Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year Dawns Friday at City Hall

Tomorrow is the New Year but a new day will dawn for the City of Hoboken as City Council members are sworn in.

The ceremony will take place at City Hall at 12 noon.

Michael DeFusco will be sworn in as First Ward Councilman on Friday at noon with five of his council colleagues at City Hall tomorrow. 

Michael DeFusco will be sworn in as councilman for the First Ward.

Tiffanie Fisher will be sworn in as councilwoman in the Second Ward.

Michael Russo returns to hold the council seat in the Third Ward.

Ruben Ramos also returns to the council, this time for the Fourth Ward.

Peter Cunningham returns taking his third term for the Fifth Ward.

Jen Giattino also returns to continue as councilwoman for the Sixth Ward.

The regularly scheduled meeting of the City Council is Monday, January 4th at 7:00 pm.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Office of the Mayor announces:


Corporation Counsel Mellissa Longo will be returning to the private sector as an Associate Counsel at a private for-profit corporation. Her last day with the City of Hoboken will be January 15, 2016.

“Mellissa has served the City since the beginning of my Administration through some challenging times,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I appreciate all that she has done for Hoboken and wish her the very best with her new endeavor.”

“I am extremely grateful to Mayor Zimmer for all of the opportunities she has given me during my five years here in the City of Hoboken,” said Corporation Counsel Mellissa Longo. “It has been truly a pleasure to work with the Mayor, her talented administration, all of the City departments, special counsel, and the City Council. This has been rewarding position, and I will never forget the people I have befriended and my experience here.

Corporation Counsel Mellissa Longo (r) fielding a complaint from Beth Mason at the conclusion of a Hoboken City Council meeting is moving on after five years serving Hoboken to the private sector.

Monday, December 28, 2015

A NJ tale: "Bosses Don't Get Kneecapped"

As some are weaned off the political juices near and far in the more dormant final week of 2015, one tale may help fend off the withdrawal until the new year.

The gifted editor of PolitikerNJ, Max Pizaro offers his original novel, "Bosses Don't Get Kneecapped" a Soprano State ode to political black comedy with insidious Garden State flair.

The names in the book may be but composite characters but are recognizable producing dread and familiarity or fear and loathing depending on where you sit in the NJ political pecking order. 

As Pizarro himself wrote before the novel's release, 

"Requiring a most elusive tension between dread and hilarity in order to function, black comedy seldom produces the desired effect of those who undertake the discipline. What begins as black comedy, I would submit, easily may devolve into absurdity or find a shifting narrative identity as tragicomedy."

Its storyline is summarized thusly:

In the novel Bosses Don’t Get Kneecapped, someone will get hurt when a U.S. Attorney and state Attorney General compete with each other for the governor’s office, accelerating their arrests of public men in an election year in hopes of getting an edge. At first, the usual people wind up behind bars – gang members, low-level political operatives, flunky elected officials and small-time mayors – but as the season intensifies, the pressure mounts for more powerful quarry.

Before it’s all over, with everyone else neutralized, dead, or in jail, the U.S. Attorney and Attorney General find themselves competing to see who will occupy the governor’s mansion and who will be the last one led away in handcuffs.

An excerpt:

Insiders had already marked Jimmy Cahil politically hazardous, and now, as he swam out of a spill-zone of radioactive waste, he could finally count himself unconditionally toxic. Finding the garbage truck where Russo’s stooge dumped it and key in the ignition, he coaxed over the engine, stepped heavily on the gas, and rattled toward that distant smoldering wreck otherwise known as the capital city. He realized immediately why no one had stolen it; not only did the truck barely run, but he’d have trouble keeping all four tires on the ground at once. The cab shuddered with the threat of breaking loose from the body, and the width of the rack jutted so far over the cattails on either side of the unlit maintenance road that if he nudged a hair too hard left or right he’d drop the rig in the muck.
Alone in darkness he found himself again trying to figure out who would crack first: his boss, who hated him spending time with his would-be girlfriend, or the girlfriend intent on tomahawking his boss, even as he wearily wondered whether to throw over the old man for her or ditch her for the old man. He had been loyal to both, at least within the framework of the business if not altogether conventionally, and felt whipped now with the belief that neither backed him.
Former acting governor and current president of the state senate, the old man had kept his operative guessing about his gubernatorial intentions, knowing Jimmy – consigned for a lifetime to back alley deal-making and dive-taking – couldn’t resist running a statewide campaign, even if it meant the kid would have to eat any resulting indictments…

Bosses Don’t Get Kneecapped by PolitickerNJ Editor Max Pizarro, for just $20.

Checks should be made out to PolitickerNJ.

Please Mail checks to:
Observer Media
One Whitehall Street
7th Floor
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Friday, December 25, 2015

Carol of the Bells


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Get in the spirit!

It may be unseasonable warm making some think back to 1982 when we last saw such high temps in late December but don't let it lessen your holiday spirit.

For others, it may feel like a tundra has struck. Call it the post millenial black coal judgment.

Da Horsey says, "Merry Christmas to all 
   and to all a good nite!"

Mayor offers update on Rebuild by Design

Office of the Mayor announces:


Thank you to everyone who voiced their views on the Rebuild by Design Project through the last four community meetings and in writing.

I met last week with NJDEP Commissioner Martin and shared our community's serious concerns directly with him and based on ongoing public input, the NJDEP is currently reviewing alternative options within the five concepts. I have made it clear that a flood protection feature on Garden Street between 12th and 14th Streets is not a publicly supported concept. I am optimistic that the State will address those objections.

As we move ahead, I want to make sure that everyone understands that the public process is real and meaningful. Since I have been Mayor, we have engaged in a robust public planning process with every major project including park design and redevelopment plans.  In every instance, the public planning process has resulted in significant positive changes to the preliminary proposals. I encourage everyone to continue voicing constructive suggestions so that together we can help chart the best course to take advantage of this historic opportunity to protect our City from future coastal storms and sea level rise.

A video presentation and all materials can be viewed at and feedback can be emailed to Thank you to those who have provided some great ideas that are currently under consideration by the State.

I want to address a few concerns that I have heard during the last three meetings:

Is the Resist strategy necessary? 
Yes, it is absolutely necessary.  However, last week I heard from some residents who advocated for the idea that we would be better off simply abandoning the “Resist” strategy to protect Hoboken from future storm surges, even if that meant returning the $230 million grant.

Doing nothing on the Resist strategy is not an option. The storm surge generated by Sandy resulted in approximately 500 million gallons of water from the Hudson River flooding our City. The Resist strategy is a critical component of any comprehensive solution to protect our community. No matter how effective our Delay, Store and Discharge strategies are, they could never handle 500 million gallons of water. We need to first Resist from the water entering our City or we will be severely flooded again with the next Sandy-type storm surge.  All of the components of the four-part water management strategy, Resist, Delay, Store, and Discharge, are necessary to protect our City.

During the last 30 years, New Jersey has been impacted by a major hurricane every five to six years. Scientists predict that storms will continue to become more severe, so it is important that Hoboken is protected from another disastrous hurricane in the future. Some scientists have explained that the storm surge from Sandy was not nearly as bad as it could have been -- it did not have the strong winds and rain that usually accompany a major storm. In fact, Hurricane Joaquin, when it was predicted to reach our region this past fall, was predicted to be worse than Sandy due to its powerful winds and rain. Working together, we need to protect our community from future severe storm events.

Does the project need to include “walls” within our City?
The renderings that were shown were preliminary concepts, not finalized plans, meant to show that community amenities could be integrated into flood protection measures. I agree with resident concerns regarding access to the waterfront and about impacts to residential neighborhoods and have conveyed those concerns directly to the State. Residents have already provided some great suggestions on alternative approaches that are currently under review.   

Why aren’t we using local experts from Stevens to develop solutions?
We are. Stevens engineering professors with expertise in modeling coastal flooding have been hired by the NJDEP and are conducting a peer review of the work throughout the process.

Are we just doing this project for future development?
Absolutely not. Sandy flooded nearly 80% of our City -- existing residents and businesses suffered; not new development. This project will protect the thousands of Hoboken residents and businesses that were devastated by Sandy and Irene and are vulnerable from future storm surges. It will also benefit our entire community by protecting critical infrastructure such as our hospital, electrical substations, sewage treatment plant and police and fire stations.

Why are we considering measures that do not protect 100% of our City?
It is simply not possible to protect 100 percent of our City without impacting access to our waterfront.  As I have explained at the community meetings, a balance needs to be struck that protects areas most at risk while preserving the waterfront access that helps make our City such a special place. 

Is there something that can be done to help buildings that might not benefit directly from the final preferred flood protection measure? 
Yes, the City is considering measures that will do just that. There are different strategies that individual buildings could implement within their buildings to protect against flooding. I am proposing an infrastructure trust fund to provide public funding for these localized flood protection measures.

Thank you again to everyone for your active involvement in the community process. Through this project, I am confident that we can arrive at a well-designed solution that both protects our City, integrates into our wonderful urban landscape, and preserves access to our waterfront.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable holiday and a very happy New Year.

Mayor Zimmer

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Weebles wobble but bobble heads fall down: the sad tale of woe of Natalie Morales

The year end Hoboken political fun and games season was at the finish line or so some thought.

According to Grafix Avenger, the Mile Square City is not out. As everyone is winding down weaning themselves off the political fix available on almost a daily basis in the town where On the Waterfront corruption was built, then erupted a NBC talking head.

Anti-Concept A DEP plan uptown Garden Street resident Natalie Morales of NBC TV launched an allegation of corruption against Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer tying her to big real estate interests and HudCo officials with an inflammatory tweet.

The tweet and its unfortunate allegation states:

Will Hoboken be coming off the holiday season with an exclusive groundbreaking corruption story on NBC courtesy of Natalie Morales?

Somehow this horse finds that extremely doubtful. Either someone managing the twitter account for the NBC bobblehead is just making noise with some potentially defamatory criminal allegations or the NBC teleprompter reader needs to have some basic facts shared with her.

Either way, someone has some serious splain'in to do.

Comparing the DEP proposed Concept A flood plan to the Berlin Wall is unfortunate enough. There's been noting but lots of vociferous complaining about Concept A, one of five plans offered by federal DEP engineers and issued through another federal agency, HUD.

A quick eyeballing of recent events would show Mayor Dawn Zimmer going toe to toe with Applied Housing, re: the Barry family and their infamous Monarch Project in the northeast. (It was only in November when the mayor endorsed well known Monarch Project opponent Tiffanie Fisher who is the councilwoman-elect in the second ward.)

Someone certainly could have shown Natalie Morales the Rockefeller Group proposals over the last several years which likely cost the mayor her positive relationship with NJ Governor Chris Christie when an alleged messenger issuing demands on their behalf in Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno made national news.

Of course, talking to just about anyone among the mega pro development community would have offered a clue to Natalie Morales; the mayor is no fan of their sky scrapper efforts nor they hers.

Any of this requires a minimum modicum of awareness in your hometown. Perhaps Natalie Morales can find some way to speak to some of her neighbors.

Someone's bound to have a clue she can buy.

Natalie Morales, a Hoboken resident makes
wild corruption allegations against Mayor Zimmer
being aligned with big mega developers.
Well guess who stepped in it for Christmas.

Talking Ed Note: Just when we thought we were out, a TV bobble head drags us back in.
Why the desperate need to lie and pump out misinformation and phony criminal allegations?

Let's all blame Grafix Avenger who couldn't help but break one more hilarious Hoboken story:

Related: Another local resident joined a chorus with a letter opposing the Concept A flood plan.
At least that's straight forward opposition to an idea already Dead-on-Arrival.

Perhaps Hoboken can move forward on elements of the other Concept Plans which will work to benefit and secure the most residents? Oh, perish the thought.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Councilman Peter Cunningham: 'Community engagement on Rebuild by Design will lead to positive outcome'

From the desk of Councilman Peter Cunningham:

Dear friends, family and neighbors, 

There's much going on in and around Hoboken this holiday season particularly around land use issues which should be of interest to all.

Earlier this month, the first of a series of public meetings were held to reveal and discuss five concept plans developed around the Rebuild by Design competition the City/Region won in June 2014.  


In the past week there has been much debate over the five concepts ranging from highest impact protection to lowest impact protection.  One concept in particular which appeared to be the most economical and lowest impact protection of the five, called for a wall down Garden Street from 15th to 12th street. 

When I first saw the plans, I had two thoughts:  1) there will be flood waters on one side of the wall; and 2) any kind of wall in an historic neighborhood would be unattractive.  HOWEVER, I was open to the debate given these are concept plans and that public discussions by the Community Advisory Group (CAG) called for a "hybrid" plan.   A hybrid plan would take ideas from the current 5 plans and mix them with each other to create a new concept plan.  It would refer to different combinations of alignments, like natural berms, and other types of deployable structures around the perimeter instead of hardscaped walls in a residential neighborhood. 

Since being elected in 2007, my council colleagues, the Mayor, and I have hosted, I believe, more community meetings for projects more than anyone in Hoboken's history.  Prior administrations and officials would have decided on a plan in a backroom deal.  This is by far not the case with the Rebuild By Design project.  

Since the early December unveiling of the plans, the Administration with the CAG, and project professionals have hosted a series of public meetings.  The debate has been engaging and thought provoking.  It's important to note this is the beginning not the end of the process.  I am confident it will result in new alignments which not only protect more of Hoboken, but cease to divide our community.  

These plans are in the comment period with the Department of Environmental Protection.  It's important that we as a community as a whole dispute the alignments that will cause harm in many ways to other neighborhoods.  This includes Concept A which depicts the "Garden Street wall."  We must also call on the DEP to expand the CAG to be more inclusive. 

Comments can be submitted via email to, or mailed to David Rosenblatt, Director, Office of Flood Hazard Risk Reduction Measures, 501 East State Street, Mail Code 501‐01A, PO Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625‐0420.  Please register your concerns so that your voice can be heard about these plans.  

Please circulate to you friends and neighbors, and let me know what your concerns are and if you have any questions.  Thanks, Peter

One design RBD element among many in five plans to 
consider in the second ward in uptown Hoboken. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

SantaCon craps out as 9 arrested in drunken stupidity

The following report comes courtesy of the Hudson County View:

Hoboken’s SantaCon yields 9 arrest, 70 summonses and angry Santas

Hoboken’s annual SantaCon bar brawl saw nine Santas and/or elves arrested, and another 70 received summons. Furthermore, patrons who purchased event bracelets were left irate when bars stopped honoring them in the early afternoon.

For the complete story see:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Mayor Zimmer endorses "Concept E" as residents flip out over "Concept A" Rebuild by Design plan

This video report comes courtesy of John Heinis of the Hudson County View:

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, council members and various other officials associated with the Rebuild by Design project largely had to play defense last night as hostile residents demanded answers on the flood preparedness program - staunchly opposing one concept that would introduce seawalls.

For the complete story, please see the Hudson County View:

Former Hoboken Freeholder candidate: 'No more Beth Mason and her fascist supporters'

Kurt Gardiner’s remarks as prepared for delivery to the Hoboken City Council December 16, 2015 on the departure of Beth Mason. The contents as seen below are his reasoned opinion.

Tonight's City Council meeting is a special meeting to me for it's the last night 2nd Ward Councilwoman Elizabeth Mason will be misrepresenting Hoboken residents. We will no longer have to endure her scorched earth politics involving behind the scenes operatives, massive political expenditures found illegal by NJ ELEC, use of PACs to fund smear fliers in the last 6th Ward election, her wanton and reckless obstructionism with respect to Hoboken's hospital, fixing Washington Street, the Municipal Garage, and open public support of the Pravda of Hoboken websites and purveyor of political porn yellow journalism, Hoboken 411. 

Reflecting on the demise of Beth Mason's political "career," former
editor of the Hoboken Journal, Kurt Gardiner opines on the years long
war against the First Amendment undertaken by Beth Mason.

This is a woman who as a political public figure has demonstrated that she will go to any lengths to suppress her constitutionally protected critics. This being accomplished with smear articles by her operative ghostwriter and editor on Hoboken 411, purported frivolous lawsuits by operatives falsely claiming harassment including herself for simply being served  a subpoena and of course the landmark victory for First Amendment rights in the defeat of her minion Lane Bajardi vs. The Hoboken Bloggers. In the issued legal decision favoring the defendants last July, Judge Patrick Arre stated that this litigious action was a "SLAPP lawsuit disguised as defamation case" and that "it approached a fraud upon the court."

Numerous emails obtained in discovery have shown the extent of political operations covering quote "Beth Mason's flank" by the plaintiffs including an email with Lane Bajardi pleading with Ricky Mason to support his potential legal action. Now that we know the facts of the case and have the legal judgement, the main purpose of the whole lawsuit was to suppress her critics and send them into bankruptcy as a few Beth Mason supporters have stated to me personally. Thank goodness for the just verdict and the fact we live in the US and not some dictatorial totalitarian regime. The idea of a gulag for bloggers has firmly been rejected by the courts.

So here we are on the cusp of a major First Amendment victory for freedom of speech in Hoboken and just today a bitter core Beth Mason supporter told me to stop blogging which I have not done since 2011. I do reserve the right to comment as I see fit and still do as stipulated by the First Amendment. Again, what is it with Beth Mason and her fascist supporters who seek to suppress free speech of their political opponents? The hypocrisy is overwhelming. There can be no transparency without constructive criticism.

I will not miss Beth Mason in Hoboken City Council and we will not have to deal with her duplicitous pro Monarch Towers bait and switch proxy either in Monarch Man

I will not miss her abuse of the court system as a tool of retribution toward political opponents, the attempt to bankrupt Hoboken by killing the Hospital deal, saying no to Washington Street fixes, going AWOL for two months last summer, her stating nonsense over the budget process misreporting surplus numbers and general anti-Administration vitriol without constructive purpose.

Perhaps now politically retired, Mrs. Mason can spend time with pursuits she is passionate about, tracking giant killer raccoons and performing squirrel autopsies. 

Bloggers may not be journalists but they have a right to free expression. In the immortal words of journalist scion Edward J. Murrow; to you Mrs. Mason I say as politely as I can, Good Night. Good Luck. And Good Riddance.

Kurt Gardiner (l) seen here at the 10th anniversary of 9-11 at Pier A
with former NJ State Attorney General Paula Dow and Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Kurt Gardiner is the former editor of the Hoboken Journal and a long time supporter of the Reform Movement in Hoboken. In 2011, he ran an upstart independent campaign for Freeholder garnering the most votes of any candidate running against the HudCo Machine in the county. 

In view of Mayor Zimmer Wednesday night presenting plaques to the departing council members, Gardiner decided not to deliver his remarks during public portion opting instead to have them published here on MSV.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mayor Zimmer bids goodbye to council members Castellano, Mason and Occhipinti

Video courtesy of Kurt Gardner, former editor of the Hoboken Journal:

In the video seen above prior to the City Council meeting last night, Mayor Zimmer presents plaques to outgoing members of the City Council: Terry Castellano, Beth Mason and Tim Occhipinti.

It's a mixed bag illuminted here further but the mayor clearly choose to take the high road not for what she's been accused by some - not reaching out to "the other side," re: the darksiders. The fact of the matter is Mayor Zimmer has been continually and viciously attacked as the City itself since she became Acting Mayor in 2009 and was not given any chance to pick up the pieces on behalf of Hoboken after convicted felon and former Mayor Peter Cammarano was bounced out of office courtesy of the FBI.

Anyone can view the Ustream videos in 2009 when the mayor attempted to work with all eight of her council colleagues by consensus. She was met by a continuous assault by the Old Guard in their belief she could be put down immediately. She's proven them wrong over and over and over since. (They could have looked anytime to Margaret Thatcher for an explanation but elected to see other men as the reason, most recently her husband.)

It's impossible to pause on this moment in Hoboken history without further detailing the utter depravity led by Beth Mason and her family checkbook and her Old Guard allies: Terry Castellano and Michael Russo to see bankrupted Hoboken University Medical Center and with it possibly the City of Hoboken itself. 

In 2011, the Old Guard viewed this as their best hope to finally stop and destroy Mayor Zimmer. If it took the destruction of the hospital and the City's finances, so be it.

They refused to waive the 28 days required for an ordinance going into effect making immediate the parking garage transfer in tandem with the hospital sale. The hospital, left running on fumes was within days if not hours of going under. The State of NJ Department of Health contemplated being forced to step in and close HUMC due to dwindling supplies and a questionably viable medical operation. The potential buyer HoldCo stated it could not complete the sale without having the garage make the sale financially viable for the future. Michael Russo mocked it all. 

The Old Guard council led by Beth Mason, a bankruptcy attorney intimately close to her injected poison on this side of the Hudson River and came within an eyelash of succeeding in its objective to take down both Mayor Zimmer and the hospital. The battle raged in Hoboken, in the NJ courts and the NJ Assembly and Senate. They almost succeeded calling due a City backed bond debt of $52 million for immediate payment.

In October 2011, with that plug almost pulled and the taste of sweet, vindictive victory in their grasp -one council member decided not to go through with it: Tim Occhipinti. Via an intermediary in former Hoboken Democratic Chair Jamie Cryan a discussion took place with representatives of the hospital. Occhipinti informed them through that channel he would not be the decisive vote strangling the hospital to its death. He would join the Reform council memebers in merely stepping out of the way of the garage sale allowing the hospital sale to go through and thus survive.

Occhipinti has never commented on this publicly. Even the Hudson Reporter who covered up for the Old Guard throughout their attempt to destroy the hospital sale in 2011 learned of that truth and put in an inquiry to Occhipinti which went unasnwered.

The fourth ward councilman informed his Old Guard council colleagues he would not move forward with them. They in turn quickly created a brand new position claiming an inert "side deal" by them saved the hospital. Their press release making the outlandish claim promptly found its way published (on a Sunday no less) online with the Hudson Reporter mere hours before the final emergency meeting on the hospital at City Hall.

While the mayor credited Occhipinti properly for his important support in approving the second floor pump for Hoboken earlier this year, his greatest contribution to Hoboken in office was walking to the edge of the abyss, looking down on the hospital back in October 2011 and saying no. His Old Guard council colleagues however were not enamored with his decision and in the end got payback, flipping on him and backing Ruben Ramos for his council seat last November.

The truth on Hoboken University Medical Center is best highlighted by Beth Mason's "friend" Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi who relished the idea of the hospital being destroyed and the Mayor with it writing in an email,

That was the Old Guard intention all along.

Talking Ed Note: There's far more to say about the wretched cancer of Hoboken and it's removal from the body politic but MSV will withhold further historical facts for the moment and leave Beth Mason to her own self-created misery.

Like many in Hoboken who truly know the full scope of that inflicted disease, an accounting is not complete but the First Amendment eroded but not destroyed stands firm in this Mile Square City today for the landmark day arriving. Many people played critical roles in bringing this Reform achievement to fruition - over decades.

Hudson Superior Court and Judge Arre also deserve far more thanks than can be adequately expressed here.  Judge Arre's devastating legal opinion lambasting the frivolous SLAPP-suit Bajardi v Pincus publicly supported by Beth Mason is a towering First Amendement case not only for Hoboken but the entire state of NJ.

In the end, Mayor Zimmer again elected to take the high road in respect and perhaps deference to her office. MSV however has a similar but slightly differing standard, telling the truth to the Hoboken public. In the end, it's with an eye to serving all Hoboken.

Related: The 2011 MSV exclusive live history told on the hospital and the Old Guard council: "Suicide Mission."

As the hospital teetered, the Old Guard council mocks its plight with Michael Russo's infamous, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling."

Beth Mason's "business partner" and chief political operative in Weehawken crows about taking out HUMC and the dual benefit to "destroy the administration."

Evidence of Beth Mason's dwindled band of followers and their embittered plan for HUMC in the Bajardi v Pincus Bench Slapped emails:

"I say let Dawn go down with the hospital!."

Council President Ravi Bhalla: 'Historic opportunity to address flooding'

From the desk of City Council President Ravi Bhalla:

Dear Friends and Neighbors - 

As you may know, a historic opportunity is before us to address flooding in Hoboken. Through the advocacy efforts of Mayor Zimmer, last year Hoboken received $230 million in federal funding to implement a plan to keep our City safe from the massive flooding we have seen in the past, including the terrible damage stemming from Hurricane Sandy. 
For the past several months, I have served as co-chair of a Citizens Advisory Group (CAG), which is made up of dedicated local residents who want to ensure the needs of the community are met as we work toward a very important decision about how to utilize these funds.  It is important to note that the State of New Jersey and federal government, not the City Council or the Mayor, will make the final decision on this plan.  This makes it all the more critical for Hoboken residents to speak up so our City’s needs and desires are represented in the planning process. 
I am asking you to please come to a drop in session at 221 Jackson St. tonight, Thursday, Dec. 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. so you can learn more about the concepts presented to date and offer your feedback to the State Department of Environmental Protection and its professionals.  There will be engineers and state officials on hand to address any questions you may have about this historic project for Hoboken.
Earlier this week, residents expressed frustration about the idea of flood “walls” in neighborhoods and along our waterfront, which is included in the proposed concepts. In my capacity as co-chair of the CAG, I share the frustration and anger regarding some of the concepts being presented – particularly the ones that would negatively impact our treasured waterfront or brownstone neighborhoods. However, the selection process legally requires a certain number of potential concepts to be presented, and then it is up to us to decide which ones are feasible starting points and which ones we consider to be “non-starters.” While there are concerns about barriers for flood protection, my expectation is that they would be designed in a manner that integrates them into our urban landscape without adversely impacting property values, waterfront views, or any aspect of the quality of life for Hoboken’s residents.   For example, they could be designed as park benches, planters, or other community amenities.
I cannot stress enough how much of a historic opportunity we have presented before us. We need to protect our City from the devastation of a Hurricane Sandy and the “resist” portion of the Rebuild By Design federal grant may be our only chance to save Hoboken from a similarly devastating weather event. As co-chair of the Citizens Advisory Group, I will continue to be very involved in this process, and I hope to see you all on Thursday evening.
Please feel free to e-mail me at if you have any feedback on these concepts or if you have any questions for me. Click here for more information.
I hope to see you tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 221 Jackson Street! 
Ravinder S. BhallaCity Council President

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Turn out the lights and turn the page: City Council @ 7:00

 Turn out the lights, the party's over. The obstruction, the grandstanding, the attempt to keep Hoboken government operating in the dark ages of its On the Waterfront past.

Tonight, mostly housekeeping on the agenda with a public portion should someone get up to offer thanks for political operative pay or a personal favor offsetting the wretched attempts in 2011 to undermine the finances of the City of Hoboken and shut down Hoboken University Medical Center.

Many people are already in holiday mode and will quietly await the changing of the Old Guard council as its time expires.

It's the last official council meeting for Terry Castellano, Beth Mason and Tim Occhipinti. Next year Michael Russo will welcome Ruben Ramos as Tiffanie Fisher and Michael DeFusco take their respective council seats.

The times, they are a-changing.

Mayor Zimmer will give remarks on the outgoing council members. Not sure why but she's always placed the office of mayor above any personal concerns. Unless she has two bags of black coal for Castellano and Mason from the City and the hospital, there's little of merit in anything else added.

Perhaps she'll read some special emails aloud. MSV has a few; a few ten thousand or so that would make this city cringe.

The agenda is here:

Update: Neumann Leathers is up for final approval tonight as part of the second ordinance.
The final vote saw easy passage with Councilman at-large Dave Mello abstaining.

Hudson County View: Rebuild by Design video report

This video report comes courtesy of Jeannette Josue at the Hudson County View:

For the full report, please see the Hudson County View:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Statement from Mayor Zimmer on Rebuild by Design

Office of the Mayor announces:


Thank you to everyone who came out last night to the Rebuild by Design drop-in session at the Hoboken Historical Museum following up on the meeting at the Wallace Gym last week. We want to continue to hear resident feedback and answer questions as we move forward towards a comprehensive plan to protect our City from future hurricanes and storm surges.

I fought hard to win the Rebuild by Design competition in 2013 so that our City would never again face the devastation of Sandy that destroyed so many of our homes and businesses across 80 percent of the City. I truly appreciate how Hoboken came together after Sandy. As a community we made it through the storm because thousands of residents volunteered and opened up their homes and helped out neighbors in need.

I recognize that people in Hoboken had different experiences when Hurricane Sandy struck our City depending on which neighborhood they live inAt last night’s meeting, I heard from many residents who did not flood during Sandy who thought we should address flash flooding from heavy rains but not protect the City from coastal flooding due to storm surges. It is understandable that each person’s Sandy experience creates differences in perspective about the urgency of protecting our City from future storm surges.
As I reflect on the devastation of Sandy and the recent fear from a potentially even more devastating Hurricane Joaquin, I believe we need to prepare for a different future, and doing nothing to protect from storm surges is not an option. I never want to have to call on the National Guard to save us again, and I never want our community to have to experience that kind of pain and devastation.  

Rising seas will mean that even moderate storms will be a greater flood threat in the future. Many residents may not be aware that North Hudson Sewerage Authority’s (NHSA) sewage treatment plant was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy and came within inches of being completely flooded. This could have left our community and the 180,000 residents in our region that rely on sanitation services from NHSA without the ability to flush our toilets for quite some time. NHSA is located it northwest Hoboken and would be protected by implementing the resist strategy. We cannot leave thousands of residents and businesses, our sewage treatment plant, electrical substations, and hospital vulnerable.

Just as we came together as one community after Sandy, it is important that we work together to find a preferred alternative that is best for our community.

I have heard and fully understand concerns about impacts to our waterfront and residential neighborhoods. I recognize that the Hudson River is both our City's greatest treasure and potential threat to our community. For this reason, I want to be upfront that I would not support an alignment that would block access to our waterfront.  I am also extremely sensitive to the impact on residential neighborhoods. The concepts that have been put forward are ideas and starting points for a conversation, and we are following a legal process through which all concepts must be improved or changed.

One of the changes that I will strongly urge the DEP to explore is an alignment for option E that determines a different approach to the “T-Wall” along the walkway in front of the Hudson Tea Building. The alignment along Hudson Street or Shipyard Lane should be explored with a different tie-in to the waterfront that does not create a wall around the walkway and separate our community from the Hudson River. 

Although there have been understandable fears about how these flood protection measures would impact our neighborhoods, the intent of this process is to develop a plan that integrates into our urban landscape. The rendering below, developed by OMA, the Dutch firm that led the Rebuild by Design competition for Hoboken, presents one possible idea of how we could both protect from future storm surges but also provide a community benefit with seating and plants integrated into a low-level flood wall. Deployable walls that are only put into place when emergencies arise are another option.

Legally, as part of the process to receive the $230 million in funding, three possible options will need to be explored further. I will be advocating to eliminate two of the waterfront alignments, in addition to exploring changes to the initial concepts that reflect resident concerns.

I invite our community to learn more about the project by visiting, to provide feedback by emailing, and by attending the upcoming drop-in sessions:

Tuesday, December 15, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm: St. Lawrence Church (22 Hackensack Avenue, Weehawken)

Thursday, December 17, 6:30 – 8:30 pm: Hoboken Housing Authority (221 Jackson Street)

Sign of the Times: Anxiety over the Wall

The meeting on the five design concept plans for the Rebuild by Design on Hudson River project held last night at the Hoboken Historical Museum is off to a rough start.

According to one witness, over 100 people showed up with many sharing anxiety over aspects of the plan featuring walls in various guises.

Describing the tension as "palpable" the opinions and misinformation about the concept plans were reportedly as varied as the number of people in attendance.

Well over a hundred people came to hear and discuss the Rebuild by Design plans last night at the Hoboken Historical Museum. Opinions were varied, divided and one attendee described misinformed.
Anxiety over featured walls in some of the plans was highlighted as central to many fears and concerns.

Talking Ed Note: MSV was not in attendance last night due to a conflicting Christmas celebration. One could and should expect this reception being that perspectives on how to best protect Hoboken in a future Sandy type event will vary widely. Part of the factors driving those views will come from location. Two more meetings are set in Weehawken and the Hoboken Housing Authority.

Those additional meetings are scheduled for tonight and tomorrow.

An uptown flyer attacked the feature of a wall on the east side of town and was spotted placed illicitly on trees on Bloomfield St. anonymously urging others to "fight the wall."

The concept plans are available for review here:

Monday, December 14, 2015

5 plans for consideration in Rebuild by Design project for Hudson River

Hoboken is seeking public input on five proposed concept plans as part of the major infrastructure effort for the Mile Square City, Jersey City and Weehawken in the Rebuild by Design's Hudson River project.

The effort is of major importance and public feedback is sought. Here's the meetings set for this week for a first hand look and discussion with your neighbors:

1) Drop-in session #1: Monday, December 14, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm: Hoboken Historical Museum (1301 Hudson Street)

2) Drop-in session #2: Tuesday, December 15, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm: St. Lawrence Church (22 Hackensack Avenue, Weehawken)

3) Drop-in session #3: Thursday, December 17, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm: Hoboken Housing Authority (221 Jackson Street)

Five plans are up for consideration for public feedback with the objective seeking to offset future scenarios as seen here after Hurrican Sandy. 

From the NJ DEP website:

The proposed project takes a multi-faceted approach intended to address flooding from both major storm surges and high tides as well as from heavy rainfall events. The Proposed Project will occur throughout the City of Hoboken, and will extend into Weehawken and Jersey City, with the following approximate boundaries: the Hudson River to the east; Baldwin Avenue (in Weehawken) to the north; the Palisades to the west; and 18th Street, Washington Boulevard and 14th Street (in Jersey City) to the south. 
The project’s comprehensive approach to resilience consists of four integrated components:
  1. Resist:  a combination of  hard infrastructure (such as bulkheads, floodwalls and seawalls) and soft landscaping features (such as berms and/or levees which could be used as parks) that act as barriers along the coast during exceptionally high tide and/or storm surge events;
  2. Delay: policy recommendations, guidelines and urban green infrastructure to slow stormwater runoff;
  3. Store: green and grey infrastructure improvements, such as bioretention basins, swales, and green roofs, that slow down and capture stormwater, and which will complement the efforts of the City of Hoboken’s existing Green Infrastructure Strategic Plan; and
  4. Discharge: enhancements to Hoboken’s existing stormwater management system, including the identification and upgrading of existing stormwater/sewer lines, outfalls and pumping stations. 

Details of the five proposals are available here:

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Celebrating a centenial of Frank Sinatra in Hoboken

The summer breeze came and went across the sea and the Hudson last summer with the unofficial celebration of Frank Sinatra's birthday.

Today is the real deal. 100 years to this day, Frank Sinatra was born.

For many, this is no whimsical celebration. In their hearts are memories, traditions and celebrations from many days and decades past. Today, there are new Sinatra fans born and converts who learn the mastery of phrasing Frank Sinatra is so well known.

Not gifted with the greatest range, Sinatra was a craftsman of the art of phrasing and viewed his voice the instrument. He learned his craft in the back rooms across Hudson County as a boy, eventually becoming one of the biggest American celebrities over the past century.

Sinatra was more than a singer. He was an actor featured in many films but his legacy rose beyond the pallet of arts and entertainment. His legacy is one of an American icon who lived life, breathed it in every ounce of his being whether out on the town with the Rat Pack or suffering the fallout of a failed romance with Ava Gardner.

There's no tribute rendered proper here, merely a marker along a long road better served by others. Some have made the centennial celebration a year long event in Hoboken.

An autographed photo from Frank Sinatra himself is a family heirloom handed down.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Hoboken411's Perry Klaussen beseeches Lane Bajardi: Help Me!

The weekend is almost upon us which means it's time for another episode of Friday Night Lights and a peek into the almost 50,000 email stash obtained in the frivolous SLAPP-suit supported by Beth Mason.

That SLAPP-happy civil litigation, Bajardi v Pincus produced a First Amendment bonanza of truth giving the Old Guard much agita and driving Beth Mason from even attempting to hold onto a council seat.

In 2009, MSV was among a number of other notable websites gaining traction with one, H-Mag eventually becoming the number one lifestyle website in Hoboken.

Perry Klaussen feeling the heat, turned to his ghostwriter Lane Bajardi who wrote almost all of his political content for help on his floundering advertising efforts. Among the proposed ideas, the Hoboken411 hate machine ponders posting nasty reviews to make businesses pay for not bucking up greenbacks.

Some legal beagles say there's a hunt underway for Hoboken411 among its ranks. Perry Klaussen has not been seen scrounging for free food out of his usual uptown haunts or with his dog in months.

Rumors on the street say Perry Klaussen left an 10th Street apartment earlier and may have evacuated Hoboken entirely in the fear of Hoboken residents he handed private registrations to Beth Mason political operatives. Some were among the dozen residents SLAPPed in the Beth Mason publicly backed frivolous litigation and could seek legal retribution in a SLAPP-back civil action.

There's time for Klaussen to be tracked down but in the meantime he's nowhere to be found, other than the babbling rants seen in this complete, unedited 2009 email.

Perry Klaussen pleads how he can "re-charge" respect for Hoboken411? Way too late for that.
Beth Mason and her minion took care of that a while ago.

Five Flood Resilency plans up for drop-in review

City of Hoboken announces:

Last night at a public meeting at the Wallace School, the State introduced five proposed concepts for the Rebuild by Design Hudson River: Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge project. The $230 million in funding awarded through the project will be implemented through one of the five introduced concepts to help protect the Hoboken region from flooding due to severe storms. The five proposed concepts and project materials can be found on the project website at
Residents are also invited to attend one of the three drop-in sessions to ask questions and provide feedback on the concepts. The details of the drop-in sessions are below.
1) Drop-in session #1: Monday, December 14, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm: Hoboken Historical Museum (1301 Hudson Street)
2) Drop-in session #2: Tuesday, December 15, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm: St. Lawrence Church (22 Hackensack Avenue, Weehawken)
3) Drop-in session #3: Thursday, December 17, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm: Hoboken Housing Authority (221 Jackson Street)
Based on screening criteria and feedback from the community, the five proposed concepts will be reduced to three for further evaluation. An additional meeting will be scheduled in January to go over the three concepts. Any resident who would like to provide feedback can also email comments to

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Carmelo Garcia urinates on NJ election laws

The Hoboken council candidate who promised to be available to constitutents all day, every day is transparently invisible when it comes to following New Jersey election law.

NJ ELEC, the statewide watchdog which collects and publishes candidate election reports has seen not a plumb nickel of where Carmelo Garcia obtained and spent a rumored six figures in his failed City Council campaign.

The whispers about the campaign bonzanza blow-up which saw Hoboken's sixth ward easily re-elect Councilwoman Jen Giattino suggest Garcia will probably face serious fines for blatantly breaking the law.

If Carmelo Garcia is to gain entry to the top 15 of NJ election violators in NJ history, he'll need to equal or top his cohort Beth Mason who ranks as one of the all time great offenders. She thumbed her nose at NJ ELEC until they hammered her and listed campaign treasurers Ines Garcia Keim and Richard Mason of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

The potential fines issued by the State of NJ watchdog agency totaling in the millions were eventually reduced to $44,000.

Grafix Avenger skulked around to identify what could be mustered up on the mysterious Carmelo Garcia council campaign and reveals there is a strong likelihood Carmelo Garcia broke additional NJ election laws excessively taking funds from his NJ Assembly campaign account and using it in the sixth ward City Council race.

Previously, Grafix Avenger highlighted Carmelo Garcia went as far as reporting a McDonad's Happy Meal as a campaign expenditure.

Talking Ed Note: MSV would ask Carmelo Garcia for an explanation why he's breaking laws left and right faster than his NJ ELEC idol Beth Mason (not Buddha) but he's once threatened like Beth Mason to file a criminal harassment complaint for asking him a question.

These are elected officials being paid on our tax dollars mind you.

MSV last July politely received drinks during an impromptu party on Beth Mason's friends slammed with $280,000 in legal sanctions for the frivolous SLAPP-suit Bajardi v Pincus from a full out campaign mode Garcia but this horse never drank a drop.

Da Horsey gave it to a trollop at the bar. It seemed more fitting.

Garcia Buddha Happy meal graphic courtesy of Grafix Avenger

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Justice delayed is justice....

Delayed. That's the word from Jersey City Municipal Court as the Court itself begged off on this Friday's Beth Mason criminal trial.

Can you blame them?

Reprieve? The Beth Mason criminal trial with her allegations of being
assaulted and "alarmed" by a no. 10 envelope from MSV will have to
wait until the New Year. The Jersey City court announced
the criminal trial would have to be delayed, another in a series
of postponned trial dates since the first set last May.

Talking Ed Note: Attorney Alex Booth was rarin-to-go, witnesses ready to take the stand and legal documents in the Bajardi v Pincus case conflicting with victimization testimony about to be entered into exhibit evidence before the trial judge.

It'll have to wait until early next year. (The public will be properly noticed and invited to attend.)

For MSV prognosticator and commenter LeoTPTP, this isn't a surprise and so too commenter Marty Funkhauser and others who saw it coming but will have to Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Related: The day after the subpoena pony express delivery just minutes before the start of the City Council meeting at City Hall, MSV detailed an incident of attempted violence upon exiting under our own horsepower writing back on September 18, 2014:

Should any violence or additional phony police charges occur, Beth Mason will be held responsible. 
MSV will defend itself under the fullest extent of the law.

In the famous words of Winston Churchill,

"never give in, never give in, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." 

Or SLAPPy sore loser vindictiveness. The truth will prevail.