Friday, January 31, 2014

BREAKING: Feds subpoena Hoboken for Sandy related documents

SandyGate and BridgeGate revelations escalate problems for Gov. Christie

Events accelerated at a whirlwind pace on the SandyGate front in Hoboken as another blockbuster hit the Christie Administration earlier Friday afternoon.

First, Hoboken is cooperating with the US Attorney's Office which presented a subpoena for documents related to communications with the Governor's Office.

City Communications Director Juan Melli issued the following statement:

For nearly two weeks, we have been voluntarily providing documents and answering questions from the U.S. Attorney’s office. Today the City received a subpoena for documents and we will continue to fully cooperate with their investigation.

Earlier today, the NY Times reported Gov. Christie's childhood friend and former official of the Port Authority released a statement via his attorney the governor was in fact aware of the lane closures to the George Washington Bridge at the time it occurred.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/nyregion/christie-bridge.html?hp


State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack (c) voiced support for
Gov. Christie in recent days and tried to steer clear of his Assembly
selection Carmelo Garcia's political lawsuit machinations.
Events however are overtaking political gamesmanship.

Talking Ed Note: Hey Brian, Carmelo who?

Related: Here's the Star Ledger feature story on Wildstein and his Gov. Christie connections past and present with the newest bombshell charges.

MSV would note Ted Sherman is a co-author of this article and it's a must read.

BREAKING: THE CARMELO GARCIA RAT TAPES - OUT IN THE OPEN!!

By his own hand, Carmelo Garcia relinquished his infamous Rat Tapes exposed last summer.  They appear in a short blurb on the Jersey Journal.
 

The timing of course is equally as interesting as what the actually tapes contain.  Carmelo Garcia made this tape in January 2013 and it's more than a year later.

Politics? In Hoboken? I'm shocked, shocked Senator Stack!

Carmelo Garcia inadvertently saw the secret tape recording of the mayor's husband and former State Senator Bernard Kenny taken out his sole possession when attorney Louis Zayas of "ethnic cleansing" notoriety screwed up reading from a transcript of it in the Angel Alicea case.

The result was being forced by rules of court evidence to turn them over.

Leaks of the transcripts were published on Grafix Avenger primarily and on MSV as the drip, drip, drip of the tapes added to the utter embarrassment of Garcia including him talking to himself with the tape recorder running in the toilet.

Garcia thanked God for working with him to try and set up others on the tape while ejecting some other unseemly material into the wash.

Talking Ed Note: When the details of Garcia's transcript began to get out, the "ethnic cleansing" lawsuit was released and has since been thrown out of court.  An amended version has been resubmitted in the same unique Carmelo Garcia style of maximum whining of victimization with no evidence of damages.

Hat tip to the Jersey Journal: Now show us the follow up on why this matters and why now.
The only person doing any misdeeds on this tape is Carmelo Garcia.

Perhaps the US Attorney's Office will be interested in a federal employee attempting to trade on a federal contract.

Update: Gov. Chris Christie's childhood friend and former head of the Port Authority has given him up on BridgeGate according to a NY Times story, making any distraction with this story a moot point.

Carmelo Garcia has exposed himself on this tape in the end for nothing but further amusement and embarrassment.  Not to worry, he'll continue to say the opposite of what is said on the tape anyway.


Beth Mason pays homage to "Year of the Horse"

With no substantial number of Chinese residents among local voters, a strange advertisement appeared in the weekly paper in the usual prominent page three location as the last two years or so.

The ad will not make any Super Bowl advertisement buzz and most Hoboken residents won't know it ever existed.
Touted via the shadowy Mason Civic League "charity," the ad celebrates the Chinese New Year and "Year of the Horse."

Is the ad an attempt at outreach to your favorite equine journalist, Da Horsey, SmartyJones?


Hudson County and Hoboken political experts say it's the Mason family not performing a civic activity that struck out to stop public discussion by the Hoboken public on Beth Mason's political activities and behavior by using her long time hard core political operatives to SLAPP them silly on the Hoboken blogosphere.

Both Beth Mason and one of her political operatives publicly announced it months before any filing was made public.  Was such threat of frivolous lawsuits going on before then? Think years.

While the pro Old Guard rag continues to cash checks and prominently featured Beth Mason's comments about cyberbullying in a suspect story where it didn't reveal its relationship with Mason and company, it's been completely silent on the question of the Mason's family's role in suing Hoboken residents to silence their First Amendment rights and public participation.

Does that constitute participation in a wider conspiracy with other Beth Mason political operatives?

Is all this coming out in the wash or is forgiveness possible?  Anything is possible with the proper restitution. Will FinBoy be bottom crawling down from Weehawken waving a white flag asking for a truce?

Or is it too late and everything's coming out in the wash with prominent stories in the NY media?

Talking Ed Note: Someone posted a typical political negative comment against the mayor recently, which is of course all fine in the free libertarian discourse here. But they also made reference to a resident's family situation.  True or not, it's most definitely not cool.

On the news front, another Hoboken centric story in the NY Times highlights the Rockefeller Group cutting ties with the law firm Wolff & Samson closely aligned to Governor Christie.  One has to wonder if that story will get wider attention or more of the dreck with "ethnic cleansing" lawyer Louis Zayas, who is milking any attention he can get in his Andy Warhol fifteen minutes.

Zayas is telling anyone who will listen his request for meeting notes of the mayor, or lack of same, are equivalent to her producing and turning over a personal diary to the US Attorney's Office.

Are business notes and personal diary entries one and the same?

MSV suspects Zayas is playing fast and loose with the truth, Carmelo Garcia style. Problems with the truth are rubbing off and once the Feds move ahead with their investigation, his claims will soon be forgotten.

This is the same lawyer after all who before garnering national attention and disrepute for his "ethnic cleansing" lawsuit thrown out of Hudson County Superior Court, filed a suit against ex mayor Peter Cammarano AND the Mile Square city saying the City of Hoboken should pay back loans some residents and political operatives made to the former mayor.

Most lawyers would be ashamed of such a filing and try never to top such an atrocity, but somehow Louis Zayas did just that.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

NY Times highlights new SandyGate details and "pressure" on mayor and Hoboken

The Metro section of the NY Times is often overlooked but while many disagree with the editorial focus appearing on the front page too often, the metropolitan coverage continues to shine.

While many news outlets are doing short and often inaccurate analysis on Hoboken and the issues surrounding the mayor and the ongoing federal investigation into SandyGate, the NY Times story uncovers new information and efforts between two major developers trying to get a foothold in Hoboken: NJ Transit and the Rockefeller group and and all without the City's or mayor's knowledge.

From the NY Times story:


The State of NJ and the Christie Administration was also making it clear its intent on backing the Rockefeller Group's plans for Hoboken.  In the NY Times article, the pressure is outlined in never before publicly seen efforts not covered in any other media saying:


The article offers more factual unpublished information than anything appearing anywhere else to date.  The full article is available here.

Highly recommended.

Rockefeller Group property owned in northwest Hoboken.  Courtesy the NY Times.

Hoboken Super Bowl Week details for residents and visitors

City of Hoboken announces:

SUPER BOWL WEEK INFORMATION FOR HOBOKEN RESIDENTS AND VISITORS




The City of Hoboken will host the Hoboken Huddle at Pier A Park on the Hoboken waterfront the week of January 28 to February 2 leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII. The Hoboken Huddle will feature a 12 foot tall illuminated sculpture of the Roman numerals “XLVIII” overlooking the Manhattan skyline. In partnership with the US Curling Association, the Hoboken Huddle will also feature 3 lanes of curling which will be free and open to the public each day from 10am to 10pm. Vendors will include Pizza Vita, Law Coffee, and the official Super Bowl XLVIII Fan Store which will be open daily at the gazebo at the end of Pier A from 10am to 10pm.

No streets will be closed in Hoboken. The only street closure in Jersey City is 6th Street from Washington Boulevard to Marin Boulevard.

The Hoboken Police Department will be enacting a zero tolerance policy on drinking alcoholic beverages in public, public intoxication, public urination, parking and traffic violations, unruly house parties, pop up parties, and unlicensed vendors. For those visiting the Hoboken Huddle on Pier A, all bags will be subject to inspection. Anyone who observes suspicious activity is asked to report it to the Hoboken Police Department at 201-420-2100.

By Friday evening, the taxi stand will be temporarily relocated to the west side of Hudson Street between Observer Highway and Hudson Place.

An Emergency Operations Center will be open in City Hall from noon to midnight on Sunday, February 2. In order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all, the following No Parking regulations will be in place:

Effective immediately until Monday, February 3 at 2:00am
·         Sinatra Drive from 7th Street to 11th Street (east)
·         Sinatra Drive from 1st Street to 4th Street

From Friday, January 31 at 8:00pm until Monday, February 3 at 2:00am
·         4th Street (south side) from Washington Street to Willow Avenue
·         River Street (both sides) from Hudson Place to 4th Street
·         Hudson Place (all)
·         Hudson Street (west side) Observer Highway to Newark Street
·         Hudson Street (both sides) 1st Street to 2nd Street

From Saturday, February 1 at 8:00am until Monday, February 3 at 2:00am
·         1st Street (both sides) from Washington Street to Bloomfield Street
·         Newark Street (north side) from Washington Street to Bloomfield Street
·         Washington Street (west side) from Newark Street to 1st Street
·         Bloomfield Street (east side) from Newark Street to 1st Street

Horsey, please raise your right hoof...


...do you promise to tell the truth.. the whole truth... No right hoof Horsey...

... do you promise the testimony you are about to give will be nothing but the truth on Hoboken voter fraud....

Carmelo Garcia announces first week accomplishments in Assembly

To the editor:
I want to take this opportunity to update my constituents of the 33rd Legislative
District on the progress I have made so far with respect to legislation and my
work in Trenton. Since I took office on January 14, I have been working with my
colleagues on meaningful legislation that will have a positive impact on our
residents.
I am a Primary Sponsor on the following bills:
A385: establishes a commission to study and present solutions on the disparity in the
treatment of persons with disabilities in underrepresented
communities.
A641: imposes uniform restrictions on gifts, outside employment and compensation
concerning the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
A1672: requires youth sports team organizations to implement written head injury
policies.
I am also a Co-Sponsor on the following bills:
A2183: Provides corporation business tax credits and gross income tax credits for
qualified wages of certain veterans.
A2184: Requires issuance of one free copy of a veteran’s death certificate to certain
authorized persons upon request.
A2187: establishes pilot program to assist certain veterans with housing modification
and rehabilitation.
I have directed my legislative staff to start working with the Office of
Legislative Services on a legislative package to help job creation and
vocational services for high school students and young adults and a bill to help
increase the New Jersey Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
My first vote was to authorize the creation of the Select Committee on
Investigation. This committee will be looking into the accusations of the
closure of the George Washington Bridge last summer. I am confident that the
committee will be able to determine the responsible parties, hold them
accountable for their actions and make legislative recommendations in order to
prevent any further abuse and incidents in the future.
Last Thursday, I met with Stevens Institute of Technology President Dr. Nariman
Farvardin for a tour of the Campus and to discuss the schools innovations,
current programs and ways how the State and Stevens can work together. Mr.
Farvardin and I have a commitment to higher education and its impact on the
residents of the 33rd district. Mr. Farvardin expressed to Assemblyman Garcia
his vision of Stevens as a place of resources and ideas in the fields of
engineering and technologies.
Abraham Lincoln said “With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can
succeed.” The doors of my office are open and I will be very happy to help and
provide assistance in Trenton and State Agencies, to facilitate any ideas and
proposals that you think will advance and improve our lives. Please feel free to
reach out to me at 201-714-4960 or our legislative email: asmgarcia@njleg.org.
Thank you
Carmelo G. Garcia
Assemblyman,
33rd Legislative District.
Assemblyman
Carmelo Garcia represents Hoboken, Union City, Weehawken and parts of Jersey
City in the New Jersey Legislature.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The 'ethic cleanser' returns: Carmelo Garcia civil suit back charging "patronage"

MILE SQUARE VIEW


 Special Ethic Cleanser Feature

"Ethnic cleansing" disappears with amended charges against Mayor, husband and former HHA Chairman citing patronage

Mile Square View named in lawsuit, alleging it's "employed" by Defendants

Attorney Louis Zayas and HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia hooked up again after their initial success garnering national attention and ridicule filing their "ethnic cleansing" lawsuit.

That civil suit was thrown out effective last Tuesday but is amended with a new slant in the same legal style as before.

Removing their ethnic cleansing claim, it's rebranded charging the same defendants as last including Mayor Dawn Zimmer with "political patronage."

Among the numerous legal charges Garcia again makes numerous allegations of victimization, adverse employment impact and unsubstantiated "patronage policies."

Once again, Garcia claims to be a whistleblower but there's no substantiation of any actionable claim to merit the status.

One example cites a lunch where Garcia claims he was told to "go after" an HHA resident and Councilwoman Beth Mason but there's nothing specific or anyone named in the allegation.  (Was it about an inquiry about a certain early twenty something political operative illegally living in a HHA senior building?  Garcia cites no supporting fact as to who.)

Among the additional charges Garcia alleges a lunch with the mayor's husband where his job was threatened unless he went along with her policies and offered political support.

The lunch however has been roundly reported as transcripts emerged of Garcia taping it but the details didn't support his earlier contention of contract steering by anyone but him.

The story first appeared on Hudson County TV.

Here's the allegation in the civil suit attacking MSV:
BOO HOO, someone criticized the ethic cleanser Carmelo Garcia.  According to an amended lawsuit by the attorney of "ethnic cleansing" fame Louie Zayas, defendants allegedly "employed" MSV to put out falsehood about his client, the ethically challenged Carmelo Garcia.  No MSV "falsehood" is mentioned paralleling the whole amended civil lawsuit's "style" as the last thrown out in Superior Court last month.


Talking Ed Note: The Hudson County Superior Court judge will need to review but it seems farfetched the filing can meet the standards set forth in the original dismissal to the trash bin of civil suit history.

As for any public officials, elected or otherwise saying MSV "was employed" to "disseminate falsehood," Da Horsey looks forward to hearing more about this allegation.

For the record, the only elected official to ever offer to employ MSV was... drum roll please....

Carmelo Garcia!

True story.

Thank you very much Mr. Carmelo!


Monday, January 27, 2014

"Ethnic Cleansing" lawyer Louis Zayas amends Carmelo Garcia's civil lawsuit

BREAKING ON HUDSON COUNTY TV

The lawsuit thrown out of court in Hudson County Superior Court is apparently amended by "ethnic cleansing" lawyer Louis Zayas on behalf of HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia.

The updated charges against the same defendants charges "political patronage," related to government contracts, awarding professional contracts and to "implement the mayor's policies" in the HHA.

Garcia claims he's the victim of harassment, intimidation and threats to his employment contract.





The original story, recorded on Friday in Attorney Louis's office appears on Hudson County TV.


Talking Ed Note: Ready for round two?

Vote-by-Mail ballots front and center in Monday hearing in Hudson County Superior Court

Monday hearing to feature challenges revolving around controversial Hoboken Vote by Mail ballots


Front and center Monday in Hoboken Superior Court is the battle over Vote by Mail ballots thrown out by the Hudson County Board of Elections.

Of almost 300 contested ballots, some are finding their way back into the tabulation on the ballot question of rent control last November.  MSTA is taking a tactic of looking at ballots mostly out of the Hoboken Housing Authority and have them reinserted into the tallies with the HFHA in opposition.

After the election, the MSTA "yes" position on curtailing rent control failed by 122 votes.

There's some odd tentacles if these weren't already shadowy enough; there's word another organization has been in the center of serious financial transactions based out of Clifton NJ.

The firm according to NJ ELEC reports is Bluewater Operations, owned by political consultant and former 2011 Beth Mason for council campaign manager Ryan Yacco.

Bluewater is also the firm where Beth Mason moved a massive amount of street monies for a council
ward race back in 2011.  The total was $52,000!

The murky swamp has led to new questions begging for answers.

***

MSV filed an affidavit on the case surrounding its investigation in line with the Hoboken Journal for Operation Bounty.  Relevant information was turned over to the Department of Justice.

MSV exclusively reported the DOJ was in Hoboken investigating the election back on election day on November 5th.

Beth Mason's connections to Bluewater Operations include its owner Ryan Yacco acting as the campaign manager
for Mason's 2011 council race where $52,000 in street money contributed to an astronomical $160,000 spent on a ward race.  He's been to Hoboken subsequently for other work on behalf of Beth Mason.
Is the more than 20K in 2013 to Bluewater part of some laundered effort in VBM?


Talking Ed Note: Where are all the campaign workers from the "Let the People Decide" political campaign?  There's barely over one-hundred listed on ELEC. It certainly doesn't account for the funds flowing to Bluewater Operations before and after the election of more than $20,000.

Does Beth Mason think the public has a right to know?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Phil Cohen addresses SandyGate

Staunch reform activist Phil Cohen speaks before the City Council about SandyGate and urges the council to act carefully and not harm the integrity of the federal investigation in the hands of the US Attorney's Office.

Calling the mayor a "profile in courage," he adds his belief the mayor is acting in the best interest of Hoboken.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ethnic Cleansing attorney Louis Zayas attacks mayor on diary, calls her SandyGate allegations "sheer fiction"

Attorney for Carmelo Garcia of "ethnic cleansing" fame launches fusillade of attacks on Mayor Zimmer

In an exclusive interview taped with Hudson County TV's John Heinis, attorney Louis Zayas launched numerous attacks on Mayor Dawn Zimmer on her allegations against Gov. Christie and

Zayas represents HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia in the infamous "ethnic cleansing" lawsuit thrown out of Hudson County Superior Court last month against Mayor Dawn Zimmer and former HHA Chairman/commissioner Jake Stuiver.

In the video, Zayas alludes to a contradiction over a diary requested during the Angel Alicea discrimination case against Hoboken he represented saying he asked if one was available and was told at that time there was none.

According to Zayas, his client Angel Alicea saw Mayor Zimmer taking notes in a memo pad at meetings.  He questions the veracity of the diary's existence in the SandyGate allegations against senior officials in the Christie Administration.

The mayor's diary initially was a key point highlighted by national media in her allegations against Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and other Christie officials.

Zayas seizes on the disparity as he calls the mayor's allegations against Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno "outrageous" and  thinks it"sounds odd and unusual" with the delay of eight months before the mayor went public.

The "ethnic cleansing" lawyer seized on the difference of criticism against his client, former public Safety Director Angel Aliciea on FBI Solomon Dwek's offers to Alicea that "wasn't a crime" but the mayor didn't go public with what he described as an "extortion attempt" by Gov. Christie's Administration.

Zayas concluded the mayor's SandyGate allegations were "sheer fiction and falsehood in every respect."

Hoboken Communications Director Juan Melli declined to comment referring to direction from the US Attorney's Office not to discuss the ongoing SandyGate investigation.

The original report is available at Hudson County TV:

http://hudsoncountytv.com/news/hoboken-mayor-zimmers-diary-never-existed-attorney-says/





Talking Ed Note: Louis Zayas certainly voices strong opinions on SandyGate but the question of if and when Mayor Zimmer maintained any diary is one which will be verified by federal law enforcement.  Zayas is not a US Attorney and that question among others will be answered by that federal agency in its investigation.

So why the vitriol?

Well Zayas is sitting on a million dollar verdict bonanza courtesy of a Jersey City jury (no Hoboken residents were on the panel) in the Alicea discrimination lawsuit and the City is showing every intention of appealing it - tying up a huge payday to him and his client.

In addition, Zayas' other client, Carmelo Garcia was humiliated seeing a questionable obviously politically motivated civil case thrown out of court on the first pass in Hudson County Superior Court.  The "ethnic cleansing" aspect of the case brought national attention on Hoboken  and is a stain on both Carmelo Garcia and Louis Zayas.

In the filing, Zayas and Garcia claimed Mayor Dawn Zimmer sought to implement a competing Vision 20/20 plan - where none exists.  

Has Hoboken heard the last of this and Louis Zayas?  Absolutely not.  The political-public aspects are clear.  Carmelo Garcia was handed a position for NJ assembly on the machine line courtesy of State Senator Brian Stack, a staunch Gov. Christie backer.

Take a look at the photo behind Zayas, which governor is he pictured with there? There's more in the shadows here than meets the eye.

The politics no longer surround a lucrative land deal using the projects to turn millions in profits via Vision 20/20.  It's not about one inconsistent discrimination verdict, a politically motivated "ethnic cleansing" civil suit, a billion dollar Hoboken project (Rockefeller Group) and/or a billion dollar Fort Lee development project.

The stakes are far larger, chief among them the US Presidency itself.

Councilman Dave Mello to offer testimony verifying Mayor Zimmer's allegations with US Attorney's Office

MILE SQUARE VIEW SPECIAL SANDYGATE FEATURE





Reform councilman Dave Mello set to meet with federal investigators on SandyGate next week





Appearing on MSNBC last week, Councilman Dave Mello confirmed his awareness last summer of Mayor Zimmer's allegations Hoboken Sandy aid was being held hostage by a local development project for the Rockefeller Group - backed by Gov. Christie officials.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes mentions "the deconstruction" of the Governor Christie's office claiming Hoboken received $70 million in aid is incorrect since those funds came directly from a flood insurance program residents and businesses paid into.


Talking Ed Note: The chill has lessened in Hoboken but things are heating up.  More to come on a "hot" Hoboken weekend.

City to host second public meeting for Southwest Park

City of Hoboken announces:


PUBLIC INVITED TO 2ND COMMUNITY MEETING FOR SOUTHWEST PARK

One of Four Southwest Park Design Concepts to be Presented at Public Meeting

All members of the Hoboken community are invited to the second public meeting to provide input on the planning of the first phase of a Southwest Park. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 28 at 7:00pm at the Multi Service Center, 124 Grant Street.

Four design concepts, developed based on input from the first community meeting and an online survey, will be presented for feedback from the community. The meeting will include a presentation regarding stormwater management.

Based on community input, a third public meeting will be held at a later date to present an updated design concept.

In October 2013, the City of Hoboken acquired a one acre property bounded by Jackson Street, Observer Highway, Harrison Street, and Paterson Avenue as the first major installment of a new Southwest Park. Starr Whitehouse, a landscape architecture and planning firm with expertise in parks design and green infrastructure for stormwater management, has been hired to lead the planning process for the Southwest Park.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Hudson County Superior Court green lights controversial Monarch Project

Mayor Zimmer and Council action against development on piers may impact decision

Yesterday development controversy hit the other side of the Mile Square City uptown with the report from the pro Old Guard rag, the Hudson Reporter.  The paper cheerily announced a court decision paving the way for building two towers uptown  known as the Monarch Project.

Originally part of Applied, the development firm called IronState won a ruling in Hudson Superior Court based on incongruity on the Planning Board.  Some of the details on how the Planning Board failed in its review process are not clear.

The Hudson Reporter, founded by the Barry family who have held major development influence and building over decades  had an inside track on the story and immediately went to publish news of the court decision before another possible legal problem looms with recent legislation from Mayor Zimmer was passed by the City Council last year.  

That legislation coordinated at the State level is designed so municipalities maintain control over pier development.

It's unclear with this breaking story if that legislation passed will be the final roadblock to either the demise of the Monarch Project or inert to the development breaking ground.


The proposed location of the Monarch Project towers was originally agreed for tennis courts and parking - with approvals for development by Applied under the direction of the Barry family.

Talking Ed Note: Just another example of how developers will run over the will of the community and even the local governing bodies if given the chance.

The Monarch Project came to light when local residents became concerned and reached out to Councilwoman Beth Mason and City Hall.  Mason ignored the communication while the mayor's office began the fight bringing Hoboken to another development battle where it stands today.

HOBOKEN BOARD OF EDUCATION HOSTS COMMUNITY BUDGET FORUM

The BoE announces:

Every year, public school districts across the country go through an annual January-to-
March process of preparing budgets for the next fiscal year. In many communities, the
school district is often one of the larger financial enterprises and its budget is the focus of
much community scrutiny and debate as districts seek to strike the right balance between
the needs of the schools and the concerns of taxpayers. Hoboken is such a community.
This year, the Hoboken Board of Education will hold a community forum on Tuesday,
January 28, at 7 pm in the Hoboken Junior Senior High School auditorium. 

Although the budget itself is still being developed by the school administrators and will not be formally
presented to the school board and the public until March, the district invites the Hoboken
community to attend this first-time-ever forum to learn more about the process,
understand the many regulations under which the budget is constructed, get up to speed
on the latest state laws as they apply to public school funding and budgets, get a feel for
some of the challenges facing the district in the coming year, and hear answers to a
variety of frequently asked questions about our district public schools and where the
money is being spent.

In the meantime, community members can begin to participate in the budget process by
sending an email to budgetquestions@hoboken.k12.nj.us. Questions and comments will
be incorporated into Tuesday evening’s presentation.

-###-

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Governor Chris Christie responds

Report: Mayor Zimmer does not stand alone with her knowledge on SandyGate

One of the chief talking points assailing Mayor Zimmer's claim decrying Sandy aid being held hostage to a potential billion dollar development in Hoboken has fallen with a national investigative report revealing at least five people in the Mile Square City are witnesses.

The news comes from a national investigative report by NBC confirming the US Attorney's Office and FBI interviewed others in Hoboken on MLK last Monday.

Federal agents have asked each to preserve all evidence including emails verifying details of the allegations Hoboken was being held hostage by Christie Administration officials in SandyGate.

Dan Bryan, Chief of Staff to Mayor Zimmer is
reportedly in the know on SandyGate and is
cooperating with the Feds.
Among those on the in-the-know list: Dan Bryan, the mayor's Chief of Staff, Juan Melli who holds the unsworn position running the City's communications and reform Councilman Dave Mello.

Zimmer's aides won't speak on the matter as they've been directed otherwise by the Feds who are actively investigating but Mello is quoted in the story confirming he knew of Zimmer's allegations about the Christie   administration linking Sandy aid to approving the Rockefeller Group development.

From the NBC report, Mello recalls speaking to the mayor about it last summer saying:
"I distinctly remember [Zimmer] saying that the lieutenant governor said, 'If this came out, she would deny it,'" he said.
"I thought it was absurd and outrageous," said Mello, adding that he pressed Zimmer whether she would speak out publicly about what she said took place. "She told me, 'It was a done deal that [Christie] was going to be re-elected" and she did not want to jeopardize further funding for the city, he said

Read the complete NBC story: 
Talking Ed Note: Last night in the City Council meeting, there was some chatter from the "Antis," the virulent Zimmer haters who spit out half-truths, fabrications and spin no matter the facts.  In this instance, the irony is they have to choose between Mayor Zimmer and Gov. Chris Christie who they also revile with one Carmelito, directed otherwise.  (It's State Senator Brian Stack's 20/20 vision.)
The mayor's selection for an attorney passed but the Old Guard council couldn't stomach the idea, not the price or the counsel's well known reputation for competence.  It passed 5-4 with the Old Guard council members all voting no, making the litigious councilwoman Beth Mason very unhappy.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

City Council shadow @ 7:00

The great suck out you're feeling is the air being pulled out of Hoboken by the national media caught up in the latest in the Gov. Christie "gate" scandals.  Tonight the City Council will get back to the business of running a city and consider ending meetings at midnite.

That means no more loons sitting around to yell their insanity past the witching Beth Mason hour, throwing racial bombs, transparent political operations from the "public" nor screaming for approvals or hijacking the meeting for million dollar profit in developer deals with no paperwork, etc.

With a reform majority, the adults are back in charge.


The agenda:http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/agenda14/Final-revision-ccm-1-22-14.pdf

NJ U.S. Attorney: 'SandyGate serious' and the possible link to BridgeGate

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE 


SANDYGATE BRIDGEGATE LINK? - NEIGHBORING DEVELOPMENTS WITH A TOTAL VALUE OF ONE BILLION EACH


According to a report, City Communications Manager Juan Melli said Mayor Dawn Zimmer will not be commenting further on SandyGate. The end of public comment by the mayor comes at the direction of federal investigators.

The announcement, reported to come from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark matches with that law enforcement office not commenting either.

Mayor Zimmer stated she met with the US Attorney's Office on Sunday and mentioned Hoboken had been paid a visit on Monday by the Feds on Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday.

For federal agents to skip a national holiday reflects the allegations Sandy aid were possibly leveraged to push ahead development of the Rockefeller Group is being taken seriously and any investigation is entering a quiet period.

Aside from the likely federal investigation under way, a development project in Fort Lee called Redevelopment 5 mirroring the size, scope and value of the proposed Rockefeller Group development in Hoboken may hold a key determinative factor within the buzz of allegations.

Each of the proposed developments are valued at up to ONE BILLION EACH.

According to a report by Steve Kornacki, before SandyGate broke, the Fort Lee Redevelopment 5 project had reached critical mass in its approval process last year:


Peeking further under the covers of the two development projects - in the billion dollar area for each can't be good news to Governor Chris Christie who was sworn in to his second term yesterday.  

The SandyGate scandal appears to have legs coinciding with a NJ legislative investigation into the controversial lane closures at the George Washington Bridge several months ago.

Legal observers are already saying the misuse of federal funds is a serious matter and the US Attorney's Office will act accordingly.  The Star Ledger posted a story quoting Fordham Law Professor James Cohen who views SandyGate as more serious than the GWB lane closures saying:


Ultimately, the US Attorney's Office is likely to seek parallels with other NJ government executives, mayor's and officials charged with public-private policy development in New Jersey and who may have felt heavy muscle coming down from gubernatorial height levels.


In the HBO series, the Sopranos, a meeting of bosses discusses the windfall from the "Esplanade Project" with a government official.  
Is Sopranos fiction meeting reality?


Talking Ed Note: Taken together, the Hoboken and Fort Lee's development projects in near proximity potentially hold a total value of $2 Billion.  That makes the Vision 20/20 scam in Hoboken put forward where millions in profits were on the table with NO MASTER PLAN to view by the public look like a pikers convention.

The lane closures in Fort Lee are akin to a message from a party unhappy with "their end," in the deal.  It would be a shame if a traffic or zoning problem for two or three proposed "express lanes" out of Fort Lee would run into problems.  Or did it -

"I don’t know why one town gets three lanes. One lane, maybe. Three lanes, for one town? I don’t quite get it.” Port Authority Chairman David Samson.

The law firm lobbying Hoboken on behalf of the Rockefeller Group development is Wolff & Samson.  Yes, the same Samson.

How much scratch can two billion dollar developments offer toward a presidential bid?


Related: The must read Steve Kornacki story on the Fort Lee billion dollar development:

Key documents in SandyGate support Mayor Zimmer's chronology of events

Hoboken Exclusive SandyGate Feature




Letter to Gov. Christie last spring reveals Mayor Zimmer "stunned" there will be "no Hazard Mitigation funding for Hoboken"

While some continue to question why Mayor Zimmer waited months before going public with her allegations Sandy aid was being linked to a potential billion dollar development, the claim the charges are merely she said, she said are not supported by key documents in the affair.

On May 8th, 2013 Mayor Zimmer wrote a letter directly to Governor Christie conveying the seriousness for the "severe flooding" and "we (the City) "urgently need the help of the State... for hazard mitigation grant funding for three additional pumps."

The letter goes on to detail the urgency saying the City needed the aid for the pumps "as soon as physically possible."

The mayor then writes, "Hazard mitigation is not just about the next Sandy," and later adds she was "stunned" to hear that (her quotation) "there will be no Hazard Mitigation funding for Hoboken."

Hoboken would then receive a tiny fraction of its total request in the low six figures, a key element in an ongoing dispute about how Sandy aid should have been distributed in the first round of funding.

A second round of funding is part of the reason the mayor says she withheld publicly criticizing Governor Christie.  While the funds are designated federal block grants, it's the State holding the decision powers on where they are directed.  Mayor Zimmer has stated she did not wish to completely jeopardize Hoboken in that upcoming application.

The mayor's letter concludes again requesting for Governor Christie's support and notes he's "always treated Hoboken fairly in the past."

But according to the mayor's statements, following this letter her conversations with Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, the head of Sandy aid and DCA all insisted she delineate what she would support for the proposed Rockefeller Group development.

Email from former NJ DCA head Lori Grifa shows the strong interest in moving the Rockefeller Group development forward on behalf of the Samson Group, a powerful politically connected law firm lobbying for the developer with a Hoboken attorney working on the matter.

Included in the exhibits below are the actual journal entries the mayor kept in her own handwriting.

Mayor's letter to Gov. Christie / supporting documentation



Talking Ed Note: The above documentation clearly supports Mayor Dawn Zimmer's version of events showing why she would be caught "between a rock and a hard place" as she put it.

While fighting for initial Sandy aid flood mitigation funds, a second round left the mayor in a "no go" quandary as she had to juggle several balls at once and fend off what she described as mounting, continued pressure to get behind a massive project she didn't see as appropriate.

The mayor stated in TV interviews, approving selected acres of development for the Rockefeller Group would immediately lead to lawsuits against the city by owners of the adjacent properties in the area.

Who do you think would be the first to complain about that?

The second round of flood mitigation funds has yet to be awarded.  How Hoboken fares in the midst of the embroiling SandyGate scandal remains to be seen.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hoboken residents on SandyGate voice unanimous support for Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer

Interviews with Hoboken residents downtown outside City Hall today showed unanimous support for Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer in the widening federal investigation into the SandyGate scandal.

One resident said "I think Dawn is doing a real good job...  Dawn is doing a nice job trying to clean it (corruption) up," speaking of the mayor's efforts in recent years. "We have to clean up the city and the State... I think she's doing a great job," he concluded.

Another resident said, "I see no reason why Dawn Zimmer would lie... I think before Bridgegate she may have had no incentive to come forward because he, Christie was untouchable...  I think Dawn has done an amazing job for the City."

The longest detailed comment from one resident laid out his dissatisfaction with how Hoboken has been treated on Sandy aid.  "..it's a tragedy.. I don't believe in bullies... I think this guy (Governor Christie) might be bullying her. It's about the people... You don't do politics all the time... Give them (Hoboken residents) the money.... You have to think about what the people went through.

He concluded referring to Governor Christie, "He looks like Tony Soprano to me."



The video comes courtesy of Hudson County TV and John Heinis.

The big national guns come out taking aim at the "lady mayor."

A CNN interview with former Republican National Chairman and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour signaled the latest escalation in an all out death match between Governor Chris Christie and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer over Sandy aid.

The mayor continues to point to additional details in documents to the State supporting her allegations the aid was held over her head in lieu of approving a massive development potentially valued at a billion dollars in Hoboken for the Rockefeller Group.

The media blitz begun Saturday after the three day holiday weekend is exploding nationally.

In a TV interview addressing Mayor Zimmer as "the lady mayor," Barbour laid out some repeated talking points the mayor has received "$70 million" and "has more coming" and was asking for $127 million out of pot of $300 million.

The former Governor also took a shot at the media saying it was jumping on anything to undermine Gov. Chris Christie's emerging status as a presidential candidate in 2016.

These claims are not accurate and have been dispelled previously as flood insurance compensated the bulk of the $70 million referenced and was paid for in policies taken out by local Hoboken businesses and individuals.

Barbour concluded, "But for her to think that this is going to shake that money loose, that was a surprising thing..."


The video comes courtesy of the Governor Chris Christie YouTube channel.



Talking Ed Note: Barbour is polished and prepared and the talking points are laying on the heat talking about favorable tweets after Hurricane Sandy among a series of repeated statements concerning insurance payments made to Hoboken in both the public and private sector.

If it's muddying up your perspective, well expect more of the same.

This demonstrates some very well prepared talking points well polished from a National Republican face.  It dwarfs the poor performance yesterday of a wooden Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno who looked to be reading notes several times near the floor.  Guadagno concluded her  performance saying she stands behind supporting economic development for New Jersey.

Hoboken residents may find that news endearing.

Hoboken are you ready for the storm?  The Mile Square City is getting an inside look at what it's like to be the center of a national media hurricane.

And it's only just begun.

The transcript also from the Gov. Christie YouTube channel follows:

1/20/2014. (Transcript Below) 
...
Cuomo: The latest suggestion by a local mayor, you know what it is, does it give you more concern about the atmosphere and culture in Chris Christie's government?

Barbour: No, I'll tell you what it gives me concern about, that the news media is willing to leap at any farfetched story with the basis in fact is unbelievable. This is a lady mayor who asked for 127 million dollars of hazard mitigation money from the governor to give that to her from the federal money. When the state was only receiving in its entirety 300 million dollars. It is absurd to think that one town would get well more than a third of the total amount of money. This town that was getting punished got over 70 million dollars in hurricane relief. She's got other projects pending, but she's already received more than 70 million dollars. More than 4 million dollars of hazard mitigation block grant money and that is the particular program that she was asking money for. So, hazard mitigation block grant money, which unlike what your reporter said, is not to repair damage from much needed damage, it is to prepare for the future.

(transcript continues at the jump)

Mayor Zimmer presses her case as Justice Department comes to Hoboken

The media and pr war ramped up yesterday with the weekend ending but even with MLK Day, the all out assault of words continues.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer appeared last night on Anderson Cooper's CNN show and late last night an announcement from the mayor made clear the Justice Department had been to Hoboken on the matter of her allegations about trading Sandy aid for approval to the Rockefeller Group's uptown development proposal.

On the Justice Department visit, the mayor is quoted saying: “They were talking to people in Hoboken today,” she said. “They were definitely talking to people today.”

The acknowledgement may mean that the Justice Department spoke to people in Hoboken City Hall and some of the mayor's staff.

The Feds are adding to the pressure cooker situation neither confirming nor denying any steps they've taken since a meeting on Sunday was held, according to the mayor.

In the interview with Anderson Cooper, Mayor Zimmer referenced documents she communicated to the State supporting her chronology of events.

In addition, she also states she was pressured directly by another member of the Christie Administration to agree to development in Hoboken.  She identifies that person to be the NJ head of Sandy Aid, Marc Ferzan.



The stakes and battle lines are ramping up as is the traffic here on MSV.  Partisanship has taken hold and all the weight of the Big Man with the dark Governor fleece jacket is coming to bear.  The weight is falling squarely on Hoboken City Hall.

Is Governor Christie the new poster child but leveraging Sandy aid for a billion dollar development?
According to Mayor Zimmer, that's the inescapable conclusion.

Talking Ed Note: In the battle of wills, Governor Christie knows a little about Hoboken's Iron Lady.  Will she bend to his will and crumble or continue to stand for Hoboken as she has against everything the Old Guard could throw at her?

The Governor must know unless he scores an early KO, he isn't going to take out Mayor Zimmer.
Ironically, since the mayor didn't have a Carmelo style wire to set up the Christie Administration, the process of a public pr war with the Feds already engaged works in the mayor's favor.

In some minds, the federal engagement should not occur so quickly but in doing so the mayor has initial cover from the efforts to conclude her testimony of quid pro quo immaterial.

Hoboken is the scene of enormous media attention, the largest since 2009 when Peter Cammarano became the poster child for the biggest corruption sting in NJ history.  It's not showing any sign of letting up.

In fact since the three day weekend, from this vantage point it's obvious that it's increasing.

The Political Insider column has lost its Jersey City centric focus for the moment and a column almost joyfully adds some sarcastic barbs while including two non-consequential quotes from the Zimmer foe corner.  Nothing to dignify beyond that.

MSV is working on the bigger story after the initial earthquake hit Hoboken and the nation Saturday.

Monday, January 20, 2014

BREAKING: Video of Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno response: 'allegations are false'

The following video comes from Gov. Christie's YouTube channel featuring the Lt. Governor's remarks earlier today on the emerging SandyGate scandal.

The Lt. Governor did not take any questions.




Talking Ed Note: The conflict is evident, the stakes are obviously of national importance and the positions of the respective sides are irrevocably in conflict.

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno comes out with statement denying SandyGate


SandyGate Breaking News


First comment from direct Christie official involved in Mayor Zimmer's charges linking Sandy aid to approval of the Rockefeller Group development project

Mayor Zimmer directly responds challenging the Lieutenant Governor


Lt. Governor Kim Guardagno, a direct party to the Hoboken conversation last May with Mayor Dawn Zimmer concerning Sandy aid is denying the allegation she made any "direct threat" to the Hoboken mayor linking hurricane relief to approval of a proposed massive development in the Mile Square City for the Rockefeller Group.

For the first time, a senior member of the Gov. Christie administration who is alleged conversation with Mayor Dawn Zimmer on the subject of Sandy aid to Hoboken and the allegation of its connection to development approval for the Rockefeller

The statement appeared on NJ.com minutes earlier saying:


A late Monday morning NJ Star Ledger story directly quotes the Lt. Governor at a MLK appearance where she says,
"Standing in Union Beach today with some of the mayors whose towns were devastated by Sandy and also being a Sandy victim myself makes the mayor's allegations particularly offensive to me."

Mayor Dawn Zimmer responded late Monday morning in a statement:

"I am genuinely disappointed that Lieutenant Governor Guadagno has lived up to her promise that she would deny linking Hoboken's application for Sandy hazard mitigation funding with expediting a private development project.

I met with the U.S. Attorney for over two hours yesterday, answered all their questions and turned over my journal in which I described my conversations with the Lieutenant Governor and Commissioner Constable.  I stand by my word, remain willing to testify under oath, and I will continue to answer any questions asked of me by the U.S. Attorney's office."

On Sunday, Mayor Zimmer expressed confidence the Lt. Governor would tell the truth of their conversation at the Hoboken Shoprite last May verifying the mayor's allegations if she did so "under oath."

Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno back in
2011 at the July 1st swearing in of council members at Hoboken City Hall.

Copyright 2011, all rights reserved.

The escalation in a war of words today means the battle on what transpired is sure to continue with political implications for all and a national focus on the possible impact for Gov. Christie in his effort to be a presidential candidate in 2016.

Last night the Hoboken mayor's office released a statement saying she had met with the US Attorney's Office over hours discussing the controversy at the request of the law enforcement agency.

The Lt. Governor is a former sheriff and US Attorney in Newark and worked with Gov. Chris Christie in his lead role as US Attorney in the Newark Office.

Here is the full transcript of the mayor's appearance yesterday on CNN.  The question of timing in the mayor's coming forward is discussed at length.


The full video of the Sunday interview:



CNN Transcript - Mayor Dawn Zimmer & Candy Crowley:

CROWLEY: New Jersey governor, Chris Christie's camp is pushing back hard against claims that his administration threatened to withhold superstorm Sandy relief funds for political reasons. Hoboken mayor, Dawn Zimmer, says Christie administration officials indicated that her city would not receive aid if she failed to support a development project favored by the governor.

In one of several handwritten notes about the governor that she has made public, Mayor Zimmer wrote, "I thought he was honest. I thought he was moral. I thought he was something very different. This week, I found out he's cut from the same corrupt cloth that I've been fighting for the last four years. I am so disappointed. It literally brings tears to my eyes."

Joining me now, Mayor Dawn Zimmer. Thank you, madam mayor, for being here this morning. I know you're kind of fighting losing your voice so hopefully you won't in the middle of this interview. But let me ask you first. This happened early last year. Correct? In May of last year...

ZIMMER: Yes.

CROWLEY: ...when a couple of officials you say -- said to you, listen, Sandy relief aid will in fact may be jeopardized if you don't go along with this redevelopment plan. Why are you here now?

ZIMMER: Well, you know, back in May when the lieutenant governor came and very directly said to me that these two things are connected, I -- you know, I didn't think anyone would believe me. I really didn't. I mean I do, looking back, probably should have come forward but I really didn't think anyone would believe me and quite frankly, if I came forward, no one believes me, then I'm going to put Hoboken in an even worse position and my number one priority as a mayor of Hoboken is to fight to make sure that we can get as many Sandy funds as possible. That's my number one priority. And I was really concerned that if I came forward, no one believed me, that we would really be cut out of the Sandy funding. But as I watched the coverage with bridge-gate, you do see parallels. I just felt I had an obligation to come forward and as I look for the second tranche of funding come through, I'm concerned we're going to be cut out.

CROWLEY: So -- but we have seen since this happened in May, which I have recorded in your diary, we have seen you complement the mayor. We have seen you several months later say in a tweet, I'm so glad that Chris Christie is our governor. So can you square that for me? Because as you know, coming at this point, what the Chris Christie office says is this -- this is just politics. Why can this not be seen through a political lens?

ZIMMER: Well I mean that's part of the reason that this was so hard because I do have a really -- I did have a really good relationship so I couldn't believe that they were doing this. The bottom line is that the Christie administration's response is one of deflection. I mean the major question is, did they connect Sandy funding, Hoboken Sandy funding to the Rockefeller project. The fact is that is what they did. I'm coming forward. I'm sharing my story directly. I'm here talking to you. I'm sharing my journal. I'm offering to testify under oath. What are they doing? They're hiding behind spokes people and in fact the lieutenant governor was reached directly by the Bergen Record and she declined to comment. I believe if and when she is asked to testify under oath, the truth will come out because I believe she will be truthful and she will tell the truth.

CROWLEY: OK. Anything that connects directly to Chris Christie on this? I mean I understand that he had a relationship with -- you're talking to his lieutenant governor, that you're talking to others in his administration that he has a relationship with this Rockefeller group. But, is there -- did he ever say anything to you? Did you ever not get funds? I know you didn't get everything you wanted, but I imagine (ph) that's true of most cities in New Jersey.

ZIMMER: Well, I think we really got shortchanged on the funding. We've been saying from the very start that we have severe needs and that we need to look at this comprehensively and we've been asking them again and again. Now the fact is that she came, lieutenant governor pulled me aside and said essentially, you got to move forward with the Rockefeller project. This project is really important to the governor. And she said that she had been with him on Friday night and that this was a direct message from the governor.

CROWLEY: So she said -- she said that to you.

ZIMMER: She said that to me, is that this is a direct message from the governor. I was with him on Friday night.

Complete transcript continues at the jump: