Friday, November 29, 2013

HHM: Vroom, Vroom this Sunday @ 4:00

Hoboken Historical Museum
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Oral History, Sun., Dec. 1, 4pm
Storytime, Thurs., Dec. 5, at 10 am
Sandy Outreach, Thurs., Dec. 5 at 7 pm

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Creating themed exhibits and fun events showcasing Hoboken's unique history, diverse culture, architecture and landmarks since 1986.

Open 6 days a week, in one of the oldest buildings on Hoboken's waterfront, at 1301 Hudson St. 
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November 29, 2013 
VROOM, VROOM! Meet Peter "Chipper" Falco of the Hoboken Motorcycle Club at the publication party for our latest oral history chapbook, "Two-Wheel Man" on  Sunday, Dec. 1 at 4pm.

Uptown Storytime: On Thursday, Dec. 5 at 10am, bring your toddlers, ages 2 - 5, to the Museum to hear Penny Metsch read fun stories.
Master disaster anxiety: On Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7pm, learn how to cope with disaster-related anxiety, with licensed disaster relief crisis counselor, Dawn Donnelly. Learn more

Holiday fun: Dave & Howard are back with their festive and inclusive Holiday Family Concert! Mark Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3pm, on your calendar. Then our Holiday Crafts Fairs return for three weekends at the Museum: Dec. 8-9, 14-15, and 21-22, from noon - 5pm.

Oral History Chapbook Party
The latest Oral History Project chapbook features Peter "Chipper" Falco, one of the founders of the 40-year-old Hoboken Motorcycle Club, who shared his recollections of living in Sinatra's childhood home, the origins of his nickname, HMC parties and charity events, and the long-lasting influence of the film, Easy Rider.

Editor Holly Metz and designer Ann Marie Manca have created a chapbook from Chipper's recollections, "Two-Wheel Man, Recollections of Peter "Chipper" Falco."
Two-Wheel Man, Chipper Falco
Meet Chipper on Sunday, December 1, at 4 p.m., at the Museum, as the Museum and the Friends of the Hoboken Public Library celebrate the publication of this new booklet--our 26th since we began publishing them in 2002--with some of the club's Harleys on view outside and much shared history, food, and drink inside. The event is free and copies of the chapbook will be distributed to all who attend. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A blessed Happy Thanksgiving

Psalm 100

(A Thanksgiving Psalm)

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Talking Ed Note: Any prayers would be very welcome for my friend's mother who was admitted to the hospital just earlier.
On behalf of Kurt and Da Horsey, thank you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why the revolution will not be televised?

And neither will a Hoboken Housing Authority Thanksgiving Dinner 

It's that time of year when we reflect with gratitude and give thanks but this year there will be no annual Hoboken Housing Authority Thanksgiving Dinner.


The annual (privately sponsored) dinner, the creation of HHA commissioner Jake Stuiver back in 2009 ran into some political problems.  Currently, the former HHA Chairman is embroiled in a bizarre civil lawsuit claiming "ethnic cleansing" by HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia.  As a result, the dinner has been unceremoniously cancelled.

Stuiver founded the HHA dinner and insured the success of the event putting in four figures himself to make sure it went off without a hitch for HHA residents.  Others in the community joined Stuiver in backing the event including the mayor's family helping bring a positive event to HHA residents leading into Thanksgiving.

What led to Stuiver no longer sponsoring the annual HHA Thanksgiving Dinner? MSV believes it began with this story last February, "Sign of the Times: Thugging it out at the HHA meeting."

At that meeting, an all out personal assault would take place with the Carmelitos screaming at Stuiver during the meeting and speakers taking to the microphone to personally attack him, some wearing newly crafted "Benedict Jake" t-shirts handed out by Beth Mason political operative Matt Calicchio.

What was the crime of "the traitor?" As acting Chairman of the HHA, Stuiver had attempted to see a vote of the HHA board to rotate new professionals into the roles of auditor and legal counsel, a change Carmelo Garcia did not approve.

So while the annual HHA Thanksgiving dinner will not happen, another resident gathering was recently held to "honor" Carmelo Garcia for working in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy by the Garcia backed HHA tenant groups.  What people may not know is Garcia had planned to be out of dodge and skip town but was talked out of leaving for one of his numerous "conferences" by a HHA commissioner who questioned how he could do so with a hurricane approaching.

The HHA commissioner who posited the question how could Garcia be planning to leave with Hurricane Sandy bearing down?
Jake Stuiver.

Beth Mason political operative Matt Calicchio strategically positions himself on the outside of a door window posing with a "Benedict Jake" t-shirt reading "JAKE MUST GO!!!" at a February HHA meeting.  Stuiver who was HHA Chairman sought to rotate new professionals into the roles of auditor and HHA counsel against the wishes of Carmelo Garcia.

Talking Ed Note: If any HHA residents are wondering why there's no scheduled Thanksgiving dinner, they can thank the backers of Carmelo Garcia.

Hey Joe, let the Carmelitos eat "Benedict Jake" t-shirts.

Update: MSV has been emailed there was a HHA Thanksgiving dinner yesterday but the request for who paid for it from the source has gone unanswered.  So, it appears yet another dinner featuring self-congratulaory accolades and speeches from Carmelo Garcia no doubt!

As this story indicated, the Jake Stuiver privately funded dinner has ended.  MSV has asked the source if there were Fidel Castro length speeches by Carmelo Garcia but that too has gone unanswered.

Make of that what you wish.

Update 2: A dinner was also held at Fox Hills.  According to one unconfirmed source, desserts were provided by PSE&G.  They received no credit for their generosity to Hoboken seniors.  The source says PSE&G were never mentioned and in their place Mr. Carmelo "took credit for those desserts" and never recognized the true donor, concluding of the whole affair, "Shameful!"

The real question, is anyone surprised by this coming from Hoboken's singular "Ethic Cleanser?"

Monday, November 25, 2013

What I saw at the Reformulution

A first hand account of Hoboken's historic election night

Election Day was nearing its finale and the Firehouse polling station at 13th and Washington winding down.  From late afternoon to near closing at 8:00, most municipal voters could be distinguished from one another.  The late rush and demeanor of working professionals arriving contrasted sharply with the earlier Hispanic voters who fill Applied Housing buildings uptown.

The professionals arriving some in suit and tie would pace quickly, most not taking any literature from anyone.  Among the campaigners working the block, two gracious candidates from the Ramos slate: Joe Mindak and Eduardo Gonzalez along one with one local activist in favor of the rent control ballot question.  Later Timmy Occhipinti would make an appearance on the 14th St side of Washington St. looking unhappy with a pro Reform horse arriving on the scene as a small group from the Raia-Mason campaign stood around unclear what to do.  His unhappiness before the polls closed would contrast later with the despair to come when the full results came in.  (According to recent stories on Grafix Avenger, Mr. 7 otherwise known as Frank "Pupie" Raia, is "livid" he's been had by some double dealing moles on his campaign dime.)

As the voters mostly passed with little interaction with campaigners, watching them go to their destination was a contrast of Hoboken past and present.  The Hispanic voters would saunter by, there was no doubt they were coming out to vote for Ruben Ramos. The professionals belied on the whole little but their demeanor said much.  Like lasers they would walk to the door of the polling station.  Most didn't need any literature and knew exactly what levers to pull.

Most of Hoboken this election cycle didn't appear as it has in the past to be enthralled in an election with the battle lines and the scars going online and duking it out in new venues attempting to reach out and touch Hoboken voters on social media sites.  Campaigns had different policies, to scrub or not to scrub or censor critical voices altogether.  Occhipinti long ago blocked people who merely asked uncomfortable questions on his Facebook page but during the campaign the Ruben Ramos page would adopt similar lock down policies.

In the end, the election night offered some telling revelations.  The mayor grew her numbers from November 2009 and considering the four year turnover of her base managed to increase her vote almost 10% going from 5621 to 6123, a significant improvement.

While the Old Guard are finger pointing and stabbing one another drawing blood, a pastime showing no signs of ending anytime soon; the mayor and her council slate rolled in a sweep bringing the BoE ticket along for the ride.  It's a crushing blow in two consecutive November elections indicating the tide of corruption may have finally been beaten back even considering the rampant vote buying by the two Old Guard campaigns.  (The Feds are investigating as exclusively reported here, with the Department of Justice taking the lead.)

MSV was told by one close political observer Gov. Chris Christie and Mayor Zimmer were within six votes of each other before the final election results were certified.  The Governor edged out the mayor so one would imagine he's the choice for Presidential candidate.  Jokes aside, it was a historic election night for Hoboken.

With just under 48% of the vote against two well financed competitors, Mayor Zimmer sealed a huge victory for the Reform movement and ended all doubts both she and the movement were a force whose time had come and was no flash in the pan.  The Old Guard treated her with contempt from the moment she became Acting Mayor and nothing changed when she was elected in the fall of 2009.

That's all history now.  Among the first casualties in this election outside of failed candidacies is Vision 20/20, the undocumented, controversial concept plan to more than double the size of the Hoboken Housing Authority's downtown campus.  The non-stop snow job continued right up to the election with nary a Master Plan put on the table.  Zero, nada, nunca, nothing.  There was no compunction to see anything let alone a Master Plan from Beth "I need more information" Mason, Timmy Occhipinti, Terri Castellano and of course Michael "sheets" Russo.

Got corruption?  It doesn't get any more corrupt than this Barnum and Bailey circus in council meetings leading into the election backed to the hilt by both Old Guard tickets.  The million dollar parking quarters swindle is mere chump change compared to the potential millions of dollars wetting the Old Guard's corrupt appetites in the massive redevelopment scam proposed.

The Old Guard council were not exactly unenthusiastic to approve anything and everything connected to Vision 20/20, even hijacking a council meeting and holding an illegal vote at midnight with no quorum after reform members left.  The cries they only wanted a "letter of need" just one among a pack of lies, both said and unsaid.  At the midnight hour they also tried to pass a PILOT for Vision 20/20 on an unsuspecting Hoboken public.

Do you need any more examples what was in store for Hoboken if Michael Russo, Timmy Occhipinti, Terri Castellano and Beth Mason got the upper hand in this town?

The rest of this feature will be released later this week for MSV subscribers.

Last trick or treat for the Old Guard?  This satirical graphic is a takeoff on the actual
FBI video taken by federal informant Solomon Dwek with Councilman Michael Russo
in a Jersey City restaurant.  Who will meet to cut back room illegal deals with them now?
They can't serve up Hoboken with Mayor Zimmer and her council majority in place.

Talking Ed Note: Nearly 100 comments on the charity Sign of the Times photo from Friday showing one Old Guard adherent hungry to peg generic negativity on MSV and seeing their criticism turned on them by some commenters.  Nothing left but a puddle of troll.

Trick or treat time is over for the Old Guard and they can't cash in on the Hoboken taxpayer or abuse the institutions to generate back room deals (and cash) like the good old days.

In case you haven't heard, there's a new sheriff in town.

With gratitude to the Hoboken voter for delivering this town from the Hoboken Sopranos, today's feature is dedicated to you.

Film strip "trick or treat" courtesy Grafix Avenger

Unrelated: People ask Da Horsey questions only answerable with a smile for the moment but here's a must see from the Hudson County political website by the Vine person.  Did Horsey just say it's a must read?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sign of the Times: Former NY Knick Charles Oakley and Joe Giattino

Former NY Knick Charles Oakley greeting Hobokenite Joe Giattino at the Teddy Dinner last night at the Staten Island Hilton.
Giattino's wife is sixth ward councilwoman Jen Giattino.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dr. Mark Toback: 'State creates adversarial relationship between charter and public schools'

Pegs costs of HoLa expansion at 12K per student

HFHA post-election gathering at The Shannon

HFHA announces:

Thank you one and all for contributing to this very hard-fought win. Thank you for volunteering, for making calls, for distributing & posting flyers, for participating in our fundraisers, for tabling and knocking on doors, for designing our posters, flyers and buttons, for sending out emails, for wearing our t-shirts, for writing letters, for commenting on blogs, for sharing our posts and tweets, for telling your friends and neighbors about the ramifications should this initiative pass, for donating what you could, for making others aware of this critical vote, for holding a sign and passing out palm cards or grabbing a megaphone (a la Tom Vezzetti) and asking everyone to vote no on election day and, perhaps most important, for casting your own NO vote on Hoboken Public Question #1.

Please join the Hoboken Fair Housing Association (HFHA) in a Celebration of our sweet sweet victory at the polls.

When: Tonight - Thursday November 21st
Where: The Shannon - 106 First Street, Hoboken
Time: 7:00-10:00 (& the Shannon is extending their happy hour 'til 9:00 just for us!)

We looking forward to seeing everyone’s smiling face on the 21st

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Beth Mason, dessert hostess with the mostest?

Beth Mason is in Atlantic City and hostess to a Gov. Christie ally's event with statewide pull.  The dessert affair hosted by Mason at the League of Municipalities featured a photo with the influential state senator, Steve Sweeney, the event's featured politco.

The Mason family has donated tens of thousands of dollars to NJ Democratic pols, mostly in northern NJ but has not been able to gain traction purchasing anything beyond a council ward seat in Hoboken.  All told, it's estimated the Mason family has spent $2,000,000 on her "political career."

Councilwoman Beth Mason, dessert hostess for NJ State Senator Steve Sweeney in Atlantic City.

Her "bidding war" for Assemblyman Ruben Ramos' seat with Frank "Pupie" Raia landed up with neither getting the nod from State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack.  The rumored seven figure bidding brouhaha for the legislative seat paying 49K annually was rolled into a "Vision for Hoboken" plan.  The controversial redevelopment Vision 20/20 was presented in a concept brochure and expected to more than double the size of the existing downtown Hoboken Housing Authority.  That "Vision for Hoboken" feature was thought to see millions cleared and delivered via Executive Director Carmelo Garcia's pushing it through City Hall.

The projected profits in the millions if not tens of millions failed to materialize for any of the politicos and the wet dreams of Brian Stack's staff when the Ruben Ramos - Carmelo Garcia Vision for Hoboken combo crashed and burned in the re-election of Mayor Dawn Zimmer.  The mayor declined to push the undocumented Vision 20/20 plan ahead without a full comprehensive overview and input from all of the Hoboken public.  (Garcia has sent out acolyte HHA spokespeople MSV called "Carmelitos" to City Council meetings to cajole approval without any Master Plan presented or reviewed by anyone.)

Beth Mason looks to be positioning herself with another faction of NJ Democrats in an attempt to buy influence and an exit visa out of Hoboken.  Her prop for mayor, Timmy Occhipinti failed to get her in the back door of City Hall into the mayor's office.  Her long time political operative FinBoy burned Old Guard bridges with a flyer posted around town before the election depicting Ruben Ramos and his council slate with convicted felon and ex-mayor Anthony Russo describing the former mayor as a "criminal."

Among the tens of thousands the Mason family has donated to north Jersey pols, she gave at least four figures directly herself to the campaign of former Hoboken municipal prosecutor Tracy Zur in 2012 with tens of thousands given on behalf of her freeholder campaign wheeled through the Bergen County Democratic organization.  Zur sought and was elected to the position of Bergen County Freeholder later that year.

Bergen County Freeholder Tracy Zur received monies from Councilwoman Beth Mason within days of a 2012
hearing involving her political operative Matt Calicchio against MSV.  The final figure to Zur via the Bergen
County Dems ran into the tens of thousands.  It was the only race in Bergen County in 2012. 

 Talking Ed Note: Tracy Zur was the municipal prosecutor in Hoboken in a change of venue hearing back in July 2012 where Beth Mason political operative and fourth ward Democratic Committeeman Matt Calicchio filed charges against MSV claiming he was being followed.  The case was recently thrown out of court in Jersey City.

Zur's bad behavior at that 2012 hearing is another story but she cashed at least part of Mason's money into her campaign account within days of the first Hoboken hearing that May.  Zur sought but was not renewed Hoboken Municipal Prosecutor for 2013.

The Jersey City Municipal Prosecutor was shown the transcripts of Matt Calicchio lying up and down on the stand in Union City when he was the defendant in a harassment case against a sitting BoE trustee and her five year old daughter outside her school.

Case dismissed.

Part of the Tracy Zur story was broken earlier on Grafix Avenger:

Photo courtesy PolitickerNJ

Process to identify new Hoboken Police Chief begins

City of Hoboken announces:


The City of Hoboken is beginning the transition process of identifying a new Police Chief and is opening up the Chief’s test to all Captains and Lieutenants. Police Chief Anthony Falco will be mandatorily retiring on June 31, 2014. Under New Jersey State law, Police Chiefs must mandatorily retire at the age of 65.

“During Chief Falco’s tenure, crime in Hoboken has remained at historic lows,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “We want to build on this progress and create an even more professional Police Department to serve our great City.”

Police Chief Anthony Falco will retire by law next June.
The search for a new police chief begins.

Talking Ed Note: What do you think a more professional Hoboken Police Department under new leadership will mean?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Grist for the Mill: Timmy for sale - part deux

By the time you read this, Beth Mason is heading south to Atlantic City on her way to hosting a dessert party for a State Senator allied with Governor Christie and the work toward unseating sixth ward councilwoman Jen Giattino another in the latest political operation undone.

Timmy Occhipinti has "his" condo for sale.  That revelation comes courtesy of a follow-up to MSV's weekend exclusive on Grafix Avenger where the dessert is dishy and the girls are not talking among themselves on Saturday Night Live.

According to GA's inside dish, on the eve of the election Timmy Occhipinti produced a sizable check buying out the ex-girlfriend who departed early September.  Lawyers engaged, the deal went down right before the Raia-Mason Titanic election disaster.

Clearing the decks for Mayor Timmy?  (Stop laughing.)

Representing Timmy in the real estate effort was a lawyer to clear up the sticky ownership problem of the condo who also reportedly doubles as Occhipinti's campaign treasurer.  The treasurer, a Jersey City lawyer was also paid for his campaign work out of council campaign funds in the rapidly depleted account.  More than 95% of close to 15K in the 2015 Occhipinti council campaign is gone.

Questions arise in all of this but Occhipinti like his patron Beth Mason don't like to answer questions.
In September, Occhipinti departed his job making it highly unlikely he would be able to refinance a mortgage and pay the co-owner of the condo.

So who convinced Timmy to quit his job putting him into the predicament he finds himself today?

Grafix Avenger has uncovered more of the dish in the tale of the spiraling Occhipinti.

The question remains, who convinced Timmy Occhipinti into
quitting his job to run for mayor just a month before the election was a winning formula?
The fourth ward condo is on the block and Grafix Avenger has an update to the MSV story.

Talking Ed Note: The Old Guard venom removed made for a quick council meeting last night.  No targeting of Councilwoman Jen Giattino and her family for the council seat revealed itself either.  The exposure here and on Grafix Avenger before the election may have played a part.  That political operation before the election appears to be inert.  Sorry Joe.

Some loyal Carmelitos made an appearance but no cajoling or canard will gain any traction benefitting their sponsor.  That's done.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Second reading for Hoboken flood mitigation ordinance @ 7:00

(Note: Meeting runs approximately two hours.)

The Hoboken council follies get a rare Monday night showing but the audience will be threadbare and it should end in rapid order as the previous council meeting on the back of a citywide Reform sweep that left the Hoboken Sopranos reeling the day after.

The ordinance on flood mitigation aiding residents in extending lower rates to the wider group of residents who need to take out flood insurance is back on the agenda for a second reading.  The Old Guard council voted it down before the election but what purpose will it do now if Michael Russo, Beth Mason Terri Castellano and Timmy Occhipinti do that again?

It just gives Councilman-elect Jim Doyle something to add to his action list in January.

The full agenda:

Correction: The flood mitigation ordinance is carried to the December 18th City Council meeting.
How about two vans for the Hoboken Parking Utility for 33K?

Election rationalizations, Masonista doings and City Council tonight

The League of Municipalities meeting this week moves the City Council to a rare Monday evening guaranteed to generate little attention and news.

Will it be the perfect scene for springing an attack on Councilwoman Jen Giattino's council seat?
Her family is preparing to move back into her home next month, a Christmas gift to themselves after suffering as many did with long term damage due to SuperStorm Sandy.

For the Old Guard, this is an what they see as an opportunity and with their full fledged minority status laying not far off in the distance once again, what can they do to possibly turn around the stop ahead?

Councilman Michael Russo was last seen crunching numbers at the Ruben Ramos HQ the night of the election but he missed the council meeting the next day rumored to be many miles away in Florida.

Will he be back to lead an Old Guard political operation with merry holiday thoughts of picking off Jen Giattino from her sixth ward seat?  Will sixth ward committeeman Joe Branco be back to show his "concern" for the popular sixth ward councilwoman to inquire again if a resolution was passed so she could move several blocks north while repairs were being made to her home?

If any of this sounds unseemly, you don't know Hoboken's Old Guard.  This for them is typical fare and the usual political machinations for power even when things don't go right for them at the polls.

There's always the Mason family litigation option to put the brakes on good government.

Councilwoman Jen Giattino - is her sixth ward seat the object of envy
for the power seeking litigious Old Guard? 

It didn't stop two hard core Masonistas from heading over to take photos of the Giatino residence on a recent Saturday.  An OPRA request for the construction permits at the residence was filed but no one has said more about it other than vague unnamed references here and Grafix Avenger.

Another fanatical Masonista performed a similar job, this one outside the home of a BoE trustee on lower Garden Street, child in tow before the election.  Would noting that be grounds for the editors of the Hudson Reporter to proclaim victimization of an unnamed "Hoboken couple."

Will anyone cover the story of their less than savory relationship?

Did you know a neighbor witnessed the odd event on Garden St. and took quite a memorable photo?  A Hudson Superior Court judge will find it most interesting in the case of political operative denials in the SLAPP suit.

The truth is coming out in the wash.  All of it.

Back at 7:00 with the City Council meeting.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Timmy for sale


Timmy Occchipinti fourth ward condo for sale:

This lower Monroe St. fourth ward condo, occupied by the occupant of the fourth ward council seat can be yours as it's officially on sale.  Price should be negotiable as MSV hears the person who put up the money for the unit wants her money back.

She certainly deserves it.

Last September, Timmy Occhipinti announced he quit his job with just over a month to Election Day to focus on the Hoboken race for mayor.  After his dismal 17% showing even with easily the most expensive campaign of the three candidates, Timmy is looking to make another move.

Talking Ed Note: It's 10:00 am, do you know where Timmy is?  Occhipinti who has saddled up with developers repeatedly always eager to sell out Hoboken at least this time is seeing a property in his name (at least partly) being sold.

Reminder: in a condo sale, all occupants must remove themselves.  You could agree to a price and ask for one of those collectible souvenir buttons comparing the Irish to a meat patty.

The whispers are threat of legal action forced the condo to to go on the block.

Sign of the Times: Sinatra Park is back!

Sinatra Park is fixed and reopened with a game set for today.  Let's play two!

Friday, November 15, 2013

City: Election results certified, Rent control in place

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Friday November 15, 2013

City of Hoboken

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Community: Final Certified Election Results Available; No Change to Rent Control Law

The Hudson County Clerk has issued certified results for the General Election held on November 5, 2013. The results are available online at:

Hoboken Public Question #1 regarding rent control was not approved. The vote was - Yes: 5,022, No: 5,144. Accordingly, there is no change to Hoboken’s rent control law, and all existing tenant protections remain in effect.

Star studded charity event next Thursday - The 17th Annual Teddy Dinner

For more information call (718) 980-7037 or email:

Complete details:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Timmy Occhipinti thought he was going to be mayor?

On election night, the Raia-Mason headquarters was buzzing as the numbers from the polls were coming in.  Outside, large crowd controlling barricades were set up cutting off 80% of the sidewalk to the public.

The next night after the rubble had been cleared from the Timmy Occhipinti campaign, a pummeled looking Occhipinti sat at the dais looking dazed and puffy.  An insider story on Grafix Avenger says the beating was felt far worse because someone in the campaign had circulated a phony poll saying not what was printed in a Hudson Reporter column two weeks prior - that Occhipinti was in "striking" distance of Mayor Dawn Zimmer - but he was in the lead!

Among those who "fell" for this is the official campaign manager Jamie Cryan.  Others in the campaign never believed it and thought Occhipinti's belief he would be mayor was "delusional."

How about a Dr. Seus story from Mayor Timmy Hoboken?
According to an insider story on GA, Occhipinti really thought he was winning.
Based on the barricades outside the Raia-Mason HQ, they thought so too.

According to Grafix Avenger's story, "They're Dumb People," this was all part of an elaborate plan to milk the big bucks campaign underwriters for as much money as possible. (Political consultants often are compensated based on a percentage of total campaign spending).

Among the additional nuggets including the bomb of a phony poll creating large, false expectations is Occhipinti went back to Frank "Pupie" Raia asking for a big bonus for his "roomie," the communications director who shares his domicile in the fourth ward.

The comparisons to the spring 2009 mayoral campaign of Beth Mason are numerous and the article details the behind the scenes sabotage as every last dollar is extracted before the walls caved in.

While the article says some in the Raia-Mason camp refuse to believe the results and can't comprehend the demolition of spending in the ballpark of a quarter million for a 17% result travesty, others may be scratching their heads and saying what if.  Apparently, Raia himself may be beginning to wonder if everything was on the up and up.

Which means the sharks are circling and maybe thinking about going cannibal on one FinBoy AquaMole who is rumored to have been meeting with the Ramos camp regularly throughout the campaign.

Questions have surfaced on a Raia-Mason poll which led people on the campaign to think Timmy Occhipinti was
actually in the lead to become mayor in last week's election.  The question as to how that happened after the thorough
shellacking on election day where Occhipinti managed a little over 17% is making people wonder how did that happen.

The full story on Grafix Avenger:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"Conflicted" action from a usual suspect

Which BoE trustee made a grandstanding play to a room of concerned HoLa parents followed by a motion to block Superintendent Mark Toback from presenting his public letter to the NJ Department of Education?

The failed succeeding resolution by this BoE trustee is also the same person who has a direct parental interest in the HoLa charter school and and a rather large conflict.

His wife is employed by HoLa.

And who would this rabble rouser of Old Guard conflict be?

The Old Guard conflict of interest raises its head once again.  BoE trustee Carmelo Garcia who will soon need to resign
should have stepped down from the dais on any discussion let alone any vote regarding the HoLa school.
He made an illegal motion against the letter of Dr. Mark Toback but it surfaced his wife works for HoLa.
No reflection on the concerned HoLa parents last night but this is exactly what this town is battling to stop.

Talking Ed Note: The thorny issue of being for or against HoLa expansion is wrought with complexities on all sides.  In the end, the NJ Department of Education will make the call.  In the interim, let's conduct a discussion with all views welcome, no personal attacks and no censorship.

As for Carmelo Garcia, add this to his venal list of faults among others far more serious with his Vision Money/Money scam atop the list.

Hey, did anyone get this on tape?  Please consult with Garcia's personal recording library for more information.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Scenes from the BoE

Assemblyman Ruben Ramos looked more pleased while sitting next to him the Hoboken union rep Gary Enrico did not.

Ramos backer Perry Belfiore recovered from the glum defeat pleased as punch especially when Brian Murray attacked.
Filled to capacity - the meeting had a full house going out into the hallway in the rear.

Brian Murray ditched his notes to go on the attack
saying, "They're lying to you" as his opener to a screed
of political accusations of mismanagement and malfeasance.
He was short on examples to back up his contentions.

Councilman Dave Mello said he was speaking as a parent and advocated on behalf of the HoLa expansion and also
special needs children.  Do those worlds not collide?  MSV is not sure.

Trustees Kearns and Biancamano respectfully listened to the public speakers as the entire board did.

Sign of the Times: HoLa parents descend on BoE

Ask Hoboken BoE not to oppose HoLa expansion in Trenton where decision will be made

An HoLa parent speaks at the Hoboken BoE surrounded by other HoLa parents sitting on the floor in an overfilled room.

A visit to the BoE showed a rather respectful meeting where HoLa parents were petitioning the Hoboken BoE not support its Superintendent Mark Toback in his letter prepared for the NJ Department of Education opposing their expansion.

Other than failed BoE candidate Brian Murray who made all negative remarks/attacks against those who he had lost to in the election last week, the parents were respectful and positive asking for support of their school.

It's a conflicted situation where no easy answers will be forthcoming.

Funding is already at its limits with facility issues for all four Hoboken districts an impending problem, no longer off in the distance.  Some parents openly raised the issue of money and the scramble for who's going to get it.

In the brief visit MSV saw several speakers and lots of parents from HoLa with Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, political operatives Matt and Nick Calicchio, Perry Belfiore, Ines Garcia Keim and also council candidate Frank "Pupie" Raia in attendance with dozens of parents.

Talking Ed Note: If there is a solution, MSV doesn't see one where the taxpayers aren't going to take it on the chin.  No one mentioned taxes and of course all the parents present would support higher taxes to achieve their objective of seeing HoLa expanded.

One misnomer among many in Hoboken's education district is the mayor controls the BoE majority via Kids First.  It's not the case and so whatever is sorted out amongst the four Hoboken school districts will be an education driven outcome.

MSV has read the Superintendent letter and agrees the disparate impact is going to be felt by wider district students who include special needs children, while the charter schools have far less.

One impact is that funds for all competing districts will be reduced in expansion elsewhere.  It's inevitable but this circle isn't closed until say Hoboken Charter or Elysian parents descend on an HoLa board meeting and say give us part of your budget.

Grist for the Mill: HoLA attacks BoE meeting

Resolution in support of Superintendent Toback letter pulled off agenda

In a story to be told of the haves in Hoboken protesting for more against the have nots, every political malcontent re: losers in last week's elections is at the BoE where tonight's meeting is overflowing with dozens of angry HoLA parents who want to see their charter school expanded.  They have made an invasion on their board rivals at the district's BoE and Superintendent.

The resolution in support of Superintendent Mark Toback's letter to Trenton, (see below) has been pulled from tonight's agenda.

It would have been interesting to hear the minority BoE members arguing against their own middle and lower middle class students and the impact yet to be determined on their part of the district. 

It's unclear if HoLa is given approval for expansion by Trenton, requiring possible cuts elsewhere for expanding HoLa grades. Is that in the cards where currently two fifth grade classes of nine HoLa students can't graduate ahead without having the charter school expanded.  HoLa currently goes up to the fifth grade.

Wait, who's representing the wider school district interests of students and looking out for the taxpayers again?

Someone may wish to ask Bubbles, Peter Biancamano and the nefarious Carmelo Garcia.

This may be the first and last time you see the Old Guard embrace their hated enemies, the "yuppies" as they call the professional class relocated into Hoboken.

As some may describe it, it's a marriage of convenience useful political theater in attacking enemies who vanquished two Old Guard slates at the polls last week.

Failed BoE candidate Brian Murray has been urging the HoLa school to descend on the district BoE tonight and attack them for HoLa possibly not getting State of NJ approval in a proposed expansion.

The decision however isn't made at the Hoboken BoE or by the Kids First majority.  It will be evaluated and decided by the NJ Department of Education as the proposed charter, Da Vinci was last year.

Never mind.

Carmelo Garcia who will remain on the BoE into January before he's forced by law to resign due to the Assembly position
handed to him by Union City Mayor Brian Stack will be teaming up with other HoLa parents to get "theirs."
They want to expand HoLa which will cost the lower income students in the district not to mention the taxpayers.
HoLA already pushed out many of the poorer children out from the Boys & Girls Club.
Ramos (r) and Garcia are thought to both have children attending HoLa.

Talking Ed Note: This is a second hand report and does not merit even Grist standards.  Perry Belfiore is reportedly on the scene screaming about fire code violations with all the HoLa parents showing up.  Among the invaders fighting for the poor kids' "lunch money" so to speak: 

Ruben Ramos.

Councilman Dave Mello: YouTube ads "despicable"

At the end of the short, two hour council meeting last Wednesday, Councilman Dave Mello spoke about the campaign concluded the day before and directed some strong remarks about the YouTube ads put forward by Councilwoman Beth Mason and the Raia-Mason campaign.

He described them as despicable.  Beth Mason herself had nothing to say at all about the campaign, her underwriting of political attacks deemed defamatory by many and of course her latest failure to buy control of Hoboken via Timmy Occhipinti.

Speaking of Timmy, it's entertaining to watch him twitching when the campaign is discussed. Before the election he was taunting Councilman Ravi Bhalla about the upcoming election to the point Bhalla moved his seat to the vacant councilman-in-waiting chair of Jim Doyle.

Occhipinti was convinced both Bhalla and Mello had no record to run on but they in fact ran exclusively on their record along with the mayor.

Timmy was put forward by Beth Mason and ran not on his record of voting down the simple tax refi of the midtown garage (costing millions), opposing the Hospital sale (costing unknown millions), opposing the 9-11 Memorial, voting down new HOP buses, repaving Washington Street.... do we need to continue?

Occhipinti ran on turning Hoboken back into a pukefest the first Saturday in March.
After a quarter million squandered, how'd that work out?

Dr. Toback evaluates HoLA expansion versus the guy from the bathtub

There's a new Old Guard style political fight being waged on the question of expanding the HoLA school.  As it proposes to expand upper grades, it's said there is dwindling enrollments and test scores against its peers being immediate problems with upheaval the administrative constant.

Enter a bitter BoE losing candidate who lacked credibility when proposing to the public a trifecta of dads should be able to have public pool time for their kids except they should not be required to obtain insurance in order to do so in a staged political attack of embarrassing proportions.

So there's already a rumor mill of misinformation saying the State review of any HoLa expansion is not in fact something the statewide education administrators will evaluate but it's doomed to be stopped by the Hoboken BoE, re: Kids First.

Asking the basic question on who the letter below is directed to yielded nothing but crickets as the cry from a guy who rants from a bathtub (and other places) is attempting to lead a charge pointing in a misdirection he can get others to emote toward with rants he of course hopes to see aplenty.

Do you want to believe the basic fact of who a letter is directed among other statewide officials in education as being the real evaluators or do you want to believe the guy who makes his living by encouraging families to leave Hoboken so he can make double-ended commissions?

Should Hoboken endorse unlimited charters classes with a dozen kids or less ad infinitum? Just some of the issues at hand as the State of NJ considers HoLa's request.

HoLA currently has dwindling enrollment with two fifth grade classes of nine (9) students each?
So where will they get more kids to fill these small classes?  Clearly, they will go out of Hoboken to fish for more students to make their "new" expansion viable.

What do you think that would mean?  More competition for dwindling facilities/resources and yes, more taxes.  Should Hoboken taxpayers pay more for this inefficient model?  What parent would not want others to pay for more classes of an isolated, small ten student class?  The question is why should the whole Hoboken school district be burdened in such a way?

Dr. Toback writes to the Commissioner of Education, Christopher Cerf saying a study should precede any charter application being approved.  He makes the case specifically noting the unique situation in Hoboken where four public school districts operate in one square mile.

Should Hoboken taxpayers fund unlimited charter schools expansion on request? It's one question among many as the facilities and funding reach their limit.

While supporting charters, as MSV has, there is a critical mass to consider and the question is, has it already been reached?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Grist for the Mill: Finboy turns into super scum AquaMole

The "one" Hoboken campaign spending perhaps more than the other two combined, the walking dead connected to the Raia-Mason ticket have a target on their backs and the Ramos campaign folks are itching to lay into them beginning with a recall of Timmy Occhipinti who occupies the fourth ward council seat.

The Ramos folks would like to get help from Reform but like the previous feints of a Beth Mason recall, they'll have to own it if they decide to go that route.  Who would you rather see on the dais, a defanged droll Timmy droning on and on starting every sentence with "this administration" or a revived Ruben Ramos who would double team effectively with Councilman Michael Russo in making lots of noise?

While official numbers will come later, the Raia-Mason campaign probably blew through well over a quarter million dollars although it won't be reported on ELEC that way.  (Beth Mason breaks Hoboken election laws regularly.  Laws are for the little people she passes on you.)  How a campaign could blow through this amount and feature TV commercials, talk shows yet not even be able to pull in 20% of the vote will be the talk of Hudson County and beyond for months to come.  It's another one way trip on the SS Mason-Titanic.  (MSV told you this was coming but we only get paid by resident subscribers not the big buck operatives to... well to double cross Beth Mason according to Grafix Avenger.)

Finboy, dubbed AquaMole, reportedly double-dealed his way through the entire election cycle beginning early this year backing Ruben Ramos but never convincing Beth Mason to do so.  He continued to meet regularly with a pro-Ramos crew including political consultant Paul Swibinski, Councilman Michael Russo and the Chief of Staff to Union City Mayor Brian Stack, Mark Albiez leading into the election night disaster showing the Raia-Mason slate crashing and burning.  Was he looking to be added to the Old Guard list cashing in on the millions in profits of Vision 20/20?

If true and the whispers among the Old Guard says it is, what can Beth Mason do?  The Weehawken fish sits on her suspect board, the "charity" called the Mason Civic League and knows where all the bodies are buried; ones the FBI didn't unearth in its 2011 Data Theft Conspiracy investigation not to mention that Mason inspired toilet spiraling SLAPP suit.  Tommy can you hear me?

Finboy, the Weehawken fish and long time paid political operative of Beth Mason is said to be a super duper scumbag dubbed AquaMole.  According to an exclusive on Grafix Avenger, he double-dealed in the Old Guard campaigns torpedoing the Raia-Mason slate and making an utter fool of Frank "Pupie" Raia and Beth Mason.  Way to go FinBoy!

Ruben Ramos will want to leverage his recent support, much of it from the Hispanic population and may look to convert them in a possible challenge for the Freeholder county seat up next year.  The line is already growing if he wants to punch that ticket.  Beth Mason per usual is moving ahead with her next political operation and could try to buy that office too. She needs to glom on to something, anything before her council life expires.  Wait, is that sticker up already?

Incumbent Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano is however in no mood to surrender the Freeholder seat especially with Ramos pointing at him as a frenemy needing replacing.  Romano is confident he'll see strong local and county political support when the race for his seat comes up next November.

Jamie Cryan a Union County plant some say of cousin and less than savory Assemblyman Joe Cryan was looking to establish a beachhead into Hoboken.  The Assemblyman sent over $8,000 in three county routes from down yonder including one, $4,000 from a PAC called Union County Democrats.  That's illegal by $2,000 and wheeling but add it to another example in the long line of Timmy Occhipinti's eager beaver willingness to sell out Hoboken.  What Pupie and Mason's money wasn't enough for the developer loving Timmy?

The Hudson Tea building, a sleeping giant in town awoke when the Monarch project turned into a next door threat breaking a legal promise by Ironstate Development re: Applied Housing to build tennis courts and put up residential towers in its place.  When concerned Hoboken residents reached out to Beth Mason, she did what she typically does in her removed from reality overstaffed way: she ignored them.  They didn't forget and her later attempts to gain their support pretending she's not beholden to the Barry family for delivering Applied Housing votes in 2011 clearly didn't impress them.  They turned out last week in the hundreds to vote against Ruben Ramos and Mason lackey Timmy Occhipinti.

Thank you very much Eli and Abby Manning!  Giants have won three in a row concluding election season.  If you sight a frothing at the mouth Masonista, make sure to get them to a kennel for rabies shots.  The dwindling (paid) group of Beth Mason's rabid Reform and Zimmerists haters had pinned all their embittered hopes on the Giants rough start blaming it on the curse of Mayor Zimmer.  Like the mayor, Eli's election season turned around.  Hey, people know and love a winner even when the chips on occasion are down.

Reports of the fight at Raia-Mason HQ featuring Ramos backer Nick Calicchio say he did in fact have his legal firearm with him when he arrived.  There's been no police report on the dust up war of words and City Hall is looking into why.  Just another one of "those things."

One fourth ward voter saw the mad scramble between the Ramos campaign and Raia-Mason's VBM machine and decided to accept a cash payment offered by the former.  According to one eyewitness, that person then went to the polls and proudly told everyone within listening range after he voted for Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Operation Bounty is not only in effect; it's gaining headway.  Are we allowed to say thank you on behalf of the Department of Justice?  Keep the leads coming!  Every new lead is a gift in the education of Rory Chadwick.  At least the man pays his bets but now he has to use all that kleenex he was offering.

Speaking of bets, what Hoboken Tea resident laid down a $500 bet with Finboy AquaMole that Ruben Ramos would make mincemeat of Timmy Occhipinti in the mayoral race?  He's residing in the former domicile of one John Corea and could use that chunk of change for maintenance fees.  Don't pay him in quarters FinBoy but just pay him.  You can afford it, ya slimy double dipper.

Grist for the Mill is MSV's rumor column.  Got a juicy carrot for Da Horsey?  Send it to