Wednesday, December 25, 2019



Monday, December 23, 2019

Jersey Journal highlights historic passage of memorial honoring victims of the Hoboken fires

From and the Jersey Journal:

 Nearly four decades ago, dozens of residents were killed in what came to be known as “The Hoboken Fires.” Now, the city is remembering them.
The Hoboken City Council will honor the victims of the 1970s and 1980s fires, which were suspected arson, with a memorial plaque at Tom Olivieri Park. The decision passed unanimously Wednesday night after a nudge from The Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project.
The entire Jersey Journal article is available at the link:
Rose Orozco, founder of the Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project

In September, CBS News Radio 880 aired a feature with Rose Orozco on the Hoboken Fires:

The Hudson County View also published its story:

Packed Room at Kickoff for Einstein For Hudson Republican Chairman

Official release:

NJ GOP State Committeeman, Joshua Sotomayor Einstein, officially launched his campaign for Hudson County Republican Chairman on Monday, December 16that Mulligan’s Pub. The campaign kickoff, which began at 7pm and continued until after 10pm, was covered in the media prior to the event on Patch with onsite reporting by “The Pulse with Peter B.”, Hudson County’s premier county focused TV program. The evening of drinks, appetizers, and good conversation was attended by a packed room of supporters united, along with tens of thousands of Republicans in the county, in the desire to have a county GOP that is loud and proud. Supporters at the launch party came from Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, North Bergen, West New York, and elsewhere across the county.
At the kickoff Sotomayor Einstein made the case for why Republicans of Hudson County deserve to have an authentic county level Republican Party, highlighting how the current paper-fiction county GOP organization works for the county Democrats. Sotomayor Einstein went on to state that “Republicans deserve a county party that will work for libertarian and conservative values, engage in outreach, support Republicans, and that will grow the party.” He continued that even non-Republicans “need a county Republican Party because a one-party system, whether the old Soviet Union or the Hudson County Democrat machine, hurts every resident by creating a sense of impunity amongst the Democrat political bosses. Only with a county GOP independent of the Democrats, can we offer a better alternative to their policies of constantly raising the cost of living for the people of our county.”
Event attendee’s enthusiastically asked questions on how the byzantine county party system works and what they could do to help build a strong Republican Party. Sotomayor Einstein discussed how county organizations legally work, how they function in areas with two parties, how strong county GOP’s operate in other areas, and the current Hudson County GOP dysfunction. When asked about his leadership history, Einstein discussed his experience engaging in public debates, speaking engagements, street fairs, rallies, and campaign trainings as well as the opinion columns he has written that have been published in over two dozen newspapers and websites.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

City Council unanimously votes to honor the victims of the 1970s & 1980s Hoboken Fires

City of Hoboken will honor the victims of the Hoboken Fires with memorial at Tom Olivieri Park

Last night, the City Council unanimously approved installation of a plaque at Tom Olivieri Park to honor the victims of the Hoboken Fires in the late 70s and early 80s.

A plaque will bear witness at the park remembering the dozens who perished and thousands displaced during the tumultuous times in the Mile Square City. Many among the hundreds of reported fires occurred due to arson.

The effort for the memorial is led by Rose Orozco, founder of the Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project.

Rose Orozco, Founder of the Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project speaking to the City Council last night.

City Council President Jen Giattino sponsored the resolution.


WHEREAS, the City of Hoboken suffered a series of devastating fires in the late 70s and early 80s and,

WHEREAS, Hoboken residents faced hundreds of fires, many suspected originating by arson with horrendous loss of life numbering in the dozens and,

WHEREAS, many thousands of Hoboken residents suffered displacement as highlighted by historian Dylan Gottlieb published in the September 1, 2019, Journal of American History article, “Hoboken is Burning: Yuppies, Arson, and Displacement in the Postindustrial City” and,

WHEREAS, the Washington Post featured a September 19th, 2019 article “How gentrification caused American cities to burn,” and highlighted the “Hoboken arson wave” from 1978 to 1983 and,

WHEREAS, the City of Hoboken wishes to further recognize the service of tenant activist Tom Oliveri, and honor the memory of Hoboken residents who perished in the Hoboken fires of the late 70s and 80s at the renamed Teofilio Olivieri Park at 13thSt. on Willow Avenue and,

WHEREAS, Rose Orozco, a member of the Hoboken Rent Leveling Board and resident who lived through the time of the Hoboken fires and is the founder of the Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project and,

WHEREAS, the City of Hoboken desires to honor all the victims of the Hoboken Fires in the late 70s and 80s.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the City Council and the City of Hoboken, that a plaque honoring the memory of the dozens of Hoboken residents who died and the thousands displaced by the Hoboken Fires be installed at the Teofilio Olivieri Park as provided by the Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project.

Meeting Date: December 18, 2019 

A spring date will be announced for the official ceremony with the plaque installation at Tom Oliveri Park, Willow Avenue at 13th Street.

The Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project committee:

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Officials call on Jersey City School Board member to resign amid ‘anti-Semitic’ remarks

News 12 reports:

News 12 video story available here.
Jersey City School Board of Education trustee Joan Terrell Paige made the comments on someone else's Facebook page in response to an article about a meeting of faith and religious leaders pledging to do more to fight hate in Jersey City and to bring clashing cultures together.
In the now-removed Facebook comment, Terrell Paige wrote that the Jewish community threatened, intimidated and harassed black homeowners into selling their homes and asks of the suspects in last week's targeted attack "what is the message they were sending? "Are we brave enough to explore the answer to their message? Are we brave enough to stop the assault on the black communities of America."
The rest of the story is available at News 12.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Councilman Ruben Ramos: 'Santa visiting downtown Hoboken'

Official release:

Please join Santa and me this Saturday at Hoboken Hothouse!  
Please share with anyone you think would be interested in meeting Santa!  And as always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions you have about this or any other issue that is important to you.  
Happy Holidays!
Councilman Ruben Ramos
Hoboken City Council, 4th Ward
Real Leadership for a Better Hoboken

Monday, December 16, 2019

Horse Sense: Hoboken's holiday gift, a reprieve from the massive NJ Transit Redevelopment

There will be some extra eggnog to enjoy in Hoboken this year. To all my friends!

Partly due to the results in the November election and back room special interest money scrambling, the efforts for total control over local government sought by Mayor Ravi Bhalla and passage for his massive NJ Transit Redevelopment in downtown Hoboken are stifled.

If only for the moment, efforts to begin turning Hoboken into Jersey City's schizophrenic downtown skyline of skyscrapers will recommence in 2020.

Special interest big construction dreams for Hoboken are temporarily on hold as Ravi Bhalla's NJ Transit Redevelopment
did not pass in 2019 and political warring for the special interest money temporarily took center stage.

Prior to the November council ward elections, Ravi Bhalla went full steam ahead without any public notification seeking to repay his big construction special interest pals backing the out-of-scale NJ Transit redevelopment in the downtown rail yards. More than a few eyebrows were raised by that scam on the public.

Warnings here embarrassingly revealed the principal intent was to shove two massive 30-story or so towers into an initially smaller plan seeing extensions rolled out one after another in a far more dense, non-commercial focused plan passed in the City Council back in 2014 under former mayor Dawn Zimmer. The Ravi Bhalla scheme would in the end be bigger and far more dense than the previous versions entertained.

As the warnings here ensued, enough of the public realized supporting Ravi Bhalla's council ticket bid for majority control with his special interest backed candidates and their statewide big construction interests wasn't such a grand idea. His council ticket was then rejected by the voters.

The result led ultimately to the decimation of the hope for a Ravi Bhalla rubber stamp council as Hoboken people realized more was at stake than a mayor who would see two councilwomen thrown out of City Hall who dared step on "his turf" to help a resident unfairly facing eviction at the rent office.

Only former Hoboken Zoning Board member Phil Cohen, who self-funded a major campaign in the fifth ward against two upstart opponents on Ravi Bhalla's council ticket prevailed. Cohen who has voiced opposition to two large out of scale towers downtown will get to vote on the NJ Transit Redevelopment after all.

In addition, Ravi Bhalla's all-out push to leverage the election and his special interests big construction allies saw him bump off Councilman Jim Doyle when the NJ Transit Redevelopment was first coming before the Planning Board. He did so to assure its swift approval, not stop it.

Behind the scenes leading into the November election, Ravi Bhalla's NJ Transit Redevelopment efforts went south. The election pressure from his special interest big construction allies to force capitulation on the City Council failed to see their leverage materialize with passage.

Councilman Peter Cunningham held fast with Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher and City Council President Jen Giattino who refused to see the NJ Transit Redevelopment put up for a vote without adequate public notice on the several iterations repackaged for multiple rollouts.

A rushed public meeting by the Administration and an all out push to erase the last vestiges of Reform and its principles of transparency failed to materialize for Ravi Bhalla on Election Day.

Councilman Mike DeFusco who saw his opponent's resources dry up before Election Day trounced the Bhalla council candidate by a 2-1 margin. Behind the scenes, he's been coaxing the same NJ Transit special interests in support of the redevelopment to get behind him and the shiny object dangled before the public: a European Market at the transit hub downtown.

Ravi Bhalla seeing this, decided it was now time to do a 180 before a rival gets credit and more importantly, the special interest loot he covets and sees as his. He's now against the same NJ Transit Plan he attempted to see passed prior to the November election last month. Another vote disappeared from the agenda at the last council meeting giving DeFusco a holiday case of the sadz.

This is the same NJ Transit Redevelopment Ravi Bhalla sought rushed through the City Council for approval without public awareness or input before the November election. Post election, he doesn't want to see the councilman he fears most in 2021 claim a mantle of credit for its passage.

All of this was foretold here back in 2017 in the ugly squalor of the Hoboken mayoral election and all of it is coming to pass.

None of this means the NJ Transit Redevelopment with its 29-story residential tower slated first for economic "viability" is out of contention. For the moment, Hoboken can take a breath and enjoy the holidays.

You can thank City Council President Jen Giattino for this temporary reprieve. Once the dust settles come January, Hoboken will be back at square one in the bullseye for big special construction interests with some local pols scrambling to get as much of that loot for their political ambitions with it.

You were all warned about this years ago here too.

Merry Christmas!

This Horse Sense editorial is dedicated to all Hoboken voters who didn't buy the Ravi Bhalla Big Lie.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Supporting the family of Jersey City Detective Joseph Seals reports on an GoFundMe account set up on behalf of the family of Joseph Seals, the Jersey City police officer killed in a shootout with two criminals who targeted a kosher deli.

This is the only approved account:


fundraising account has been established to benefit the family of Jersey City police Det. Joseph Seals, who was shot and killed Tuesday, leading to a violent shootout at a kosher market that left three customers and the two suspects dead, the city’s police union said.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Jersey City press conference on the criminal shooting leaving six dead including one JC police officer, three civilians and two alleged perpetrators

An alleged targeted attack possibly arising out of a homicide investigation led to an afternoon shootout in Jersey City yesterday leaving six dead.

Of those, one was a 17-year Jersey City police officer, Joe Seals. Three victims are civilians caught in a deli when the gunmen took over the location. The alleged perpetrators were reported dead on the scene.

Preliminary police sources identified the two alleged perpetrators as male after earlier reports suggested it was one man and one woman dressed in black.
The original site of the encounter took place at a cemetery and moved to MLK Drive.  This preliminary police information was later corrected as seen in video of the attack where the van slowly entered the area and parked directly prior to the staged attack. Mayor Steve Fulop is calling this incident a targeted attack.

This is the late presser by Fox 5: 

Related: The NY Post today identified the alleged perpetrators and one's ties to a group called the Black Israelites. The same group came to national prominence when seen on video yelling at the Covington Kids visiting DC calling them "white crackers," and "incest kids" among other names as reported in USA Today.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Former City Council President Chris Campos is released from Lewisburg Federal Prison


Chris Campos, the former Hoboken City Council President and fourth ward councilman convicted and imprisoned for running a fraudulent multi-million dollar car leasing scheme has been released from federal prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

The facility is sometimes jokingly referenced as "West Hoboken" by locals for housing convicted Hoboken politicos. The same Lewisburg prison hosted former mayor and convicted felon Peter Cammarano. 

It will, however, not be co-hosting Campos and recently sentenced politico Frank "Pupie" Raia who is set to serve three months in federal prison for undertaking a voter fraud scheme using Vote-by-Mail ballots.

Campos, a lawyer, is currently residing in transitional housing in Brooklyn finishing out a 30 month sentence pending official release in March next year. It appears to be the same transitional facility where Peter Cammarano finished his sentence for taking $25,000 in bribes from a federal informant, Solomon Dwek.

As originally detailed by Ted Sherman in

Chris Campos in this exclusive Hobokenhorse photo
back in 2015 at the Hoboken Elks for a council debate.

The original Department of Justice release:

Former Hoboken City Council President Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison For His Participation In A $7 Million Car Loan Scheme 

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that former Hoboken, New Jersey, City Council president and attorney CHRISTOPHER CAMPOS was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 30 months in prison for fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in car loans.  CAMPOS used approximately 20 straw buyers to purchase more than 200 new automobiles based on false representations that, among other things, the straw buyers would use the cars for their personal use when, in fact, CAMPOS and his co-conspirators obtained the vehicles in order to lease them as livery cabs.  After a week-long trial, CAMPOS was found guilty on June 22, 2017, of bank and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.  U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni presided over that trial and imposed today’s sentence.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “Christopher Campos, an attorney and former Hoboken City Council president, defrauded lenders out of millions of dollars.  He put up straw buyers to obtain loans for ‘personal use’ cars that in fact comprised a fleet of over 200 vehicles leased to livery drivers.  Campos has now received the significant sentence his crimes merit.”
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint, Indictment, and the evidence presented in Court during the trial:

Between approximately October 2012 and September 2013, CAMPOS and his co-conspirator Julio Alvarez, among others, orchestrated a scheme to fraudulently obtain new automobiles that they intended to lease to livery cab drivers.  In order to secure financing in connection with the purchase of these new cars, CAMPOS and other co-conspirators enlisted and aided individuals with good credit histories (“straw buyers”) to submit fraudulent car loan applications to numerous lenders.  In order to obtain the new vehicles, CAMPOS and other co-conspirators sent straw buyers to several car dealerships located throughout the New York City area, where dealership employees helped straw buyers submit fraudulent loan applications.  

The auto loan applications submitted by the straw buyers falsely represented that the vehicles would be used for the buyers’ personal use, rather than as part of the defendants’ leasing business.  In addition, in many cases, the car loan applications misrepresented personal information about the straw buyers, including their incomes and assets.  CAMPOS also caused financing applications to be sent to multiple financial institutions at the same time so that the lenders would not know that the straw buyers were incurring obligations to other lenders in connection with the purchase of multiple new automobiles.

In total, the scheme carried out by CAMPOS, Alvarez, and others involved approximately 20 straw buyers, the purchase of approximately 200 new vehicles, and ultimately resulted in lenders disbursing over $7,000,000 in fraudulently obtained car loans.  Most of those loans ultimately went into default. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: 'Monday late traffic & orange is a happy color'

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors,  
This is a long one and includes many issues big and small, ways to be generous this season, a few up and comings and a question that I need some feedback from you.  Thank you in advance for reading:
  • Monday evening uptown commute disruptions due to filming
  • Helping our hungry - be generous with a click of your mouse
  • Elysian Park play surface – drainage issues and planned solutions
  • Road closings – do they annoy you? Need your input!
  • Hoboken Railyards - update
  • E-Scooters – continuing saga
  • Monarch/DPW - progressing
  • Rebuild by Design – Orange is the new…
  • 1200 Block of Washington – shop small on Thursday’s
  • Hoboken’s First Special Improvement District – helping our businesses thrive
If you get on or off the Washington St. uptown 126 bus at stops north of 11th Street, you will need to change your plans tomorrow (Monday) afternoon.  A film to be called The Trial of the Chicago 7, starring Sacha Baron Cohen et al will be filming tonight / overnight and tomorrow (Monday) night overnight. Click HERE to learn more.  This does not apply to the Willow/Clinton Ave bus.
Did you know that Hoboken has two food pantries that thousands of Hoboken residents rely upon to address food insecurity.  And eight Hoboken high school students are homeless? We – all reading this - share the same mile square backyard in Hoboken and have the ability to make a real positive difference in the lives of our neighbors.  There are many ways to do so in Hoboken, but highlighted in this newsletter are just a few that have easy online wish lists that you can literally click, click, and click to make a difference!  #EasyPeasy #BeGenerous #NoExcuse
  • In Jesus Name Charities Food Pantry – Located at Our Lady of Grace Church and Hoboken’s oldest food pantry, this was founded in 1981 by the Hoboken Clergy Coalition which basically brings together all faiths in Hoboken to support those in need.  Click HERE for their online wish list (food only) and also HERE for their needed items including clothing for children.
  • Food Pantry at the Hoboken Community Center (former YMCA) - The HCC runs a small food pantry to provide essential needs such as food and personal hygiene supplies not only to its residents, but to anyone else in the community who experiences food insecurity.  Click HERE for their Amazon Wish List.
  • Hoboken Police and Fire Annual Toy Drive – All of the toys go to families in need through the Hoboken Grace Church and the West Side Women’s Group in Hoboken, which is part of the Hoboken Housing Authority.  Click HERE for their Amazon Wish List and to put a smile on the face of a child who is less fortunate.
Do you ever get frustrated when a street is closed in Hoboken and you don’t realize it until too late – when you are stuck on the last block before the closed street and have only one way you can go (along with everyone else)? Would you like to see a common sense change that would require a simple “Road Closed Ahead” sign like you see in every other community be put up one or two blocks in advance of a road closure? If your answer is yes to either or both, please do the following:  Email, cc me, and let them know you support (or not) making this a requirement in Hoboken.
I proposed an ordinance for our last Council meeting that had sufficient City Council votes to pass and would:
  • require signage in advance (my ordinance called for two blocks) saying “road closed ahead” and
  • restrict weekday road closures (except in emergency or public safety situations) to between 9 am and 5 pm.  
I am not the first Council person to propose these nor the first to have received pushback.  Part of the pushback was Hoboken PD telling me they had not received ANY complaints from residents about disruptions caused by road closures.  Probably because, like me, no one thought that Hoboken PD is who you should complain to on this topic.
So if you think this is an issue (maybe it is just mine), please take a minute to send the email.  And as I said, cc me so I know how many emails have been sent.  #MoreVoices 
You may have seen the recent buckling of the play surface at Elysian Park:  
This is being caused by drainage issues.  According to City officials, there is no temporary solution other than the natural subsiding of the surface at some point.  However the City will be doing a full replacement of the surface by Spring.  The City Council approved at our last meeting a contract to determine what is necessary to address these drainage issues as well as upgrading the spray feature in the park.
In brevity, more discussions are happening with regards to the Hoboken Rail Yards proposal.  At the last Council meeting there were two proposals put forward – the original one that was introduced and approved by a vote of 6-3 in November and was up for a second vote, and a slightly revised one that was being considered for introduction.  This time, neither had the necessary 5 votes required to pass so both were pulled.  Additionally, at the last Planning Board meeting, the Planning Board reviewed the proposed plan and determined that the height of the first building (closest to the PATH station) at 300' is inconsistent with the Master Plan, although the rest of the Rail Yards plan is consistent.  Thank you to the people who spoke anyway at the Council meeting and gave constructive suggestions for the plan, including trying to find a way to improve the connectivity between Hudson Place with Sinatra Drive.  
The entire City Council, led by Council President Giattino, is working together with the Administration, LCOR and NJ Transit to modify the plan to make it more in-line with goals of the City.  This is a unique opportunity for all stakeholders and working together in a constructive way – which would be the first time ever – is the way we can get the best outcome for everyone.  More to come...
No real changes since my last email in terms of plan – meeting with more EScooter companies to get best practices and through a competitive process, determine how and if we can meet the specific safety, enforcement and operational needs within Hoboken by Spring.  For those new to this newsletter – we are taking the winter off.
One thing I did want to bring more color to, and that is Hoboken’s survey results.  Last week the City announced that 75% of the ~2,100 who responded wanted the E-Scooters based upon the response to this one question:  “Tell us how you feel about this statement: The e-scooter sharing program should continue in Hoboken.”  This statement by the City was picked up nationwide including WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Radio Show who invited me to be a guest and discuss (shameless self promotion, but incredibly honored/star struck).  The choices for answering and responses to this general question were:  Agree (49%), Agree with but with Improvements (26%), and Disagree (25%).  The City interpreted this as 75% agree which I believe is misleading.  After reviewing, the underlying data tells a different story:  
Of all respondents including those who disagreed, 79% want to see changes made relating to safety and education.  And of those 75% who want to see the program per the City’s statement, 72% of those want to see improvements.
Conclusion - most in Hoboken don’t want the current program as is, they want a better one.  
I'll repeat what I have basically said before:
For those who want to see the program return: including the approximate 300 people city wide (50 from the 2nd ward) who emailed me at the request of Lime, I see the community support for this alternative form of transportation and will be working hard to find a solution to Hoboken's concerns so an eScooter program can work for Hoboken.  But help me help you - instead of just singing the praises of the program, which I already know, help find ways to address your neighbors' concerns about safety and operational concerns.  
For those who do not want to see the program return: we cannot ignore the need for alternative forms of transportation for our community that seems at or close to capacity across current forms.  But know that I will not vote in support of an e-Scooter program returning unless we can address your safety and operational concerns.  I will though be working hard to do so.
More to come…
The settlement agreement continues to proceed.  At last week’s Council meeting a cost agreement between the City and Shipyard was easily approved whereby Shipyard would pay the City’s due diligence costs relating to the activities under the settlement agreement (including the valuation of both the Monarch and the DPW site). This is typical of any redevelopment plan that is being negotiated between the City and the developer.
7:00 pm at Multi Service Center, 124 Grand St. According to the DEP, at this meeting you will “be updated on project status and timeline, the design direction of urban amenities and landscape architecture components of the project and provide input on design materials presented to help the design team further develop the detailed design.”  In particular, Zones 3 and 4 (Harborside Park).  We are approaching a critical stage of the $230M Rebuild By Design Flood Protection project and your input remains critical.  #MoreVoices
Before Thanksgiving, we had what should have been a public RBD meeting but was limited to just a narrow group of residents, owners and businesses who live adjacent to the Zone 3 part of the structure – the part that goes from Washington St. (outside Bin 14) across the alley between 14th and 15th, and then ends at 15th and Garden.  You can click HERE to see the entire presentation which includes renderings of this portion of the structure.  
Let’s just say it is very orange
Picture Credit: DEP RBD Presentation
A new feature that was not previously known that I personally want to understand better is that this project will be incorporating storm sewer modifications that I previously was unaware of.  You can see the new yellow lines on the picture below.  
All storm sewer modifications are important to us, the question is always where does the money come from – is it from the $230M?  Or another source...
Please come up to 1200 Block of Washington (in the 2nd Ward) on the next two Thursday’s (12th and 19th) from 5pm to 7pm for a festive shopping experience!  Help support your local businesses AND do some holiday shopping! #ShopLocal #TwoBirds   
Swift Morris Interiors will also be participating in the event and will have decorating items for sale in her showroom.  And don't forget to stop by the block's latest addition - Dune and Salt whose entrance is on 12th street (sister store to The Girt in Sea Girt).
You may or may not recall, but in July, the City Council passed an ordinance to establish a city wide Special Improvement District to be called Hoboken Business Alliance.  At the City Council meeting last week, the City Council voted again 8-1 in favor of HBA’s budget which will now allow the HBA to operate.  As I have said before, this is a historic step for Hoboken and resets the trajectory of our business community and local economy.  You know how you hear about all of the improvements going on with businesses in Jersey City?  They are all through SID’s.  
I have been working for over 2 years on this and am so proud of all those involved who helped get it to this point.  I join a host of local business and commercial property owners on the board which is led by Eugene Flinn as President (Amanda’s, Elysian CafĂ© and Alfalfa), Donna Garban (Little City Books) as Vice President, Armando Luis (Sparrows and La Isla) as Secretary and Dian Fini (Maridian Properties) as Treasurer.  I am looking forward to great things happening for our community in 2020.  
As always, please forward to anyone you think may be interested in receiving this.  And feel free to email me at or call me at 201/208-1674 to discuss what you have read or anything else that is important to you.  
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”

The SantaCon sees eight arrests in Hoboken

SantaCon, the annual event inviting a drinking day promoted by 11 local bar and restaurants on Saturday saw eight arrests, mostly of people from out of town.

Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante published via Twitter details on the arrests and recorded the eighth:

In addition to detailing various arrests, the police chief noted the eight arrests are a drop from 14. He described SantaCon as "an event that the City does not sanction or authorize but is organized by online promoters and 11 bars."

The breakdown of offenses follows:
Further, a charity call for gifts was declared a sham:

The series of tweets by the police chief on SantaCon are available here. released its SantaCon story.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Councilman Fisher Applauds City Council’s 8-1 Vote In Favor of the $1.3 Million Budget for Hoboken’s First Special Improvement District

Official release:

 The Hoboken City Council voted last night in favor of the $1.3 million operating budget for the Hoboken Business Alliance (HBA), Hoboken’s first ever Special Improvement District. This historic measure passed 8-1 and with this funding the HBA will now turn its attention to implementing its dynamic plan and engaging the community and Hoboken’s local government to vitalize the city’s economy. Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, who is the Council representative on HBA’s Board of Directors and has been a driving force behind this effort releases the following statement: 
“This is a historic moment for Hoboken that will bring the necessary focus and resources for the first time in over a decade to grow our local economy.  Our local businesses are the backbone of Hoboken’s economy and at the heart of what attracts people to live in and visit our urban village,” said Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.     
“This result could not have happened without the input, efforts and commitment of many.  I would like to personally thank all involved including my fellow HBA Board Members and the other property and business owners who volunteered their time for two years to make this happen, Stuart Koperweis of Economic Development Strategies whose leadership got us to this moment, and Mayor Bhalla and my council colleagues who understand the positive and necessary impact this will bring to Hoboken.  Last night’s vote puts Hoboken on a trajectory of economic growth.  I could not be more proud of and excited for my community.” 

Einstein For Hudson GOP Chair to hold Campaign Kickoff December 16th

Official release:

NJ GOP State Committeeman, Joshua Sotomayor Einstein, will officially kick off his campaign for Hudson County Republican Chairman on Monday, December 16that 7:00pm at Mulligan’s Pub (159 1stStreet, Hoboken). Einstein will formally launch the campaign at the party and address friends and supporters. All Republicans in the county who want to build a Republican Party that works for Republicans, not Democrats, are invited to attend.
“The era and error of the Hudson County GOP working for the Democrats is coming to an end; together we can build a better Republican Party that fights for the people against the interests of the machine politicians,” said Sotomayor Einstein. He continued, “Hudson County deserves an opposition party, county voters deserve an alternative to the corrupt policies of the Democrats, and Republicans in the county deserve a county Republican Party.”
Einstein has been active in GOP circles in Hudson County for approximately 9 years. An elected member of the New Jersey Republican State Committee, he was previously on the executive board of the New Jersey State Young Republican Federation, and is a past Chairman of the Hudson County Young Republicans. He is founding Chairman of the Hudson County chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, has a regular column in a New Jersey Jewish community newspaper, is the political analyst for local TV show “The Pulse with Peter B.”, and has been published in over a dozen and a half newspapers and websites. Einstein has organized a wide range of grassroots conservative events in Hudson County from bringing the Leadership Institute to facilitate campaign trainings to arranging and representing the right in public debates with left wing activists. In organizing rallies against Senator Menendez’s reelection, helping conservative/libertarian groups earn free media with effective messaging, and more, Einstein has been a tireless advocate for Republican values.

Hobokenhorse continues its policy of offering candidates and local elected officials the opportunity to see published official releases with no editorial comment. Exceptions are made on rare occasion for those who decline any transparency answering a question on matters of public concern or clearly act against the public interest serving corrupt ends. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Who stands to win the special interest loot heading into the NJ Transit Redevelopment vote?

There's public consternation heading into tonight's City Council meeting. Once again, a first reading with a vote is anticipated for the highly controversial Ravi Bhalla - NJ Transit Redevelopment Plan.

Vying for the big special interest money are three not ready for prime time mayoral candidates: Mayor Ravi Bhalla and council members Michael Russo and Mike DeFusco.

The for sale sign is up in front of City Hall but only a select few know it's there. Let the buyer beware who they invest in?

While no official declaration is in the offing, all three are willing and able. They've begun wooing the big statewide construction special interest money banging on the door for another crack at Hoboken.

Councilman Michael Russo has been the loudest and most publicly vocal. Using the council dais as his bully pulpit, Russo pushed hard for a vote on the massive redevelopment downtown only to see his efforts vanquished.

That came courtesy of the good government trio of City Council President Jen Giattino joined by Peter Cunningham and Tiffanie Fisher who moved to jettison it off the council agenda without a vote prior to last month's election. They weren't pleased with the lack of evaluation and study.

Russo is not easily dissuaded and can be expected to look longingly at his colleagues urging a vote of yes in advance of tonight's proceedings. DeFusco may be intercepted by the special interests in the council chamber and given a pat on the back while Ravi Bhalla looks to stand above it all and claim the mantle of attention toward loving campaign contributions. He'll continue to operate in the backroom environs where he's most comfortable. Is that a monkey wrench he's holding?

Before any of them trip over each other in the mad scramble, there's been some modifications to sweeten the pot for the NJ Transit redevelopment and induce support or alternatively, less public opposition.  More than a dash of subsidized housing upped from 10% to fully 20% to sweeten the economic "necessity" of one if not two shiny spiraling residential towers higher into the Hoboken sky.

Is it enough to get this through the first down marker at the 50 yard line? Based on a late night random encounter yesterday; there's a little surprise on its way.

The rest of this story is premium content and will go out to members later today.

Related: Last night, the Hoboken Planning Board rejected the NJ Transit Redevelopment up for a vote in tonight's council meeting declaring it "not in agreement with the master plan." Hudson County View covered the story.

Of note: both Tiffanie Fisher and Jim Doyle hold seats on the Planning Board and will vote on the council tonight.

Update: The vote never occurred as the NJ Transit Redevelopment was pulled off the agenda. It's back to square one although some in the public didn't know going in and wanted to voice displeasure leading into an anticipated vote.