Saturday, March 31, 2012

Who's out on the streets today collecting Republican committee petitions?

There's a huge scuttlebutt on the streets today as a scramble for Republican Committee petitions are due on Monday.  Scuttlebutt Horsey?  Yes, and you would not believe it if you knew the rumors of who's out and about.

MSV is looking to confirm more on this before a story is ready but let's just say, keep your phone cameras at the ready and if you see known Democrats collecting signatures, there's only one committee on tap: Republican.

Use a nice portable camera and send those clear photos to: smartyones@me.co

Monarch Battle Update


Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront announce:

We have a few updates on the fight against the Monarch Development. 

HUDSON COUNTY PLANNING BOARD:
At their most recent meeting the Hudson County Planning Board memorialized their resolution to deny Shipyard Associates’ application to construct Monarch at the Shipyard.  This was a significant victory for our group and didn’t come without some fireworks.  Shipyard Associates’ counsel attempted to circumvent the board’s vote and force them to approve the application.

They based their argument on a technicality relating to the Planning Board not following “timing protocol” in the process and insisted that the denial be overturned.  As you know, a special meeting was scheduled in order to grant enough time for the public to voice their displeasure.  Shipyard Associates argued the scheduling of this special meeting caused the Planning Board to not timely take action on their application.  The nature of the “timing protocol” law is in place so the Planning Board cannot sit on an application indefinitely, and that certainly wasn’t the case here.  The developer was looking for any technicality available to get their denied application approved, and it almost worked.  Counsel for the developer agreed to the date of the special meeting in advance and attended the meeting confident they would get an approval.  It was only when their application was denied did they bring up the “timing protocol” and insist on a reversal. 

Luckily, we had members of our group and allies in the audience that evening.  The quick thinking argument devised by members of Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront, Fund for a Better Waterfront, and the legal counsel representing Fund for a Better Waterfront led to the Planning Board upholding their decision to deny the application.

HOBOKEN PLANNING BOARD:
The Hoboken Planning Board meeting to hear the Monarch application has been rescheduled again until Tuesday - May 1, 2012.  Shipyard Associates has requested this further delay to respond to concerns raised by the Board's planner and engineer.  This meeting is extremely important and one of our best opportunities to be heard at the local level.  We won at the County level and we can win at the city level.  This is the only way we can end this process.  This meeting will be held in the Wallace School at 11th Street and Willow Avenue in anticipation of large crowds.  WE HOPE TO SEE EVERYONE THERE!

FBW FUNDRAISER:
The Fund for a Better Waterfront had a great turnout at their recent Comedy Show Fundraiser.  Mayor Zimmer gave opening remarks and really took the time to rally the crowd against the Monarch Project!  To have high level public officials on our side really helps our fight.  Thanks to the Fund for a Better Waterfront for organizing a great event!

PETITIONS/ADVERTISEMENTS/ETC.
As some of you may have seen, our group has been running an ad in the Hudson Reporter every weekend.  Keep an eye out and pass along the paper to your friends!  Our petition numbers continue to grow and our signature numbers are approximately 2,300.  Please sign if you have not already!

SEE EVERYONE ON MAY 1!!

--Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront
@HobokenRPW on Twitter

Friday, March 30, 2012

Loyalty to Hoboken not the Old Guard: Big Mo on million $$$ ripoff

In the end, Mo DeGennaro will be remembered as a man who spoke his mind and would not sweep under the rug what transpired in the Hoboken Parking Utility.

At the 1:40 minute mark of this video, he pushes the envelope on the seven figure ripoff.  In doing so, we see who is truly who when it comes to the City of Hoboken and its taxpayers.

With a hat tip to the Russo clan, here is Big Mo telling it like it is in one simple question.
Thank you Mo.  Thank you for loving Hoboken above all.



 Talking Ed Note: MSV hears John Corea's sentencing has been changed to early April. We're trying to confirm it and will let the readers know when we do.

Video courtesy of the Wiley Coyote, Eric Kurta under his youtube moniker estevens.

Mo DeGennaro passes away

Mo DeGennaro a prominent Hoboken resident known for his booming voice at City Council meetings passed away earlier today.  He was according to one source and friend 72 and suffered recently from a respiratory problem.

In recent months the regular fixture at City Council meetings no longer attended.  He was known for his call for accountability of government officials and is famous for inquiring on the missing "million" from the Parking Utility.

Unlike some people who wished to sweep the problem under the rug, DeGennaro demanded that Hoboken's best interest be the primary focus.

One of his other most famous public pronouncements was when he rose to say Beth Mason should never become mayor of Hoboken.  As someone who had supported her, he knew how her colors had changed.

Big Mo was a fixture at Council meetings.  His booming voice was heard inside and out.
His famous question on the Parking Utility ripoff makes him a beloved figure to many in Hoboken.
Mo was right to ask.  It had not been "cleared up."

Talking Ed Note: MSV saw Mo at many a meeting.  We knew him long before he knew Da Horsey.  When we finally were introduced he made it clear he was a supporter of this website.  He would always encourage Da Horsey saying, "Keep it up."

While two no people will agree on everything, he knew well enough that whatever we disagreed on was far outweighed by a mutual genuine concern for Hoboken.

MSV wishes to express its sympathy to the DeGennaro family on their loss.

Related: A Hoboken Policeman saved Mo's life back in 2010.  It's important to note:
http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2010/07/officer-bret-globke-earns-award-saving.html

Update: Visitation will be at Saint Ann's R.C. Church, 7th & Jefferson Sts., on Monday, April 2nd, from 2 pm to 9 pm. The funeral mass will be Tues., April 3rd at 10 am at St. Ann's.

Hoboken Democratic Committee Elections - Cancelled!

The local Democratic Committee elections have been cancelled for this year.

Last night a meeting took place at Willie McBride's among the factions of Reform and the Old Guard with 50 members showing up who voted by unanimous consent not to continue the battle royale in Hoboken hitting every political (and some say non-political) segment of the City - at least for the committee this year.

All current committee seat holders will be carried over for a full year.

Jamie Cryan, the nominal head of the committee was in the end politically astute to embrace the overture to focus on the larger state and national elections.  He wasn't originally receptive to the idea although the committee's focus in a national election year is eyeing the Senate and Presidential races to benefit Senator Menendez and President Obama.

No Democratic Committee Elections this year.  So no straw party hats in May.

Talking Ed NoteBeth Mason was not in attendance.  Was there a Republican Committee meeting last night too?  One attendee was overheard saying they were most unhappy being designated on MSV for the moniker "five bucks a tow."

Hey Da Horsey didn't coin it as it preceded our time. Da Horsey is for keeping Hoboken traditions alive.

Guess there won't be any complaints said 12 times over in a hundred ways on one local website on how undemocratic this is but hey, be grateful for small favors.  Those folks have discovered the delete button works similar to on NJ.com and have been laying waste to the comments of others and some of their own when arguments have grown too intellectually overwhelming.

MSV will be back later on the third fire fundraiser as in many months for the residents displaced at 917 Clinton Street hosted by Joe Branco at Room 84 with Fifth Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sign of the Times: Hoboken Government - past, present and future

Here's more photos from Amanda's Wednesday night.  MSV will be adding in to this story periodically so check back for more photos, story and gristy chewables as it was flying.

The Wiley Coyote, Eric Kurta was lured out with big game Government corruption the dinner theme

Councilwoman Jen Giattino was seated at a table with former Business Administrator Richard England
Da Horsey begged for a picture and they graciously complied.

The book was a star of the evening and moved at a rapid clip.  The author Peter Schweizer noted interest has crossed all political lines as Americans don't like seeing corruption dragging down the country.  It was a striking Hoboken theme so many here are readily keen to but the numbers and people involved is staggering.
Former Speakers Nancy Pelosi, Dennis Hastert,  John Kerry among the few pols of many with crony capitalists George Soros and Warren Buffet also featured in the discussion over dinner.

Peter Schweizer author of "Throw them all out," was a big hit with the audience.  Available on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Throw-Them-All-Peter-Schweizer/dp/0547573146

City has green light to move on Jackson St. fire site

City of Hoboken announces:


UPDATE ON JACKSON STREET FIRE-DAMAGED PROPERTY

On Friday, March 30th, the City of Hoboken will begin the process of remediation and partial demolition of the property that suffered significant fire damage at 1st Street and Jackson Street.

Previously, the City hired engineers to examine the structure and assess the extent of the damage. Engineers determined that while the second floor suffered major damage and needed to be demolished, the first floor is structurally sound and does not require demolition. The City ordered the property owner to conduct the required demolition work, however the property owner failed to complete the work during the allotted time. The City was prepared to step in, conduct the demolition, and place a lien against the property for the cost of all work. “No Parking” signs were placed in the area to provide for a safe pedestrian path around the property and to allow space for staging demolition equipment. However the property owner has been challenging the City in court and has delayed the ability of the City to conduct this work. Finally, on Thursday, March 29th, the court re-affirmed the City’s ability to conduct the demolition in the absence of the property owner completing the work, and the City will be proceeding with the planned demolition work.

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A photo from last year's Jackson St. fire from a reader 


Author! Author! Two superb book events in Hoboken last night

Author meet author.  The Republicans of Hoboken event brought together two current authors who each have some excellent reviews and buzz.  Peter Schweizer author of "Throw them All Out: How Politicians and their Friends Get Rich greets author Diana Henriques who spoke at the Hoboken library on her book "Wizard of Lies."

Great night in Hoboken with two outstanding cultural book events.  MSV started at the Hoboken Public Library and caught most of Diano Henriques' presentation and Q&A to a standing room only audience  to discuss her book "Wizard of Lies."  The book is a complete chronology of Bernie Madoff and his decades long Wall Street ponzi scheme.  

Da Horsey then worked uptown for a dinner at Amanda's where Peter Schweizer spoke to two filled to capacity rooms on his revealing investigative book detailing the Government Rich - the political class in Washington enriching themselves while in "public service" as Congressman and Senators.

Both events were terrific and Da Horsey has begun reading Schweizer's book.  We'll have more to come but to say we're impressed is an understatement.  

"Throw Them All Out," is a primer on insider trading, IPO deals and taxpayer money by the people we elect to serve us but who on the whole come to Washington middle class and leave millionaires.

None of this sadly is an accident.  From former House Speaker Nancy Speaker to Dennis Hastert, Senator John Kerry and dozens of people close to President Obama - everyone is fattening up at the expense of the taxpayer and our Republic.

It's unclear after hearing him how so many diners kept their food down.  It's far worse than you can imagine and the book is a warning shot across the bow against Crony Capitalism.

More on Peter Schweizer's blockbuster:



Hoboken author Diana Henriques' Bernie Madoff book "Wizard of Lies," as featured on Hoboken Patch:



Mayor Dawn Zimmer has a laugh with author Diana Henriques and Assemblyman Ruben Ramos.
All of MSV's photos are taken without flash so as to not disrupt the diners.
This was the shot of the night. 

Talking Ed Note: In addition to being a great cultural night for Hoboken, there were many notable people in attendance including Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Councilwoman Jen Giattino, BoE trustee Leon Gold,  the Wiley Coyote himself Eric Kurta, Young Republicans Hudson County Chair James Sanford, former Hoboken Business Administrator Richard England all attended the dinner.  The event was hosted by the Republicans of Hoboken Chair Diana Davis.

Assemblyman Ruben Ramos stopped by to press the flesh and get some good will for his unannounced 2013 mayoral run.  Yes we said it.  More on that and one terrific evening to come.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beth Mason's cameraman, Stalker Tim stalks Grafix Avenger

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE


Beth Mason's cameraman and political operative Tim had a new stalking assignment Tuesday night - stalking a member of the public in their unpaid service on the Hoboken Zoning Board.

Last night the target of was Grafix Avenger.

Tim's previously filmed in service to Councilwoman Beth Mason at City Council meetings, the Board of Education and extensively over hours at the former City employee Bill Campbell's hearing.

What most residents don't know is Beth Mason's cameraman is a stalker.

After last month's protest walkout in the City Council meeting, the Old Guard was angry and went to the second floor at City Hall to satisfy their ire. Not having their anger quenched they went out front of City Hall and yelled on the street at the mayor as she left the building, but that also failed to satisfy their appetite.

Krazy Shorts Klaussen? No it's Mason Stalker Tim
So Beth Mason sent her cameraman Tim to the mayor's home.  Stalker Tim stayed in front of the mayor's home, camera in hand to film some momentous moment or just to film and act like an intimidating thug for a Hoboken411 purpose as yet undefined.

During a Zoning Board break last night, the newest target of Mason Stalker Tim - Grafix Avenger went over to speak to him and politely asked for his business card.  Mason Stalker Tim did not like a woman he was filming continuously for over an hour asking him a question and threatened to call the police for "looking at him."

(You can't make up this kind of irony.)

At the City Council's budget hearings on March 17th, Councilman Dave Mello inquired about an old resolution where extensive filming in the City Council is provided to the public.  As it turns out, the City Clerk James Farina states there is in fact such a provision in an earlier resolution.

Councilman Mello invites Beth Mason's cameraman Tim to come forward and speak but the cowardly Tim won't go to the microphone.  You can hear him saying "member of the public," in the background.

Tim does not say he is a Hoboken resident.  MSV covered this earlier and asked Tim at a City Council meeting last year where in Hoboken he was from as he claimed to be a resident and he couldn't answer the question only replying, "around."  He apparently didn't even know Hoboken well enough to designate an area at that time.

Watch the short clip and see how Beth Mason comes to the aid of her political operative cameraman.



After Mello makes his inquiry, Beth Mason immediately interjects, interrupting three times to get the floor on what she says is a point of order.  She doesn't say what point of order she wishes to speak on but in seconds it's clear.  She wants to deflect from her political operative Stalker Tim and bring up someone else and talk about them.  Who could it be?

MSV.

After saying she wants any tapes from MSV (to go along with our emails under FBI investigation) she decides to go on another track talking about how in the Council they do "illegal" things too and maybe the resolution requiring her political operative to submit a copy of his tape to the clerk's office for the public is illegal.  Council President Ravi Bhalla agrees to have the matter reviewed and Mason Stalker Tim continues lurking and filming.

MSV spoke to Tim and concluded he was working for Beth Mason last November.  After speaking to him and saying there's nothing wrong with filming for Councilwoman Mason, we welcomed him in our opening remarks last November:




In seconds, seeing herself linked directly to Hoboken411 and her stalker, Beth Mason goes nuts.

MSV was proven correct when Mason Stalker Tim filmed the mayor for hours at a court hearing.  The video quickly found its way to Hoboken411 - proving we were correct about Beth Mason all along:
http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2012/01/beth-mason-cameraman-identified-filming.html

Talking Ed Note: How much lower will Beth Mason go?  She pays a cameraman to stalk the mayor's home, to film the mayor on a former City employee lawsuit and having the entire tape posted on Hoboken411, and now on a non-paying board focuses filming on a single Hoboken Zoning Board member on the anniversary of her father's death.

MSV has had a few run ins with Tim too.  He's shown interest in stalking MSV after brief remarks to the Council on the St. Patrick's Day Parade following Da Horsey to his seat and then continuing to film  for an inordinate amount of time two feet away for no reason so we asked if he "got the shot" of our brand new FBI hat.  He's also intentionally tried to block photos being taken last month at the BoE.

Unlike other camermen paid by Beth Mason, Tim is not very professional and is taking his "job" to a whole new level.  MSV has also seen him working with other Old Guard operatives, taking instructions from them at meetings to shoot photos of people active in Reform.  Some of those people merely smiled and posed for the cameras at the BoE last month as seen here:
http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2012/02/contentious-meeting-changes-no-minds.html

Will the local media continue to avoid asking basic questions and reporting on yet another MSV exclusive? 

What do you think would happen if the mayor paid a political operative to stalk Beth Mason's home and film her and her family?  

The Mason Media Complex would be diving all over each other to get that story out and it would probably begin with how the person was arrested.

How far will Beth Mason go to intimidate anyone who doesn't knuckle under to her agenda?

MSV submitted a question to Beth Mason via email:
"What is the purpose of your camerman stalking the mayor at home and non-paid members of local boards?"

MSV would welcome an answer from Councilwoman Beth Mason.
Or do we wait out her silence and see what she does with the footage on Hoboken411?

Beth Mason's Cameraman Stalker Tim stalks again



He's stalked the mayor's home and now he's stalking again!

Last night Beth Mason's videographer Tim stalked new prey.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fire fundraiser for victims of Clinton Street Fire Thursday at Room 84


The Hoboken Rotary is again collecting donations.  Their website is hobokenrotary.org.
You can also contact josephbranco@yahoo.com.

Grist for the Mill: As the worm turns, what happens to Beth Mason?

Yesterday's Talking Ed Note posed backup plans Beth Mason is formulating as she weighs her options.  She's looking to keep them open as she tries to figure out if her "brand" has been ruined in Hoboken to the point a mayoral run is no longer feasible.

That in itself is big news as MSV has not heard of any poll commissioned recently.  Has someone convinced Mason she's more likely to be elected dog catcher than Hoboken mayor?

The repeated clear attempts by her operatives to convince the Hudson Reporter she is a candidate sought out by State Senator Brian Stack on a ticket in 2013 is humorous in its one-sidedness.  

It's notable in the repeated claims Brian Stack is interested in Masson by the Hudson Distorter; one column by Al Sullivan hedges noting Ravi Bhalla as a potential winner in the eventual Stack sweepstakes.  Looks like one columnist has finally decided to weigh his bet and not regurgitate solely what is being fed to him by Mason operative FinBoy, one town north.

Clearly the winds are shifting in Hoboken.  The opposition to Mayor Zimmer is trying to figure out how to take on the challenge in a run against her in 2013 and who is best equipped to do so.  Assemblyman Ruben Ramos will hold a fundraiser next month under his current title but that's thinly veiled and nothing more than an option to use those funds in his current office or in a mayoral run.

Although one Old Guard politico has indicated he's in with Ruben Ramos, the rush to get behind a Ramos mayoral run is not getting much of a lift from other Old Guard members.  He does have the hospitable support of one restaurant owner to his soiree next month.

Does Assemblyman Ramos know that the owner of the establishment believes Tim Occhipinti is a viable mayoral candidate?  Some old time powers in Hoboken politics have had to clue the owner and Occhipinti backer he's not exactly impressing anyone with his government acumen.  Clearly this uptown restaurant owner hasn't spent much time watching any City Council meetings.

Beth Mason is weighing her options as Tim Occhipinti awaits instruction in this City Council shot from last year.

Talking Ed Note: It should be said both Beth Mason and Tim Occhipinti share a similar reply rate when questions are posed to them.  Neither of them take well to questions these days although Occhipinti has been more consistent in avoiding them lately.  This column has been sourced from other leaky sources.

Occhipinti has pushed for taxpayer monies so members of the council can send out communications to their wards.  He already has a Facebook page and if that's any example of what he has in mind, that's money going to a bad cause.  His.

Whispers of Beth Mason involved in local party committees but not of the Democrat variety.  Who is playing footsie with her on the other side?

Got a tasty carrot for Da Horsey?  Send it to smartyjones@me.com in confidence.

Talking Ed Note 2: One reader emailed asking about how the FBI investigation plays into this?  Well the short answer is the FBI investigation isn't going away although Beth Mason would like to believe it is.  She's consistently tried to undermine their evidence overlapping the exact time in her co-sponsored resolution with Michael Russo to make thousands of emails public.

Beth Mason and Mike Russo sponsored a resolution to obtain the mayor's electronic communications back to January 2010.  They revised it, and tried and tried and tried again.  At a recent council meeting, Mason blurted out "release the emails," so clearly she wants to see the FBI investigation scuttled.

The FBI stated Patrick Ricciardi intercepted electronic communications coming and going from the mayor's office in that EXACT timeframe - going back to early 2010.

Coincidence?  You decide.

Hoboken Board of Ed noted for Excellence in Financial Reporting

Good news on the Hoboken Board of Ed front:


Hoboken Board of Education News

 Hoboken Board of Education 
Receives Certificate of Excellence for Financial Reporting!

March 26, 2012
Reston, VA
The Hoboken Board of Education received the Association of School Business Officials International's (ASBO) Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting award for having met or exceeded the program's high standards for financial reporting and accountability.  
The district was recognized for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending 2011.
Sponsored by VALIC, the Certificate of Excellence (COE) award confirms the school business office's commitment to financial accountability and transparency. Recognition through the COE program can help strengthen a district's presentation for bond issuance statements and promotes a high level of financial reporting.


Talking Ed Note: Kudos to Superintendent Mark Toback and the leadership on the BoE. They've turned around the ugly audit violations of years past. Keep on trucking!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Barcode Tim Occhipinti on sale for more developer $$$


Barcode Tim is on sale for more developer dollars.

Expect an MSV update on how the 4th ward and Hoboken is being sold by Barcode Tim.

(Click on the photo for a special favor Tim wants for you.)


For NORD Member Organizations

Join NORD in Supporting the FAST and TREAT Acts
NORD is encouraging its Member Organizations and others in the rare disease community to join us in advocacy for proposed legislation to accelerate the development of treatments for patients with rare diseases and others with unmet medical needs.

Please visit the Legislative Action Center on the NORD website to quickly and easily submit letters to your representatives in Congress on behalf of the FAST Act (Faster Access to Specialized Treatments, H.R. 4132) in the House and the TREAT Act (Transforming the Regulatory Environment to Accelerate Access to Treatments, S. 2113) in the Senate.

Earlier today, NORD hosted a teleconference for its Member Organizations to discuss the FAST Act.   
Guests on the call were Thomas Power, Legislative Aide to U.S. Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Emily Shetty, Legislative Aide to U.S. Representative Ed Towns (D-NY).  Reps. Stearns and Towns are the primary sponsors of the FAST Act.

In their update to NORD members, Power and Shetty said that the FAST Act:
  • is intended to modernize, expand, and codify the existing Accelerated Approval pathway at FDA
  • is now being considered for inclusion in the reauthorization of the user fee program at FDA, which is broadly considered a priority for passage during this legislative session
  • and is the current version of legislation introduced earlier known as "ULTRA", with language refinement to ensure that FDA's standards requiring demonstration of safety and efficacy remain strong.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Grist for the Mill: Tim Occhipinti oversteps in Zoning Board controversy

Hoboken's special friends and favors past meets the present as one restaurant development has become a point of controversy in the fourth ward with a problematic history and money exchanging hands.

A restaurant built in the southwest part of town is a focal point on several counts.  First, a wall is built right out onto public property, it's riddled with zoning violations, the owner has major connections to Al Arezzo the former construction office terror and last the owner, Danny Tattoli gave the 4th ward council seat occupant Tim Occhipinti $2,000.

There's nothing illegal in the owner Danny Tatolli giving Tim Occhipinti the $2,000 for his campaign as it falls below the individual maximum contribution limit.  Occhipinti however  left a Hoboken City Council budget hearing early to go downstairs and demanded to speak on behalf of his donor growing indignant by the resistance allowing him to do so.

Reports are Occhipinti had a prepared speech to give on behalf of the restaurant owner and attendees are curious who wrote it for him.

The Zoning Board Attorney Dennis Galvin after attempting to dissuade Occhipinti from continuing to speak had to stop the meeting and take him out into the hall and explain basic legal and ethical rules on council members speaking about open matters before the Zoning Board.

Part of the approval process will likely come before the City Council, another issue will arise on whether Occhipinti's expressed intent to defend the developer at the Zoning Board hearing already conflicts him out of voting on the City Council.

Five votes are required for Tattoli if his building comes before the City Council.  If Occhipinti is conflicted from voting, it would leave the Russo votes: Michael Russo and Terry Castellano with Beth Mason left and two votes short.  The council majority's five members would likely not be sympathetic.

A wall must be demolished first as it was constructed on public property.

Tim Occhipinti's never say die attitude on behalf of developer donors is front and center again after boorish demands he made to speak at last Tuesday's Hoboken Zoning Board meeting.

Talking Ed Note: If there's one thing you can be sure, Tim Occhipinti gets wee weed up for his developer friends.

Grist for the Mill is a rumor column but it meets an even higher standard than some news in these parts.  
Got a juicy carrot for Da Horsey?  Send it to smartyjones@me.com.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hudson County CASA 2012 Wine Tasting




Dear family, friends and neighbors, 

Each year it is a pleasure to support an organization in Hudson County that does so much to help children in challenging situations.  

The organization is Hudson County CASA.  These children are in and out of foster care, yearning for a stable and supportive family environment.  Their champion is a volunteer officially sworn in and designated as a Court Appointed Special Advocate.  This is a very tough job when you have many children in and around Hudson County needing assistance with limited resources.

To support this hard working organization, I am advocating, as I have in the past, for your attendance at their 6th Annual wine tasting and "sweets and eats" to benefit Hudson County CASA.  It will be held Friday, March 30th from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Atrium in the Harborside Financial Center in Jersey City.  Wine will be provided by Wine Library of Springfield and special treats from Cibelli chocolates http://www.cibellichocolates.com/ and desserts from M-Squared http://www.msquarednyc.com/.

Other highlights of the evening will include hand rolled cigars from Hoboken Cigar, great hors d'oeuvres, 50/50 raffle, and many other fabulous items at auction.  Tickets are $70 per person and can be purchased at www.hudsoncountycasa.org.

We hope to see you there!!

-- 
Peter Cunningham

Tim Occhipinti taking credit for the work of others - Episode IX

The unfortunate part of Hoboken's transition to a professional Reform minded government is the vestiges of Tammany Hall politics played out over decades.  The formula is usually the same, rewarding winners and punishing losers.  In government, competence is often the first victim.

There are of course other victims as when cheap low brow politics flaunts itself taking credit for the work of others.  In that aspect, Tim Occhipinti has mastered the cartoonish art form of the cheap politician or in Hudson County the typical hack.

One little known story as it's not been written involved plans drawn up by the mayor's Administration for this very park in the fourth ward.  During the meeting, members of the public had questions and discussed plans for the new equipment.  Occhipinti attempted to hijack the meeting but saw it wasn't flying.  Towards the end he then lifted the large cardboard plans drawn up and attempted to walk out with them.

What he planned to do with them is unknown but he didn't get far before he was stopped.  Now with the City's announcement of implementation of several park's improvements, everyone has braced themselves awaiting when Tim Occhipinti would seize the moment and claim the credit.

They didn't have to wait long since the City's release yesterday.  On Tim Occhipinti's facebook page:

Tim Occhipinti is taking credit for others work on his Facebook page.  Again.


Talking Ed Note: If we could get an answer from Occhipinti's handlers, we're sure we'd hear he's happy to "compromise" and share some credit with the Mayor's Administration - as long as he doesn't have to thank them.

Or maybe we'll just see another dopey story on Hoboken411 saying he's done a great job.  In truth, Tim Occhipinti has done nothing but paid lip service to the idea.

What tangible work we can point to is Tim Occhipinti sided with those undermining Hoboken on numerous issues, one being an easy refinance of the midtown garage saving Hoboken $4 million last fall.

The cost of Tim Occhipinti to Hoboken is already piled in red ink and likely heading higher.
Listening to him on just about any issue including this one only rubs salt in the wound.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mayor Zimmer announces new Administration Leadership Team

Office of the Mayor announces:

MAYOR ZIMMER ANNOUNCES NEW ADMINISTRATION LEADERSHIP TEAM

Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced the hiring of Quentin Wiest as Business Administrator and Stephen Marks as Assistant Business Administrator.

“I am very excited about this team and the strong backgrounds they bring,” said Mayor Zimmer. “They will be a great asset to the City of Hoboken.”

Mr. Wiest has served as Business Administrator of the Borough of Closter, Executive Director of the Bergen County Improvement Authority, Director of Public Works for Bergen County, and Mayor of Ridgewood. He brings extensive finance, construction and facilities management experience.

Mr. Marks was most recently the Planning Director for the Hudson County Division of Planning and has broad project management experience from nearly 20 years in County government. He is a licensed professional planner, member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and certified LEED Green Associate. Along with assisting the Business Administrator, Mr. Marks will manage several important projects including acquisition of land for new parks, the $2 million grant for converting Observer Highway into “Observer Boulevard,” and waterfront repairs at Pier A, among other projects.

Mr. Wiest will begin on a transition schedule through April, while Mr. Marks will begin full time on April 10th. Their resumes are available on the City website:


MORTe: 'Get the competent out and our people in'

Last night's City Council meeting was notable in one instance.  While a Business Administrator is not present in City Hall, some bills were not promptly paid giving MORTe a beautiful chance to block the additional bills for payment as it requires six votes.

Grafix Avenger has a brilliant breakdown on the politics behind the latest moves and how an exasperated Corporation Counsel finds himself and his law firm unpaid as a result.  No one is surprised this took place but it's unfortunate that Hoboken is in transition with the Business Administrator role.  It looks like this is the result of that transition and sadly, it's the professionals serving the City's interests who are in the line of fire.

As no new BA has been named one of the job requirements will certainly include not to allow any expenditure to fall through the cracks unpaid requiring a sixth vote on the City Council.

While residents are frustrated by MORTe's attempts to sabotage the hospital sale (and bankrupt the City), flushing $4 million down the drain on a simple refinance of the midtown garage and demotivating professionals from performing for the City, the Beth Russo hydra is equally frustrated if not more.

They want compliant people at City Hall, those who will take orders and do as told.  In short, they want their people in place and the mayor's out, resignations are a good start.

They've not been able to squander the surplus and force a tax increase.  Yes, they are working very hard at it but somehow Mayor Dawn Zimmer has countered them at almost every turn.

As it stands, MORTe can count the needless waste of four million bucks to the City.  Certainly, if the door is opened, they won't stop there.

The Hoboken mayoral race is in spring 2013.  But MORTe never stopped politrickin since Cammarano was dethroned from his perch.  They thought Mayor Zimmer would be an easy mark but she's proved to be anything but.

The Beth Russo hydra is back in action and it's bad news for Hoboken and its professionals.

GA explains where MORTe is taking the City whenever possible and why:

2nd ward resident to Councilwoman Mason: Do the Right Thing!



Dear Editor:

I previously had written to the Hoboken Reporter back in October of 2011 informing Beth Mason her focus on the hospital sale was misplaced and she needed to re-focus her attention on the proposed Monarch project that was to be developed by Shipyard Associates in her own 2nd ward. Unfortunately I have felt compelled to remind Ms. Mason that again she has lost her focus on this important issue. Though we appreciated her attendance at the Hudson County Planning Board meeting and speaking out against the project, she has been inconsistent with her approach regarding this matter.

Four times an emergency temporary appropriation has been put before the Hoboken City Council and two times she voted against this appropriation and for the other two votes she was absent from the city council meeting (in which she could have easily called in to vote). This emergency temporary appropriation would fund the legal defense team that is representing the city in its legal fight against the proposed Monarch project. This legal team has made significant progress in this battle by recently filing suit in the superior court of New Jersey to compel Shipyard Associates to construct open space as the original developers agreement required and filed an injunction to prevent the construction of the two eleven story towers on the pier platform. In addition, they are also appealing the recent NJ Department of Environmental Protection decision to issue the Waterfront Development Permit that would allow construction on the pier platform.

It should also be noted that the Fund for a Better Waterfront and the Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront have also appealed the NJ DEP’s decision to issue this permit but Shipyard Associates is attempting to have their appeals thrown out which makes the City of Hoboken’s appeal that much more important.

Therefore I am hereby requesting as a 2nd ward resident that Beth Mason vote in favor of this emergency temporary appropriation in totality and stop playing politics where it is not welcome or necessary.

Respectfully submitted,

Eric, Michelle and Ethan Sandler



This letter originally appeared in the weekend paper.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

MORTe: Stiff the vendors! No simple budget line item transfer

The City Council presented with some outstanding bills for vendors unprocessed required six votes for normal course of business payments.  Six votes, typical, paying bills, normal? Yes, normal for over five-hundred municipalities in the State of New Jersey except for Hoboken.

Why?  Well any financial budget item requiring more than five votes is an opportunity for sabotaging the City and MORTe NEVER misses that opportunity to do harm.  In this case, it's not the taxpayers who bear the brunt of their scorn, but the professionals such as the Corporation Counsel and his law firm with a bill in the range of $200,000.

Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin noted in advance of the discussion how line items are typically moved everywhere in New Jersey except for Hoboken foreshadowing the "typical" action by the Council of No: beth Mason, tim Occhipinti, michael Russo and Terry Castellan re: MORTe.

MORTe is the Italian word for death.

Whether it's a simple refinance saving four million, saving the hospital in a sale or simple budget line transfers, MORTe is consistent in making Hoboken pay the largest price for political gain.

Investigate a budget line item transfer?  You bet, MORTe says let's.


Talking Ed Note: Councilman Michael Russo made sure to signal the budget line items would again be blocked out of the gate and asked for an investigation why the Business Administrator had not processed the bills sooner.  Tim Occhipinti echoed a call for an investigation instantly.

Former councilman Michael Lenz was appointed to an unpaid position for the rent leveling board 6-3.  Tim Occhipinti complained he didn't know the composition of the current board on a breakdown of owners and renters.

Why doesn't Tim Occhipinti do his job and find out BEFORE the meeting?

MORTe voted against bonding for the Hop, sidewalk improvements, and parking utility vehicles on first reading.  Typical MORTe sabotage foreshadowed ahead on next reading when the public can be heard.

A chance to help Hoboken with a sixth vote?  "NO" gets them very excited.

Russo withdrew resolution #2 to give a bill to Marsh and Cunningham for their protest walkout last month for the next meeting.  No resolution has been presented to the public.

City-Wide Playground Improvements Begin


City of Hoboken announces:


Jefferson Street Park
New playground equipment and safety surfacing is being installed at three Hoboken parks. Construction is currently in progress at Jefferson Street Park and Jackson Street Park. Work is scheduled to begin next week at Legion Park on Willow Avenue. Parks will be temporarily closed while construction is in progress. The scheduled completion date is April 15, however the City and contractor are working aggressively, including working on weekends, to complete construction sooner.
Jackson Street Park



Legion Park

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Russo chutzpah, improved HOP buses on tap @ 7:00 tonight





Tonight another round of the Hoboken City Council follies is on tap with some comedic humor; the usual pure politics brought to bear by Councilman Michael Russo in resolution #2 where MORTe looks to present a bill for the protest walkout of council members Carol Marsh and Peter Cunningham.

There's still no actual resolution just hours before the meeting.  This is the type of transparency Hoboken government observers are use to from the Beth Russo hydra.  

Does anything need to be said about the irony of this coming from the public face of the Russo clan who have made looting the Hoboken taxpayers as only his family has in recent and past years the family business?

Since it's early on the agenda, people should swing by if for nothing more than to boo the clownish antics of Russo and the chutzpah he almost always has on display.

Other more relevant, important items include bonding for expanding the HOP buses, maxed out with increased readership at an all time high but limited by antiquated equipment in frequent repairs.

There's more than five million in other bonding for capital improvements toward streets and parking utility vehicles.  Should make for more hollow bickering about how capital improvements should be paid out in the most inefficient municipal accounting manner out of the annual budget.

One of MORTe's favorite tactics is to starve the City of long term capital improvements insisting they should be paid out in one fell swoop.  It makes no sense at all by any accounting standards - not the first time they said it, the last or if again tonight.

It's all about hurting the City, preventing tax reduction and sabotaging Hoboken (and the mayor) whenever possible.

These are the people after all who refused to approve a simple refinance of the midtown garage putting $50,000 into the City's coffers and saving $4 million in one fell swoop last November.

Assemblyman Ramos on the 2nd Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

From the desk of Assemblyman Ruben Ramos:


To the Editor:

In 1999, I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Thankfully, I was able to navigate the system and am in my eleventh year of remission. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are not as lucky. The federal government spends an extraordinary amount of money on healthcare. Individuals and families were often left without coverage due to “pre-existing conditions,” administrative errors, and clauses that allowed companies to suddenly discontinue coverage. The system was broken.

In 2010, the federal government finally took action to solve this growing crisis. On March 23, America will mark the second anniversary of the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. The protections established in this law represent the fundamental obligation of our government to ensure fair treatment of all of its citizens. For too long, corporate healthcare profits have outweighed the medical needs of those they covered, and the Affordable Care Act has already started to resolve these problems.

In 2000, I delivered a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention that addressed our country’s dire need for healthcare reform. While I acknowledge some criticisms of the Affordable Care Act, a reform of this scope represents one of the single most important advances in healthcare reform in fifty years. The provisions enacted through this law will create an environment that expands accessibility to healthcare, provides basic patient protections, and penalizes abusive corporate practices.

Since its enactment, the Affordable Care Act has already expanded and enhanced coverage for millions of Americans; just last year the ACA restored coverage to nearly 800 New Jersey residents who had been dropped due to pre-existing conditions. The days of dropping coverage for the terminally ill and denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions are behind us. Greater shares of premiums will be reinvested into providing better care instead of corporate bonuses and lobbying efforts. These measures are helping us fulfill our moral duty to help our fellow citizens when they are most in need.

Over the next two years, as more provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect, the reforms will benefit each American in a variety of ways. There will be a reduction in overall out-of-pocket healthcare costs to individuals, and new bans on lifetime dollar limits on benefits - freeing cancer patients and survivors like myself from having to worry about rationing health care. At least 3 million individuals have already been freed of lifetime limits on their health care. Fewer patients will need to rely on emergency rooms for primary care and millions of previously uninsured citizens will gain access to comprehensive and affordable care via a benefits exchange.

In fact, I am proud to have joined my colleagues as a primary sponsor of Assembly Bill 1081, New Jersey’s Health Benefit Exchange Act, which will allow individuals, families and small employers to browse and purchase coverage plans that best suits their own individual health needs. It is critically important that state and local government bolster and enhance the federal government’s efforts to reform our healthcare system.

The ability of every citizen to see a doctor, receive quality treatment, and overcome illnesses are fundamental American rights. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is designed to ensure that these rights are preserved for us and for all future generations of Americans.

Very Truly Yours, 

Ruben J. Ramos, Jr.
Deputy Majority Whip
Assemblyman, 33rd District