Sunday, May 31, 2015

Pending political disaster for Beth Mason means the end of the gravy train for her longtime political operatives


Latest reverberations on MSV's exclusive series on the Hoboken Democratic Committee

With disaster looming and finally acknowledged with lagging media on the latest Beth Mason political operation to gain control of the largely cermonial position of Hoboken Democratic Chair, the cessation of continuous years long operations against Hoboken people isn't the only likely end at hand.

Paydays for Beth Mason's interloper political operatives will come to a screeching halt for declared "business partner" James "FinBoy" Barracato and Adam Alonso.

MSV independent sources state the Mason family checkbook will be clamped shut on James "FinBoy" Barracato and other paid political operatives in tandem with her political aspirations crumbling.

Last month this website exclusively reported the Russo family would hold complete sway on the votes in the June 2nd Democratic Committeee election selecting the next Chair.

Buried in a Beth Mason advertorial in the Hudson Reporter is the acknowledgement of Old Guard party leader Michael Russo's less than tactful public nod to Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano to assume the role.

Romano paid homage in return, suggesting the Old Guard powers are clamping down and made a decision to forestall further upheaval for the largely ceremonial post stating "Hopefully, they (the Russo family) can merge and calm the situtation down."

A "merge" of the Democratic Committee votes is not in doubt after Tuesday's election. MSV previously noted only a handful of the 80 citywide seats are being contested.

Michael Russo's feel-good public pronouncement there's no feuding with Beth Mason for the seat aside, the united Old Guard leadership posture is sure to send a strong message to upper Hudson Street via Weehawken and Mason's fish a decision on the matter is final.

Which means a dark, watery grave for one Weehawken fish and company's gravy train no matter how much pleading, bribing and threats to run Beth Mason in the second ward burn up the phone lines.

Years long Beth Mason political operative and "business partner" James "FinBoy" Barracato is facing the end of the gravy train if public pronouncements icing efforts to see Beth Mason made chair of the Hoboken Democratic Committee sink her once and for all. 

Talking Ed Note: The latest Hoboken developments led to Da Horsey taking a peak into the treasure trove of emails from the Bajardi v Pincus civil litigation.

Here's a taste of Beth Mason's political operatives firmly inserted in the 2010 Timmy Occhipinti council campaign. Looks like there's a bit more than debate prep work going on as concerns explode how candidate Timmy is not looking "independent" at all.

Here's Beth Mason political operatives James Barracato, Lane Bajardi and Adam Alonso moaning about media communications with Jamie Cryan and the foul mouthed David Cruz.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Guilty pleasures: The Masonista Joy of Censorship

The unofficial summer has kicked off with glorious weather but Da Horsey grew green with envy in the Bench Slapped email incorporated into an uproariously hilarious satirical graphic by Grafix Avenger.

So MSV dug into the tens of thousands of emails to toss one out onto the barbie and grill up some Masonista loving censorship to couple with the lovely weather.

In March of 2012, the efforts to derail the First Amendment in Hoboken was a full force Masonista endeavor. Mere months later, numerous well known Hoboken commenters would see their names appear in the Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi lawsuit unceremoniously announced by Beth Mason herself in the July 2012 City Council meeting.

Beth Mason's announcement of war on the First Amendment went completely unreported then and now. The Hudson Reporter featured her prominently in its story when the civil litigation when it exclusively reported each and every one of the Hoboken commenters was on the hook for $2,000,000 each. (That claim was incorrect and proved ludicrous when the case itself was thrown out of court noting the lack of evidence mid-trial.)

Most of the Hoboken commenters named in the SLAPP shared one thing in common outside of their anti-corruption mindset, Old Guard and Beth Mason skepticism having absolutely nothing to do with defamation; they would never see a single allegation made against them as required under NJ law.

Their collective guilt was however clearcut among censorship loving Masonistas who went on an anti-speech rampage on Hoboken Patch while perhaps awaiting an answer to their funding appeal for the SLAPP.

Here is the special moment of the shared Masonista loving censorship discovery. Hoboken411 having been used, abused and all but destroyed for its single-minded Gestapo like tactics on speech, the Masonistas moved on to Hoboken Patch, their new obsessive focus.

Here's Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi and her friend sharing that special moment when the Joys of Censorship is birthed on Hoboken Patch. The scientific "discovery" is shared in the emails titled, "Re ha ha ha!"

Dozens if not hundreds of comments would later vanish at the hands of the Masonistas. 

Kim Cardinal Bajardi and company:
the Joy of Censorship.

Talking Ed Note: At the municipal trial postponement yesterday, Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi showed up to enjoy some quality time with Beth Mason and Mason's personal attorney Steve Kleinman taking notes in court.

Birds of a feather...

Hoboken begins search for new Fire Chief


The City of Hoboken is beginning the transition process of identifying a new Fire Chief due to the retirement of Fire Chief Richard Blohm, who has indicated that he will be retiring on June 1, 2015. The City will appoint a Provisional Fire Chief in the very near future, followed by a Civil Service Chief’s test. Once Civil Service administers the Fire Chief’s exam and publishes the results, the Administration will interview candidates for the position of permanent Fire Chief. The Fire Department has been operating with an officer in charge over the past few weeks and will continue to do so until a Provisional Chief is named.

“I extend my sincere gratitude to Chief Blohm for his 38 years of service to the City of Hoboken,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I am confident the Fire Department will build on the progress of Chief Blohm’s tenure and continue to respond to the needs of our community.”

Hoboken Fire Chief Richard Blohm at a 2012
City Council meeting.

photo copyright MSV 2012


City of Hoboken announces:

Residents Invited to County Budget Workshop at Hoboken City Hall

On Wednesday, May 20, 2015 the Hoboken City Council adopted a 2015 budget that keeps the municipal tax rate flat, a continuation of years of effort by the Zimmer Administration to cut costs, increase efficiencies, and hold the line on taxes. Since 2010, the local municipal tax levy has been reduced from $57.7 million to $52.4 million. At the same time, Hoboken’s share of Hudson County taxes has increased from $45.5 million to an estimated $67.3 million in the County’s introduced 2015 budget. 

Based on Hudson County’s introduced budget, Hoboken’s County taxes will increase by 11.5% in 2015, contributing $285 to an overall $352 annual tax increase for the average Hoboken property. Since the municipal tax rate is flat, no portion of the total $352 increase is due to the municipal budget.

On Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 6:00pm, the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders will hold a budget workshop in Hoboken City Council chambers. It will be an opportunity for members of the public to have a voice in the process. 

“In Hoboken, we have made difficult staffing decisions, tightened our belts, and sought out efficiencies to cut costs and stabilize taxes,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “We’re proud that thanks to our efforts, our bond rating was increased from just above junk status to AA+, reducing our financing costs and providing further savings. Despite these efforts, our taxpayers still see their property tax bills go up primarily because of County taxes. Part of the reason Hoboken's share of County taxes has gone up is because our property values are rising faster than in the rest of the County. But it is also true that year after year, the County continues to increase its budget, negating our efforts to keep property taxes stable. I thank the County for agreeing to hold a budget hearing in Hoboken and urge our residents to attend and provide their feedback.”

The three primary components of property taxes are municipal, county, and school taxes, along with smaller components for library and open space taxes. In 2010, only 32% of a Hoboken property owner’s tax bill was due to County taxes. Today, County taxes are the largest component: 40%. During the same time, the share of total property taxes due to the local municipal tax dropped from 40% to 31%. 

Based on Hudson County’s introduced budget, the property taxes for a Hoboken property with an average assessed value of $518,000 will increase by an estimated $352 this year. The vast majority of that increase ($285) will be due to County taxes, along with smaller increases due to School ($47) and Library ($21) taxes, while there will be no increase due to the City’s budget.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Beth Mason trial against MSV

Councilwoman Beth Mason aims to get criminal conviction against MSV

Place: Jersey City Municipal Court - 365 Summit Avenue

Thursday @ 1:00 PM

Court Room #3 - The Honorable Judge Cynthia Jackson presiding

 Update: Case is POSTPONED!!!

New trial date will be end of July.

Hoboken's Annette Chaparro asks for your vote on June 2nd

From the desk of Assembly candidate Annette Chaparro:

Dear Horsey & MSV readers:

My name is Annette Chaparro and I am asking voters to place their trust in me to serve the 33rd District as Democratic Assemblywoman. The Primary Election Day is June 2 and I hope you will make your voice heard.

I will be a strong voice for the District and will work to develop partnerships with local officials to ensure you, the residents, receive the best representation possible in Trenton.  

I will work to ensure that every tax dollar spent by the state is truly allocated to benefit the people of New Jersey.  Our public school children must receive the resources they deserve and need to succeed, our police officers and firefighters must have adequate resources to keep our communities safe, and the needs of our seniors must never be forgotten.

I will work to ensure that science, not politics, shapes our response to climate change and that we protect our region from future Sandy-like storms.  

I will fight for vote by mail ballot reform, because the public must have confidence in the integrity of our elections.

As many of you know, the residents of the 33rd District are heavily reliant upon public transportation. I would work to ensure that the concerns of riders are heard – especially as more fare hikes and service cuts are being imposed upon hardworking residents utilizing public transit. The organizations operating the transportation systems on which we all rely need to be held accountable and managed properly. I look forward to working with my fellow legislators from both parties to increase oversight for these organizations to ensure that the concerns of the residents of New Jersey are front and center in the decision making process.

I also want to ensure that New Jersey properly funds the Transportation Trust Fund.  Upkeep of infrastructure, while not headline-grabbing work, is an important responsibility placed upon lawmakers. New Jersey has over 38,800 miles of public roads and over 6,500 bridges – proper upkeep now will save money in the future, avoiding major projects and potential tragedies. And costs saved through upkeep now will allow us to use that saved money to honor commitments made in past years.

With me as your Assemblywoman, Hudson County will have an honest woman who is ready to listen to all of your concerns and work hard to try and make sure your needs are met.

I would be happy to answer any of your questions going forward. I can be reached at I hope you will make time to go to the polls and vote for me, Annette Chaparro, as well as Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, on June 2. If you place your trust in me to represent this great district, in return I’ll provide a strong voice as an honest representative.

Annette Chaparro
Democratic Assembly Candidate (33rd District)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Michael Russo has the votes so what will he do with Hoboken Democratic Chair?

The fuss over a mostly ceremonial post in Hoboken is echoing across Hudson County and now comes the sounds of dire warning from across the border in Jersey City.

The actual term used here last week was Armageddon. It was described as "all out war" in last weekend's Between the Lines political column.

Even's Political Insider, Augie Torres got into the act after yawning the holiday weekend was a good time to take an infrequent peek at Hoboken and its "neurotic bunch of politicos."

The Reform Movement in Hoboken is no virus at risk of spreading in HudCo as Torres well knows and adds Beth Mason is "taking a run" at the position of Hoboken Democratic Chair.

Earlier reports say that run is an illicit attempt to "bankroll" re: outright buy the position by proxy in exchange for funding Old Guard campaigns this November in Hoboken's six City Council ward races. Since it's the Russo clan holding the majority of committee votes before and after the Democratic Committee selections which almost all Mile Square residents will ignore, the choice of party chair is in the hands of the Russo family.

Hoboken hasn't seen such an illegal fire sale since the speculation on its Assembly seat a couple of years ago which pitted the moneybags of Hudson Street against the hometown guy with a developer chip on his shoulder was thought to hit seven figures. Even a decades long HudCo denizen like Torres found that script too uncomfortably close to the Blagojevich affair. 

The bidding for the Assembly seat ended with dreams of Vision Money/Money erupting its place promising many more millions before that scam was exposed and crumbled. Which brings us back to the latest saga for a Hoboken title which in the hands of a bored carpetbagger holding a family checkbook could jeopardize Hudson and Northern NJ unity eyeing the 2017 NJ Governor's chair.

That puts Councilman Michaal Russo on the hot seat front and center. What he and the Russo family do will be a tad more compelling than choosing a special at Mikie Squared. While ordering a restaurant special is legal, selling a political elected office for campaign loot is most certainly not.

Will Michael Russo and the Russo family stick a shiv in Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop's back?

Michael Russo and the Russo family will decide who becomes the Hoboken Democratic Chair.
"Is that your best and final offer?"

The rest of this story is MSV Premium and will be sent later today via email to members.
Big Premium is out. Man your email members.

Monday, May 25, 2015

On this Memorial Day...

Please pray for the fallen and their families who will especially miss their loved ones today and who made the ultimate sacrifice for our Republic.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Senior Building fire in downtown Hoboken

The senior building fire on 400 First St. reportedly on the roof was quickly put out by Hoboken and Jersey City Fire with no injuries or reported damage to individual apartment units.

This report comes courtesy of ABC TV:

Friday, May 22, 2015

The HudCo Beast feeds on Hoboken

One more key slide showing the dreadful trend for Hoboken taxpayers. Sure, many have awokened sufficiently to support the Reform Movement and take back their rights here for decent government free of "special deals" the Old Guard feels entitled but that battle goes on too.

Short of going on to tackle the HudCo beast, this trendline isn't changing:

The tax levy for both Hoboken and by Hudson County on the Mile Square shows an unmistakable five year trend.

In 2010, the tax levey was $45.5 million for Hudson County. In 2015, as proposed Hudson County is increased to a whopping $67.3 million.

The City of Hoboken levy is $52.4 million which is actually down from 2010's $57.7 million.

When people talk about tax increases; it's due to the massive catastrophe ensuing on Hoboken from above via massive tax hikes by Hudson County.

Talking Ed Note: It's a grim picture and while successfully tending to Hoboken's backyard, there's a beast feasting on the Mile Square each and every year. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hoboken taxes held to zero as Hudson County ravages the Mile Square


People believe all taxes are going up when they don't actually look at their tax bill. It's a refrain heard last night in the City Council when the Mayor's Administration delivered on its promise of fiscal restraint reducing an initial budge with less than a 1% increase to a flat 0.

Unfortunately, Hoboken is being utterly destroyed by Hudson County inflicting double digit tax increases to Mile Square taxpayers.

It's a divide which may be addressed when the County Freeholders hold a county meeting in Hoboken at City Hall on June 4th.

The time of the meeting is set for 6:00 PM when of course most taxpayers will remain at work in order to pay the dramatic annual taxes inflicted on them by HudCo.

Last night a short presentation illustrated the historical tax slaughter wielded by Hudson County on Hoboken.

WARNING: Please do not review these slides if you have a weak stomach.

How taxes are impacted in 2015 by each segment. Which of the 'Big' three does not belong?

This chart presented by the Hoboken Finance Director shows the tax levy for the County (HudCo), BoE and the Municipal Tax (under the mayor) from 2010 to 2015 on a percentage basis.

A five year sliding scale of taxes by County (HudCo), School and Municipal (Hoboken City Hall)

Last night, the Hoboken City Council passed a 0% tax increase with Mayor Zimmer by its largest margin under her stewardship 8-1. The sole no vote was Beth Mason who continues to complain about the existence of the good governance practice of maintaining a surplus. In the years of instituted budget hearings begun under Mayor Zimmer, she's delivered zero in budget saving ideas.

Hoboken's credit rating has dramatically improved under Mayor Dawn Zimmer while a number of other New Jersey Cities are in the news just yesterday for their negative direction being downgraded.

Talking Ed Note: Mayor Dawn Zimmer's Administration is getting it done for Hoboken with a Reform allied council. Many people deserve credit beginning with the mayor, Business Administrator Quentin Wiest, Finance Director Linda Dunn-Landolfi and reform council members.

The working Reform majority are: City Council President Ravi Bhalla, council members Jen Giattino, Peter Cunningham, Dave Mello and Jim Doyle.

In November, Peter Cunningham and Jen Giattino will be running for re-election.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Observer Highway name change? City Council @ 7:00

Tonight's City Council meeting holds one question on the agenda? Well, that's if it makes it onto the agenda at the start. An ordinance to change the name of Observer Highway to Ferry St. was submitted but it's unclear if it won't be going through the City Council process before being sent to the council subcommittee for further study first.

Should it move ahead, two meetings and a month of evaluation with public input would be required. MSV however, thinks it should be in subcommittee and work its way from that public process.

Here's the latest updated agenda and the proposed ordinance does not appear to be on it.

Of immediate importance, Hoboken's final budget is up for a vote. The initial modest 1% increase is after some efforts of the administration and council members back to zero. No tax increase at all.

Proving once again, Reform is on the move: quietly, efficiently with no drama. Elections for six ward City Council seats are however up in six months this November. (That's six of nine council seats total.)

Let the good times roll; but remember it's up to you to make it roll.

Segments of the meeting are available at the link:

Hoboken Democratic Chair goes Armageddon


Beth Mason rumored to be still offering illegal campaign funding to Michael Russo and Carmelo Garcia council bids in exchange for Democratic Committee votes for Chair

A raging war enflaming Hoboken and county points beyond is threatening Armageddon with the stakes starting with Hoboken City Council President on one side and Hudson County and Northern NJ unity on the other eyeing the highest elected office in the entire state: Governor of NJ.

Once again, it's the corruptive qualities of the Mason family checkbook causing both a laugh track and blowback of a different quality than the cost of injustice hammering down on the Harridan household of upper Hudson Street as reported on Grafix Avenger.
Beth Mason desperately wants the ceremonial post of Hoboken
Democratic Chair and she's reportedly still willing to illicitly fund
Old Guard council races this November for it.
If it means putting a knife into the unity behind a potential
NJ Governor in Mayor Steve Fulop, she's armed and ready.

Multiple independent sources now say it's not solely the Russo clan looking to sponge Mason family dollars for a council run this November. Add the highly controversial Carmelo Garcia among those with hands out looking for Mason's rumored illicit financial sponsorship.

Individual maximum contributions are officially capped at $2,600 by law. When was the last time Beth Mason showed any respect for NJ campaign laws?

Beth Mason's impervious campaign flouting forced the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission to issue a complaint against her listing almost four-hundred violations. The fines were finalized in an agreement earlier this year making Beth Mason one of the top all time campaign violators in NJ campaign history. (She's #14.)

Does anyone have the US Attorney's or NJ Attorney General's phone number on speed dial?
It will take that level of law enforcement to stop the illegal plan reported here earlier funding the Old Guard ward elections this November.

A vote for Hoboken Democratic Committee Chair won't come until after the June Democratic Committee elections but the rift on the Mason checkbook strategy is already fracturing at both the Hoboken and county levels. One reliable source says Freeholder  Anthony "Stick" Romano among other county level officials is most definitely not on board backing Beth Mason. The diplomatic Freeholder wants to stay above the fray and keep away from anything remotely damaging (or illegal) with Mason monies spraying every which way as he eyes a potential run for mayor in 2017.

The venom invested by Beth Mason against sitting Chair Jamie Cryan is evident in the malarkey being pushed by her political operatives. First, Beth Mason is not going to run any "ticket" for Democratic chair next month. The election slate of candidates for Democratic Committee is already set and the Russo clan will be holding the vast majority of the seats citywide. Those voters will decide who's Hoboken Democratic Chair.

Putting aside the aid of Hades in a write-in ballot, no effort citywide will see another slate successfully elected come June for Hoboken's ceremonial party leader.

The only avenue available to Mason is to buy the votes for the existing slate of expectant Democratic Committee winners and that's the only avenue she'll be taking. Michael Russo and Carmelo Garcia will need to weigh the risks of being on the wrong side of the law in taking the piles of illegal Mason family loot rumored on the table for their respective council runs this November.

Garcia is currently staying above water as the Hoboken Housing Authority is under federal investigation after several subpoenas for irregularities under his watch. Michael Russo is looking beyond a Third Ward council re-election come November to wield control over Hoboken with a council majority and assume the reins as City Council President.

For the moment, it appears a dance with the devil is one some may be willing to take. Stay tuned.

Add Carmelo Garcia to the short list of people pushing Beth Mason for the ceremonial post of Hoboken Democratic Chair. He's on board with the Michael Russo plan which would mean he's also qualified to receive lots of Beth Mason family loot. Garcia is hoping to avoid the cross hairs of a federal investigation in the Hoboken Housing Authority and planning a run for sixth ward council.

State Ledge graphic courtesy Grafix Avenger

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Timmy Time?

As MSV mentioned in its rumor column "Grist for the Mill," the occupant of the fourth ward council seat, Timmy Occhipinti had a soft launch for re-election last week. The "event" took place last Thursday.

Although Frank "Pupie" Raia is sticking with his horse, word is the buzz was not there.

Over the weekend Sully wrote in his weekend column another Old Guard candidate was looking to get in the mix. That reference may in fact be true although an actual filing is not clear to this point.

That potential candidate, fourth ward resident Jamie Cryan who is the standing Democratic Hoboken Chair responded to MSV's request last month on his interest in the fourth ward seat via email writing:

I love living in the 4th Ward and even though I'm not sure where the buzz about me running originated, I'm truly honored to be mentioned. I probably sound like an award show nominee by saying that, but I'm of the opinion that public service is something to be celebrated, and it would be an honor. 

It's not something I have given much thought to. The 4th is the best section of Hoboken and has produced some great leaders over the years but too many have tried to use it as a stepping stone to something "bigger and better". Whomever wants to sit in that seat needs to understand that the people of the 4th Ward are first and ambitions should be a distant second.

Multiple sources say Jamie Cryan is not taking the challenge to his role as Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party laying down and Beth Mason's attempt to buy it via purchase of council members Michael Russo and Terry Castellano is most unwelcome.

Is the Russo clan going to pull off another sale of Hoboken?

Tune in tomorrow as MSV uncoils more truth on the error ridden Hudson Reporter on this question.


Office of the Mayor announces:


14% Service Reduction Without Public Process as Ridership Grows 11% in Two Years

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer wrote to Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman John Degnan to urge the organization to reverse the recent PATH service cuts for Hoboken that were implemented on April 26, 2015 with no public process. The City of Hoboken learned about the issue due to complaints from residents who noticed the change in service.

"It won't surprise anyone who has tried to squeeze onto a rush hour PATH train to learn that ridership at Hoboken has grown 11 percent in the last two years - more than at any other station in the State," said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. "We should be talking about adding more capacity, yet the Port Authority cut rush hour service by 14 percent overnight with no public input. It defies all logic. In Hoboken, we have created a walk-friendly, transit-friendly, mixed-use community, but our residents and our economy are completely undermined by this action. Enough with the service cuts, enough with the short-sightedness. Let's invest in a 21st century transportation system that will truly support our growing region."

The service change reduces peak service on the Hoboken to 33rd Street line by 14%. Between 7:30am and 9:30am, service from Hoboken to 33rd Street has been cut from 19 trains to 16 trains. From 4:30pm to 6:45pm, service from 33rd Street to Hoboken was reduced from 24 trains to 21 trains. Late evening service from 9pm to midnight was reduced from 11 trains to 9 trains.

"I would invite any of these decision makers to come along for a ride on the PATH during the morning commute from Hoboken and provide their honest assessment as to whether or not the system needs more or fewer trains," said Hoboken Council President Ravinder Bhalla. "Residents who keep their cars off the road and use public transit are repeatedly being punished with fare hikes, overcrowded trains, and threats to their primary mode of transportation. I fail to comprehend how an increase in ridership leads to a decrease in services. I find it unacceptable that while the Port Authority spends billions on other projects, they are penny-pinching in Hoboken, punishing their most loyal customers. I hope the Port Authority will reverse this decision and invest in a transportation system that rewards riders."

Ridership at the Hoboken PATH station has increased by 11 percent since 2012. According to publicly available Port Authority data, the Hoboken PATH station had an average of 19,890 passengers per day in 2012 and 22,078 passengers per day in 2014.

Mayor Zimmer’s letter to the Port Authority can be found at:

PATH Service Schedules

PATH Ridership Reports

Monday, May 18, 2015

Telephone poll hits Hoboken with arching development theme

Reader reports suggest a telephone poll is ongoing questioning attitudes about local government officials with a development theme.

The telephone poll which began soliciting Hoboken residents' attitudes is interested in public opinion on Mayor Dawn Zimmer and ward council members Beth Mason, Peter Cunningham, Jen Giattino, Timmy Occhipinti and Michael Russo.

All six council seats for each of Hoboken's six wards are up for election this November. The telephone poll does not appear to ask a single question about any of the three at-large council members.

Hey whaddaya think, maybe Mayor Russo?

A lot of the questions focus on development: favorable or opposing  to downtown Hoboken development specifically inquiring on positions toward tall skinny buildings or a smaller variety.

A focus on opinions about Hoboken's downtown post office centered on thoughts for a Hilton Garden developed at that location.

In general, the poll appears to be interested in whether Hoboken residents think development in the Mile Square City is good or bad.

Some messaging apparent with a claim of a million in tax proceeds for the City annually if the hotel goes up downtown asking what the monies should go toward.

Councilwoman Jen Giattino is the focus of a wildly effective take down on the Hudson Reporter's self-censorship of a story on Grafix Avenger. The pro Old Guard paper had so much egg on its face for its extreme anti-Reform bias in Hoboken, it censored its own story last week on the popular councilwoman. You had to be in Jersey City if you wanted to read it. Hoboken residents were instead fed "news" on North Bergen instead. They capitulated after a Grafix Avenger story exposed them running it a full week later in Hoboken without explanation. They hate the Hoboken Reform movement's guts.

Talking Ed Note: With MSV being the biggest website covering government, politics and corruption opinions here are not only widely read by City Hall and local activists but other interests of all kinds.

Unrelated: Last week Grafix Avenger had a rather unique week. Breaking the story on the Hudson Reporter's suppression of their own story on Councilwoman Jen Giattino's long time work supporting the Hoboken Homeless Shelter hit a political nerve at the pro Old Guard rag.

In an apparent effort to sully Giattino leading into Hoboken's ward races this November, the Hudson Reporter which had called out Giattino previously as heartless and against the downtrodden, was forced to eat its words when it sought out verification of the popular councilwoman's efforts long before she ever considered running for office.

It led to bizzare self-censorship with a feature on supporting the homeless shelter being published in Jersey City and spiked in Hobokent itself.

If you missed The Mother's Day Dis on Grafix Avenger, it's a must read.

Grafix Avenger also had a mano-a-mano takedown of Anthony Petrosino, the former assistant school board attendant who sued the Board of Education and lost a double dipping "low-no-show" gig while working full time in Texas.

GA's challenge of some questionable data led to that blog post disappearing into the internet ether.
That's gonna leave a mark.

Michael Russo telephone graphic and Hudson Reporter Star Trek editor abduction monster courtesy of Grafix Avenger.

Council President Ravi Bhalla endorses Annette Chaparrao and Raj Mukherji for NJ Assembly

From the desk of City Council President Ravi Bhalla:


 “I encourage all residents of Hoboken to vote for Democratic Assembly Candidate Annette Chaparro and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji on Tuesday, June 2 in the 33rd District primary election. 

“Annette and Assemblyman Mukherji will together provide a strong voice for Hudson County.  They are committed to working with our State Senator, Brian P. Stack, and local officials to ensure that the 33rd District is well represented in Trenton, and establishing a powerful partnership between our elected officials in Hoboken and those representing us at the state level. I am privileged to have met with and discussed the issues with both of these individuals, and believe they will be an integral part of a team that Hudson County can be proud of in Trenton.  I look forward to seeing them work together and continue to move New Jersey forward, and I hope you will find time on June 2 to vote for Annette and Raj.”

Sunday, May 17, 2015

American Pharoah coasts to biggest Preakness win since record setter Smarty Jones

With a thunderstorm booming over the Pimlico racetrack just minutes before the start of the day's biggest race, the Preakness saw one of its best performances in years with American Pharoah cruising to a seven lengths victory.

American Pharoah blazes off the backstretch in a driving rain to take the Preakness yesterday.

American Pharoah's seven length win is the biggest margin of victory since the record setting 11 ½ lengths set in 2004 by America's most beloved horse Smarty Jones.

The victory in chaotic weather conditions sets up a potential Triple Crown showdown with several Kentucky Derby horses rested in wait to stop American Pharoah from the ultimate prize.

Next month it's the ultimate Test of the Champion Belmont Stakes with a full mile and a half test. A record setting crowd of more than 120,000 saw Smarty Jones go for the Triple Crown in 2004, a Belmont Stakes record.

2004 record setting Preakness victory by Smarty Jones

Talking Ed Note: With Smarty Jones' record Preakness victory highlighted in the news, could similar big news be exploding off the backstretch for Da Horsey?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Peter Cunningham: Irish Festival, Western Edge Meeting and new stop sign

From the desk of Fifth Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham:

Good morning neighbors, friends and family,
There is lots to report happening in and around Hoboken, and will continue to do my very best to inform you of important matters of interest.   

First, TODAY is the Irish Festival at Sinatra Park.  It is from noon until 6pm.

Secondly, we have the Western Edge Community Meeting this Thursday, May 21st at the Jubilee Center at 7pm.  I chair this committee, and we have spent a considerable amount of time planning the future of western Hoboken from 9th street to 14th Street along the light rail and 14th Street Viaduct.

In my opinion, we have provided for many mixed use opportunities while considering the importance of infrastructure improvements around flooding and transportation.  Here's a link to the City's website for additional details.
Let's discuss paving.  Please see the details at the following link.  There are inconveniences with paving in the south end of town starting on Monday.  Please be aware and plan accordingly.  Paving associated with PSEG Gas Main repairs will happen when they are done - which should be soon.
Lastly, warrant studies finally came in on a number of intersections throughout the 5th Ward - 10th and Bloomfield, 9th and Garden, and 9th and Willow.  9th and Willow was the only intersection to warrant a stop sign.  Better yet, I have suggested a flashing RED light (which is on order), and parking to be restored to the northside of 9th street between Clinton and Willow.
Please pass onto you friends and neighbors, and let me know if you have any additional questions.  Stay tuned as in a couple of weeks I'll be hosting a community meeting to update the community on some exciting developments up and around the Upper Grands.

Thanks, Peter
Peter Cunningham

Friday, May 15, 2015

HHA Shocker: $2.5 million reserve loss turned into 500K surplus



In a complete and shocking turnaround, the Hoboken Housing Authority announced its second quarter financials at its monthly meeting yesterday and the results are a stunner.

Last year, the agency left in shambles under controversial Executive Director Carmelo Garcia rode through a $2.5 million hit on the agency reserves.

With temporary ED Bob Divincent and HHA commissioner David Dening, the head of the finance committee, the agency announced it completely eliminated the hit on those reserves losses with numerous problems reversed and retains $500K in reserves.

The amazing turnabout comes in less then a single calendar year.

Reasons for the dramatic turnaround are effectuated by tightening contracts, computerized controls over inventory not in place previously and elimination of other 'back door' avenues. (MSV highlighted the problems previously in an exclusive audit report of the agency.)

Bob DiVincent addressed the turnaround and the full details in a telephone interview saying, "By streamlining the agency, concentrating on inventory, utility consumption and improving collection and occupancy rates we were able to make up the reserve losses."

DiVincent said when he last ran the agency six year ago, it was $3 million in the red and when he left it was a six million dollar swing into the black on his departure.

But last year, $2.5 million in the agency's reserves had been depleted and numerous procurement controversies were exposed and highlighted in an audit with questionable contracts.

Additional reasons for the dramatic improvement mentioned: the inventory system coming fully online several weeks back, (pieces going onlines over some months) and structural changes in "tightening up purchasing" and cutting back on overtime and part time work.

"We cut back on a lot of overtime and part timers doing 40 hours a week," DiVincent who concluded saying,  "It all contributed to the savings."

The HHA Board also voted to approve a $264,000 contract to install a front door locking systems to all its building by mid-summer, a welcome development since Superstorm Sandy for all HHA residents

Of additional importance, after two years six generators are almost set in place. They had been lingering in the HHA parking lots raising eyebrows across Hoboken.

Dana Wefer was re-elected to serve as chair an additional year in a 5-0 vote. HHA commissioner James Sanford was elected Vice Chair. Commissioner Dave Mello arrived after the reorganization vote and Judy Burrell was not in attendance.

Interim Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Bob DiVincent
delivered a stunning turnaround in the agency's $2.5 million reserve loss.
The second quarter finances now show a $500,000 surplus.

Talking Ed Note: The HHA commissioners working in tandem with the interim Director deserve a ton of credit for all their efforts to get the agency on track - and then some.

Correction: The story earlier noted a deficit not a hit on the $2.5 million reserves and has been updated accordingly.

photo courtesy Hudson County View

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Grist for the Mill: fourth ward drug busts not over?

The recent wave of drug arrests in downtown Hoboken last Friday isn't over based on a Facebook entry by Julian Braxton of lower Jackson St.

Although an Advanced Media story indicated more than a dozen of those arrested in a months long investigation and sweep are not out on bail, at least two of the original 18 arrested may be including Braxton himself.

A comment on the investigation pins the recent effort on the Feds, perhaps mistakenly - not the Hoboken Police Department and Hudson County Prosecutor's Office.

Reference is also made to two additional arrests of "Pean" and "Jordan" leading some to believe the rumor of addtional arrests may be correct.

Some have asked how the alleged drug related arrests may lead to implementation of the HUD "one-strike" rule applied when certain types of criminal activity occur.

A Hoboken Housing Authority meeting is scheduled tonight at 221 Jackson St.

Talking Ed Note: MSV does not know what the original bail for Braxton was and it's not been publicly available in recent news accounts nor who posted it on his behalf.

Julian Braxton was paid $250 by Councilwoman Beth Mason as a fourth ward resident on her 2011 second ward council campaign. As usual, no local media has pressed Beth Mason for an answer and when exposed in such indelicate matters as this, she simply hides from any inquiry before resufacing.
Mason has not issued any press release explaining either.

Last November, Beth Mason was in attendance at the League of Municipalities in Atlantic City to further align herself with NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney. One source in attendance during the gala political events described her as "a walking joke down here."

While those in and lobbying government were in great attendance, a Grafix Avenger story noted the source recounting that Beth Mason had bused Hoboken Housing Authority residents to Atlantic City for the soiree and they were all playing slots.

Were any of the Braxtons, closely connected with support and employment to former HHA Ed Carmelo Garcia in attendance?

Grist for the Mill is MSV's rumor column. Got a tasty carrot for Da Horsey. Submit it in confidence to

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Western Edge Redux

City of Hoboken announces:


The general public is invited to a community meeting regarding the Western Edge Redevelopment Plan on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:00pm at the Jubilee Center at 601 Jackson Street in Hoboken.

Maser, the City’s planner, has prepared the Redevelopment Plan for the Western Edge Redevelopment Area with input from Mayor Zimmer and the Hoboken City Council North Subcommittee and is seeking additional input from the community. The Western Edge was designated as an Area in Need of Redevelopment by the City of Hoboken in 2007. The area consists of approximately 11.15 acres on four separate properties located in the western portion of the City of Hoboken at the foot of the Palisades.

The Western Edge Redevelopment Plan provides a framework for the redevelopment of a number of properties in the northwestern portion of the City in proximity to the Ninth Street Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Station. It sets forth standards and guidelines for land use and design, circulation and parking, and open space and recreation. The Redevelopment Plan incorporates flood management strategies outlined in the Rebuild by Design “Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge” plan.

At the community meeting on May 21st, there will be a presentation and an opportunity for attendees to ask questions of the City’s professionals regarding the Redevelopment Plan. The plan will be posted on the City website,, prior to the community meeting.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Drug arrests in HHA lead to query on Hoboken Vote by Mail controversy


Beth Mason paid $250 to Julian Braxton arrested by the HPD for alleged multiple counts of drug distribution

The weekend announcement from the Hoboken Police Department of 18 drug related arrests mostly connected to the downtown Hoboken Housing Authority features some intriguing political overlap.

One question arose over the weekend in the comments section about any connection to the Vote by Mail machine, a staple within the Hoboken Housing Authority at election time.

From the 2013 mayoral race, one name stands out in the Hudson County VBM report:

In 2011, Julian Braxton is listed as the recipient of $250 for his "campaign work" on behalf of the Beth Mason campaign for her council re-election in the second ward.

On Friday, Julian Braxton was listed as arrested for multiple counts of drug distribution. According to a 2013 Hudson County Vote by Mail report, his home address is 310 Jackson Street. Bail amount was not immediately available.

The same address is highlighted for Ramona Braxton, Robert Braxton and Arlette Braxton: 310 Jackson Street. All four ballots handled by vote messenger Dio Braxton were nullified due to voting irregularities not identified in the county report.

The Hudson County Board of Elections implemented a higher standard of scrutiny on the Vote by Mail ballots in the 2013 election.

Arelette Braxton has been a vocal supporter of Carmelo Garcia and would often be seen near the front of HHA meetings. She's also appeared at the City Council speaking in favor of Carmelo Garcia and claiming there was a conspiracy to knock down the HHA buildings.

She is believed to be the grandmother of Julian Braxton.

Julian Braxton of 310 Jackson Street.
The hand sign is common to
the Bloods street gang.

Related: Support for Carmelo Garcia when he was Executive Director was captured in this first hand May 2014 feature story.

Arlette Braxton is mentioned in the story for her remarks after an outburst by another HHA resident.

Talking Ed Note: MSV recently noted the positive impact under the leadership of HHA Chair Dana Wefer and Police Chief Ken Ferrante. The tangible efforts of both are coming to fruition and the community needs to continue its support of their efforts.

The Hoboken Housing Authority will be holding its annual reorganization meeting this Thursday at 221 Jackson. Dana Wefer is thought willing to continue to serve an additional year as chair.

Common sense suggests it should be a unanimous vote.

Back in the day: Councilwoman Beth Mason reviews some papers with
former HHA ED Carmelo Garcia before its board meeting.
The connections between the second ward and fourth ward are uncanny.

Will anyone be asking Beth Mason what services she paid $250 for to fourth ward resident Julian Braxton?

Beth Mason's Facebook took great pride about something called a "good neighbor" award.
Beth Mason in the second ward is a good neighbor to the fourth ward according to the local NAACP?

What says Gene Drayton now?

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Hudson Reporter chokes on its anti-Reform political bias and yellow underbelly

The Hudson Reporter's "Between the Lines" column planted its latest political treatise last weekend. It's not that the rumor itself is wrong, this is standard fare in the Hoboken Reporter and being wrong is a distant concern to propping up and advancing re: announcing the latest Hoboken Old Guard political conspiracies.

After all the Hudson Reporter is on a deathwatch praying with its Old Guard allies Mayor Dawn Zimmer will resign. (An arrest rumor accompanied the months long prediction being spun in Old Guard circles by the same "sources" last year who cooked up the resignation myth.) "Between the Lines" issued itself a reprieve saying the resignation may take by September and ignored Mayor Zimmer's blunt denial after she found the "rumor" after months no longer entertaining.  

With these less than credible standards, the real question is who exactly the Hudson Reporter hates more: Mayor Dawn Zimmer, the Reform Movement or the "bloggers" who are generally supportive of both?

Putting it in proper context, HR rumors are more like intentionally told tall tales to advance a political Old Guard position while MSV's rumor column, Grist for the Mill takes pride in getting a story right even though the sourcing is limited.

So last weekend, "Between the Lines" trotted out a generic non-specific reference to the "bloggers" (which is code for MSV and GA) appearing to be "outraged" at a rumor Timmy Occhipinti will see backing of the mayor in this November's fourth ward election.

Blogger, lumberjack logger, it might as well be about intelligent life on Pluto which is far more likely than the latest rumormongering put forward. While Grafix Avenger recently wrote about a rumor Timmy Occhipinti would like to obtain backing on a reform ticket, MSV has not even bothered to expound on the obvious math.

Occhipinti, once a candidate of a united Old Guard effort to take the fourth ward in 2010 now finds himself abandoned by most of the Old Guard Hoboken Syndicate which is backing Ruben Ramos' upcoming fourth ward council run.  Ramos is coming off a solid 2013 mayoral run and strong fourth ward tallies.

That leaves Occhipinti with few friends and daunting prospects this November. Back in 2013, his mayoral run with the full backing of Beth Mason and Frank "Pupie" Raia saw him come in a distant third yielding only 17% of the vote.

In the fourth ward, the mayor and Ramos ran neck and neck with the mayor edging Ramos on the machines in the ballpark of 850 votes and Timmy Occhipinti lagged pulling over 300.

That's a long road to hoe from third to first if the fourth ward again becomes a three person race. This prospect typically sends the Hudson Reporter into massive bouts of depression as the Reform Movement under Mayor Zimmer has set a clear cut positive record for Hoboken taxpayers and government operations but is bad for business of the Old Guard and their historical corruption.

Some additional required corrections on last weekend's "Between the Lines" column. MSV noted months ago that the City Council decorum improved dramatically and credited council members Timmy Occhipinti and Michael Russo. How this constitutes "outrage" is beyond this equine. Feel free to quote Da Horsey Sully if you can marshall any case.

More recently, Timmy Occhipinti got high grades for being the decisive council actor in approving the second Hoboken flood pump. MSV called Occhipinti "the critical voice" in its approval. Why? Because it was the truth and he deserved the recognition. MSV's previous reporting on his behavior and actions notwithstanding, our position on his inappropriate lack of respect for the First Amendment and that of his benefactors hasn't changed.

Occhipinti's decorum and non-party line voting in recent months however remains noteworthy. Hoboken's second flood pump, first appearing to receive unanimous support showed cracks with Old Guard lines surfacing to sabotage Hoboken again. Occhipinti ditched the partisan lines refusing to go along. (It doesn't hurt that patron Frank "Pupie" Raia sits on the Sewerage Authority and wants to leave a legacy of success on flooding too.)

With his approval for the second flood pump made clear in advance of the final council vote, Occhipinti handcuffed Councilwoman Terry Castellano who reversed her earlier "no" vote leaving Beth Mason as the only council member consistently voting against the obviously needed flood hardware.

More whoppers from Between the Lines. Mayor Zimmer never endorsed Carmelo "The Wire" Garcia for any BoE race let alone several years ago and the "alleged" support from Beth Mason for Timmy Occhipinti's last place run for mayor in 2013 included a bizarre public access paid cable show where Mason "interviewed" Timmy the mayoral candidate.

Not to mention the huge number of paid ads in the run up to the November 2013 mayoral election in the Hudson Reporter starring Beth Mason herself. Hey Sully, do you guys even keep track of your own newspaper undermining your "alleged" contradictions?

As for Hoboken's fourth ward council race and how it shapes up, well Al...

What this Horse worry?

Hoboken Reform's Golden Girl: Dana Wefer.
All eyes on the fourth ward council race await her decision.

Your move Sully. I dare you, I double dare you to say the "D" word in this weekend's "Between the Lines." This Horse doesn't think you can get a realistic rumor past your publishers and editors. You certainly can't get the words "Mile Square View" or "Grafix Avenger" in unless it's some disparagement about plaintiff "victims." 

The last thing the Hudson Reporter wants to do is accurately prognosticate anything that's not pro Old Guard. They prefer the "Between the Lines" political column be a political conspiracy Old Guard haven and avoid saying the "D" word, re: Dana Wefer as long as possible.

Mile Square View on the other hand takes pride in getting it consistently right.
So with that, expect Timmy Occhipinti to launch his re-election bid later this week.

While Occhipinti has been a moderating voice in recent months, his votes at times with the Reform majority has angered former Old Guard council allies.

So let's give another hat tip to Timmy. He came in under a black cloud but he's not going out under any power but his own. You have to give some respect for that.

Talking Ed Note: Just look at how the Hudson Reporter editors/publishers butchered this week's Al Sullivan feature story on Councilwoman Jen Giattino. They certainly couldn't stomach saying the "J" word - anything honest about that Jen girl in Hoboken either.

Grafix Avenger brokered the Mother's Day scoop exposing the unbelievable political bias showing the extent the pro Old Guard rag would go to keep its own Jen Giattino story of how she's worked supporting the Hoboken Homeless Shelter almost a decade ago before her name ever showed up in local politics.

The Hudson Reporter landed up censoring Al Sullivan's feature story publishing it in the Jersey City edition but blocking it from appearing in the Hoboken version!

Look we're not so naive to think any of this is an accident and certainly there's no expectation of any institutional accountability from the Hudson Reporter which is not going to take any questions. Been there, done that.