Monday, February 29, 2016

How does Hoboken stand in Hudson County on taxes?

Hoboken is about to enter its annual budget season. Not a bad time to further view where the Mile Square sits in the tax framework among other Hudson County municipalities.

The following chart shows each Hudson County towns with municipal tax averages and changes over a one, five and fifteen year period. The chart originally appeared on NJ.com.


While Mayor Zimmer has been effectively reducing and keeping taxes relatively flat since 2009, the pressures with costs to rising health insurance in the millions, retirees and operations forces annual innovation and a serious effort in keeping spending overall down.

Hudson County in the period of the mayor's tenure has shown no such restraint in spending. It's budget easily exceeds half a billion dollars and double digit increases to Hoboken in recent years vaunted it to the top portion of the Hoboken taxpayer's bill.

Talking Ed Note: The chart above shows a four percent increase in munipal taxes for Hoboken last year but it's difficult to determine where that figure originated as the budget last year proposed a 1% tax increase and then the City Council majority headed by Reform pushed it down further to zero.

There is a park fund in Hoboken which saw an increase automatically tied to the tax reval- assessment but it's difficult to believe it accounted for any suggested 4% municipal tax increase. Another part of the increase may have been dictated by the library under a formula designated by law.

Update: The park fund or open space tax increased based on the assessment or reval changes. The library tax is tied directly to Hoboken property values by state law. We all better get our library cards as we're paying for it.

Unrelated: The Beth Mason trial set to be completed tomorrow has been postponed at the request of the prosecutor's office. Defense witnesses will be notified of the new date when available.

Friday, February 26, 2016

SEIZED!


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sign of the Times: Coffee chat with Mayor Zimmer and Police Chief Ken Ferrante

Anthony David's hosted the first Coffee with a Cop community meeting earlier this morning with Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Police Chief Ken Ferrante.

Among the dozens of attendees in an informal Q&A was City Council President Jen Giattino, several officers of the HPD and video media Channel 11 WPIX and Verizon Fios.

Expect upcoming opportunities for more of these community discussion to be announced in the near future.

After a Q&A with the public, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer interviews with Verizon Fios as Police Chief Ken Ferrante is interviewed by WPIX Ch. 11.

Related: The Verizon Fios story is available at the link:
http://www.fios1news.com/newjersey/hoboken-coffee-with-a-cop#.Vs8r2GfHxyg

Another yuge victory for Trump in Nevada

In his third victory in a row, New York City's Donald Trump continues to roll, this time with an overwhelming win in Nevada.

The Establishment Republicans received a dose of reality from a western state and it isn't heartwarming for the status quo as Trump took 46% of the vote in a five candidate field.

The Democratic Establishment can't be feeling any better and may be reaching for the antacid medicine. Trump took a similar percentage of Hispanic votes and did so against two Cuban-American candidates who distantly dueled for second and third place.

Worse, Trump's totals dwarfed not only the paltry amount Hillary Clinton received in the recent Democratic primary, his votes exceeded both hers and socialist Bernie Sanders combined!

In less than a week, Super Tuesday will put a real hammerlock on the nominations of both parties.

Donald Trump and his family saw a glitzy Vegas victory in Nevada last night. His stunning victory featured a strong Hispanic vote shocking establishment Republicans and Democrats.

Talking Ed Note: Hillary Clinton with the prospect of a big victory looming in South Carolina is quite literally running for her life.  Another legal decision yesterday put her withheld emails and that of her aide, Huma Abedin front and center in a saga of intrigue and law-breaking.

If Clinton doesn't win in November, she may face indictment for breaking numerous national security laws. Trump has promised to address the matter if elected.

As it stands, the anger of Americans against the federal government may lead to an all time first in November presidential elections with a moderate liberal NYC Democrat taking on an all time Clinton Corruptocrat.

Strap in for a wild ride.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pupie packing NHSA 'retirement' party

Some might find it odd a Hoboken board position sees a change of membership with the predecessor feted at a 'retirement' party by a long time vendor.

Others might find it strange that the same board position requiring regular City Council approval sees the change with an announcement of a "retirement" versus a public action inclusive of a vote. After a quarter century, perhaps the City Council vote was the true norm, a mere formality.

Hoboken is after all part of Hudson County.

A recent Frank "Pupie" Raia 'retirement' party was missing one current North Hudson Sewerage Authority member who did not get an invite from the dinner honoree or the vendor: Kurt Gardiner.

Before the unofficial retirement dinner, one more desperate foray into West New York tried to salvage a NHSA commissioner seat for the Pupster. 

According to reliable sources, it came with incessant begging and offers to West New York Mayor Felix Roque of future political support and an open checkbook if the seat could be routed keeping the status quo. 

Roque, already fending off a second indictment from the Feds related to his pain management biz opted to leave the door closed to a deal likely to generate more scrutiny from the FBI.

How did the right to a lifetime North Hudson Sewerage seat with a $5,000 stipend and grandfathered health care benefits go so wrong?

One could blame City Council members and Hoboken reform voices screaming at same or how a usual deal had gone horribly wrong.

All would be fitting but if the Pupster wants to point fingers and place any blame, well, okay. 

Blame this horse.

The Pupster. 

The rest of this story is MSV Premium and will be emailed to members later today.

(MSV Premium is out. If you didn't receive yours, drop a note to smartyjones@me.com)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Beth Mason criminal trial against MSV postponed by Court

At the request of the court, the Beth Mason criminal trial against MSV set for today in Jersey City Municipal Court is postponed to next week, March 1st.

The trial's completion set for next Tuesday is dependent on the confirmed availability of defense witnesses. 

The short postponement comes at the request of the court. Confirmation of the Tuesday, March 1st date in the Jersey City trial will follow.

Related: Last month, Grafix Avenger published a feature piece on New Jersey law and penalties for perjury. That story is available at the link: Perjury Penalties in the State of New Jersey



Talking Ed Note: Hoboken's Dana Wefer is featured as a guest writer in the prestigious New Jersey Law Journal with an authored article on SLAPP-suits.

The article: "SLAPPing Back: Responding to Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation" highlights where NJ sits nationally in the legislative process of protecting speech against frivolous lawsuits. 26 states have passed anti-SLAPP laws and proposed NJ legislation moved from the NJ Assembly but is stalled in the State Senate.

Featured in the article is the infamous Hoboken SLAPP-suit of Lane Bajardi and Kimberly Cardinal Bajardi publicly supported by Beth Mason.  From the article:


The article also highlights where NJ currently sits in the climate nationally to stop SLAPP-suits:

New Jersey does not have a SLAPP-back statute, although a bill which would allow an early motion to dismiss has been in legislative committees since 2014. Instead, SLAPP victims in New Jersey have two potential ways to be made whole: 1) they may win attorney fees pursuant to the frivolous litigation statute; or 2) after prevailing in the underlying litigation, they may bring a malicious use of process claim. 

Wefer currently serves as the Chair on the Hoboken Housing Authority and ran on the reform ticket last fall as a council candidate in the three way race with Tim Occhipinti in the fourth ward won by Ruben Ramos.

She is the principal of the Law Office of Dana Wefer in Englewood Cliffs. She is a litigator with experience that includes complex business law, labor and employment issues and constitutional law.

Wefer may be reached at dwefer@weferlawoffices.com

Friday, February 19, 2016

Report: Rebuild by Design newest option 1 plan 'kaput'

According to a report on the Hudson County View, the first of three new options for Rebuild by Design, the $230 million federal funding to take on flooding in Hoboken, Jersey City and Weehawken is DOA.

The assessment came by way of Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner.



For the complete story, please see the Hudson County View: http://hudsoncountyview.com/turner-option-1-is-dead-on-arrival-for-230m-rebuild-by-design-plan/

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Councilman Bhalla: Washington St. redesign a historic turning point

From the desk of Councilman Ravi Bhalla:


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Last night was a historic turning point in a multi-year long process led by Mayor Dawn Zimmer, the Hoboken City Council, residents and stakeholders to rebuild and redesign Washington Street.

Bike lanes are coming to Washington Street, which is progress and wonderful news.  While I supported the integration of “Class I” protected bike lanes on Washington Street, it was the will of the Council to approve unprotected Class II bike lanes from Observer Highway to 8th Street, and shared bike lane markings north of 8thStreet.  This policy change, while a compromise, represents substantial progress towards the integration of bike lanes on Washington Street in our efforts to make it a Complete Street for use of all modes of transportation. 

The next important step will be to proactively work to reform our parking policies to facilitate more legal parking, minimize double parking, and ensure the Class II lanes on Washington Street will be a safe corridor for bicyclists to travel and utilize the wonderful retail shops and restaurants Washington Street has to offer.
It is critical to note that, although bike lanes consumed all the oxygen in the air during the debate of this issue, the project passed last night also includes upgrading our water system for the full length of Washington Street and installing modern traffic signals that can be synchronized to improve traffic flow.  The project also includes pedestrian countdown times and bump outs to make Washington Street safer for pedestrians.  It also includes green infrastructure that will beautify Washington Street and capture rainwater during storm events.   Finally, a conduit for a micro-grid will provide backup power for our critical facilities in the event of a major emergency.
The approval of this plan shows that today, local government in Hoboken can put politics aside for the greater good and work hard towards solutions that address the interests of divergent stakeholders to the greatest extent possible.  For this, great credit should be accorded to Mayor Zimmer for leading the process over a period of years, to Council President Jennifer Giattino and the Transportation Subcommittee, the business community and all the residents and others who cared enough to take time to offer their input and get involved in the process.  When democracy works, people win.  I looking forward to a Washington Street we can all be even more proud of for generations to come.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at councilmanbhalla@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

Ravinder S. Bhalla
Hooboken Councilman-at-Large

HCV: Hoboken's City Council approves Washington St. redesign

The following report comes courtesy of Jeannette Josue of the Hudson County View:


  For the complete story, see the Hudson County View: http://hudsoncountyview.com/revised-hoboken-washington-st-redesign-plan-passes-despite-opposition/

Mayor Zimmer hails progress on Washington St. redesign passage


Office of the Mayor announces:


STATEMENT FROM MAYOR ZIMMER ON WASHINGTON STREET PLAN

“Thank you to the City Council for expressing support for the Washington Street project at last night's Council meeting. This important project will include upgrading our water main system for the full length of Washington Street and installing modern traffic signals that can be synchronized to improve traffic flow. The project includes pedestrian countdown timers and bump outs to make our vital commercial street safer for pedestrians. It also includes green infrastructure that will improve the beauty of Washington Street and help with capturing rainwater during storm events. The Council also approved the conduit for a microgrid project that once completed will provide backup power for our critical facilities and make our City a model for energy resiliency.”

“I look forward to working with the City Council going forward to try protected bike lanes on other less commercial and busy city streets. It will also be important to implement new parking policies that will ensure that the Class II bike lanes from Observer Highway to 8th Street, on the traffic side of the roadway that the Council preferred to protected bike lanes, can become a useable and safe bike lane for bicyclists on Washington Street. The approved plan calls for shared lane markings, but not bike lanes, north of 8th Street. For the safety of our community, we need to work together to address our double parking issue, otherwise cyclists will be forced into the traffic lane again and again by all the double parked cars and the numerous car crashes will continue. I want to thank Council President Giattino and the Transportation subcommittee for agreeing to work together to implement new parking policies designed to facilitate more legal parking so that our street is safe and convenient for all modes of transportation, including bicyclists.”

“As a result of last night's vote, the City will now be able to move forward with the final design details and a bond ordinance for funding this important project.”

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Council passes Washington Street grand compromise 8-1

The City Council working off a resolution for painted bike lanes introduced by Council President Jen Giattino overwhelmingly approved the basis of that amended plan for Washington St. 8-1.

An original administration plan for protected bike lanes and a narrowed roadway became a roadblock for public acceptance in a long awaited Washington St. redesign. The City Council eventually came out of a transportation subcommittee meeting last night with an alternative plan.

Giattino in the end dissented with an amended change to the painted lanes differentiated with a lesser painted version called a sharrow designation on the northern end above 8th St. See photos below.

A number of business owners and others members of the public tried to stifle the creation of any painted bike lanes on Washington St. The attendance at the meeting was however lower than the special meeting held a week ago Monday.

The photo depicts a Class II bike lane on a street featuring buffers on
both sides within US guidelines. The City Council approved this standard
for downtown below 8th Street.

The current architecture of Washington St. will be preserved, a major business concern with the addition of some available parking due to angled back-in parking on streets on the northern end of town above 8th St.

Earlier Mayor Zimmer addressed the public at the meeting after awarding proclamations for Black History Month, washing her hands of the idea of any painted unprotected bike lanes on Washington Street noting the council may have "other ideas." She did not endorse the eventual plan which passed for safety concerns.

One feature of the redesigned Washington St. will be painted designated Class II bike lanes below 8th Street with a safety space of six feet across meeting US guidelines.

The discussion ran well over two hours before Councilman Peter Cunningham suggested an uptown change reducing the painted bike lanes further above 8th Street which was quickly embraced by council members Ravi Bhalla, Michael Defusco and key approval from Ruben Ramos.

Ramos stated he didn't want to further delay approval of a plan and noted this was a council solution and conversations had taken place between all of the members and the public before the compromise solution was reached.

The approval by the City Council means groundbreaking is possible this fall with passage of a funding ordinance.

An aggressive construction plan projects a calendar year to complete the Washington St. redesign.

The sharrow indicators for bikes will be featured above 8th St.
The difference uptown will allow for more angled parking.

Talking Ed Note: Council President Giattino wasn't comfortable with the amendment to her resolution on the fly and said the council should work off suggestions by engineering professionals. In the end, the council came together and acted to complete an approval tonight.

Breaking: Mayor throws in the towel on bike lanes

Mayor Dawn Zimmer responding to public
reaction opted to pull back a plan for
protected bike lanes on Washington St.
Mayor Zimmer after making several awards for Black History Month to Hoboken residents made some impromptu remarks on bike lanes and the original plan as presented in resolution no. 1 for the Washington St. redesign.

Saying she wanted to offer her perspective, the mayor spoke to the audience saying "maybe Hoboken isn't ready" for her Washington St. plan with protected bike lanes and she would "pull it back." Her remarks were met with spontaneous applause from the spectators in attendance.

The mayor said she viewed safety as important in the Washington St. redesign and the council may have "other ideas."

City Council President Jen Giattino followed with an introduction of the consulting vendor T&M but said there was no council sponsors for the original resolution no. 1 but there are council sponsors for "an amended resolution."

The vendor T&M is discussing the retention of the general Washington Street architecture with painted lines on the sides of the street for bike lanes. The designation of painted lines for bikes will allow the continued access of cyclists on Washington St.

A turning lane is being presented as an option on Washington Street as part of the final suggestions. Some uptown back-in angle parking is part of the plan on the table for a council vote tonight.

Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante made some brief remarks on back-in angled parking describing it a positive experience at the police station on lower Hudson St. saying it was safer after a learning curve.

Talking Ed Note: The City Council is contemplating painted bike lanes, called Class II with a resolution introduced by the Council President Jen Giattino.


Photo courtesy the Hudson County View

City Council: Washington Street redesign front and center tonight @ 7:00

Tonight's Hoboken City Council meeting is set for major action on moving forward the Washington Street redesign with resolution no. 1.

There's been a significant response from the public on all aspects of the proposal.

A compromise effort may be in the works seeing some changes in the legislation as proposed.

The link to resolution no. 1 and the full council agenda this evening is available at the link:
http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/respack16/2.17.16.respac.final.pdf

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Mayor's remarks on revised Rebuild by Design plans

The following video report comes courtesy of Michael Rodriguez for the Hudson County View:




For the complete report, please see the Hudson County View: http://hudsoncountyview.com/zimmer-turner-dep-official-unveil-latest-plans-230m-rebuild-by-design-project/

Talking Ed Note Correction: Yesterday MSV's Horse Sense editorial referenced a possible referendum option for the Washington Street redesign. A referendum is available only for an ordinance required for the funding of the plan.

Tonight's City Council meeting  will vote on a resolution which may be revised before final introduction.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

City: THREE DESIGN ALTERNATIVES ANNOUNCED FOR REBUILD BY DESIGN PROJECT

City of Hoboken announces:


THREE DESIGN ALTERNATIVES ANNOUNCED FOR REBUILD BY DESIGN PROJECT

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection today announced the three build alternatives – one waterfront alignment and two inland alignments - that are moving forward for further evaluation as part of the Rebuild by Design Hudson River “Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge” project.

“With $230 million in federal grants awarded through the Rebuild by Design competition, we have a historic opportunity to address our flooding problem,” said Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “The threat from coastal flooding is very real – New Jersey is hit by a major hurricane every five to six years, and we have had several close calls in the past few months. I look forward to working together with the community to find a solution that protects us from coastal flooding in a way that preserves access to our waterfront and integrates with our urban fabric. Let’s put our creative power together and follow the lead of the Dutch to show that flood protection does not have to come from an ugly wall. Flood protection could come from a landscaped park, boathouse, sidewalk cafe seating, vertical garden or planter, playground, dog park, and more. The final design will depend on our community’s design ideas and preferences.”

“This multi-year process has progressed very well, with strong community input and great ideas that have helped shape the plan,” said Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner. “Now it is time to reach consensus and make decisions before we miss federal deadlines or we will run the risk of losing the funding for this important project.”

Project materials for the three build alternatives can be found on the NJDEP Rebuild by Design website at: http://rbd-hudsonriver.nj.gov. The three alternatives will also be presented at a community meeting on Thursday, February 18 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at the Wallace School gymnasium, located at 1100 Willow Avenue.

Alternative 1 is a waterfront alignment that is included as an option in order to explore a full range of alternatives as a requirement of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). The alternative provides the greatest level of risk reduction, is anticipated to have the highest cost and complexity to construct, and has the most impact on existing waterfront views and access. It extends from Weehawken Cove to just south of Maxwell Place Park and along Sinatra Drive from 4th Street to 1st Street, along with two possible alignment options along Observer Highway.

Alternatives 2 and 3 are inland alignments. Compared to the waterfront alignment, both alternatives are anticipated to be less costly to construct, do not impact waterfront views and access. Both alternatives provide a high level of risk reduction, however some buildings do not receive the benefits of coastal storm surge protection. On the northern end of Hoboken, both proceed through Weehawken Cove to the corner of 15th Street and Garden Street. Alternative 2 proceeds east along 15th Street to Washington Street. Alternative 3 proceeds south along Garden Street for approximately half of a block then proceeds east along an alley between 14th Street and 15th Street to Washington Street. Both alignments then continue south along Washington Street and gradually taper off between 13th Street and 14th Street. In southern Hoboken, both alternatives will include two alignment options along Observer Highway.

Horse Sense: Saving government from itself

Why the proposed narrowing of Washington St. is a massive government overreach and needs to stop

The character and tradition of Washington St. isn't strictly archaic other than the disastrous condition of the roadway surface itself. Hoboken's "Main St." is renown both locally and nationally, so the burden of any transformation falls clearly on the would be transformer.

Here the proposed transformation to drastically narrow Hoboken's main drag by way of two bike lanes comes from Mayor Zimmer. Her plan as currently presented to the public is wrong for Hoboken least of all that it heralds a potential major impediment to the will of the people on its most important and symbolic thoroughfare.

There's no sufficient argument here to counter the clear will of the people. For numerous reasons, Mayor Zimmer should heed their voice and act accordingly in concert with a revitalized and reconstituted City Council where actual policy differences urged by the public may be incorporated.

Safety is the major argument advanced by the administration, either outwardly or discreetly. The desire to "moderate" Hoboken's main thoroughfare is the clear motivation behind adding the desirous but ruinous bike lanes. It's a tool to an end and one the public sensed, smelled out and rejects.

While 300 accidents on Washington St. have been highlighted in recent years, the vast majority as it turns out are at intersections with one fatality involving a senior the past year. This speaks to individual judgment, inadequate lighting, signals and signage as much if not more than the frequently overblown references to the dangers of double parking.

If double parking were the source of most accidents on Washington St., a certain midtown pizzeria would be the location of a graveyard. The data supporting the double parking dangers is simply fantasy regardless of one's aversion to its ungainly appearance.

A cyclist has the same right to the roadways as cars, truck or any other vehicle. Nothing precludes cyclists from riding on Washington St. or any other. As poor analogies abound, the solution is multiple and simple. Bikes can ride wherever they like (but preferably not on sidewalks). They simply don't conform on the whole to ride at the speed of pedestrians as law dictates.

Sinatra Drive is the perfect place for cyclists to access all points north and south of town. It intersects with Hudson at 11th Street and similarly at 4th. Both access points allow simple uptown and downtown availability to Washington St. Using the safest and widest roadway brings cyclists to any point in the Mile Square's central point of activity in seconds. For cripes sake, you're on a bike!

Other options on streets west of Washington St. can be encouraged for traversing points north and south. The cost and impact to the vast majority of residents there is slight and should be quickly incorporated.

The weekend fire on Washington St. took out an entire floor of a building at fifth. Fortunately, no residents were hurt. Hoboken's superb public safety efforts are predicated on access and speed to the location.  Who's to say when a narrowed vision of Washington St. will come into play with deadly consequence? Never is the best time to see it doesn't happen.

At last week's special meeting, neither of Hoboken's public safety heads appeared to laud the merits of narrowing Washington St. via bike lanes. No letter of endorsement has appeared with their respective signatures. That silence speaks volumes and comes after a potentially deadly fire on Washington St. only last weekend.

Back in 2010, MSV called out all Hoboken elected officials when the decades old St. Patrick's Day parade degenerated into something akin to mardi gras and Germany's New Year's Eve crime spree. Severe injuries and an unfair reliance on overwhelmed public safety led to scores of crimes, injuries and reported rapes before sanity and public order was restored with its cancellation.

This time, it's not government inaction but a potential overreach which may land up destroying numerous businesses on Washington St. and the historic thoroughfare's vitality not to mention its century old charm.

The government overreach to first narrow the roadway with bike lanes and now delay finalizing Washington Street's redesign is that bad. As the mayor's letter to the City Council requests revisiting bike lanes on Washington St. at a later time, the public may decide to take matters into their own hands.

How long do you think it would require before the public submit thousands of signatures putting the issue onto the ballot in a referendum? Taking the matter into their hands will put the issue to a vote this November but needlessly stall the overdue progress the overwhelming public will demands.

The City Council should take note and act decisively and conclude the redesign and funding of Washington St. tomorrow. The easiest manner to do so is by amending the resolution and delete item F with any mention of bike lanes on Washington St.

Sometimes, it becomes a necessity to save government from itself. The public is fed up with the delay, subterfuge and patronizing condescension it take its medicine.

On Wednesday night, get it done.  Or risk seeing the public take it out of your hands and finish the job of Washington Street's redesign itself.

Proponents of bike lanes on Washington St. could allow for "bikers" to take their dogs along in a sidecar. Actually, that isn't the case as the width doesn't meet any US guidelines. The six foot proposed width for two bike lanes on the curbed side of parked cars doesn't meet US guidelines either. Time to get over it and allow progress the vast majority of the Hoboken public wants.

Talking Ed Note: The Hoboken Chamber of Commerce and its members are avidly against narrowing Washington St. and adding bike lanes. A letter from June last year to Mayor Zimmer voiced their concern parking would be the loser on Washington St. in the proposed plan and the cost would prevent funding for those concerns.

The current resolution on the Washington St. redesign incorrectly names the Chamber as in support of the administration's proposed redesign.

At the prior special meeting on first introduction of the redesign plan, MSV spoke in favor thinking the opposition premature and the idea workable to the satisfaction of all parties. That was then, this is now and the public has made all its preferences adequately clear.

Time to vote, put the matter to rest and move on.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Mayor asks council to pass Washington St. Design and keep bike lanes open




Talking Ed Note: The mayor's complete letter and the resolution for the Washington Street redesign are available at the link:

http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/respack16/2.17.16.respac.pdf

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Community: How to Help the Victims of the Washington Street Fire


Community: How to Help the Victims of the Washington Street Fire

Dear Horsey & MSV readers:

A fire that began at 505 Washington Street shortly after 10pm last night spread to 507 Washington Street and was under control by 2am. While no residents were hurt, 14 firefighters were treated for minor injuries from frostbite, slip and falls, and smoke inhalation. 

“Thank you to the entire Hoboken Fire Department, along with the Police Department, Office of Emergency Management, Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Environmental Services, Parking Utility, and Community Emergency Response Team for keeping everyone safe under extremely difficult and frigid conditions,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Thank you to the Jersey City Fire Department, North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue, and the Teaneck Fire Department for providing mutual aid and to the Stevens Police Department and Hudson County Sheriffs Office for patrolling our city while the Hoboken Police Department was at the fire scene. Thank you also to the Hoboken Daily News at 500 Washington Street for the generous hospitality and for providing a place for our first responders to stay warm." 

While all residents were evacuated safely, the buildings and contents of 505 and 507 Washington Street suffered severe damage from fire and water. The Catholic Community of Saints Peter and Paul is coordinating a fundraising effort for the fire victims. Donations can be made online by visiting: https://spphoboken.com/contents/social_justice/hoboken-fire-fundraiser.php

Saints Peter and Paul is also organizing a fundraiser. Details will be announced shortly.


While we hold dear our freedoms as Americans

The saying, the only thing protecting the First Amendment is the Second Amendment never appeared more true than it is today than with the passing of a judicial giant: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Simultaneously, the vocalized hatred of the Second Amendment has never been more pronounced as at the time of Scalia's passing in American history.

There's no better day than today with love the operative word to read the true constitutional aspects of settled law on the Second Amendment authored by the late great justice.

After all, the vast majority of the American people won't surrender their liberty and the globalist self-anointed central power loving elites can't help but bare their fangs to drain the life and liberty from the proles wherever an opportunity arises as this.

So, it's poignant to read the actual words protecting our liberty on this harsh, cold day.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia


From the 2008 Supreme Court decision: 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER

Held:

1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.

(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.

(b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation  Syllabus of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved. Pp. 22–28.

(c) The Court’s interpretation is confirmed by analogous arms bearing rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the Second Amendment. Pp. 28–30.

(d) The Second Amendment’s drafting history, while of dubious interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms. Pp. 30–32. (e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the late 19th century also supports the Court’s conclusion. Pp. 32–47.

Read the entire decision and understand our actual rights as Americans:
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf


Talking Ed Note: The reactionary attack on Second Amendment rights invariably narrow to the portion of the non-operative phrase "well regulated militia" in an attempt to deride, disarm and delude Americans of their Second Amendment liberty to bear arms. Well drilled and practiced and a military under civilian control is the pronounced historical context not a pathway to centralized tyranny.

Even a cursory review of the actual real historical context shows how infantile that rampant repeated ignorance actually is. The aim is to strip Americans of their liberty and their means to protect it. Be vigilant.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Washington Street backlash: one size fits all

On February 18th, a meeting scheduled at the Wallace School promises to present three plans in the latest public review of Rebuild by Design, numerous options funded as part of a $230 million commitment by the federal government offering innovative flooding protections for Hoboken.

On Washington Street, one redesign plan offers no such a la carte option. It's one size fits all and when the public points out failings in regard to public safety, business operations, access, etc. the concerns fall into a consulting black hole. Out comes the same plan with minimal tweaks and the voicing for more of the same.

The plan as currently situated is the singular solution put forward by Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the resistance of Hoboken residents as witnessed on MSV and around town has generated a major backlash.

There's almost universal revulsion to the key elements of Mayor Zimmer's plan: narrowing Washington Street to a single lane each way with the addition of two bike lanes the means to achieve it.

The business community is up in arms, top public safety officials are mute on the impact and bikers themselves question the sanity of a plan with the numerous lawsuits expected from crashes between commuters and bikes at bus stops. One can only imagine what the annual insurance premiums will be offsetting the City's new line item for litigation as a result.

Next week, Mayor Zimmer's Washington St. redesign plan will face an up or down vote at the City Council. Five votes are required for passage and critically, six votes are needed to fund the one plan put forward.

Councilman Ruben Ramos at the conclusion of the special meeting voiced his concern on the lack of any reasonable alternative after the public meeting showed an overwhelming vociferous reaction to the mayor's plan.

Ramos asked for options not forthcoming saying he didn't want to be faced with the choice of voting down most of the positive elements in redesigning Washington St.

Councilman Ruben Ramos reacting to the negative backlash
of the public at the special meeting on the Washington Street
redesign asked where are the council's options in the one size fits all plan?

What happens if the current plan put forward by the mayor fails to pass and get funded by the City Council next week? How long will Washington Street's overdue repairs be set back leaving it in a cratered condition worse than many main roads in third world countries?

Worse, what happens if the Washington Street plan goes forward resulting in strangulation of the most important transportation artery in town? Will Hudson and Bloomfield inevitably become major arteries with the downside drivers "voting with their feet?"

It's simply one natural byproduct among numerous issues not given any attention at City Hall in the drive to turn Washington from one of the nation's grandest thoroughfares into a narrow "progressive" solution.

Hoboken's Washington Street is not multiple one way lanes like ninth avenue in New York City, a naturally wider roadway in the far larger City of Newark or a traveling way point for girl scouts going from Bin 14 to the downtown bar scene.

By the way, when did girl scouts start hanging out at uptown wine bars and begin postulating the political talking points of politicians?

Only in Hoboken.

Councilman Bhalla announces February 16th fundraiser

From the desk of Councilman Ravi Bhalla:


Dear Friends and Neighbors –

I hope you will join me for a fundraiser at Arthur’s Tavern (237 Washington St. in Hoboken) on Tuesday, Feb. 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

With so many important issues being addressed in Hoboken, I hope my fundraiser also serves as a meeting place for residents who wish to discuss the various exciting opportunities ahead of us – whether it be the re-design of Washington Street or the revised Rebuild By Design concepts to be presented next week for our consideration, or any other issues of concern.

This year, I’m also offering a Hoboken resident discounted ticket for $100 to attend the fundraiser. In addition to the $100 tickets for Hoboken residents, you may also donate at the following levels:
$250.00 – Friend
$500.00 – Co-Host
$1,000.00 – Host

As you know, in order for us to continue to advance our vision for Hoboken, your financial support is greatly needed and appreciated. 

I thank you in advance for your friendship and continued generosity and look forward to seeing you and your guests this Tuesday, February 16, at 6 p.m.  If you have any questions, or need additional information, please contact Jessica Lanfranchi at (201) 457-9000, or e-mail me at councilmanbhalla@gmail.com.

If you are paying ahead of time, please make check(s) payable and send to:

Election Fund of Ravi S. Bhalla
45 Essex Street, Suite 204, 2
nd Floor
Hackensack, NJ 07601

If you’re unable to attend but still wish to donate, please visit my website here.

Sincerely,
Councilman Ravinder S. Bhalla

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

6th State of the City remarks of Mayor Dawn Zimmer

Remarks of Mayor Dawn Zimmer – As Prepared for Delivery
State of the City Address

DeBaun Auditorium, Stevens Institute of Technology
Hoboken, New Jersey
February 10, 2016

As Prepared for Delivery—

Thank you to all the members of the public for joining us tonight or watching online.

Every year I have the privilege to share with you the state of our City.

As everyone here knows, Hoboken is an amazing city and it’s obvious why more and more families are choosing to stay here for the long term and why people love to visit. It’s why new businesses are opening, from the great new independent bookstore Little City Books to the ambitious e-commerce startup Jet.com.

For the last six and a half years, my Administration has focused on improving the quality of life for Hoboken residents. Road improvements were a big focus in 2015 and will continue this year.

Nearly a fifth of our streets were repaved last year - possibly a new record for Hoboken. Thank you to Hoboken residents for your patience and to everyone in the City that worked so hard to get us all through the construction process!

Another major quality of life issue that we are focused on solving is the flooding. This year the second flood pump will be completed. During a heavy rain event, it will be designed to pump out 40 million gallons of water per day, which will make a tremendous impact on our century-old flooding problem.

Thank you to North Hudson Sewerage Authority for partnering with us on this important project.

I am excited to report that Hoboken is getting greener and more resilient every day. We are working hard on three great resiliency park projects, we planted nearly 200 new street trees, and made zoning code changes that incentivized more than 30,000 square feet of green roofs throughout the city.

We are also building a new rain garden and cistern demonstration project at City Hall that will capture and reuse stormwater, preventing it from overwhelming our sewer system.

While we work to address day-to-day issues, we remain focused on upgrading our infrastructure and preparing our city for a more resilient future. I am proud that Hoboken was named a Role Model City by the United Nations for our efforts on resiliency - only the second city in the country honored with that designation.

Hoboken was also in the spotlight as we celebrated our history with a year-long celebration for Frank Sinatra’s centennial.

Building on the cultural vibrancy of our city, Mile Square Theatre will be opening up new permanent space this spring in the growing neighborhood near the Viaduct. Their first event will be Goodnight Moon on April 7th and I urge everyone to make sure and check it out!

We also have great events on our waterfront like the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and don’t forget to vote for the films you want to see at Movies Under the Stars this summer. Thank you to Geri Fallo for putting together a great range of cultural opportunities for our community.

I also know how much everyone enjoyed some of the big concerts we’ve hosted like Mumford and Sons, and I want to let you know that we are looking to bring some major concerts back to Pier A this summer.

In addition to expanding cultural opportunities every year, Hoboken’s recreation programming is expanding to unprecedented levels. Our city works hard as a community, and we like to play too! In the last five years, we have nearly doubled participation in our recreation programs.
We added new programs like lacrosse, wrestling, and mommy and me yoga and we expanded existing programs to even younger children. Our rec program isn’t just for kids - we also expanded our adult basketball program, added yoga sessions for seniors, and we are adding more senior trips, too.

As a growing, active community, we're focused on meeting our residents’ needs at every age level from toddler to senior, and that means we need more open space and places to play.

Tonight I want to report on exciting progress that we are making on building new recreation facilities and what I call resiliency parks.

I’m pleased to announce that this week, we are going out to bid for construction of the Southwest Park. I started my civic involvement in Hoboken fighting for this park and I’m so glad that we will start construction soon. The park is being designed to alleviate flooding with rain gardens and underground storage capacity for 200,000 gallons of rainwater.

I am also excited to report that we are in active negotiations to buy another parcel of land in southwest Hoboken to more than double the size of the park in the very near term until it can be expanded even further through the redevelopment process.

In Northwest Hoboken, we are on the verge of creating Hoboken’s largest park which will also be designed to hold a million gallons of stormwater. We have reached an agreement in principle which is currently under review. This resiliency park will be even more effective at reducing the impact of flash flooding thanks to North Hudson Sewerage Authority's plans to separate the sewer system in the area and create a new storm water system that will work with the resiliency park.

I invite all of you to join in the planning process that will begin this year for the new 5-acre park and adjacent parking facility in Northwest Hoboken. We want to hear your ideas for the design of this great new park.

In addition, we are finalizing a developer’s agreement that will add a new gymnasium, park, and plaza area near 7th Street and Jackson Street at the Monroe Center. This new open space is designed with almost 300,000 gallons of stormwater detention and will be a great addition to the area, making the thriving Monroe Center an even greater place to work and visit.

In the last five years, we’ve struggled to keep up with the huge demand for our soccer program, which has nearly doubled in size. Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation and New York Red Bulls, and in partnership with Hudson County, we may soon have two new small soccer pitches under the 14th Street Viaduct suitable for smaller pickup games.

All of these projects will provide new active and passive recreation opportunities for our community.

These resiliency parks, together with the new pump with a 40-million gallon per day pumping capacity, and other green infrastructure investments, will make a big impact on reducing the frequency and severity of flash flooding while also adding more open space for our community.

In addition to flash flooding, we are also extremely committed to protecting from the threat of coastal flooding, like the devastating impact we experienced when Superstorm Sandy brought 500 million gallons of the Hudson River over our waterfront and into Hoboken.

We know that New Jersey is impacted by a major hurricane every 5 to 6 years, and we are extremely lucky to have $230 million in funding to protect our City's residents, businesses, and critical assets.  

I understand there are concerns from the community about how we are going to protect from coastal flooding, but I hope that we can all work together to find consensus on what works best for Hoboken. The idea of the Rebuild by Design project is to integrate a flood protection measure into the urban landscape of our beautiful City.

Let's put our City's creative power together and follow the lead of the Dutch. Flood protection does not have to come from an ugly wall; it could be a planter, a landscaped park, a vertical garden, a beautiful mural, a boathouse, outdoor seating, a playground, a dog park and more, depending on the community's design ideas and preferences.

We are also very fortunate to have experts right here at Stevens who understand coastal flooding and know our community well who are playing a formal role in the Rebuild by Design process.

The State is hosting a meeting on February 18th at the Wallace School, and I encourage everyone to attend and bring your creative ideas, along with a commitment to protect Hoboken for the long term from the very real coastal flooding threat our City faces. Thank you to all the community members who have attended meetings and provided great feedback throughout the Rebuild by Design public process, and I hope you will remain involved in the months ahead.
In addition to flood protection infrastructure, we are also making real progress on improving our streets and transportation system.

As I mentioned, in the past year, we have repaved nearly 20 percent of our roads - an almost unprecedented amount. This year we will be launching a mobile parking app to let you pay for parking or add more time from your phone without needing to go to the meter.

We launched a bike share system with over 3,000 registered members who have so far taken over 22,000 trips since October and have surprised us with strong ridership even through the winter. Soon, there will be stations within a 5 minute walk of nearly every resident and business. It’s a great way to explore Hoboken, shop, and visit new neighborhoods.

And since we launched new Hop buses about a year ago, ridership on the shuttle system has increased 67 percent.

To help people get around and to support our business community, we will be installing gateway and wayfinding signage to welcome visitors to Hoboken and help guide them to business districts, parks, our waterfront, and other destinations. This project will take place along with the streetscape revitalization on First Street, which will repair handicapped ramps and crosswalks, add rain gardens, trees, benches, and other street furniture. 

I want to give a special thank you to County Executive DeGise and Hudson County for agreeing to repave First Street at the same time that we move forward with the streetscape part of this project.

We also want to get Washington Street redesigned in a way that makes it safe for everyone and paved as soon as possible. Washington Street is a great street – it is the heart of our city and home to many great businesses, however it also has a number of challenges. The unfortunate reality is that it is also the most dangerous corridor in Hoboken with more than 300 crashes in the past three years. There were 20 pedestrians struck by cars, and sadly we lost a Hoboken senior who was crossing Washington Street last year.

I want to thank the City Council for carefully considering the proposed plan developed through an extensive, multi-year community planning process. I thank the members of the public and business community for their feedback, including those who have expressed concerns about the project, and I am confident that we can move forward with a plan that is in the best interest of our city.

While most of the focus on Washington Street is on repaving the broken roadway and safety issues, it is just as important that we fix what’s underneath, too. That’s why this project will also fund the replacement of the 100-year-old water main along the entire length of Washington Street. This will ensure that we won’t be ripping up the roadway to fix a water main break right after we finish paving it. 

This $5 million investment in replacing the water mains on Washington Street is just the first step in upgrading our water main system. We are also negotiating better contract terms with SUEZ Water to provide for more proactive investment in our infrastructure.

We are able to make all of these investments in our infrastructure because we are on solid financial footing. We’ve cut costs, established a responsible surplus, and passed gimmick-free budgets. As a result, we increased our credit rating from near junk bond status to AA+, the second-highest possible rating. At the same time, I am proud that we have kept municipal taxes stable since the start of my Administration. Unfortunately as many of you know, while we have kept our municipal taxes stable, our County taxes have continued to increase. I will continue to advocate for Hoboken to receive our fair share of County services and for a reduction in County taxes.

I am also committed to the safety of our community, and I want to thank Chief Ferrante and the Hoboken Police Department for making our City one of the safest in the State. Under his leadership, we have added more police on the streets on weekend nights, expanded outreach to the homeless, created a 24/7 waterfront and parks unit, reinstated bike patrols, and expanded the Traffic Unit’s coverage to improve pedestrian and traffic safety. We just put 10 new officers on the streets and are currently sending 8 recruits to the police academy.

A big thank you also goes to Director Pellegrini, James Davis, Joe Bucino, and the entire snow team for their great work keeping us safe during a near-historic blizzard. Through amazing teamwork, our roads were almost all at blacktop by the morning after getting more two feet of snow.

I want to recognize Tommy Molta and Joel Mestre of the Office of Emergency Management, Chief Ferrante and the Police Department, Chief Peskens and the Fire Department, Director Morgan and the Parking Utility, and the entire Community Emergency Response Team for working tirelessly 24 hours a day to keep us safe.

I also want to thank and congratulate the members of the Community Emergency Response Team. This week we graduated the fifth class of 25 new CERT volunteers, bringing the CERT team up to 114 members. They help during community events like the Arts and Music Festival and during emergencies like the blizzard.

Tonight I want to especially recognize and thank CERT Captain Maggie Shields, who is stepping down from her leadership role but staying involved with the team. She was there during Sandy, she’s helped open up emergency shelters, and she’s led the emergency operations center during the latest blizzard. I remember she was working 24/7 during Sandy and telling her to go home and get some sleep. With every major event we’ve had, she has always been willing to step up to make sure Hoboken is prepared. She is a model of someone really committed to the community. Maggie, please stand so we can all thank you for your service.

As more and more people learn about the great City of Hoboken, it’s also important that we keep a focus on ensuring that we have sufficient and accessible affordable housing for those who need it.

That’s why I am fighting to make sure that Hoboken is an affordable place with economic diversity. We have included affordable housing into all redevelopment zones and require that 10 percent of units in new larger buildings be set aside for affordable units. We fought to defend our affordable housing ordinance to hold developers accountable for the 55 units of affordable housing they are supposed to create. We won at the appellate level and are fighting at the Supreme Court.

While some developers are unfortunately still fighting our ordinance, others are doing the right thing. I specifically want to highlight the Wonder Lofts project which was recently approved and which will be creating six new units of affordable housing.

Also, for the first time, thanks to our efforts with the census count, we qualified as an entitlement community, which allowed us to receive an additional $600,000 in federal funding to support our low and moderate income population. As a result, we are funding a $375,000 elevator project at the Fox Hill senior building and over $300,000 in improvements at the Hoboken Shelter, among other projects.

We are also working in partnership with the County, American Legion Post 107, and the Hoboken Shelter to end veteran homelessness in Hoboken. I am glad to announce that thanks to community support, we have received funding to create six new units of veterans housing. I especially want to thank Post Commander John Carey for working with us on this important project.

Part of ensuring the economic diversity in our community is preserving and expanding the broad range of jobs that employ residents of all skill levels. A major focus on that front this year was the adoption of the redevelopment plan for Neumann Leathers.

While not too long ago that building was threatened with demolition and the tenants feared eviction, I am proud that the plan both preserves and will rehabilitate the historic architecture and protect the artists and industrial uses that enrich our community.

As we move forward this year with a redevelopment plan for the Southwest Area and other areas, my focus will be on facilitating commercial development that preserves and expands jobs in Hoboken -- the kind of jobs provided by places like the Pan American Coffee Company, which sources coffee beans from all over the world. They are a great company that has been in Hoboken providing local jobs for 50 years.

As we’ve seen from the transformation that’s underway at the Monroe Center, there is tremendous demand for space from a wide variety of businesses that want to open in Hoboken.

Our schools are also an extremely important part of our community. As a former Elysian Charter School parent and with my youngest son at Hoboken High School, I care very much about the future of our entire public school system. I want to congratulate the School Board on its choice of Superintendent Johnson. Under her leadership our schools are improving even more.

College scholarship totals more than doubled from $1.2 million dollars offered to the class of 2015 to over $2.6 million already offered to the class of 2016.

Thank you Superintendent Johnson for your leadership, and congratulations on an outstanding first year.

I look forward to continuing to partner with Superintendent Johnson to support the progress of our schools.

And congratulations again to the Red Wings football team on their 10th state championship! You make Hoboken very proud!

I also want to congratulate Shirael Pollack, Erica Gavin, and Jackie Dowd – three moms with children in our public schools who created a non-profit --- the Hoboken Public Education Foundation. They have worked with the public schools to understand the needs that may be outside what is possible within the budget and are raising private funds to ensure our public schools have the facilities, technology, and programs needed to succeed. I look forward to seeing everyone at their Inaugural Gala on May 19th!

Our charter schools also had an exciting year. I want to congratulate Elysian Charter on their beautiful new space and HoLa on being one of the first schools in the state approved for a weighted lottery system to favor low-income students.

And thank you to Hoboken Charter for keeping Dr. King’s legacy alive with the annual March on Washington Street.

Hoboken remains a center for learning and culture for all ages. I want to congratulate the Library on moving ahead with renovations that will protect their largely unused basement space from flooding and convert it into program rooms that will be a great resource for the community.

The Library’s rising circulation - more than a quarter million items were circulated in 2015 - reinforces the need for continuity of service during construction and temporary closures.

The Library has carefully planned so that circulation and most programming will be available during temporary closures, and the City will be providing the Library with twenty-five hundred square feet of space in the Multi Service Center for core functions.

So let me close by just sharing how much of an honor and a privilege it is to serve as mayor of what I believe is one of the greatest cities in the world.

I will fight for Hoboken, no matter what, and will always work to make our city better: to provide more cultural and recreation opportunities; to expand economic diversity; to make our streets safer; to create new jobs, diversify our economy, and support our existing businesses; to support those who are struggling; to end flooding and make us more resilient; to create more open space; to budget responsibly and to invest in the infrastructure we need for the long term.

That is my commitment to you because that is what our great city deserves.


Thank you.


Mayor Dawn Zimmer State of the City tonight

The City of Hoboken announces:

Mayor Dawn Zimmer invites all members of the community to attend her sixth State of the City address. The event will take place tonight, Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm at the DeBaun Auditorium in Edwin A. Stevens Hall on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology. Seating is open to the public and tickets are not needed to attend. 

The main entrance is on 5th Street directly across from Stevens Park. The wheelchair entrance is located in the rear entrance of the building on River Street with handicapped parking located behind the two buildings (McLean & Babbio) located directly across the street from the ramp. For additional information, visit:http://ugstudentlife.stevens.edu/org/debauncenter/DeBaun_Auditorium_Directions.

Yuge victory for Donald Trump and Yuger humiliation for Hillary Clinton

A bunch of donkeys gathered together last night at Moran's to watch the New Hampshire primary results come in. By the time most had hoofed over, the winners were already announced.

Turned out to be a yuge victory for the Donald and a blistering win for a new "convert" to the Democrat Party in Bernie Sanders.

The early results didn't dampen the spirits or the turnout. Among the local political glitterati turning out: Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano, Councilman Ruben Ramos and a rumored appearance by City Council President Jen Giattino. Pupie swung by and posted guard at the door.

Hoboken's big Gang of Four was jubiliantly joined by former NJ State Senate President and advisor to the stars Bernie Kenny, NJ Assemblyman Raj Mukherji and council members Peter Cunningham, Mike DeFusco and Ravi Bhalla.

The Hudson County View's John Heinis made the scene and spoke with Freeholder Romano and Hoboken Housing Authority Chair Dana Wefer.



Everyone was imbibing and no one was arguing about bike lanes on Washington Street and how to progressively reduce the average speed there to the equivalent of Lincoln Tunnel traffic during rush hour.

While good cheer abounded, one eyewitness report suggests not all the local donkeys are ready to settle for Hillary preferring her opponent who doesn't know one family cult of personality is running the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. More free stuff for the person who can explain how that's possible while holding a US Senate seat.

Will they change their minds if Hillary unleashes the infamous Hoboken411 slime machine minion uh no, that's two different B's entirely: Brook and Blumental.  Will the Socialist candidate who switched to becoming a "Democrat" only a calendar year or so ago feel the Bern when Hillary's minions launch a torrent of projectile vomit about his Israeli days gone by staying on a Marxist kibbutz?

That "Bern" may take on a feeling more like a STD. Oooh, it berns.

Bernie Sanders best be ready because the hounds of hell are going to be unleashed on him with guns chatter galore. Hillary Clinton will be looking for new talking points, also called robotic spiel when it applies to Marcomentum (salud to Chris Christie on his infamous murder-suicide) and that means guns, guns and more guns or a hate fest on the Constitution. That's the US version not the Soviet model for all you kids playing at home. 

After the plethora of hate on guns and numerous other American freedoms, the Clinton strategy will go into high octane pandering mode for the minority vote. You'll be hearing everywhere but Chicago how African American youth are falling in record numbers with Hillary's tireless caring. What you won't be hearing is anything about the shooter but that won't stop Black Lives Matter radicals from Clinton photo ops and sight unseen a bounty of checks cashed with it. One forlorn check will go undeposited.

On the elephant side of the animal party ledger, Donald Trump scored a yuge victory in a second straight consecutive record turnout for outraged stampeding elephants. There's better 1970 toothpaste commercials out there than the stump speeches Trump doles out with simple pro American credos featuring Americans winning on jobs, trade and the economy. A first time political novice crushed all his sophisticated experienced competitors, their political consultant class and pundits by appealing to Americans not the illegal alien vote? How utterly charming.

Irony of ironies, the winners of the New Hampshire primary consists of a New York City moderate Democrat from Queens and a hard core socialist from Brooklyn who wanted to take his betrothed to the beloved Soviet Union before the Berlin Wall fell with Ronald Reagan teaming up with Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul the Great taking down the evil empire.

How romantic.