Raia and Beth Mason right are seen rear right on Old Guard row. Order was restored in ten minutes not an hour


Talking Ed Note: There's not much substance here, it's more gassy misinformation not requiring correction. The chair is permitted under its rules to reduce speaking time when a large group signs up and the meeting which began at 7:00 went well past midnight even after the going from five to three minutes per speaker. Was that a wise decision considering a wound up desperate Old Guard looking to stop November elections at any cost? It would change no vote or outcome weeks leading into the vote as predicted here. It shortened a chance to denigrate the proceedings, nothing more.

With an overwhelming defeat handed down, Old Guard hopes to stave off higher turnout in November has put them in a sour mood. Without an expanding municipal employee voter base and/or growing subsidized housing, their only hope to regain power is to discourage or disgust other voters, especially taxpayers and parents from participating in the electoral process and also abandon the public schools. They put their worst face forward here. For their efforts which included a petition worded with no legal value they will see November BoE elections for the next four years.

The November BoE election will be the opposite of letting the least amount of people decide.  And that is what the Old Guard fears most.

As for Perry Belfiore, he should be careful the next time he goes on safari around  Hoboken election time.  People in the Hoboken Housing Authority were chasing him for their "campaigning" money when a number were stiffed after the BoE election.  Farmer Frank harvested the votes but didn't pay them for their "campaign work."

It's awful when the hunters become the hunted.

There will be no safaris in Hoboken this April.

Bet weighs in on controversial criminal coercion case

From the desk of Hobroken411 sponsor Councilwoman Bet Mazin:



Having been out of pocket, wallet, and unable to pick up a telephone, it is only now with some dismay I've learned on my return of this legal plot against Hobroken's biggest website serving me for news and business in town.

Enemies of the Masonic Temple targeted a website with all the news I approve for reasons having nothing to do with anything but malice for me and my friend Pervy.  There's been a coordinated two year plus plot to steal traffic from Pervy he rightfully deserves from more of these self-promoting suspected Zimmertini do gooders at Conmag.com.  Sources say it's the big toothed horse and the Nazi movie maker Gaffix Defanger responsible.  Those anonymous sources have been available on Hobroken411 for years, are never wrong and always approved by me in advance.  I always believe them and you should too.

Pervy didn't target Cory with extortion.  Pervy is just misunderstood and wanted to keep borrowing the use of this other website's address, along temporary permanent lines which was his right, as someone gave it to him.  If someone gives you a gift, and it's stolen, do you give it back?  No you don't insult the person who gave it to you.  You keep it and say thank you.

My friend Timmay Ochcuepintay was given something stolen and he's never complained about it, not once.  He knew it was a wonderful gift and he kept it.  The love I've gotten from him on the dais of the City Council has inspired me to make this a tradition and give away more elections to our friends like Hans Cuckhold and Scotty Delayed.

Now Pervy currently has blackouts from a combination of alcohol abuse and glucose depletion on the brain from exertion of walking 100 yards daily and a low carb diet.  So what happened is Pervy went out and was exerting himself walking with Oskey and he came upon an evil traitor in our midst.  He doesn't recall what happened next but he knows we were betrayed by a Oscar De La Renta imitation handbag I would never be caught dead carrying.

Having said that, I know of Pervy but I don't know Pervy or any of his previous porn websites.  You should know I have never controlled or had full ownership in Hobroken411, and am not responsible for any of his editorial content or criminal actions stemming from what he publishes including any information gained from public City Hall emails not quite public.  This especially includes the million emails coming and going from Da Mayor's office.  Any of the people smeared on Hobroken411 from Da Mayor to my former legislative aide is nothing but a happy coincidence.  Let us pause in a moment of silence and celebrate these moments.

Even though I've been away my media team has been working closely with the vigorous, independent investigative Hoboken media to ensure their swift oversight of this story.  By that I mean... well I just told them you best not cover this story.  I'm proud to tell you they've given this all the utmost independent evaluation just as when an employee attacked Director Indian Mats and scratched this off their hand me down police blotter.  We all know that employee had no choice but to attack Mats in self-defense or his abandoned Tonka Truck might have been unfairly ticketed.  Just so you know, we're still trying to decide who deserves our annual Lickmybootz Award.  The coverage among you was so outstanding, especially those of you who were kind enough not to cover the charges against Mats thrown out of court.  Five stars!!

At the Whorey Journal, Numnut Reporter and Hobroken Splatch the highest standards of he said, she said journalism is followed - at least until I say different.  Who else is going to take out big splashy ads there?  So I told them, I mean my media team informed them to STFU about all this and make it snappy.  My friends not paid for friendship, now under the fine leadership of Oink will provide you with further direction with your authorization.

I make no guarantees or warrantees for any story posted on Hobroken411 by my friend(s) not paid for friendship and can not be held responsible for any of the content thereof, nor can I be included as a party in any civil action for harm made in NJ Superior Court or any court with standing in the United States of America unless you prove me guilty in said court. And unless you do, I'm gonna say I'm not guilty.

I of sound mind and conscience, hereby declare myself innocent to all current and future claims of any Hobroken resident, City employee, city official against Hobroken411, its subsidies, lessors, ghostwriters and whisky tango weirdness.

Look for those of you not comfortable with legalese, I hereby hold myself harmless.
In short, sue Pervy not me.

Looking down upon you with the safety of my ADT security and Gumby by my side,
Bet

P.S. Some of you may be scratching your heads and wondering about that big toothed horse and why he keeps dropping hints about someone in my employ who has harassed a local elected BoE official and her little girl.

Silence is golden and so is my husband's checkbook.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Friday's Fire Fundraiser, auction items and rent insurance

This Friday night Room 84 will be hosting a fundraiser for victims of the 300 Washington Street.  The Facebook page for the event shows hundreds plan on attending that evening and the Hoboken Rotary Club is accepting online donations.

With the size of the event growing, items for raffle or in a silent auction would be greatly appreciated such as theater, concert, sporting event tickets and gift baskets, etc.

If you are looking to help, please email helpinghoboken@gmail.com or president@hobokenrotary.org

Of the 17 fire victims displaced by the fire, 9 lost everything having no insurance.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/301015846626195/



Talking Ed Note: In the last few years, there have been several fires in Hoboken.  Each left people in unfortunate outcomes where they had no insurance.

An insurance policy in addition to fire may also cover robbery, weather and liability.

Typically a renter's policy is anywhere from $200 - 300, less than a dollar a day, depending on the amount of coverage.  State Farm on lower Washington Street can provide you a quote for coverage right over the phone and have a policy made effective the same day.  Da Horsey has found their assistance professional and efficient.  To contact them:


Street Address:
129 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030-4657
Mailing Address:
129 Washington St Bsmt 6
Hoboken, NJ 07030-4650
Landmark:
Free parking at garage B on 2nd Street between Hudson and River Street


Phone: (201) 795-0004
Fax: (201) 795-0008
Office Hours:
M,W,Th,F 9:00am to 5:00pm
Tues 9:00am to 7:00pm
Sat 9:30am to 12:30pm



Related: A reader notes the film "Delivered Vacant." MSV attended a screening of the movie at Stevens in late 2009 where Nora Jacobson last visited Hoboken and discussed the making of the documentary.

No one was ever arrested for the murders
mostly of children and the FBI kept away by then Mayor Capiello.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

BoE and HEA jointly announce contractual agreement reached


Hoboken Board of Education and Hoboken Education Association announce:

Hoboken Education Association, Board of Education Pleased to Announce New Contract
Local tax levy maintained for 3rd year in a row with no sacrifice of educational excellence

Hoboken, NJ – The Hoboken Board of Education and the members of the Hoboken Education Association, which represents teachers, clerical employees, computer technicians and transportation employees, are pleased to announce the successful resolution of the contract for the 2011-2014 school years. The contract maintains the local tax levy at the same level for the third year in a row. As a result of concessions from both the association and the board, this contract actually reduces costs for salaries and benefits while maintaining high standards of educational excellence.

 “As educators, we are pleased that the contract has been successfully settled and we look forward to continue our work with the Board of Education, parents, and the community to ensure that every child in Hoboken receives a great education,” said HEA President Gary Enrico. “Under this new agreement, students will receive more instructional time and staff will have more time for high-quality professional development.”

 “The Board of Education is happy that this contract will improve educational opportunities in this community while continuing to keep taxpayers’ needs in mind,” said Leon Gold, a Board member and member of the Board’s negotiating team.  “As a result of the health benefits change, the district will be saving money while increasing instructional time for the students and the employees will get fair raises.  That is a win for all sides.”

The contract added more than 20 minutes of instructional time to the elementary school schedule, added an extra period to the high school schedule, and added two additional work days to the calendar for staff. One of those days will be used for the instruction of students and one will be used for professional development activities that will help staff continue to implement innovative programs.

The contract spans three years and will increase the funds available for staff salaries by 2.8 percent in year one, 3.8 percent in year two, and 3.8 percent in year three. There were no increases in longevity payments for each of the three years. There were small increases in stipends and the hourly rates in the second year of the contract only. There was an addition of one step to the teacher’s salary guide in year three of the contract. In addition, some high school teachers may be required to teach an additional class with additional compensation.

The members of the HEA will move to the state school employees’ health benefits plan as of July 1, 2012, a move which will save the district more than one million dollars.

# # #

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hoboken411 coercion case scheduled for March 6th in Jersey City

The criminal coercion case between Hoboken411 and local Hoboken businessman Rory Chadwick is scheduled for March 6th, 1:00 pm in Jersey City.

It's unclear if Perry Klaussen has a defense lawyer and if he will also find himself represented by the Office of Elise DiNardo.  That law office is believed to provide representation for Mason political operatives past and present.   One currently involves a paid political operative for harassment against an elected BoE official with a young daughter.

MSV reached out for comment to Beth Mason but she was said to be out of town on family business earlier this week.



Talking Ed Note:  We're seeing heavy traffic on this alleged coercion case but can assure our readers MSV is taking precautions to ensure the website stays up.  Da Horsey is prepared to absorb a million hits if need be so you can see the exclusive story.

MSV would also like to wish good luck to Ray Smith who in a tweet earlier announced this is his last day at the Hoboken Reporter.  Ray broke a number of stories providing journalistic grit and context not seen in these parts, including the massive vote by mail anomalies coming out of the fourth ward in the Tim Occhipinti and BoE elections.

Thanks Ray for your noble service and best of luck at PolitickerNJ!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Don't get mad at the Old Guard, get even

People seem downright ornery after last night's special City Council meeting.  Da Horsey wonders if some of it rubbed off on us here at the stable.  After watching almost an hour of Councilman Michael Russo question every comma on dozens of legal cases, a carrot with hemlock washed down with a vodka chaser looked like a better option.

It was that bad.

So in honor of another useless obstructionist MORTe performance, an ingenious idea has been hatched by MSV reader Furey with a suggestion everyone change their WIFI name to this:

The City of Hoboken can act as a decoy for the Boys of Summer making MORTe and the Old Guard miserable.

We're looking for people to move quickly on this idea beginning with the first ward on lower Hudson, the second ward in the area of ninth street, the third ward in the area of Church Towers and in the fourth ward the former pet shop on Observer.

Related: Grafix Avenge notes Tim Occhipinti also blocked the funding to take down the gutted out building that burned down in December on Jackson Street.  The owner has failed to act so the City is doing so.  Or so it had hoped.

For those who were conned into the vacant eyes of Tim Occhipinti and thought he was an okay guy at a charity clearinghouse over chili where he promotes himself, this is what you voted for and if that doesn't make you ill, watch the tape and you'll shudder.

Director Leo Pellegrini - Acting Mayor & now serving

City of Hoboken announces:


Director Pellegrini Serving as Acting Mayor

Mayor Dawn Zimmer has designated Health and Human Services Director Leo Pellegrini as Acting Mayor through Sunday, February 26, 2012 while Mayor Zimmer is away visiting family out of town. Mayor Zimmer thanks Director Pellegrini for his first time serving as Acting Mayor, for recently taking on management of the City’s parks, and for taking on additional grant coordinating responsibilities for the Police Athletic League in addition to his role as director, which he is being compensated for through a grant stipend at no cost to the City.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer (c), Directors Brandy Forbes and Leo Pellegrini at a City Council meeting earlier this month

City: Update on 300 Washington

City of Hoboken announces:

UPDATE ON 300 WASHINGTON STREET FIRE SITE

The Hoboken Construction Code office issued a limited demolition permit today. The scope of work to be performed involves the manual removal of severely fire damaged portions of the building.

The areas of the building to be removed are the roof and chimney, the entire fifth floor, and a section of the fourth floor at the rear of the building.

It is difficult to estimate the timeline for completion of this work since it is dependent on weather conditions and the uncertainty of conditions as the manual removal of debris proceeds. At a minimum, this work will take at least two weeks and could be considerably longer. The City is exploring options for opening Washington Street to limited traffic in a way that does not impact public safety.

Upon completion of this work, an engineering analysis will be conducted to determine the structural stability and overall safety of the remaining portions of the building. At that time, the Hoboken Construction Code office will determine if any further demolition is required to protect the public safety.

bludiamonds blue-plate lunch special: MORTe scores!

From the desk of the nutty fruit, bludiamonds:

Did my ears deceive me, or did one Councilman Timothy "Fredo (I'm not like they say, not like DUMB, I'm SMART)" Okyoopeentay suggest last night that the city hire lawyers but not pay them? Thereby creating plausible deniability that MORTe is aligned with developers against the public interest, arguing instead that they're for the public, they just want to hobble the city from actually doing anything about it?

This sent my depraved old mind down memory lane, and reminded me of an ill-advised scheme a friend of mine once came up with to put one over on an impressionable young lady who was goodly enough to go out on a date with him. See, this fella took his girl to the movies, and hoped to have his way with her later that night.

But his unsuspecting sweetie wasn't necessarily up for the full grand slam on the first date, so this guy is thinking his best chance of getting around the bases is to "run out of gas" somewhere on the way home.

 So the fella stops at a gas station to create the appearance of being prepared to do the responsible thing and take his date, who has entrusted herself to him, home safely. But here's the trick -- he's double-talking the gas-station attendant with all these rationalizations and equivocations to trump up a basis for refusing to pay. Hence, no pay, no gas. Hit the road, turn off into the woods, run out of gas, and away we go -- make like MORTe to the taxpayers and try to slip her a roofie! MORTe:

 Date-raping Hoboken since 2010!






Planning Board shoots down Shipyard application for Monarch Project

RPW announces: 


We are happy to announce that last night in a vote of 6-2 the Hudson County Planning Board denied Shipyard Associates' application for Monarch at the Shipyard.  This is a great step forward in our fight to keep the Hoboken waterfront open and free for all residents to enjoy.  We will provide more details as they become available.  

Thank you again for all your continued support.  The fight continues at the Hoboken Planning Board on March 6 at the Wallace School at 11th Street and Willow Avenue.

Enjoy your day!

Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront


Latest on community efforts for the fire victims of 300 Washington

The latest update from the community effort on behalf of the displaced on 300 Washington:

RELB Property Management LLC. which is the management for 300 Washington Street communicated the following need:

Approximately 12 laptop computers are needed desperately at this time.  In addition very much needed are digital cameras, sundries such as tooth paste, colognes and perfumes, soap, shampoos etc.  Several of the displaced residents need a place to stay locally and if anyone has a room for rent in their home or has an apartment vacant that those displaced can use free of charge for a month or 2 that would be great.

Tonight at the Village Pourhouse from 7:00-8:30 pm we are holding a volunteers meeting.  Community residents can attend and learn how to be involved both short and long term in assisting with ongoing efforts to help those displaced.

For those that want to donate and can not attend the event  March 2nd visit hobokenrotary.org, on the home page is a link to donate online.  For those that want to volunteer and can not attend tonight's meeting, email helpinghoboken@gmail.com




Talking Ed Note: Mayor Dawn Zimmer stated "Sadly some of our residents lost everything, but we have a strong and generous community that is rallying to their side, so we ask residents to give as much as they can to help."


Southwest Redevelopment meeting tonight at Multi-Service Center


From the desk of Councilman David Mello:


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Tomorrow evening, February 23rd, is the second Planning Board hearing on the Southwest Redevelopment Study.  Please attend this vital meeting about the Southwest's future.  The hearing will be held at the Multi-Service Center, on the corner of Grand St. and 2nd St. at 7:00 PM, Thursday evening, Feb. 23rd.

This is a very important meeting, where you can hear an overview of the study report that was recently submitted by the planners whom our Planning Board hired.  These hearings may also prove to be a precursor to a number of major changes to our Southwest neighborhood, which could affect the entire City.  It's important that your thoughts on this study be shared with as many decision makers as possible.

You can access the study by following this link ==> Southwest Redevelopment Study Report.  Please look it over.

Again, please attend tomorrow night.  The first hearing was cancelled because too many people attended for the original meeting place, however this venue will be more than large enough.

If you have any questions regarding the study or this hearing, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at the contacts below.

Thanks,

David Mello


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

MORTe to lawyers defending City: Go scratch!

In the special meeting of the City Council, MORTe was given not one but two opportunities to provide adequate funding for more than two dozen legal matters.  As in last week's City Council meeting MORTe (minus an absent Councilwoman Beth Mason who was out of town on family business) voted down the emergency appropriation for the second and third time.

The Council was presented with a legal shortfall through march of approximately $136,000 and voted twice short a necessary sixth vote for an emergency appropriation with only five votes in favor.

The meeting showed a usual path with typical "gotcha" games starring Councilman Michael Russo asking for detailed information on any number of cases of Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin.  After a tedious thirty minutes of back and forth Q&A, Tabakin finally asked why he didn't get any questions in advance of the meeting while Russo did his usual routine of accusing him as other directors before of "not doing your job."

All council members had the documentation about a week and a half ago.

No facts from Tabakin would change Russo's opinion, as no facts on a funding deficit for legal work on more than two dozen legal cases and firefighters pay would sway a required  approving vote.  Tim Occhipinti and Terry Castellano both weighed in blocking the required sixth vote for emergency appropriations.

Funding the legal work doesn't mean the City Council approve final billings, as that review would come later.

Councilwoman Jen Giattino may have encapsulated MORTe's contradictions best by noting they don't want legal work performed without prior authorization and when it's brought to them, they won't authorize it.



The above clip on the Monarch Project shows the political problem when pretending there is adequate funds to handle 29 legal cases exists even when told to the exact figure they don't.  As a result the attempt for Castellano-Occhipinti-Russo to say they support legal work to retain a lawyer to work on the Monarch while refusing to provide the funding is exposed.  (Beth Mason did not call in a vote so she in essence voted no with MORTe again.)

Of course they are also contradicting what they argued against previously on legal work.

The mayor responded to the latest rejection by MORTe to the funding stating, "Tonight the City Council minority refused to fund to fight the Monarch project, defend the City against litigation, and pay our firefighters for overtime due to the recent fire.  This refusal is an irresponsible breach of their fiduciary duty to the City of Hoboken"



Talking Ed Note: In MORTe's defense, if they don't play politics and sabotage the City what else can they do?  As was noted correctly by Councilman Peter Cunningham who highlighted their recent history of sabotage to deplete the surplus in last year's budget, vote down the refinancing of the hospital's midtown garage even though it would ADD $50,000 to the City's revenues and of course try to blow up the sale of the hospital itself.

Terry Castellano hated hearing about the hospital sabotage and claimed that wasn't reality but obviously Cunningham's remarks hit the mark.  Most of Castellano's remarks on the legal cases involved her supporting city personnel suing the City and attacking the mayor for deeming some cases "frivalous."  She complained that unnamed people were not offered "settlements," and described Lt. Andriani's behavior as "boorish" implying he should not be terminated for his SWAT antics and arrest at a Tampa Bay Airport.

What more do you need to know?  There's the "game" right there.

Special City Council Meeting @ 7:00: Lawyer Up!




 Tonight's City Council meeting includes another go round for the 600K emergency authorization with a list of legal cases for the City Council to express its distaste and capitulate.

David Denning posted his lead-in story to MSV earlier today posted below.


A Casual Viewer's Guide to the Hoboken Lawsuits

If you're looking for a good drama this evening, the special City Council meeting tonight should do just fine. The key issue will be whether the Old Guard (Mason, Russo, Castellano and Occhipinti)  bows to reason and extends a sixth vote to finance the city's legal defenses. 

They have Hoboken in this position because State rules require a super majority for additional expenditures in the period before the annual budget is adopted and many believe they engineered a flurry of legal activity and expense at the beginning of 2012.  A 'No' would be in keeping with Old Guard's strategy of financially starving the city, to force tax increases, defaults and perhaps a return to State control.  A 'Yes' vote would indicate a retreat from their Hoboken harming, self-centered strategies. But the drama will not end if the finance resolution fails 5-4 , as the council is forced to declare which cases they do not feel worth defending.

Your master of politrickin this evening, Al Capone, uhm, I mean Councilman Michael Russo

So the first thing on the agenda to pay particular attention is the debate over resolution number 4, emergency legal appropriations for 2012.  A key point: the list of lawsuits increased by two in just the last week, as litigators sensed weakness and pushed up their legal action.  These are items 32 and 33 on the agenda, Maxwell and an 'affirmative action' case, that is Angel Alicea claiming he was fired for being Hispanic rather than resigning, after it was revealed he hid his meetings with FBI informant Solomon Dwek.  If  funding for defending the city’s legal interests is not approved expect many more cases, new and old, to be rushed to court as the wolves circle and close in for the kill on our crippled city.  Tim Occhipinti is the key vote here. If the Old Guard is going to fold they will have collectively chosen Tim to act in his 'independent' role.

If a sixth vote is not forth coming, watch for the next 28 items on the agenda to be voted on individually and for some interesting mechanics as the Old Guard will try to justify their actions. In these votes, an affirmative vote is a vote to end the defense of a lawsuit. Expect Michael Russo to bloviate that this is a meaningless exercise and that, like so many things, this is not his job.

Most of the roughly 28 or so lawsuits facing Hoboken break down into a few categories. On of the largest categories is employee lawsuits,  for instance the cases of AndrianiAlicea, and Arezzo, and that is just the A’s. The individuals here are all supporters of convicted Mayors Russo and/or Cammarano. Many of the others also have ties to Old Guard council persons.  From the links above you can see the highlighted cases all intensified or started recently, probably as part of an Old Guard plan to spark this crisis.  The case to watch here is the Alicea case, currently listed in position 32 as a new affirmative action case.  It belies the Old Guard claim that they are saving money as the case is timed to cash in on.  The Old Guard will generally oppose pursuing legal defense here, no matter how they vote as they trade on their ability to protect and steer money to favored municipal employees.  At the last meeting Theresa Castellano, Old Guard, council member was reported to exclaim ‘just give him his job back’ in the case of Al Arezzo.

Development issues loom equally large.  There are lawsuits from  Maxwell, Monroe Center Development and Monarch Waterfront Development among others.  Watch for splitting of votes in this class of lawsuits with several 3-6 votes.  This will allow the Old Guard to signal  their willingness to play ball with developers while still allowing individual council persons to say ‘I voted against over development in my ward.’  The highlight here will be how Mason deals with the Monarch case. This is an issue she previously put effort into ignoring but recently has made a show of opposing.  

Related to development are the fair housing cases;  Advance Housing and Fair Share Housing, are suing Hoboken over failures to provide enough fair housing,  at numbers 22 and 23.  Advance Housing is the odds on favorite to go 0-9 voting wise in support of funding. Advance Housing uses Michael Kates as general counsel, he is Hoboken’s former corporation counsel.  Kates is widely disliked by the Old Guard for his attempts to clean house in Hoboken.

The other large group of lawsuits relate to rent control including cases listed as Denardo, Burns and Tumpson.  Apparently Mason’s ordinance changing rent control has not ended rent control controversies as it was intended. The council should vote consistently against cutting funds to these. Despite the deep flaws in Mason’s ordinance it was passed unanimously.  The Old Guard  is staunch in their support so much so that ally Reuben Ramos was reported to have misinformed election day workers that they were opposing the ordinance when in fact they were handing out literature in support.


The Founding Fathers knew that giving in to extortion was to invite more. When France, the world’s most powerful nation at the time,  demanded tribute and personal bribes for French official in return for continued peace, the correct answer for a great nation was “millions for defense, sir, but not one cent for tribute!”  This should be the the way of a great city of Hoboken in the area of legal defense, France backed down in the face of a vigorous response, as will merit less lawsuits.

Story by David Denning


Talking Ed Note: MSV understands Councilwoman Beth Mason will not be attending the meeting due to family business out of town.

Correction: The Alicea case is separate from the affirmative action case mentioned above.  The Tumpson case is separate from the rent control case(s).

I wanna be Da Mayor

When it comes to naming names of who wants the job of Hoboken mayor, there's a healthy list with an even healthier amount of ego or is it hubris to go with the desire to occupy Mayor Dawn Zimmer's seat on the second floor at City Hall.

As anyone vaguely aware of the local political scene can tell you, ambition is not enough and ambition plus oodles of cash to throw at the problem doesn't equate to victory either.  Ask Councilwoman Beth Mason who has spent nearly seven figures (unofficially) since 2009 all in a vain attempt to get a job that pays less than 116K annually for four years.

Councilwoman Theresa Castellano has flirted with the idea of being mayor and said so publicly in 2009 but what people may not know is that her stringent opposition to Mayor Zimmer does not end with only seeing her out of office.  Her flirting with the idea in 2009 isn't over with an eye on 2013.

While the list is long on who wants to occupy Mayor Dawn Zimmer's chair, the divisions among those who are looking to unseat her are not altogether rosy.  Mustering the challenge may be half the battle with the FBI looming over Hoboken in 2012 having just paid a visit to Hudson County offices in Jersey City last week carting out computers less than a year after doing similarly last May in Hoboken.

The rest of this story is MSV Premium Content.  You may make a one time purchase of this article for $3.45.  No paypal account is required.  Just follow the link on the button below securely using a debit or credit card:


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Community: Update on 300 Washington Street Fire, Street Closing, Detour, Victim Assistance & Fundraiser Information

City of Hoboken announces:


A five story building at 300 Washington Street caught fire shortly after 7pm on Sunday evening.

Three Hoboken firefighters were treated for knee injuries, a broken hand, and smoke inhalation.

"We are so grateful to the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us every day," said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. "This is a reminder of how dangerous their work is. I thank everyone for coming together, saving lives and preventing the fire from spreading to other buildings - the Hoboken Fire Department, Police Department, Office of Emergency Management, EMS, and the mutual aid we received from various towns including Elizabeth, Newark, East Newark, Bloomfield, Bayonne and Jersey City."

While all residents of the building are safe, one was treated for smoke inhalation on Sunday night. At least 17 residents lived in the building, and at least nine did not have insurance.

A community-organized fundraiser for the fire victims is scheduled for Friday, March 2nd from 7-10pm at Room 84, 84 Washington Street. A donation at the door is requested, and all entrants will receive one free drink upon entry. Additional details on the fundraiser are available online:https://www.facebook.com/events/301015846626195/.

Saints Peter and Paul Church is coordinating victim assistance. Residents needing help or who wish to provide assistance can contact the parish at 201-659-2276 or secretary@spphoboken.com.

"Sadly, some of our residents lost everything, but we have a strong and generous community that is rallying to their side, so we ask residents to give as much as they can to help," added Mayor Zimmer.

Construction officials have deemed the building uninhabitable and have determined that it will require at least a partial demolition, since the entire 5th floor and several floors in the back were completely destroyed by the fire. Demolition work is expected to begin on Tuesday, February 22nd. Washington Street between 2nd Street and 4th Street will remain closed until the demolition is complete. Demolition work is expected to last approximately one week.

Until further notice, NJ TRANSIT bus routes No. 22 (Hoboken-Union City-North Bergen), No. 89 (Hoboken-North Bergen) and No. 126 (Hoboken-New York) will operate on a detour route between Hoboken Terminal and 11th Street at Washington Street.

Customers are advised of the following:

From Hoboken Terminal (Nos. 22 and 89 to North Bergen; No. 126 to New York)

• No service will be provided along Washington Street between 11th Street and Observer Highway.
• Buses will operate from Hoboken Terminal along Observer Highway to northbound Bloomfield Street, make a right on 11th Street, a left on Washington Street, then return to the regular route.
• Northbound customers are advised to board/alight at the following locations along Bloomfield Street, upon request (waiting customers must hail the bus as it approaches):
o Hoboken Bus Terminal
o Bloomfield Street at 1st Street
o Bloomfield Street at 3rd Street
o Bloomfield Street at 5th Street
o Bloomfield Street at 7th Street
o Bloomfield Street at 9th Street

To Hoboken Terminal (Nos. 22, 89 and 126 trips operating via Washington Street)

• No service will be provided along Washington Street between 11th Street and Observer Highway.
• Buses will operate to Hoboken Terminal from Washington Street at 11th Street, make a left on 11th Street, followed by a right on Hudson Street to Hoboken Terminal.
• Southbound customers are advised to board/alight at the following locations along Hudson Street, upon request (waiting customers must hail the bus as it approaches):
o Hudson Street at 10th Street
o Hudson Street at 8th Street
o Hudson Street at 6th Street
o Hudson Street at 4th Street
o Hudson Street at 2nd Street
o Hudson Street at Newark Street
o Hoboken Terminal

NJ TRANSIT is advising customers to check njtransit.com for service updates throughout the week.For full details, view this message on the web.


Photo courtesy Anthony Torres of AST Photos

Grist for the Mill: Perry Klaussen of Hoboken411 in hot water with the law

The web traffic is heavy today with strong interest in the Hoboken Patch story on the Boys and Girls Club but there's a double dose of buzz in the Hoboken blogosphere according to multiple sources independently contacting MSV.

Hoboken411 is in the middle of it, decrying others should "beware the scams" of the latest fundraiser for Hoboken fire victims at 300 Washington but the trouble with the poison he pumps out into the community is only beginning there.

Perry Klaussen - legal troubles for the website
where Beth Mason runs her political operations

MSV hears word on the street Perry Klaussen is facing a pile of problems of his own making on several fronts and apparently it's all about to come out in the wash.  It looks like MSV is not the only venue that suffered copyright issues with Das Klaussen.  (Hoboken411 like Scott Delea ignored our communications on the matter although he's still on the list.)

The lame criticism from Perry Klaussen on Hoboken411 attacking those looking to help others in yesterdays fire is undercut with a 501(c) available for aiding the victims at 300 Washington Street.

The City of Hoboken is also working with a local Church to aid the victims in addition to an official fundraiser scheduled for March 2nd at Room 84.  More details to follow.


Talking Ed Note: How long before Councilwoman Beth Mason is ringing up Jersey City criminal attorney Elise DiNardo for yet another case involving her political operations/operatives?  Looks like the live billings file is about to grow yet again at the Office of Elise DiNardo.

The FBI may have a peripheral interest in all of this as it relates to the investigation into the Data Theft Conspiracy at City Hall.

There's a HoLotta shakin going on at the Boys and Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club in Hoboken is back in the news and more questions and questionable actions by the management is coming to the fore.  In another installment of the series by Amanda Staab, questions on the lease and operations of the building on lower Jefferson Street raise a host of questions with tax implications galore.



What happens when a collision occurs between the interests of the taxpayers against the old dark ways in Hoboken?

Maybe we're just beginning to find out.

http://hoboken.patch.com/articles/mayor-extremely-concerned-about-the-boys-and-girls-club?logout=true

Important in this story is the City is taking its responsibility seriously and the questions are not all answered but enough have surfaced to question how the Hoboken Boys & Girls Club has cut corners, or worse.

The facility pays the City of Hoboken $2 a year to operate on behalf of children most in need.  Along the way, that mission statement appears to have been lost as corners were cut and worse.

Two important elements in this story arise: usage outside the terms of the lease and failure to provide the financials as required to the City of Hoboken.

Adding more fuel to the fire, one commenter X-files recalls Director Greenberg being involved in a protest against Kids First.  If true, that's an additional dynamic beyond the pale too.  It's a political wrinkle where none should exist.

There's more questions than answers on this story, but it's finally been smoked out.  There's extensive comment from the mayor and contradictions galore from the Boys and Girls Club director.

Talking Ed Note: If the B&G Club is violating the terms of the lease, how does HoLa's residence in the building fit in?  Based on MSV's reading (and we have a copy), they don't.  HoLa serves children but not the B&G Club children.  The lease between the City of Hoboken and the B&G Club states,

the building at 123 Jefferson St. is to be used "for the sole purpose of conducting youth programs and [Boys and Girls Club] activities."

That's a problem for everyone concerned.  Since it's a tax problem, it requires adjudication one way or another.  The City has done some heavy lifting here, but isn't finished.

Can the City of Hoboken be in the Charter School business (or any business) let alone subsidizing one?  In this case, Hoboken is subsidizing one school over others including the BoE.  


Can you say "problema?"

Circling back: the Boys and Girls Club must provide the complete financials.

Related: Grafix Avenger has posted its story wondering what the City will do next?
MSV broke the story on the conflicts in the leasing arrangement last August.

Graphic courtesy of the Grafix Avenger

Residents for a Public Waterfront urge action

RPW announces:


Here's a quick update on our fight against the Monarch Project:

1. REMINDER - The Hudson County Planning Board will hold a special meeting on Wednesday evening at 6:30pm specifically to deal with the Monarch application.  The planning board needed to schedule this special hearing to give enough time to the public to voice their concerns on this construction project.  Even if you did not attend the first hearing you can still attend this meeting to voice your displeasure with this project.  Here are the details on the location:

Hudson County Planning Board
Monarch Project Special Meeting
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 – 6:30PM
Freeholders Chambers - 3rd Floor
567 Pavonia Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07306
(one block from the Journal Square PATH station)

2. The Hoboken Planning Board meeting on Tuesday, March 6 will now be held in the Wallace School gymnasium to deal with the large expected crowd.  We applaud the planning board's decision to change the location of this meeting.  Our best shot at defeating this project is in front of the Hoboken Planning Board.  Here are the details for this important meeting:


Hoboken Planning Board
Tuesday, March 6, 2012 – 7:00PM
Wallace School gymnasium
1100 Willow Avenue (intersection of 11th and Willow Ave.)

3. Fund for a Better Waterfront is hosting a fundraiser comedy show on Friday, March 16 at 7:30pm at Willie McBride's.  Follow this link to learn more and to purchase tickets for this great event - http://betterwaterfront.org/?page_id=1523  It would be great for all of us to get together in a social setting and have some fun.  We hope to see you there.

4. The Hoboken City Council recently defeated emergency appropriations which included legal costs for the city's Monarch fight.  We desperately need the city to continue its fight against the Monarch's approval from the NJ DEP.  We cannot allow internal politics on the City Council to weaken our fight against this terrible project.  Please reach out to the city council to voice your displeasure on this setback.  Follow this link for City Council member contact information: http://betterwaterfront.org/?page_id=1366

Articles on the recent Council vote:


5. We have collected over 2,200 signatures on our petition.  Please continue to forward around the link for our online version.  We will present this petition to our public officials in the coming weeks to show how much support we have in this fight.



Sincerely,
Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront
@HobokenRPW on Twitter



Apologies for the multiple emails.  We forgot to include in our previous update that Mayor Zimmer has called a Special City Council meeting for Wednesday, February 22 at 7PM in the City Council chambers.  This special meeting is to deal with the emergency appropriations which were defeated by the City Council.  By coincidence, this meeting overlaps with the Hudson County Planning Board meeting.  Both meetings are great opportunities for our supporters to show up and be heard.  Follow this link for Mayor Zimmer's letter: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/02.22.2012.Special.City.Council.Meeting.pdf

We cannot stress enough how important it is for the City Council to approve the legal costs associated with the city's appeal of the NJ DEP approval for this project.  

Regards,
Hoboken RPW

Talking Ed Note: MSV would note the Hudson County Planning Board has no solid grounds to reject the application on the criteria before them.  The City Council action or inaction Wednesday night is however critical.

MSV has observed as Councilwoman Beth Mason has ignored a constituent inquiry on the Monarch Project, then months later come out against the project then voted down funding for the legal work as part of an emergency appropriation of 600K. 
 Which Beth Mason do you wish to believe?

MSV is preparing Premium Content for release: "I wanna be Da Mayor." Expect the first part of two to hit subscribers email inboxes before Wednesday.