Friday, July 24, 2015


Office of the Mayor announces:


Mayor Dawn Zimmer reminds Hoboken policyholders with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) who filed a claim due to Hurricane Sandy that they have until September 15, 2015 to register to have their claim files reviewed if they believe they were underpaid.  In May of 2015, Mayor Zimmer joined Senator Cory Booker and Senator Bob Menendez in Hoboken as the Senators announced this review process to the public.

According to FEMA, it has committed to ensuring all NFIP policyholders who filed a claim as a result of Hurricane Sandy receive the proper compensation they are due under their policy.  The NFIP established a process for those affected by Hurricane Sandy to have their claims reviewed.  When warranted, additional payments will be made to those policyholders. 

FEMA sent letters to approximately 142,000 NFIP policyholders, including those in Hoboken, who filed claims resulting from Hurricane Sandy, offering them an opportunity to have their files reviewed.  Hoboken residents with basement (garden) apartments, along with condominium associations who filed claims are encouraged to file for a review. 

To be eligible for the review, policyholders must have experienced flood damage between Oct. 27, 2012 and Nov. 6, 2012 as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Policyholders can call the NFIP’s Hurricane Sandy claims center at 1-866-337-4262 to request a review.

Alternately, policyholders can go online to to download a form requesting a review. The downloaded form may be filled out and emailed to to start the review process. 

For individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability using 711 or VRS, please call 866-337-4262.  For individuals using a TTY, please call 800-462-7585 to begin the review process.  Before contacting the claim center, policyholders are asked to have their flood insurance carrier name and policy number at hand.  

FEMA will request the policyholder’s claim file from their insurance company and forward it to the NFIP review office within two business days. Files will be assigned to a highly skilled, NFIP-certified adjuster who will serve as a caseworker for the insured. The entire process should take less than 90 days. Caseworkers will contact policyholders to guide them through the review process.  Policyholders who have already registered for the Hurricane Sandy claims review do not need to take any additional action and can expect to be contacted by their caseworker.

According to FEMA, establishing this review is just one step in the plan to ensure that the NFIP is survivor-centric and helps policyholders recover from flooding in a fair, transparent, and expeditious way. The Sandy claims review process is intended to be simple, navigable by the policyholder and does not require paid legal assistance. Additionally, there are several nonprofit service providers ready to offer free advice and answer questions policyholders may have. A list of these advocacy groups can be found on the claims review website

Information above provided by FEMA

All over for Auggie after five decades

According to a news account, another hit of double digit layoffs at the Jersey Journal caught up to the five decades career of Augie Torres.

The online political website Politico wrote:

Augie Torres (l) at a HudCo event pictured with Mayor Richard Turner of Weehawken

Talking Ed Note: Torres is a very talented writer who authored the Political Insider column since 2004. He didn't write about Hoboken often but when he did, he packed a punch and remarkably would often get a lot correct. 

In the summer of 2012, he hit a grand slam out of the stadium writing of the Bajardi v Pincus now infamous SLAPP-suit in his sidebar notes:

Torres may have been less than familiar with the details of Lane Bajardi and his wife, Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi and their allegations in a 170 page frivolous SLAPP but - he knew of and had encountered like many local media the obsessive frothings of Lane Bajardi.

In a rare conversation with MSV, he did speak about his infrequent Hoboken coverage and his run-in with the rabid Beth Mason SLAPPer. (Da Horsey was ordered to gather witnesses for the SLAPP trial.)

In the opinion of this horse; he didn't like him. Didn't want anything to do with him and certainly didn't want him anywhere near his stuff as he called it. He knew enough to know a political operative when he saw/dealt with one.

In this instance, he called a spade a spade. Fortunately for him, unlike others, he was never sought out for political assasination and added to the SLAPP-suit with a bounty of $2,000,000 placed over his head for calling Lane Bajardi a political operative. (That was the going rate if you didn't already know.)

Torres' political column certainly was seen far more widely by many more readers then that reference to Lane Bajardi made on obscure Hoboken Patch political blogs. Lucky for him, he wasn't a Masonic target.

Torres was taken aback when a call came his way years into the SLAPP-suit thinking Beth Mason had given up the ghost. His departure from the scene will be a void unfulfilled as he takes decades of stories and characters with him into the sunset after the summer.

His departure leaves Sully at the Reporter as the senior political denizen on the scene. While that Between the Lines column does somewhat better on Hudson County, its track record on Hoboken falls below sea level often. It doesn't approach the Political Insider by a long shot. (How's the Mayor Zimmer resignation prediction working out? The HR editors and publishers are in an official mourning period with the SLAPP-suit illuminated and its political column remained totally silent with the mammoth First Amendment and frivolous litigation result.)

Torres was one of the few columnists with enough stature to elevate the First Amendment issues surrounding the Hoboken SLAPP-suit but chose not to.

He did however offer a golden nugget inadvertently to the defendants about a "less-than-shy" Beth Mason political operative. He wrote the truth.

Thanks for that Augie. There's a book dying for you to finish it, no doubt.