Friday, August 31, 2018

Hot damn, summer in the City - it's the Hoboken Spaghetti Dinner

The broiling temperatures cooled perfectly for Hoboken's 14th annual Spaghetti Dinner.  The evening featured Sinatra tunes, good food, and another sold-out crowd.

The stars of the show at the Hoboken Spaghetti dinner, the people of Hoboken.

Director Leo Pellegrini surveyed the land of diners and found it was good.

Nothing beats the view for diners like the NYC skyline.

With the main course a memory, it's time for cookies met with a smile.


Sporting the best tan this side of the Hudson, BoE trustee Sheillah Dallara was in attendance with her family.


Councilman Jim Doyle stayed for the duration of the event. Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher made brief appearances at the event earlier.

Councilman Mike DeFusco greets a table of friends working it like no one's business.

NJ Senate candidate Bob Hugin's daughter, Hillary, made a surprise appearance and spoke to many on behalf of her father who was born and raised up the hill in Union City. 


Hillary Hugin smiles for MSV in this evening ending group photo anchored by Hoboken political observer Josh Einstein (rear center).














MSV attended this year's event with a late invitation. Kind thanks to Geri Fallo and Director Leo Pellegrini for their kind accommodation. This year's photo essay comes courtesy of their hospitality. Salud!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: "Water main breaks... déjà vu all over again"

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors:  
It’s hard to believe that summer is coming to an end in just a few days!  I wish I could say it is hard to believe that we have once again woken to the effects of another water main break.  
This has been an important topic to me since I ran for election in 2015 and my informal polling from door knocking put fixing our water infrastructure as one of the top two resident concerns (fixing Washington St. was the other).  This was at the time of our last spate of breaks which occurred that Fall and culminated with the Thanksgiving week break of the main 24” service line that comes from Jersey City into the southwest corner of Hoboken.  
As I said at a press conference yesterday with Mayor Bhalla, it feels like it's déjà vu all over again, but not in a good way.  I will not get the number correct as it continues to move, but I believe we have had approximately 15-20 breaks since the beginning of summer.  And several major ones in the last few days – including the one last night down by the PATH.
That being said, I want to give you some color on both recent activity by the Mayor / City Council addressing concerns about our water infrastructure and a refresher on what we have been doing over the last couple of years while I have been one of your elected representatives on City Council (I can't speak for before).
 
LET'S START WITH YESTERDAY'S PRESS CONFERENCE...
  • Investigating immediately the causal effect between the large Jersey City Municipal Utility Authority meter chamber replacement project in SW Hoboken with the recent string of water main breaks; using governing body emergency powers to do so without having to go through a protracted bid process.  The expectation is that changes in water pressure resulting from that project are what is triggering the recent breaks in Hoboken.
  • Pursuing any/all remedies, even legal only if necessary, to ensure that if the actions or inactions of either Suez or JCMUA (or any other entity) are determined to be the cause of the recent water main breaks, that Hoboken ratepayers will not be responsible for the emergency repair costs (totaling ~$350k through July already).
  • Initiating the process to re-bid the management of our water operations so that we can have a contract that is more favorable to Hoboken in terms of both economics and maintenance/repairs – this may or may not result in a change in our provider of these services.
It is important to note that the media have skewed these initiatives into more provocative news headlines – “The Mayor is Suing Water Authority” and “Mayor Declares an Emergency”.  Although the Mayor used strong language in the press conference about the importance of taking immediate action given the recent events, these headlines are clearly misleading.  That being said the Mayor may be filing a legal complaint to compel Suez to share documentation with us that they are obligated to share as early as today given their resistance to do so.
Prior to this press conference, the Mayor met with and sought input about this plan with the Infrastructure and Finance Subcommittee, which I chair and also includes Council President Ruben Ramos, Council Vice President Jen Giattino, and Councilwoman Emily Jabbour.  We all agreed that we need to do more to find solutions and relieve and supported the initiatives as stated above.  Councilman Ramos, who like many other council members could not attend the press conference in person yesterday, felt it was critical that residents know that our entire governing body is committed to doing more to find solutions to this vexing problem and spearheaded a written statement signed by all nine council members (bottom of page) stating this unanimous commitment. 
Not surprising, Suez followed with their own press conference taking the position that our system was underinvested by Hoboken and that they felt it would be detrimental to the City if we were to switch providers and lose the 24 years’ worth of knowledge and work on our system.  Please be mindful that Suez also provides management of the JCMUA water system that feeds ours so should have a strong understanding of the meter chamber project and the effects on both systems.  
 
2016 AND 2017, $10M APPROVED BY CITY COUNCIL TOWARD FIXING OUR WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
In early 2016, after the string of breaks in late 2015, the City Council, with then-Councilman Dave Mello as the leading voice on this issue, demanded that the City adopt a plan to stop the bleeding, or in this case, the leaking.  As chair of the Finance Subcommittee, I advocated for and secured $5M to be added to the capital budget for water infrastructure investment.  Our subcommittee, including Councilmembers Giattino, Cunningham and then-Councilman Bhalla, met with the mayor and explained that we needed to decouple the Suez water contract from the need to do necessary investment and move forward with the work.  As a result, the Administration the administration established a capital investment plan to fix higher priority / higher risk areas identified and recommended by Suez.  In 2017, as again chair of the Finance Subcommittee (and same members), we demanded a further $5M be added for the plan and the City Council unanimously passed bond ordinances to provide this funding.  Required approvals for these repairs are underway with the DEP and NJEIT currently.  
 
2017 CITY COUNCIL INFRASTRUCTURE SUBCOMMITTEE CREATED
In early 2017, then-councilman Bhalla established an Infrastructure Subcommittee which included me, Councilman Russo and then Council President Giattino.  The mandate of this committee was to work with the administration on the many infrastructure issues like our water system, the Washington St. project, public transportation concerns, and a potential smart cities project.  I took over as chair of this subcommittee that spring and Councilman Cunningham replaced Councilman Bhalla.  In 2018 we combined this with the Finance subcommittee, given the significant budget and capital impact of infrastructure.
 
REFRESHER - OUR SUEZ WATER CONTRACT 
In a nutshell, our current water contract which was entered into 24 years ago and extended twice through 2024, is a fairly brief contract that effectively states:
  • Suez manages our system and gets to keep all water revenues paid by Hoboken ratepayers.
  • These revenues are then used by Suez to cover its costs of billing customers, maintaining the system and making a fixed contribution towards capital repairs that will not exceed $350k per year.  
  • This contract goes through 2024.  
To give you an idea of the economics behind this contract recent revenues generated from the 55K or so Hoboken residents who use water are estimated to be approximately $9M / yr. (give or take).  That is a LOT of money, more of which Hoboken should receive as we move forward.
What Hoboken received for selling these water revenues to Suez at a time when our population was more like 35-38K was a series of 3 upfront payments of $5.5M (1994), $5M (1996/7), and $2.7M (2001) that were used to address municipal budget shortfalls at the time.  Speculating on whether this was the right thing to do or not would just be an exercise in revisionist history at this point.   What we all can agree on now, and a Suez representative admitted as well in an Infrastructure Subcommittee meeting last year, that the current contract as written heavily favors Suez (at the expense of Hoboken).
 
PROGRESS TOWARDS A NEW CONTRACT
Last summer, Mayor Zimmer proposed an extension of the Suez Water Contract in exchange for arguably improved terms for Hoboken.  These terms included:
  • Increasing the annual capital contribution by Suez to $650k.
  • Establishing a floor for maintenance spend on the system by Suez at $500k (previously unknown how much Suez spent annually). 
  • Allowing the City to receive 5% of total revenues annually. 
  • Suez investing >$1M in improved meter technology that would ultimately benefit their ability to more accurately charge for water. 
  • Suez agreeing to absorb the then estimated $8-10M that the City owed Suez under the existing contract for bulk water increases and reimbursement of emergency repair work relating to the previous few years.
The Infrastructure Subcommittee met with the mayor, administration and financial advisors to review this proposal.  Without completely devolving into the politics at the time, in simple terms we asked:
  • Were other providers considered? The answer was no.
  • Are other providers / operating structures available? The answer was yes.
  • Was this proposal considered market? The answer was above market (Hoboken paying more than necessary).
  • How much of the total revenues was Suez keeping? The answer was we don’t have that information.
  • Can we get the underlying financial model so we can see the projects?  The answer was no.
As a result of the above - and I will argue all day long with anyone who wants to that it was not politically motivated - the Infrastructure Subcommittee encouraged the City Council to not support entering into this agreement because we felt that we needed to better understand what our options were and felt strongly there had to be a better outcome for Hoboken.  One that would create a better operating partnership for our system, and one where Hoboken would receive the majority of the revenues to reinvest in the system, not line the pockets of the manager.  The majority of the council supported this position.  
 
MORE RECENT STEPS.
Since the beginning of 2018, the Finance and Infrastructure Subcommittee has met regularly with Business Administrator Marks, Environmental Services Director Gonzalez, and other members of the administration along with our legal and financial advisors to discuss alternatives that would allow us to replace the existing contract with Suez with one that will be more favorable to Hoboken.  
The research compiled by the administration combined with input from our advisors helped us quickly reach consensus that the City of Hoboken, if it goes to out to the market with an RFP, should easily be able to procure a better contract than what we currently have or what was proposed last summer. 
Our existing contract can be terminated but with a termination fee which effectively is the unamortized portion of the $13.2M in historical payments made to the City (17-24 yrs. ago); an amount not yet determined but that can be amortized over the life of the new contract and/or potentially can be factored into a new contract.
As a result of this effort, the Finance and Infrastructure Subcommittee was scheduled to meet last Tuesday, the 21st (but rescheduled to the 28th due to conflicts) to review and agree this RFP to prepare to submit to the City Council to vote on at the September 5th council meeting.  This RFP would be to solicit proposals, which Suez may also respond to, for a new operating and management agreement for our system.   
 
FINAL THOUGHTS FOR NOW…
We need a better plan for our water infrastructure.  We need a better partnership with our water service provider.  And we need a better financial relationship with them so that more of the water revenues paid by our residents are reinvested in our system rather than distributed as profits to the service provider.  I do want to say that I don’t want to rule out that Suez may still be our partner going forward – they have extensive experience and institutional knowledge of our system that is valuable.  But if they are our partner, it would be under a much better contract.  But I do think understanding what is out there from a best practice, best technology, and best pricing will help us get to a better arrangement that makes more sense for Hoboken than our current
So I will again echo the spirit of what Mayor Bhalla has said.  This issue is critical for Hoboken and one that the entire governing body remains committed to solving.   It will not happen overnight, but we are hopeful we will have an agreed plan by the first quarter of 2019 (my estimate).   
Thank you for your patience and your continued vocal advocacy on this important issue.   And as always, if you have any questions or want to discuss this or anything else, please feel free to call me at 201/208-1674. PLEASE ALSO FORWARD THIS TO OTHERS AS THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT TOPIC FOR EVERYONE IN HOBOKEN AND OUR VISITORS.
Happy rest of summer to you and your families and see you next year (school year that is...)!
 
TiffanieFisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
 
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”

Monday, August 27, 2018

Ravi's War

The Mile Square City is at a lull easing through the last of its August hot-fueled days and entering the summer homestretch of Labor Day Weekend.

For Hoboken's mayor approaching his ninth month in office; it's a continuation of his endless war and perpetual campaign to catapult his way out of town into higher office.

It's approaching Labor Day in Hoboken but it's just another day
in the Mile Square City mayor's endless feuding with everyone.

To accomplish that quest, Ravi Bhalla has alienated and publicly tangled with the County Executive Tom DeGise (to Hoboken's detriment) and pissed off the new NJ Governor Phil Murphy on the matter of commuters numbering in the thousands surrounding the recently sold Union Dry Dock. The site is the proposed fueling pit stop for NY Waterway ferries.

His staff, following his lead, took the unprecedented step of aiding and abetting to hold a sitting councilman persona non grata and prevent his attending a community meeting in his own ward.

And the Ravibots and political operatives at Sybil's Cave cheered.

No one else is.

The rest of this feature is MSV Premium content and will be sent to members via email this week.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

City: Water main break at Newark and Hudson St.

Official release:

Advisory: Water main break on Newark & Hudson

‪Please Advise: There has been water main break at Newark & Hudson. Crews have been on the scene making necessary repairs. Residents may experience low or no water pressure as SUEZ Water is making repairs. Thank you for your patience & updates will be made as they become available.‬

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Councilman Mike DeFusco: 'Ravi Bhalla used city security forces to block me from community meeting!'

Official release:

Mayor Bhalla Bars Council Member from Entering Community Meeting

Hoboken, NJ –  Mayor Ravi Bhalla held a “Community Meeting” last night at the Marineview Plaza building that was coordinated using city resources and attended by the Mayor’s taxpayer-funded staff, including Chief of Staff John Allen, Deputy Chief of Staff Jason Freeman and Constituent Services Chief Caroline Caulfield, as well as the Mayor’s security detail. But when Councilman Mike DeFusco attempted to enter the meeting, which was held in the ward he represents, the Mayor’s staff and security detail refused to allow the Councilman to enter the room it was being held in.

“This is a clear case of the Bhalla Administration putting petty politics ahead of not just transparency, but the basic principles of community and open government,” said Councilman DeFusco. “I am trying to work with the Mayor to help my ward and move things forward but he’s unable to put politics behind us, and it’s frustrating and hurtful to see this level of obstructionism when we could be working together to tackle important issues like reducing flooding, supporting local businesses and improving municipal services.”

Mayor Bhalla’s event was advertised with a flier that included the city logo and city government email address for a member of his staff. Had the event been political in nature, and thus private, city resources could not be used without triggering a violation of campaign finance law. However, the Mayor’s use of city resources to plan and execute the event clearly shows that it was not a private political function, but rather a city event that should have been open to all.

“This was clearly a city event given the resources expended and it’s outrageous that Mayor Bhalla would bar a fellow elected official from attending. This action is yet another example of this administration's inability to work through the political divide to benefit residents, and this kind of pettiness does nothing to move Hoboken forward.”  

Mayor Ravi Bhalla uses taxpayer paid security to stop Councilman Mike DeFusco from attending community meeting - in his own ward!

Coming only hours after the BromarGate scandal broke on MSV yesterday, Hoboken's rookie mayor Ravi Bhalla showed that playing politics on community time and the community dime isn't over.

Councilman Mike DeFusco who is a rival who hasn't forgotten how he was defamed and eventually defeated with the use of a very politically-inspired "terror flyer" in last November's mayoral campaign, found himself on ice, again.

According to his Twitter feed, DeFusco attempted to attend a community meeting in his first ward at Marine View. But he was blocked. Not figuratively, not theoretically but quite physically.

Ravi Bhalla who maintains taxpayer-paid security for alleged threats received earlier this year deployed that taxpayer bestowed gift to physically block the first ward councilman from attending.

MSV would ask the mayor's office for comment but they don't have the guts to reply. Since they'll all be reading this in the early am in the mayor's office, they can submit an explanation excuse at their leisure. Or alternatively, they can send a friend to do it on their behalf in the comments section.

Perhaps the mayor's office will respond after having it approved through the new Hoboken collective mayoral entity MSV dubs Bromar.

"I have two more tickets for the public meeting in the first ward. Mike DeFusco, you are hereby banned! My armed security is prepared to shoot you on my command if you attempt to cross the threshold of the doorway. Any guard on my detail who fails my political cockblock may also be immediately shot by me on my decree"

Talking Ed Note: This is inherently a less than "inclusive" act to literally and physically block the first ward councilman from attending a publicly held meeting in a building of his constituents in his own ward.

Would former mayor Dawn Zimmer ever do that? No, and she suffered great slings and arrows from some dastardly foes. (Mayor Zimmer would actually announce their presence leading her remarks.)

MSV has reason to believe that Ravi Bhalla's taxpayer-paid security is inherently as political as his actions here.

Why is Ravi Bhalla blocking a councilman from a public meeting of his constituents right in his own ward? This isn't the first time he's blocked a council member from participating at a public event either.

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Councilman Mike DeFusco on any issue, blocking the first ward council representative from a publicly held meeting of his constituents in his own ward is the worst political cockblock in Hoboken in recent memory.

Expected that Ravi Bhalla would be a disappointment but he really takes his political ambitions to ridiculous heights. He just scaled a new high or low, depending on your personal affinity for political cockblocking.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Amar Bhalla stars as Ravi on Twitter in BromarGate!

'Hold the frame bro!'

Mayor Ravi Bhalla's brother Amar appeared yesterday on Twitter (correction: Theftbook). He wasn't making an appearance himself but appearing on behalf of his brother as Hoboken mayor.

This bizarre post arrived on Ravi Bhalla's official mayoral account. Even by the standards of his own self-glorification, it began catching immediate scrutiny from the editor of Hmag, Chris Halleron.

This Tweet yesterday "by" Ravi Bhalla congratulating himself on Twitter yesterday generated
quite the Tweet storm and some tawdry revelations.


hMag promptly noted that both its response and the Ravi Bhalla tweet of self-adulation disappeared:


Councilman Mike DeFusco quickly joined the fray:


A member of the public lobbed a bomb accusing Ravi Bhalla of being 
behind the terrorist flyers saying "he also funded the production and distribution" of them.


Another member of the public chimed in pointing to the 
water main break and how "Ravi Bhalla is milking" it
"for all it's worth."


Enter Amar Bhalla, who admitted to posting on Twitter as Ravi Bhalla, Hoboken mayor.
His first attempt to blame others calling them "immature" landed with a thud.
He followed that tweet with this revelation wildly lashing out:


Councilman DeFusco ignored the sideshow and blasted Mayor Ravi Bhalla:




But Councilman DeFusco would then return fire on Amar or Twitter Ravi again:


The Ravi Bhalla Twit-erer Amar, then tried to change the subject
and quickly got slammed on the rejected Suez contract renewal last year:


Talking Ed Note: Hard to believe it's a midsummer's dream in Hoboken isn't it? Just another day in the fine People's Republic of Bromar.

Amar Bhalla who was less than pleased with MSV's coverage breaking the story of PACs airing TV ads on FOX backing Ravi Bhalla and earlier publishing a poll from the Bhalla for Mayor campaign stepped in it again. On Election night he personally elected to brag he would "get" MSV for it.

Looks like the only person he's getting is himself.

Bromar was last featured in February playing politics and offering "random praise" to Ravi for milking a veto that the City Council would predictably override on allowing Hoboken voters to weigh in at the polls in November on bringing back runoff elections.

Hold the Frame Bro!

Bhalla Bros: "We know an override will happen" but let's get political!


Correction: The initial Yo Bromar post pretending to be Ravi Bhalla on his official mayor account appeared on Theftbook, re: Facebook before the warring moved to Twitter.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Social media censorship, so unsocial and even less American

MSV stands with the First Amendment and all those who stand up against the onslaught of social media censorship.



There's no buts, ifs or equivocation to justify the coordinated efforts to shut down political speech on social media.

Having seen it first hand for retweeting a comedy video where a guy wore a helmet resembling a computer saying he self-identified as one; the threat to political speech is real. For the MSV retweet, Twatter suspended its account for a week.

Others are faring far worse in what is an obviously politically motivated attempt to stop political speech. None of it is an accident.

George Orwell's 1984 isn't a theory; it's arrived and the enemies of the globalist State will be dealt with harshly by Goolag, Theftbook, Twatter and BoobTube. All private entities similar in many respects to Apple who have invested in silencing speech they don't like on their "private" mediums on the very publicly taxpayer created information highway.

This is still America, isn't it?




The Columbia Journalism Review sounded the alarm several years ago in this 2015 story. Things have only fared far worse for political speech since.

The efforts at censorship coincidentally coincide with the flailing collapse of the Russia Collusion Hoax as SpyGate evidence emerges in ever higher incriminating piles.

The attack on the 4th Amendment, the 2016 national election and the Constitution itself now swirls around a political lot of unseemly characters at the highest levels of the DOJ, FBI, CIA, IRS, Homeland Security and the Obama White House with Fusion GPS, MI6 and the Kremlin.

For more on all that Stasi undemocratic behavior, search Bruce Ohr (no. 4 in the DOJ), Nellie Ohr, Fusion GPS and Oleg Derispaska.

That's only for those who believe their minds are free and are willing to red-pill themselves.

Good luck America.

Bruce Ohr named 'half a dozen' FBI, DOJ officials who knew about Trump dossier ties, GOP investigator says


Monday, August 20, 2018

Grist for the Mill: Who's afraid of the Hoboken voter?

It's a cool summer wind and November seems so far away but not for everyone. Gristy chewables are on the way and you'd be so surprised to know who's afraid of the Hoboken voters.

Ravi, how ya doin?


Mayor Ravi Bhalla won a contentious four-way mayoral
campaign last year. Some say he fears a runoff election.
Hoboken voters will decide the issue in a November referendum.

Not much will be driving voters to the polls this November in Hoboken unless local corruptocrats get ginned up for Senator Bob Menendez. His best "friend" is in the clink for one of the biggest medicare scams in US history, bilking over $70 million. Menendez followed him to trial and escaped a similar fate on corruption charges as the jury deadlocked. US federal prosecutors opted not to try again with a Soprano State jury.

Menendez is facing a US Marine and businessman in Bob Hugin for the NJ US Senate seat in November. Then there's the Hoboken BoE race featuring five candidates so there are not even two slates to vie and drive voters to the polls. There is, however, a November runoff referendum. Hoboken voters will decide whether they wish to see runoff elections if a winning candidate fails to win 50% plus one.

Last year's winning mayoral vote of 32% for Ravi Bhalla came among four major campaigns. The winner take all formula left a lot of blood on the floor not to mention a shadowy "terror flyer" appearing late and saving the day for the eventual winner.

Since there was no runoff election among the top two candidates, the bloodletting was extra fierce beyond the usual voter deception and campaign screeching. For those involved, there's little love lost and November is eyed as the formula to stop any future repeat scenarios.

Competing theories hold opposing self-serving positions. On one side there's Mayor Ravi Bhalla looking to retain any and all options to stay and hold elected office. His sought-after exit visa to higher political office isn't clear and he says voter fraud is a problem with VBM abuse in a follow-up election in December. Of course, he doesn't mention that voter fraud may play a stronger role when there are four major campaigns vying in the first round versus two later.

The opposing position holds that campaigns and candidates will act with more restraint and decorum in the first round of voting if they need support from opponents in any succeeding second round of voting. The criticism to that stake is that wheeling and dealing is fostered with a runoff election.

So what's the best choice? The consensus holds an instant runoff is best but under state law, that option isn't currently available. Hoboken officials, however, don't always subscribe to following state and federal law. Sanctuaries hosting less than legal "voters" and all being the rage in some parts.

Why would a political "ruling class" insist on one law applicable to all citizens? That's not progressive in the eyes of the Politburo class as they look down on the plebs.

In November, it will be the Hoboken pleb voters who will decide the outcome on a runoff referendum. In doing so, they may decide not only who wins political office in future local elections but decide the well-laid plans of political careers. Don't be a fear the reaper Ravi; they're just voters.

Some have begun asking if former mayor Dawn Zimmer will be trotted out to save Ravi Bhalla in the referendum. She risks further tarnishing her record since ethical lapses have come to light on then-candidate Ravi Bhalla, the one she deemed the only one she trusted.

Did Zimmer know about the lawyer employee of Bhalla who tried for more than a half-decade to see returned over $6,000 in missing funds to his retirement account that disappeared while he worked for then-councilman Ravi Bhalla? She's not said a word about it nor the NJ Supreme Court ruling that came an eyelash from yanking Ravi Bhalla's law license outright.

One councilman in Jersey City recently won a big runoff victory and came out in favor of runoffs in Hoboken.

Grist for the Mill is MSV's rumor column. Got a tasty carrot for Da Horsey? Send it to smartyjones@me.com. All email is kept confidential and is protected by Da Horsey's proven Reporter Privilege upheld under the NJ Shield Law in Hudson County Superior Court. In farm animals we trust.

Friday, August 17, 2018

hob’art gallery: ya gotta have art


“Two Visionary Guys”

Don Sichler & Rich Roberts

Friday, August 24 – Saturday, September 22 
8/30- 9/3 

Opening Reception
Saturday, August 25th, 6-8 PM 

Closing Party
Saturday, September 22, 6-8 PM

hob’art gallery
Monroe Art Center, 

720 Monroe Street, E208, 
Hoboken, NJ 07030 

Gallery Hours: Thursday & Fridays 4-7 pm. Saturday’s
1 to 5pm and by appointment: (201) 319-1504

Don Sichler www.donsphotoreality.com

Rich Roberts http://hob-art.org/richie-roberts/

Don Sichler is an artist who uses a camera and a computer as tools. As he puts it, he doesn’t create art, rather he discovers it, “My camera records what I find and the computer is used to develop and expose it.” He records with his camera what most people look at but do not see.

Rich Roberts discovered kiln-formed glass late in life. His art & life is an ongoing experience of unplanned encounters.

Fused glass is very different from traditional stained glass. Pieces are fired in an electric kiln several times up to 1,500 degrees. Each heating-cooling cycle takes about 18 hours. 
The colored glass and small pieces are completely melted (fused) into each other.

At the Opening Reception on Saturday, Agust 25, 2018 from 6-8pm and the Closing Party, September 22, 2018, from 6-8pm, the artists will talk about their artwork and welcome questions from visitors. 

The artists thank the Monroe Art Center and the Hob'art gallery for their support of this exhibition.
Don Sichler

Rich Roberts

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sign of the Times: Attack dog appearance in council meetings connected to Ravi Bhalla Chief of Staff John Allen

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE

The following report is a cumulation of MSV's investigative efforts, analysis and opinion now into the tenth year covering Hoboken government, politics, and corruption. The opinions stated below are the sole responsibility and copyright of MSV.


Since last year's abbreviated mayoral campaign, dirty politics in the Mile Square City hit new lows. The "terror flyer" electing Ravi Bhalla to mayor with 32% of the vote isn't an anomaly; it's a feature.

That political operation contradicted some basic political facts. First, after serving more than eight years on the City Council, there had never been any kind of personal attack on Ravi Bhalla connected to any religious group. Most of the criticism vented at him were of the ethical variety.

Then just a few days before last year's November election, a "midnight" flyer appeared doing just that. Not in the middle of the night as a midnight flyer is known but all over midtown on an early Friday night when Hoboken is more than a little busy with pedestrian traffic.

The smell lingers with questions about the shadowy PAC spending tens of thousands backing Ravi Bhalla for mayor and singing union praises of being the "Stronger Foundations" in doing so.

The connected crimes remain officially unsolved. Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante has publicly urged members of the public to come forward with the conclusive information. None have done so.

Last month, another politically charged bomb of a different variety appeared at the City Council meeting. Unlike others who came to advocate for an issue or concern, this one arrived tossing handgrenades out of the gate at many members of the council not aligned with Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

It was by most close observer accounts, a most odd introduction to the City Council and public at-large. The appearance, courtesy of uptown resident Mike Donnelly featured direct attacks on a number of council members firing off political talking points sounding exactly like those made out of the mayor's office, in public - and more oddly - in private.

Among those on the receiving end of Donnelly's written and prepared remarks: Council President Ruben Ramos, Councilmembers Jen Giattino, Tiffanie Fisher and Mike DeFusco.

At the beginning of this month's council meeting, Donnelly returned again to lay into several council members but noting that we can all agree, "Ravi isn't perfect."

He concluded his remarks saying to Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher that "no one" had sent him. He just made two first-ever appearances before the City Council and immediately launched ethics allegations and political attacks on his own was his claim.

Last week, Councilman Mike DeFusco who received most of the attention along with a very deflective legally inspired ethics complaint pointed directly at him, fingered the mayor's office for political retaliation.

From the release:


Did anyone see any public notice from the mayor's office denying the charge?

There's been nothing but silence. Silence from Ravi Bhalla, silence from City Hall issued communications and complete and utter silence from the Chief of Staff John Allen and one Mike Donnelly.

Sometimes a picture tells the story better than a thousand words. Here's one off Instagram that didn't escape social media scrubbing in time, circa December 2015. Neither Donnelly or his "close friend" John Allen were seen involved in anything related to a Hoboken issue then.

These added words come courtesy of your friendly neighborhood muckraking Horsey.

This photo with Hoboken resident Mike Donnelly (middle) and Ravi Bhalla Chief of Staff John Allen (right)
may help to explain the formers odd appearances launching political attacks on a number of City Council members. The prepared written statements sound exactly like the whining that comes out of the mayor's office.


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Place your bets Losers, I mean Cave-dwellers

So MSV is receiving inquiries how many bets have been placed on the latest whopper exposed at Sybil's Cave.

Would you be surprised to learn that zero credibility = zero bets placed on Sybil, head cave-dweller?
Not a single person across the Mile Square is willing to bet a measly dollar on a reckless fabricator.

Instead, there's this suggested legal defense. It falls under a pleading of insanity. Poor Sybil.
Maybe the mayor's office can put up a few straw bettors to make it look good.
Hey Donnelly, where you at?

                            

Monday, August 13, 2018

Forever Advocate for Hoboken sends Ravibot cultists into tizzy

A comment by an anonymous but insightful screen name called Forever Advocate has sent Sybil's Cave and its mistress of misinformation and fabrication for its small band of Ravibot cultists into a lather.

According to crazy lunatic fringe conspiracy promoter Sybil, re: Nancy Pincus herself, she's claimed the commenter is current Second Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.

The undressing here is a matter of public concern and mental health. Prepare the rubber room!

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher is attacked by Nancy Pincus once again.
This time the latest Pincus lying screed claims she's commenter Forever Advocate.
Except Hoboken's biggest policy wonk isn't. MSV is taking bets from any
loon stupid enough to wager on the latest foaming frothy stupidity out of Sybil's Cave.

What facts does Nancy Pincus, the head cult of personality loon for Ravibots present as her evidence?

Zero.

That's zero, zip, nada, nunca. Add whatever language you like to the reign of error and stupidity as not a single morsel of common sense exudes anywhere there.

Facts be damned, there's Hoboken's chief policy wonk in the councilwoman the chief target and it's the usual Hoboken411 Bajerkoff style of character assassination not even mixing in a morsel of fact.

Nancy Pincus just made it all up. This after she's proven wrong yet again in pronouncing an ordinance on rear egress to Hoboken homeowner's backyards a threat by big developers, per Mayor Ravi Bhalla's orders from reality. (That homeowner relief will be back and likely see overwhelming support in the City Council next month.)

Here's the comment that set off the head Ravibot cult of personality fanatic Nancy Pincus below.

If anyone is all about protecting their "friends" (a.k.a. donors) it is Ravi. The only thing he gives higher priority to than that is moving his Washington D.C. aspirations forward. The item that Ravi was censured for is very real, very unsettling, and very serious. For him to continue to try to spin this narrative of Bhalla = "good guy" and DeFusco = "bad guy" is absurd and not based in reality nor facts. 

Ravi will demean an upstart, dynamic Democrat to build political capital with his campaign manager's guru. Ravi will take pictures with controversial "leaders" on trains, without any thought as to who they have or have not offended. Ravi will bad mouth a fellow charter school parent, colleague, and neighbor via thousands of dollars of inappropriate campaign literature, and try to say it's all being done in the name of fighting Donald Trump. 

Ravi is a joke. His lame, politically motivated narratives are far from funny though. Maybe Ravi should focus on running a city properly, instead of pulling a fast one on the Hoboken taxpayer, lining up a "nothing to see here" second income stream, bloating his administrative staff, or using his staff as a personal bully pulpit and PR hammer against the Council members who actually see service to the community of Hoboken as their first priority. 


#ThoseWhoLiveInGlassHousesShouldNotThrowStones
Hoboken's mayor Ravi Bhalla took this photo on a train from Washington DC with anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour. Last week, a terrorist facility abusing children was busted where training the kids to become school shooters uncovered. The person arrested running the facility is the son of an imam Sarsour calls her mentor.
Another story points to the imam an alleged conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing.

The comment apparently hit far too close to home and sent Sybil's neurosis out to immediately "strike back." Although thought to be visiting family in Japan, (hey look into the restrictive immigration policy there Syb) she's obsessively reading MSV across oceans and issuing more misinformation and fabrications from there.

Can Nancy Pincus give the lying and Hoboken411 imitation a rest for a few days on vacation? Not a chance.

MSV doesn't know or post information about commenters and if it does know in a select circumstance would never give up that information. Seven years into a frivolous litigation, no one has ever been given up even as this website never saw as much as a single allegation made against it when its operation and commenters were obsessively targeted.

Definitively, MSV can state that Forever Advocate is most certainly not Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher. The second ward councilwoman is a notorious policy wonk who rolls up her sleeves and dives into issues deeper than any Hoboken elected official. That includes the often City Hall absent, second job holding Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

Forever Advocate has struck a nerve and apparently is a very knowledgeable observer of Hoboken and its ambitious mayor who is on an eternal tour to get the job of elected politician elsewhere.

Nancy Pincus going batshit crazy while on a family vacation
thousands of miles away in Japan. Sad.
She falsely accused Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher of
making an insightful comment on MSV under the screen name:
Forever Advocate. 
MSV reached out to Councilwoman Fisher on the accusation but couldn't decipher the full answer refuting the allegation. She was laughing too hard.

Talking Ed Note: Anyone who wants to place a bet on Nancy Pincus being correct in her latest fabricated attack on Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, place your bets at smartyjones@me.com.

The Horsey will be happy to take your money. Place your bets moronic Cavedwellers!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: "A MUST READ …. TRAFFIC THAT WILL EFFECT EVERYONE"

Offical release:

Dear friends and neighbors:  
I only wish this was just a “Happy Friday and Have A Great Weekend” email….but sadly it isn't...
The 80 year old Rt. 495 Bridge that goes over Rte. 1 & 9 is being replaced.  This is the part of Rt. 495 that is just west of the Columbia Park Theater and before you hit the ramp to Rt. 3 and the NJ Turnpike.  Closures begin tonight and will continue throughout the week.  
Beginning next Friday the 17th, one lane in each direction will be closed FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS.  Look at this picture of 4 lanes moving in each direction to help you envision what reducing to 3 lanes will be.
It is expected by all to be U-G-L-Y for all those who use this route.  An NJDOT representative told me last fall when I asked which route will be most impacted, after first wincing, that those who use Rt 3 coming back towards Hoboken in the evening should expect their returning commute time to double.  frown
Although the nightmare will now primarily be to those who use the north end of Hoboken to come and go, as we all know this will have a ripple effect to the other egress routes as well.  
CLICK HERE FOR A NJ.COM ARTICLE THAT PROVIDES IMPORTANT AND INFORMATIVE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
A notable one:
Q: Are there other driving options?
A: How about the George Washington Bridge or Holland Tunnel? Seriously, those are suggested by officials as the other highway options to New York. There is no other highway that parallels Route 495 to the Lincoln Tunnel. That has officials in Union City and North Bergen fearing an influx of traffic detouring off 495 and inundating local streets.
Detouring on local streets is a bad idea. If you aren’t familiar with Hudson County’s urban roads, don’t even try to do this. These are on narrow, mostly one-way streets with stop signs or traffic lights every other block. In other words, they are unsuitable for through-traffic and have the potential for tie-ups that could be as bad as driving Route 495.
To stay updated on the project, go to http://www.RestoreNJ495.com to sign up for alerts. 
As always, feel free to reach out if you want to discuss further by email or by phone/text at 201/208-1674.  PLEASE ALSO FORWARD THIS TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW.  THIS AFFECTS EVERYONE IN HOBOKEN AND OUR VISITORS.
And Happy Friday and Have A Great Weekend!
TiffanieFisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”