Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Word of the petitons for November municipal elections

Just heard folks are going to be out and about for November election petitions:

Down at the PATH/Ferry tonight 5:00 - 7:00 in the evening, and at the Family Fun Night concert at Shipyard Park 6:30-7:30.

Tomorrow 5:00 - 7:00 at the PATH/Ferry, - on Washington Street.

The downtown PATH/Ferry 6-8PM on Thursday, and at the Uptown Farmer's market 3pm-7pm. 

Friday: Downtown PATH/Ferry 5-7PM.

Stop by, sign up, help out!

Mason Civic League or Mason Family Civic League - that's the question

Mason Civic League employees testimony completely "fabricated" - judge


One of the intriguing aspects, one among many of the Union City Municipal Court trial involving two Beth Mason employees is the interchangeable use of the name of the employer: the Mason Civic League and/or Mason Family Civic League.

It's a key aspect rivaling the false testimony the judge would slam from both Mason Civic League employees.

At the June trial, both Tania Garcia and Matt Calicchio reference their employer but it's evasive or intentionally deceitful how they do so - with Garcia being quite unclear and Calicchio attempting to color his employment for the "gallery."

Judge Sixto Macias did not buy any of it.  He called both of their employment "political jobs" even though they are being paid from a taxpayer supported "charity."
Here's the segments related to the discussion on the Mason Civic League's name.
Prosecutor Coviello questions Tania Garcia who is appearing on behalf of the defendant, her Mason Civic League co-worker Matt Calicchio:

Q = Questioner re: Prosecutor A = Answer by Tania Garcia

Q    Oh.  Okay.  In -- where do you work?
A    In the Mason Civic.
Q    Pardon me?
A    In the Mason Civic.
Q    Okay.  Mason Civic.  You do know that -- that Ms. Minutillo is a member of the board of education, correct?
A    Now I do.    
Q    Now you do.  Okay.  Is it fair to say that civically -- the civic association that you work for,
 Ms. Mason, is let's say a non-supporter of Ms. Minutillo?
A    To be honest, I?m not sure about that, if she is or she isn?t.
Q    Okay.  Do you -- do you know a Carmelo Garcia (phonetic)?
A    Yes, I do.
Q    Who is that? 
A    That?s my son?s uncle.
Q    And Mr. Garcia is also a member of the board of education of Hoboken?
A    Yes, he is.
Q    And how do you -- how -- is it fair to say that Mr. Garcia is, let's say, not on the same political fence -- side of the political fence as Ms. Minutillo?
 A    Again, I'm not sure.  I'm not -- I've never, ever had a conversation involving Ms. Minutillo, and I had no -- even aware that she was actually on the board, because I've never even went to a board of education meeting.

Beth Mason tells seniors at Fox Hills she has two Mason Civic League employees who do her bidding in court.
Judge Sixto Macias didn't believe a shred of testimony from either of them.

Talking Ed Note: Tania Garcia, her son's uncle being BoE Trustee Carmelo Garcia and an employee of Beth Mason claims not to know the political camps of the respective officials.  Credible?

Then Matt Calicchio's lawyer Elise DiNardo, paid for by Beth Mason over months questions the witness:

Q = Questioner - Elise DiNardo  A = Answer by Tania Garcia 

Q    How long have you worked for the Mason Civic League? 
A    Since January of 2012.
Q    Of 2012?
A    Uh-huh.
Q    And the head of the civic league is a councilwoman.  Is she a councilwoman in Hoboken?
A    Yes, she is.
Q    What do you do for the civic league?
A    Just secretarial work.
Q    Have you ever seen Ms. Minutillo in the civil league office?
A    I've seen her outside our office.  I've never seen her actually inside my office.
Q    Have you ever worked with her on any projects with the Mason Civic League?
A    No.

DiNardo then questions Matt Calicchio about his work for the Mason Civic League:

Q    Mr. Calicchio, do you reside in Hoboken?
A    Yes.
Q    And how long have you lived in Hoboken?
A    Since I was about six.
Q    And that's how many years?
A    About eight -- about 17 years.
Q    Are you currently employed?
A    Yes.
Q    By whom are you employed? A    Mason Family Civic.
Q    And how long have you been employed by the Mason Family Civic?
A    Since June of last year.
Q    And what do you do for the Mason Civic League?
A    I work in their Gallery 1200.

Talking Ed Note: Notice the lengths to which the avoidance of any connection to the political aspects of working for Beth Mason and the attempt to solely emphasize a gallery - a gallery that is hardly open to the public.  

Exactly how many hours a week can you hang up the same pictures for no one to see?


In Elise DiNardo's closing remarks, she addresses the nature of the political aspect of the case but she doesn't address it in terms of political jobs.  Instead she makes an accusation against the BoE official, that her complaint against Matt Calicchio is political in motivation.

MS. DI NARDO:  Judge, I would essentially renew my argument from earlier with regard to the
allegations that the State has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that my client harassed Ms. Minutillo on October the 18th of 2011 outside of Wallace School.

As your Honor has already stated, you're very much well aware that this is a political case, that there's some political motivation here... Clearly this complaint was filed strictly for political purposes.  

The judge's remarks would flatly dispute that contention:

Like most every political case the core is worse than the incident.  I -- I am really taken aback by -- by the testimony of Ms. -- Ms. Garcia.  It's completely incredible.  I do not believe one word of what she told me.  I -- I -- I believe that if instead of reading the blogs, I think if you're going to bring somebody to court to testify on your behalf you should at least get your stories together.

Talking Ed Note: In other words if you are going to blatantly lie and perjure yourselves, at least make sure your lies add up.  

The judge continued...

I believe beyond a reasonable doubt that on the 18th of October the defendant was in the -- in the -- in the playgrounds of Wallace Street (sic).  That the complainant walked by him.  That the second time the complainant walked by the defendant the defendant told her I will get you.  I'm coming after you.  April is around the corner?

I think that -- I -- I believe that beyond a reasonable doubt.  I -- I also believe that the whole testimony of Ms. -- Ms. Garcia and Mr. Calicchio -- Calicchio were fabricated.  It -- it is unreasonable to believe that two individuals can take off from work anytime they want to pick up a child.  Two people.  At a serious political job, and I understand this is Hudson County.  But that's beyond what I'd -- what I think political jobs are.

Anytime they wish to make -- that she could walk into that job any time she wanted to according to her testimony.  Afternoons, mornings.  And -- and really evasive.  The defendant was asked, you know, what did he do for -- at his job.  He said I work for Gallery 400 (sic) - Gallery1200...

Talking Ed Note: So Judge Sixto Macias doesn't believe Matt Calicchio is doing civic work in his employment at all.  He calls his employment a "political job."

The judge adds in his closing:

I should be able to walk through Union City without people accosting me because of my job.  Same way that -- that the complainant (BoE Trustee Minutillo) should be able to walk through Hoboken without anybody -- anybody bothering this woman.

Now as to the allegations or the situation that -- that -- that it was politically motivated for this complainant to file a complaint against this defendant is completely garbage.  He's not a candidate (for the BoE election) He is nobody in the political system of Hoboken.  He might think he is.  He's being used in exchange for a job...

(The judge mentions bullying...)

I -- I -- I personally, not as a judge, I -- I find it very disturbing, very uncivilized.  Very -- it's like bullying somebody...

And the judge closes...

You're just a fool that's been used by -- by -- by whoever (Beth Mason).  And what I find really, really, really, really disturbing is that people lied in that, you know, after swearing that they would tell the truth.  People lied.  Openly lied, which is -- which is worse than -- than a harassment charge, you know.

I would have -- I would have taken a charge of harassment better than somebody calling me a liar....

Talking Ed Note: The judge felt committing perjury under oath was worse than the original harassment charge but the Mason Civic employees apparently thought differently and perhaps so did their boss who underwrote the eight month legal case where a BoE trustee only wanted an agreement she and her child would be left alone.

What's clear in the testimony is the attempt to hide the political nature of the work under the Mason Civic League.  The judge's assessment has significance for both the IRS and other Federal agencies who would have an investigative interest in investigating the possible criminality of using a charity for political work.

Beth Mason has some 'splain to do.

Monday, July 30, 2012

They're Hereeeeeeeeeee!

Somewhat sooner than expected but the court transcripts have arrived and MSV has notified the contributors on receiving a copy via email as the third party website used in the fundraising does not provide email addresses or permit an attachment to funders in its contacting mechanism.

There's not many left who haven't had a copy emailed but if you haven't received the transcripts, please send a note to smartyjones@me.com identifying your donor name and the email address you wish to have the document sent.

The transcripts for State vs. Calicchio make for some fascinating reading as the Court was clearly aghast at the relative ease in committing perjury by the two Mason Civic League employees.

Are those the values learned from the boss?

More to come...

Hoboken petition will Let the People Decide when to hold municipal elections


November petition effort will let the Hoboken people decide when municipal elections are held

A petition circulating last weekend proposes a November referendum this fall giving voters in the coming presidential election a choice on when to hold Hoboken municipal elections.  Those elections are currently scheduled for May next spring.

If approved, the referendum will move municipal elections scheduled from May to later in the fall in November.

Separately, a second petition proposes ending runoff elections eliminating a costly expenditure for both taxpayers and candidates.  Three at-large council seats and the mayor would be affected in any switch likely decided this November by Hoboken voters.  If voters approve the measures, their terms would be extended in the one time switch from May to November next year.

A similar effort was announced last week and is backed for the state capital Trenton by a citizen good government group and the editorial board of the Trenton Times.  The newspaper noted November municipal elections would save money, remain non-partisan and increase voter participation as May elections have shown dwindling voter turnout.

Both petitions are likely to obtain the needed votes to appear on the ballot come November.  The number of signatures required to make the ballot is in the thousand range with a deadline the middle of August.

The Old Guard is expected to show extreme displeasure as they did when the BoE elections were moved to November earlier this year.  Last February, they turned out in force complaining vociferously the Kids First majority voiced support in joining the vast majority of NJ school boards in moving to November elections.  Statewide 90% of elected school boards decided to make the move.

At that time, the Old Guard preferred to hold a referendum this fall on whether BoE elections should be held in November.  But voters are expected to turn out in far bigger numbers at the polls voting in the BoE election in this presidential year making the very question moot.

It's unknown how much Hoboken will save in a move to November municipal elections but it's likely to be similar to Trenton where officials anticipate it will be in the neighborhood of $140,000.

A signatory to the petition effort, Hoboken resident Vijay Chaudhuri said in a statement, "Consolidating elections and eliminating the runoff are clear cut common sense solutions that will benefit residents and save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars for years to come."

A petitioner discusses the ballot initiative with a Hoboken resident in consideration for moving municipal elections to November.   A second petition would end runoff elections as part of a dual referendum action if approved.  The two petitions are part of an effort  that will Let the People Decide when to hold Hoboken municipal elections.

The three at-large council seats are currently held by reform oriented members allied with Mayor Dawn Zimmer: Ravi Bhalla, Carol Marsh and Dave Mello.

Before the petitions become ballot referendums, it's possible legal action may intervene preventing the people from deciding.  Councilwoman Beth Mason has often been the source of funding for Old Guard measures but it's unclear if that will be the case in this instance.

Talking Ed Note: MSV has seen the hoopla in the spring for elections but in the end, it's the more traditional November elections most are attuned.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Drop by this Sunday, July 29, from 2 - 5 pm, for
Grand Opening of "I Belong" and "Hoboken in Print"
Join us this Sunday from 2 - 5 pm for a free opening reception for our latest exhibits: "I Belong: A History of Civic and Social Clubs in Hoboken" and "Hoboken in Print: Hand-Cut Stencil Screen Prints by Ricardo Roig."
"I Belong" traces the history and cultural significance of the many social, theatrical, athletic, and philanthropic clubs that have knit together the diverse population of Hoboken from the late 1700s through today. It will be on view in the main gallery from July 29 - Dec. 23. Artifacts and articles on these clubs will show how important they were to Hoboken's social fabric, and a section of the exhibit will offer visitors a chance to research new and ongoing clubs in town. During the five-month exhibition, the Museum will host talks by visiting scholars and local historians, as well as engaging educational programs designed for children of all ages.
"Hoboken in Print," features the latest work by local artist Ricardo Roig, who creates intricate, layered screen prints of Hoboken scenes constructed of hand-inked, hand-cut stencils. His work will be on view in the Museum's upper gallery from July 29 - Sept. 9.
Click here or on the image below to visit our website and learn more about these exhibits.
"I Belong: A History of Civic and Social Clubs in Hoboken" - July 29 - Dec. 23
From the Turtle Club to the Hudsonia Fencing Club to the BPO Elks, Hobokenites have found common ground through a diverse array of social clubs and civic organizations.
"Twilight in the Park" by Ricardo Roig
"Twilight in the Park" by Ricardo Roig

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Bard of Hoboken on Nurse Ratchett, Gumby and a psychotic break

Remember when Matt dressed as Gumby for Halloween? 
Followed by Beth as nurse Ratchett the hospital killing queen, 
Next thing you know Matt has all this traveling green, 
and purportedly made sexual advances on a girl just 14. 

Now we all know Matt is totally obsessed with the WWE, 
and if he thinks its real it is not a crime as far as I can see, 
But the stories of his multiple harassments bring his victims no glee, 
Whats next- will he offer to pay a chick $100 to watch him pee? 

Paterno is to Sundusky, 
as Mason is to Matt, 
and one victim CM Punk, 
had enough of all of that. 

With the Masons as his enablers, 
they are now hiding out, 
Instead they attack Ravi, 
but they no longer have clout. 

Buying out the Hudson Distorter, 
Beth Mason tries to control the media, 
but the only publicity she deserves, 
is to be listed on Dickipedia.

Council President Cunningham on the Viaduct construction traffic impact

From the desk of Council President Peter Cunningham:

Dear friends, family and neighbors, 

As you all know, the NW part of Hoboken is experiencing a tremendous amount of construction activity with major projects like 14th and Willow and the 14th Street viaduct reconstruction.  

While generally the contractors are recognizing their need to be respectful of the surrounding community, it doesn't come without having a watchful eye, and continuously reminding them of their obligation - especially to the law, like the City's noise ordinance and vehicular traffic laws - and pedestrian safety.  It is a real challenge daily.

At our most recent community meeting at Carpe Diem a couple of weeks ago, an update to the 14th Street viaduct reconstruction revealed that this roadway will close during the day to provide for the contractor to lay in place very large pieces of steel.  At one point, the county had informed us that they were considering late night activity to bring these large pieces of steel into the work area.  When I learned of this action, I immediately advocated against it.  Many thanks to Mayor Zimmer and the County Executive DeGuise to curtail the proposed actions of the contractor.

But we cannot stop the progress to actually get this job done, and there will be inconveniences to everyone leaving the north end of Hoboken starting mid August.  Please see press release below.

Please review this material closely and plan accordingly.  And as always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  We will have another planned community meeting in September, and Fields Construction has agreed to be there as well to represent their projects in the area.  Thanks and continue to enjoy your summer!  

Peter Cunningham


On or about August 13, 2012 and lasting for approximately 10 weeks, traffic on the 14th Street Viaduct will be closed in the west-bound direction from 9am to 3pm. East-bound traffic will remain open.

The contract for construction of the viaduct called for the complete closure of the viaduct at night to install 50 beams that average 120 feet long. This work is not noise-free, but was expected to be done at night in August and September to reduce daytime traffic delays.

After further consideration, the contractor indicated that they can leave one lane open on the viaduct if they were permitted to work during the day. The hours of lane closure would be from 9am to 3pm to avoid peak period traffic. Traffic congestion is still expected, but the benefit of the daytime detour is to not disturb area residents at night from the noise. Mayor Zimmer is thankful to Hudson County for working to find an alternative to nighttime construction.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Transcripts are coming!

As an update in the June harassment trial in Union City Municipal Court involving a 4th ward committeeman in the employ of Councilwoman Beth Mason and a BoE official, the full transcript should be completed by the end of next week.

The Union City court has processed the payment raised from the Hoboken community.  No OPRA or additional paperwork was required.

In the case Judge Sixto Macias along with the prosecutor expressed great misgivings about the testimony of two Mason Civic League employees.  (That's an understatement.)  The Hudson Reporter referenced the court saying no perjury charges would be filed against the two even with both expressing exasperation with the lying on the stand by Mason's employees.

Councilwoman Beth Mason hasn't commented on the case although as MSV understands it, she bankrolled the legal defense over months including the actual trial that took place more than eight months after the original complaint was filed.

The BoE official sought a commitment she and her five year old daughter be left alone and not accosted at her school and on the street.  It was a request Councilwoman Beth Mason made sure to fight to the bitter end.

Talking Ed Note:  Why is it that the local media here allows Beth Mason to hide out for a couple of days and never follows up to ask questions on this or anything for that matter?

Or are they still too tied up looking into another councilman's traffic tickets?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Albany woman on Beth Mason Civic League "charity" employee - Matt Calicchio, 'I just wanted to warn everyone and women'


The Albany woman who made an earlier call for a petition against Mason Civic League employee Matt Calicchio is now saying she only hopes to share a warning for women and everyone... for safety.

Earlier Grafix Avenger detailed an account of a conversation where Matt Calicchio who works for the Beth Mason family makes some less than savory sexual requests for "a lot of cash."

MSV originally broke the story that has received national and international attention on Monday after a clash between Matt Calicchio and WWE wrestler CM Punk brought TSA and police to the area of the clash at the St. Louis airport Monday night.

Ashley Myers doesn't identify which Hoboken reporters contacted her but MSV will confess to being one.  Da Horsey is pretty confident Grafix Avenger may be another who reached out but we're equally confident nothing came from the Hudson Reporter, the Jersey Journal or Hoboken Patch.

It's not like this is about a council member getting a traffic ticket.  That's what they call news.

Matt Calicchio's Facebook page was yanked into the internet ether yesterday.  So all the photos of him with WWE wrestlers is gone with it.

Meanwhile another person has tweeted Da Horsey some information claiming the use of credit cards so Matt Calicchio can attend to his WWE fix taking trips around the country alleging:

Talking Ed Note: The joke in Hoboken is when someone connected to Reform sneezes the local media will report it when they forget to cover their mouth but when the Old Guard is caught redhanded in less than unseemly and possibly very illegal things, only the FBI making an arrest can force them to act and even then you may not get a picture of the guilty in the story.

Hey Da Horsey offered the editor one but the Hudson Reporter didn't want to offend their pals/advertisers.

As for Ashley Myers, you can't blame her for not wanting to be a bigger, possibly national story in some ugly offers for sexual services in return for money rethinking her earlier call of a petition.  She clearly read the stories here and commenters.

Is this the end of the story or are there other victims?

Has anyone seen Beth Mason or is she still in hiding ripping down the wallpaper with her fingernails?  Does she get to pretend nothing is going on (again) as the local media contacts her only to discuss advertising rates?

Corruption is as corruption does.  Are you folks in Newark getting all this?

Horse Sense: The past is prologue in the war for Hoboken's soul

Three years ago this very week the State of NJ was turned on its ear with the biggest corruption case in its history.  Hoboken became a late casualty relatively speaking when FBI informant Solomon Dwek visited Hudson County and netted a network of good ole boys between Hoboken and Jersey City.

The short lived term of less than a month of Peter Cammarano as Hoboken mayor hit like a tsunami but left almost as quickly as the receding waters.  The Old Guard paused, smirked, and re-assembled for business as usual installing Tim Occhipinti as its rejoinder, running an incalculable amount of "campaign workers" producing 500 paper ballots for a ward election where less than 800 votes total would normally win the election outright.

That familiar scowl.  Peter Cammarano is gone but his legacy lives on with Hoboken's Old Guard.

Cynical?  The Old Guard wasn't done yet.  Viewing Mayor Zimmer as illegitimate when she took the reins from day one, there's been no respite, no detente, no objective but her and Hoboken's destruction. A buyer for the local hospital, a miracle drawn out in a legitimate, legal and future standard for similar institutions became the target of sabotage, venal hatreds and closure.

Bankrupting the City of Hoboken considered a mere side political benefit in what Tim Occhipinti would so smugly declare of the hospital sale, "It's not our deal."  Meaning of course the hospital's demise was merely a side benefit to take down the mayor.  Sabotaging the sale of a century old institution and putting 1,000 people out of work mere cannon fodder. 

The Old Guard abhorred a legal process where the hospital authority board acted independently, not cutting them into a side deal where they and their cronies could benefit.  Beth Mason saw the subterfuge of undermining the sale as a vindictive win for her dual defeats to Mayor Zimmer and went about bringing bankruptcy to Hoboken falling just short.

Progress in Hoboken has been fought at every turn, obstruction for its own sake the most basic weapon in a longer unseemly arsenal.  Even the Hoboken Police Department became victims with overdue infrastructure improvements stonewalled for months.  The Old Guard's veneration of nepotism had to take a back seat with public safety and decent working conditions pushed aside.

A packed City Council chambers last October applauds Dr. Abby Jacobs of HUMC and Mayor Dawn Zimmer after the City Council finally stood down and allowed the hospital parking agreement to become effective and thus complete its sale.  The Old Guard sabotage came within an eyelash of success and would have destroyed a century old institution, over 1,000 jobs and bankrupted Hoboken.

It's been this way for three years.    Reform needs every solider, every family, every citizen to remain vigilante.  It stands against the tide of Hoboken's On the Waterfront past, a local media at best indifferent but mostly hostile to Reform and sympathetic to an intractable, unrelenting corrupt Old Guard.

It's why the past is prologue and why the war for the soul of this town goes on.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mike Russo, Peter Cammarano and Solomon Dwek on CNBC

"American Greed"
10:00 - 11:00 PM


Replay at 1:00 - 2:00 AM to set your DVRs.

Former Acting US Attorney and Hoboken born hero Ralph Marra

Peter Cammarano and Dawn Zimmer (foreground)

CNBC will rebroadcast the episode of American Greed Sunday 10PM, 1AM & 3AM.

Strange "anonymous tip" on the Mason Civic League and more employee trouble

An unsolicited text arrived last Thursday to Da Horsey's mobile phone from someone claiming they were providing an "anonymous tip" regarding the offices of Beth Mason at 12th and Washington.

The alleged tipster noted "new" employees at the offices of the Mason Civic League at 12th and Washington but didn't specify why they were considered new or their familiarity with same.  Typically Da Horsey receives tips via email from readers, this person however had our personal phone number.  MSV doesn't receive information  from people claiming an "anonymous tip" this way.  Information via text would normally arrive from people who already have shared information.

 The two adjoining offices under the Mason Civic League at 12th and Washington have seen questions on qualifying for postcard tax filings (income and expenses under 50K) for 2010 and especially 2011 when it was converted from a Mason campaign office to a dual use space with one office a dedicated political section with the shades drawn.

The untold number of paid political operatives remains a symptom of larger problems for the Mason Civic League and its claimed tax exemption status.

The art space of the office is closer to the street rotating some limited exhibits and is almost invariably always closed offering little in the way of exposure for the artist(s).  The political section saw an unusual amount of activity after recent reports circulated on the lack of any tax filings.  Previously Beth Mason saw her Mason Civic Association charter revoked for its failure to make tax filings in over two years.  Its uncertain what, if any monies were routed through that entity.

Questions swirling around the two Mason "civic leagues" has engendered enormous hand wringing and led to extraordinary efforts to obfuscate, deflect and threaten.  Toss in some pathological lying and you have to ask yourself where is this all leading?

A man sits on the stoop of the Beth Mason offices used for political meetings and art exhibits but is almost always closed.  
The right side with shades drawn is the political section.
MSV saw the same man reading in the location there again this week, a perfect quiet location to do so.

Talking Ed Note: When called, the owner did not answer and MSV does not expect a reply from the Hackensack based mobile.

Grafix Avenger has a follow up report on Beth Mason's Civic League employee Matt Calicchio who tweets under this handle:

But one woman from Albany, NY who has had misfortune in encounters with Beth Mason's employee is upset with the behavior she alleges, starting a petition urging protective action saying he:

"harasses females who also attend the shows. Offering them money for sex or dirty talk..."

Take a look at GA's story for more of the gory details:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tunes on Washington to sell 500 Mumford & Sons tix tomorrow morning

City of Hoboken announces:


On August 1, 2012, Mumford & Sons will hold a sold-out concert at Pier A Park in Hoboken to kick off their summer tour. Mayor Zimmer requested that 500 tickets for the show be set aside for sale in Hoboken. The tickets will go on sale at 10:00 am on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at Tunes, located at 225 Washington Street in Hoboken. Tickets are $55 each, cash only, and there is a 2 ticket limit per person.

Through the Hoboken Superintendent’s office, an additional 20 tickets will be distributed to honors students who graduated from Hoboken High School this year. The City congratulates Valedictorian Gabrielle Frederick, who will attend the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Salutatorian Erin Ranieri, who will attend Rutgers University, Michael Ippolito who received a full scholarship to attend the Stevens Institute of Technology, and all of the graduates of the class of 2012.

Sign of the Times: Welcome to the CM Punk Smackdown


The cottage industry of the WWE and its superstar wrestlers has finally catapulted Hoboken's Beth Mason to where she wanted to be.  A councilwoman among nine in a hamlet of 50,000, she's attempted to bankrupt Hoboken, close its hospital, and cause mayhem in the hopes of political gain.

Matt Calicchio's boss Beth Mason
Well, she finally made it to the big stage!

With her employee being central to a harassment incident in the St. Louis airport, MSV has seen a surge of traffic from all points in the US, Ireland, UK, Italy, and Australia.  Seems like these wrestling fans want to learn about the person who was yelling and cursing at their champ on the way to do his job.

After others attempted to discourage Mason employee Matt Calicchio from following the man, he then began taking pictures of the guy which is legal in a public place but certainly in bad taste after you yelled and cursed a guy out saying how much you wanted to see his neck broken the next evening.

Well Beth Mason sure does know how to pick talented employees.  Mason has always wanted to get beyond Hoboken in politics as she's said "What's the point of being a Hoboken (second ward) councilwoman?

Who knew that it would be her employee Matt Calicchio who would put her on the national map.

Congratulations Beth.  You've hit the big time!

Original CM Punk smackdown graphic courtesy of Grafix Avenger who has more:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Beth Mason paid operative Matt Calicchio in harassment incident in St. Louis airport with celebrity wrestler CM Punk


Mason political operative reportedly involved in airport harassment incident drawing TSA and police

Matt Calicchio the 4th ward committeeman and admitted employee of Beth Mason's Civic League is reportedly a party to a harassment incident in the St. Louis Airport Sunday night.

Police were reportedly called to the scene where a popular wrestler, CM Punk was arriving in town for a wrestling show.  According to one wrestling site news report, the incident took place after an autograph request of one fan, reportedly Matt Calicchio who is in St. Louis for the wrestling event:

But this led to another fan yeling at Punk and causing a scene at the airport. This wound up with Punk throwing the man's autograph book in a garbage can. The next thing you know, airport police are there with Punk and the guy, with Punk very annoyed at having his time wasted. Other WWE wrestlers were asking fans if they knew "the fat guy" (the guy whose book Punk threw in the garbage can). Punk later went on twitter and made a mention of "unacceptable behavior" and "One person ruins it for everyone" saying he wanted to thank all the respectful fans at the airport tonight and how he just doesn't like rude people.

Wrestling websites are abuzz over the incident and the wrestler CM Punk tweeted about the incident involving an obnoxious, harassing fan deeming it, "unacceptable behavior," and adding in another tweet, "One person ruins it for everybody.  Sorry y'all."

Calicchio responded to the uproar from the incident on Facebook saying, "I must be really important to have so many people talking about me, the more they talk the more they boost my ego.  The chip on my shoulder is getting huge!"

Beth Mason paid political operative Matt Calicchio (r) at the City Council meeting earlier this month.

A self-described eyewitness in the airport to the incident wrote:

First things first, I was there with the guy that was rude to Punk. His name is Matt. (CM) Punk walked out of the terminal, stopped and signed for me(I will gladly post a photo I took with him before the incident occured when I get home from St. Louis. Matt hates Punk's guts and purposely asked him to piss him off (they've had altercations before). Punk ignored him, so Matt called him a "f*cking d*ck." Punk kept walking, so Matt said things like "I hope Cena breaks your neck Monday night." After repeating this several times Punk sat down to wait for his luggage. Matt started taking pictures of him, so Punk took his bookbag and threw it in the garbage. Then the police got involved and you know the rest. Also, just to make it clear, the fans that were yelling at Punk were actually me and my mom, who were trying to get Matt to stop following him.

Another eyewitness, popular wrestler Ricardo Rodriguez tweeted of the incident:

Matt Calicchio was not available for comment on this story while away in St. Louis.  He is free to comment on the story as anyone. 

Talking Ed Note: It's good to see the ambassadorship of the Mason Civic League continues apace. Great job Beth!  Maybe a raise is in order.

Well this is yet another opportunity for Beth Mason.  Maybe she'll go out and get another lawyer to take the wrestler to court and turn Matt Calicchio from victimizer to victim.  If you roll with Team Mason, you're always the victim.

More comments on wrestling sites here and and a woman who tweets about yet more harassment.
Other than this, it's all good at the Mason Civic League HQ on upper Hudson Street.

The man who would be Hoboken mayor

Frank "Pupie" Raia is consolidating forces for a big run for the mayor's chair next spring.

Some decades ago, of the old tales revolving around Hoboken is one about a boy and his friend playing on its asphalt hardtop back in the day during the lean, hard times.  The friend's mom reportedly said of her boy's pal, "One day you will be mayor of Hoboken."

The dream has lived ever since and been repeated and ingrained as often as the story.  In November 2009, Hoboken developer and philanthropist Frank "Pupie" Raia ran a strong, positive campaign but the results were a distant finish to Mayor Dawn Zimmer in a crowded field. 

Raia dueled it out with Councilwoman Beth Mason for second place and now is enlisting her or rather an unknown but sizable amount of her family's money toward a Pupie for Mayor campaign next spring.  The City Council passed an anti-wheeling ordinance barely moments after Mason was bounced as Chair - one she fought viciously and declared unconstitutional along with Tim Occhipinti but people expect she'll find a way to route the money where it needs to go.

Accordingly, independent sources say a Raia campaign is predicting a bankroll in the seven figure range! 

Raia self-funded his 2009 campaign to the tune of 200K but is now reportedly whispering to allies about more than doubling it in a bid to wrench the mayor's chair from a popular, professional and honest mayor who has lived up to her promises cutting taxes, reducing spending significantly and saving the hospital along the way.  

In addition, fueling the Raia campaign greenbacks is a vote-by-mail plan dallied about well into four digits.  (Apparently no paper ballots will be leftover for a mayoral bid by Tim Occhipinti which is a travesty and a Cryan shame.)

Al Sullivan said in the weekend paper there's concern the Old Guard needs to rally behind one candidate and "money people" may not step up to the plate if it fails to materialize.  But Raia doesn't need their money, especially if the Wheeling Queen of Transparency is on board for six figures several times over as is suggested. 

Sullivan also notes concern about combining a solidified Old Hoboken vote and Hoboken professionals, the latter being spliced off in the form of low information voters or others who were easily fooled by the Cammarano sell.  Can Raia pull votes from both camps?  That's the $1,000,000 question. 

In these challenging times, development hasn't been booming in Hoboken but the reasons aren't entirely economic.  From new honest leadership in the Hoboken Construction Office to the Zoning Board to the Mayor's Office, the developments on tap aren't green-lighted rapid fire like they used to be.  

Among those who are not pleased with this red tape is rumored to be one Frank Raia joining a longer list that includes the Rockefeller Group (who commissioned the recent telephone poll), URSA Taragon and of course NJ Transit.  

In short, while Mayor Zimmer hasn't been an obstacle to all development, from the developer perspective she's bad for business.  Very bad, as in get her the heck out of there bad so we can make money hand over fist again.  They see lovely 40 story towers in Hoboken's future.

The talk of spending seven figures or more has to be taken seriously. The mayor's grass roots support is going to be tested in facing an onslaught of this kind of money focused behind one candidate.

There's also talk of gambling money moving in from down the road at the Meadowlands. If gaming is coming that close you can be sure it will also find a way to the sponsor in the form of Assemblyman Ruben Ramos. Ramos has been first out of the gate to begin searching for a winning hand to the mayor's seat and he's not going anywhere. If Meadowlands gambling starts gaining traction, so will Ramos. He'd like to have the Russo's on board but they are said to be behind Raia, at least for now.

The Russo clan sees the best outcome as one of their own on the wheel (and the money). Not very likely to happen as Councilwoman Terry Castellano who has mulled over the idea isn't likely to do so and Councilman Michael Russo is tarnished with an FBI surveillance tape showing everyone what he is.

Frank Raia is consolidating the Old Guard for a big mayoral campaign effort. He has the Mason Treasury on board. He brings a big money roll to the battle too.

Beth Mason - she's out but the family money is in and it's on Frank Raia.

Talking Ed Note: After the summer when the air clears or the rubble settles or begins to settle, the consolidation will be clearer. Frank "Pupie" Raia is in an advanced stage of mobilization and this is his last and best shot to take aim for the lifetime prize.

Grafix Avenger has returned from vacation and mulls over the House of Cards that is the Mason Civic League and Mason Family Civic League, its innumerable employment of political operatives and details why it is a problem not going away. Let the IRS decide!


Original Frank Raia photo courtesy Jhnny Newman

Friday, July 20, 2012

NY Daily News on best places to live - Hoboken

The NY Daily News started a new video series on best places to live. The first episode includes Hoboken:


Hoboken University Medical Center - it was saved making Hoboken a better place to live.

City of Hoboken announces:


The Hoboken community is invited to attend a public meeting to view and provide feedback on the final conceptual plan for Church Square Park. The meeting will be held at the gazebo at Church Square Park on Thursday, July 26 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

Meetings to solicit public input regarding improvements to Church Square Park were previously held on May 17 and June 12, 2012.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

NJ State Capital gets the love from the Boys of Summer

Ah yes, summer.  The time of year for baseball, the beach, long drives and the heroes of the Republic from the Boys of Summer office in Newark.  Looks like the ladies joined in for a game over in the NJ capital.

An FBI team swarms on Trenton City Hall this morning.

The FBI raid in Trenton has all the earmarks of a similar raid in Hoboken.
Maybe there's a doubleheader coming.  As Ernie Banks would say, "Let's play two!"

Photo courtesy the Times of Trenton, by arrangement with NJ.com