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.


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.

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.  

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.