Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Massive Demonstration on January 13 to Stop the Board of Ed Giveaway
Posted by Incognito Smith
"We should be organizing a massive demonstration inside and outside of the Board of Ed next meeting of January 13 and make sure that the media is informed. We must stop this giveaway to teachers that are already making more than enough for their mediocre performance.
There is no way that the property tax payers of this city can afford to give one dollar more to any employee of the municipal gov or the Board of Ed or the County. We were just hit with a 47% tax increase and now they are demanding more? This will definitely put the last nail to the coffin and bankrupt this city.
The Hoboken public schools teachers and administrators (most from out of town) are some of the highest paid in the state already. The NJ average is 53k while the Hoboken teachers are averaging 83K. The Hoboken school district has notoriously performed amongst the worst in the state. Instead of a raise they should be forced to give back 25% of the total they now make which is more than enough and they would still have a decent salary and a job which many Americans don’t have today. They are lucky to have a job with the best benefits like unlimited carryover sick bank, full health insurance, personal days, etc.; in the private sector half of them would not last. They need to face the reality that the city and the country are in financial trouble.
More details about the demonstration will soon follow." ◦
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Question:How much has Hoboken Real Estate dropped since last October?
I think at least 10% but it could be higher. Any Real Estate People in the know out there? ◦
9 "Acquaintances" of Frank Sinatra with Interesting Nicknames
- Anthony "Tony Batters" Accardo
- Willie "Potatoes" Daddano
- Paul "Skinny" D'Amato
- Charles "Trigger Happy" Fischetti
- Joseph "Joe Fish" Fischetti
- Sam "Momo" Giancana
- Tommy "Three Fingers Brown" Lucchese
- Carlos "Little Big Man" Marcello
- Abner "Longie" Zwillman
Too bad he didn't stay on Hoboken longer, he could have met people in our Municipal Government that have nicknames of their own.
Like Ruben "Three Jobs Ramos"
Perry "Chins" Belfiore
Peter "Robert's Third Term" Cammarano
To see the whole list of Hoboken nicknames click below:
or send in suggestions to be be published. ◦
12 Urgent Questions for 2009 by Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D.
I have just received a series of urgent questions about the massive crisis swirling all around us. So to help you prepare for 2009, I am going to give you my best answers right here and now.
Urgent Questions from Readers
Q: I see disturbing similarities between this crisis and The Great Depression. Both were triggered by the bursting of massive debt bubbles, for instance. But this time, the government is doing so much more to pump up the economy. So is it safe to assume that this crisis will be a lot less severe than the 1930s?
A: No, it's not safe to make that assumption. True, the government's massive intervention is a major factor. But there are also powerful factors that can offset or even overwhelm the government's impact:
* Broader speculative bubbles. In the years prior to the Crash of 1929, the bubbles were limited primarily to stock speculation and restricted to a minority of the population. This time, the speculation has engulfed not only stocks but also millions of homes, commercial properties, local governments, corporations, and entire nations.
* More household debt. U.S. households are in far greater debt today with much less savings. In the 1930s, mortgages were rarer and less onerous. For all practical purposes, second mortgages, home equity loans, creative financing, and credit cards didn't even exist. Today, they are everywhere in our society.
* U.S. is now a debtor nation. In the 1930s, the U.S. had large surpluses of foreign reserves and was a creditor to the rest of the world. Now, it has minimal reserves and huge foreign debts. As a result, there's ultimately a limit to how much Washington can throw good money after bad to save the U.S. economy before foreign investors rebel, refusing to continue providing abundant credit.
* Derivatives. In the early 1930s, derivatives were virtually unknown — a tiny niche of little consequence. Today there are nearly $600 trillion in notional value derivatives globally, according to the Bank of International Settlements. The forced liquidation of many of these derivatives could frustrate government efforts to revive credit markets, driving the global economy into a deeper decline than would normally be expected.
Q. A major factor that deepened the Great Depression was the Smoot-Hawley Act, which helped set off a global trade war as each nation rushed to protect its own domestic market. But today, it's unlikely we will repeat that mistake. So doesn't that imply a less severe decline?
A: Yes, it does. However, today there's another kind of economic war brewing: The U.S. and much of the world depend much more heavily on international capital than they did in the 1930s. This reliance on foreign capital has not been a major issue as long as we had continuing growth. But in a global economic decline, there's a real danger that each nation will scramble to grab back as much of its capital as possible to help rescue its own sinking economy. If so, we would see an international bidding war for capital, driving real interest rates sharply higher and sending the global economy into a deeper decline.
Bottom line: It's too soon to say if this crisis will be less severe, equally severe, or more severe than the 1930s.
Q. The Fed is now printing money like it was going out of style. Overall, the U.S. Government has now committed $8.5 trillion in bailouts, handouts, and guarantees to stop the crisis. Won't that lead to hyperinflation and the destruction of the U.S. dollar?
A: Only if governments succeed in overcoming the deflationary forces that have gripped the world. However, in our recent Deflation Survival Briefing, we demonstrated that the deflationary forces are now hundreds of times more powerful than the government's attempts to reflate. (Click here for the transcript)
Q. Why are you so pessimistic? Isn't there a silver lining in this crisis?
A: It's those who believe in the destruction of the dollar that are the true pessimists. In contrast, I am very optimistic that Washington will not only fail to overcome the deflation, but it will also ...
Fail to reverse the long-overdue liquidation of excess debts,
Fail to stop a much-needed reduction in the cost of living,
Fail to kill the incentive for Americans to work hard and make needed sacrifices,
Fail to stop America from restoring its ability to compete globally,
Fail to sabotage our capitalist free market system,
Fail to trash the dollar or create hyperinflation, and
Fail to ruin our chances for a prosperous post-Depression era.
Q. Investors can't help but notice that Washington views certain companies as "too big to fail."; Doesn't that create a de-facto government guarantee for their stocks and bonds, making them almost as good as Treasuries?
A: No. Regardless of any government guarantees, most investors recognize they're not nearly as good as Treasuries. They see that bailouts are hotly disputed in Congress, subject to severe conditions, and far from open-ended. They see growing signs of bailout fatigue in Congress and wonder whether or not Washington will be able to fulfill all its bailout promises. That's why investors routinely accept lower yields on Treasuries, while demanding much higher yields on equivalent bank CDs or corporate bonds in bailed out institutions.
Q. This is not a question, just a point of anger. CEOs of failing companies are getting their year-end bonuses, sometimes running into the tens of millions of dollars. And at companies that have benefitted from government bailouts, those bonuses are being paid with MY MONEY!
A: I am equally angered. But this trend will end and do so very abruptly. Even if companies are not trying to qualify for government money, you will soon see their executives either accepting drastic cuts in their compensation or getting canned.
Q: I have an employment question: Which industries are likely to produce the greatest lay-offs? Which kinds of jobs are likely to continue to be reliable for myself and my kids?
A: Lay-offs will be across the board — financial, manufacturing, services, even states and municipalities. Virtually no private-sector or local-government job will be secure. For now, you can rely more on jobs with the federal Government and with companies that provide debt recovery and bankruptcy services. Ultimately, however, the most reliable source of revenues may come from self-employment or extra income you can generate from the kinds of insights you can get here in our publications or from other sources with a track record of anticipating this crisis.
Q. You've written that this depression will be short and severe and that the recovery will come quickly. Elsewhere, you've compared it to the Japanese malaise that has lasted for nearly two decades. Which is it? The answer is crucial to me because it will determine how much extra money I'll need to continue paying the bills and to keep my family secure until this crisis ends.
A: What I've written is that we hope and pray we can get it over with quickly and move on to better times. Unfortunately, the reality is that, to the degree that the government continues to intervene, it can only prolong the agony.
The main reason: Nothing the government can do changes the fact that there are tens of trillions of bad debts that must be liquidated before a sustainable recovery can begin. That debt liquidation can occur either (a) quickly in a severe decline or (b) slowly in a far longer decline. Since it's too soon to say which it will be, I suggest you plan for a minimum of three years and a maximum of ten years.
Q. With unemployment nearly doubling and consumer spending cratering, you'd think we'd be seeing headlines about record numbers of corporate and personal bankruptcies. Why haven't we?
A. It looks like you missed them, and so did a lot of other people. Perhaps it's because the headlines about GM, Chrysler, Citigroup and other disasters were so shocking, they drowned out the news. But in mid-December, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts reported that personal bankruptcies in the U.S. surged 30%, while business bankruptcies jumped 49% compared to 2007. Overall, bankruptcies rose 34%. Three other troubling facts:
The trend is accelerating: In the third quarter, bankruptcies were up 60% from the year before.
That was before the devastating plunge in GDP that has taken place just now in the fourth quarter, estimated at an annual rate of minus 8% or worse.
The level of bankruptcies has not yet hit new records. But that's because most bankruptcies take place toward the end of a recession; and most economists now agree that this decline could continue at least until the end of 2009.
Q. Now I understand why you were pressing me to pay off my debts for all these years! But if I follow your advice now, I won't have any cash reserves left to see my family through. And if I don't pay them off, they will cost me more and more as my dollars become scarcer and more valuable. I'm between a rock and a hard place. What do I do?
A: First, take advantage of this temporary government-inspired decline in fixed 30-year mortgage rates to refinance immediately. Grab this opportunity while you can because it will not last for long. Second, pay off all of your high-interest credit cards. Third, sock away every extra penny you save in interest to build a cash nest-egg in short-term Treasuries or a Treasury-only money market fund.
Q. Everybody agrees that this crisis will eventually end. We'll reach rock-bottom, money will begin moving again, and the recovery will commence. When that happens, what impact will the trillions of dollars Washington has injected into the economy have? Will this great deflation be followed by an even greater wave of inflation? Is there something to do now to prepare for that?
A. It's too soon to prepare for what happens AFTER this crisis. First, let's cope with the deflation. Later, if that changes, you'll have plenty of time to adjust, and we'll be there to warn you with as much advance notice as we can.
Q. A year ago, my retirement nest-egg was in great shape — plenty of money to see me through my golden years. Now, it's a smoking gun and I'm staring down the barrel at — who knows? — years, possibly a decade or more, in which stocks are likely to continue to languish or even plunge. I may never be able to retire. My best friend had already retired; now, he's looking for a job just to survive — so far, no luck. Is there hope for us?
A. Yes! When you or your financial planner estimated how much you'd need for retirement, you assumed a continuation of the highest cost of living in U.S. history, or worse. Now, the cost of many essentials is plunging, and it's very possible that the cost of living will be far lower. Therefore, if you can just preserve what you have left in your nest-egg, you'll probably be much better off than you think. Plus, if you can use some (not all) of that money to generate extra revenues with unique investment strategies that are divorced from the ups and downs of the economy, that could also make a big difference for you.
Good luck and God bless!
This investment news is brought to you by Money and Markets. Money and Markets is a free daily investment newsletter from Martin D. Weiss and Weiss Research analysts offering the latest investing news and financial insights for the stock market, including tips and advice on investing in gold, energy and oil. Dr. Weiss is a leader in the fields of investing, interest rates, financial safety and economic forecasting. To view archives or subscribe, visit http://www.moneyandmarkets.com. ◦
By Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com Reporter
HOBOKEN - Perry Belfiore will sit out the municipal races next year in Hoboken, where a state monitor has taken over the city's embattled financial situation. He won’t run for mayor and he won’t run for any of the three at-large seats.
Befiore ran against Peter Cunningham in the fifth ward last year. Cunningham beat him by 104 votes in a runoff election.
“You know, I look at that guy there on the council and I think, they should take him out two days before the council meeting because he’s not quite thawed,” cracked Belfiore, who serves as a consultant to the state Schools Development Authority.
The former candidate and city council chamber gadfly says he believes the 2009 mayor’s race will come down to Councilwoman Beth Mason, Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer, Councilman Peter Cammarano, Councilman Michael Russo and businessman Frank “Pupie” Raia.
He doesn’t think incumbent Mayor David Roberts will pursue a third term. “First of all, you can’t win a land war in Asia and when it comes to him, three times is not a charm,” said Belfiore. “How can you design a slogan around, ‘Dave, you just lost control of the finances of city, where are you going now?’ It’s certainly not Disneyworld.”
Befiore said he’s leaning toward supporting Cammarano, whom he believes is a good listener and has the right temperament to be mayor.
The talk in Hoboken is Zimmer could be close to securing the backing of the powerful Hudson County Democratic Organization if indeed she pursues a mayoral run. “Dawn is aptly named because her name rhymes with pawn,” said Belfiore.
Meanwhile, sources close to Russo say the third ward councilman is running a poll. If it shows he’s stronger than local businessman Raia, he intends to secure Raia’s support. If the poll reveals Raia to be the stronger candidate, Russo would back Raia.
Link to the original article:
Belfiore says Cammarano has Right Temperament to be Hoboken Mayor
My Opinion and return mudpie: Mr. Perry "Chins" Belfiore lauds Mr. Cammarano for his temperment and how that would make him a good Mayor for Hoboken. Temperment is important if "Snotty Arrogant Yuppie" (this didn't come from just me) is what you are looking for, but Perry also seems to want to forget Peter Cammarano's voting record over the last 4 years. Peter Cammarano on all the big votes consistently rubber stamped Robert's budgets through year by year. Yes, he did vote against the stupid contract that had a cap on the sale price of the Municipal Garage ($25 million) but time after time he endorsed selling City assets to plug budget holes enabling Dave Roberts in his fiscal malfeasance. Peter Cammarano's nickname or true campaign slogan should be be "The Sequel" or "Robert's Third Term" . ◦
In a preview of political battles to come over the state’s mounting fiscal problems, Republican lawmakers and labor union leaders are voicing opposition to Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s proposal to allow county and municipal governments to skip $584 million in pension fund payments in the coming year.
While Mr. Corzine said the move is necessary to avoid the prospect of big property-tax increases, Republicans are using the plan to seize the mantle of fiscal responsibility. Labor unions argue Mr. Corzine’s strategy will jeopardize their members’ benefits. The dispute over the pension fund contribution is just the beginning of the fights that lie ahead in Trenton this year as Mr. Corzine and lawmakers confront a shortfall in revenues that threatens their ability to finance many state services.
“None of the choices are going to be good choices,” said Senator Barbara Buono, a Democrat from Middlesex County who is chairwoman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
The pension fund for thousands of New Jersey teachers and government workers is now about $60 billion, after investments declined by 24.6 percent or about $21 billion through November, according to reports delivered to the State Investment Council.
About 700,000 retirees are counting on the fund to cover benefits that are scheduled to cost more than $118 billion over the next several decades. Governor Corzine said that letting local governments postpone $584 million in deposits they are scheduled to make into the fund this April would help head off double-digit property tax increases this coming year, a year in which residents are facing a crippling recession and Mr. Corzine is scheduled to stand for re-election.
Question: Should Municipalities like Hoboken get a free pass on paying their Pension obligations in 2009 or should they have to pay up even though that could mean additional property taxes on top of the 47% hike we already got on the municipal budget?
My fear is that this will only punt the issue into the future and further cripple local governments such as Hoboken that executed measures such as selling assets to plug budget gaps. How high will our debt service need to get before the voting public gets concerned? ◦
The Hoboken public school system early years experience - PreK to 3rd grade are stellar. There is actually a waiting list for the children to get in to Wallace and Calabro. I had a very good experience in Connors, too. The children test very high. The district also teaches Spanish in their general curriculum. My son has taken Spanish since first grade. He’s in sixth grade now, and I’m still happy with his teachers and the school we chose.
However, there are special programs which he (and over 100 other students) qualifies for - Gifted & Talented Saturday U, and the Johns Hopkins program, which vastly need improvement and attention. The G&T program is mandated by the state to provide more challenging work to those students who qualify through academic and intelligence testing. The high school (about 500 students) SAT scores are unacceptably low, and I’m watching very closely the improvements being made there. I am very happy that they have Dr. Cella on board. She needs more support to get those test scores up. The high school is improving, but it still needs more support.
My problem with HoLa is not their idea, but that the board is planning to direct even more funds to an already successful early elementary experience - that is already crowded. Spanish Immersion is not required by the state. Spanish Immersion is a great idea, but it can wait at least a year until the BOE gets the established programs running adequately for the existing students already in the district.
Regarding Spanish Immersion, I question HoLa’s consultants, who have absolutely no background in education - they were marketing execs. They are simply not qualified to be the administrators of a Spanish Immersion program for a public school system. As far as the conflict of interest, their young children will qualify for their own program once it starts in September 2009 - there’s a narrow window. It’s being rushed through so quickly so their own can get in. If they are paid consultants, it shouldn’t matter - they’re in business to perform a service for the betterment of the district.
I was challenged because I was told I only follow the interests of my son in his own school. Yes, I’m acting president of the Calabro P.T.O. However, I’m a VOLUNTEER. Shining difference.
In closing, jscirish27, I’d still opt for the public schools here when your little ones reach the age. There are a lot of dedicated parents ahead of you striving for a quality education in the Hoboken public school district.
Skateparkmom, thanks for the info, but I probably know as much as anybody about the inside politics of the Hoboken school district (I was formerly married to a Hoboken schoolteacher who is still a close friend). The HoLa program seems to me to be another example of misappropriation of funds to satisfy a political/social agenda; I honestly feel the money can be better spent. I am a huge backer of public education, btw. I want my son to attend public school. I am also for the expansion of educational programs, provided that we can show proficiency in the basics. When we accomplish that, I will welcome more advanced initiatives.
From Maureen Sullivan:
I don’t have a problem with the women (one of whom has already moved out of town) who came up with the idea of a dual-language program. I DO have a problem with the superintendent and BoE ramming it through the system so quickly (introduced and voted on all in one meeting). There was so little vetting that they wound up doing it illegally and without any bids.
The women who created Hola got the royal treatment up until Raslowsky, his assistant supt, his board lawyer and the majority he controls on the board actually brought the topic up in public. Now that some other residents are pointing out the glaring flaws and open-ended costs associated with Hola, we are accused of being whiners and complainers. Why can’t we just be happy that Raslowsky has the vision to hand $400,000 over the next three years to some self-proclaimed “consultants”? How dare we give them “grief” when they merely want to teach the children of Hoboken in Spanish instead of English?
The people behind the program had no interest in sending their children to the Hoboken public schools until they got paid ($150,000 for two consultants for six months) to do so. But I guess they have more faith in the system than Raslowsky does: he gets paid about $150,000 and he still doesn’t think the schools he runs are good enough for his kids. Michelle Rhee, the innovative new superintendent of the notoriously bad Washington, DC, schools put her young kids in the system (after first replacing the principal).
I do wonder why the Hola moms feel that they can put their kids into Hoboken schools if they are taught in Spanish but not if they are taught in English?
From a taxpayer perspective I would like to see money diverted to addressing the core skills first rather than an optional second language program with another bloated bureaucracy. At $30K per student I feel the school system needs to be more efficient than it is currently.
Monday, December 29, 2008
With The "Reformers" so divided there is one man that can unite everyone.
That man is my wonderfully charming and always watchful Ron Rosenberg.
- Ron was an outstanding School Board member.
- Ron was a strong supporter and friend of our Public Safety officials and
worked with Carmine LaBruno.
- Ron is a Veteran.
- Ron supported Pay-to Play Reform.
- Ron was a great School Board trustee.
- As president of United Synagogue of Hoboken he lead the expansion of The
Kaplan School and the historic renovations that followed.
Ron and his wife are Hoboken treasures. What a wonderful Mayor and First Lady they would make for our city. Ron would be a bridge BUILDER. NOT a Divider. Run RON!
Please note that with NJ.com's policies on the forum as they are, there is no guarantee that the poster is not a poser. My take is that this is a legitimate supporter of Ron Rosenberg. This post is not necessarily my opinion that he should run but my impression of Ron Rosenberg is that he is a man of integrity and he is has the best long term interests of Hoboken at heart. Above all he is a pragmatist.
Assuming that the post is legitimate, any of the opposition candidates who may plan to run including Zimmer and Mason would have to do some coalition building to get enough voters to go against the "status-quo"candidates of Roberts or Cammarano. I don't think Ron will run but the one rule in Hoboken politics is never say never. ◦
Here is a vieo clip of the train travelling at top speed of 150 mph:
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The ongoing recession and global economic shock pummeled stocks this year, with the Dow Jones industrial average slumping 36.2 percent. That's the biggest drop since 1931 when the Great Depression sent stocks reeling 40.6 percent.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index is set to record the biggest drop since its creation in 1957. The index of America's biggest companies is down 40.9 percent for the year.
With these statistics ready to play out this week, it is little wonder why investors are all too happy to close the books on 2008. Analysts are already looking toward January as a crucial period for the market as it tries to recover some of the $7.3 trillion wiped from the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 index, the broadest measure of U.S. stocks.
Full story below:
With plenty of practice in dealing with drama, the Vikings rallied past the resting Giants for a 20-19 victory Sunday afternoon to qualify for the postseason for the first time in four years.
This game had no bearing on the Giants post-season as they had clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs last week with their exciting OT win over the Carolina Panthers.
See the rest of the AP story here:
Recap NY Giants Vikings Week 16
Video highlights from NFL.com:
NFL.com Video Highlights - Giants Vikings Week 16 ◦
* 7th ANNUAL HOLIDAY BASH *
SUNDAY DECEMBER 28th
4pm to 10pm
936 PARK AVE
(Corner of 10th & Park)
4pm to 6pm
* LIVE MUSIC featuring CAT LINGO *
And Special Guests
* SNACKS * CASH BAR *
!!! JOIN US FOR SOME HOLIDAY CHEER !!!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Jubilee Center http://www.jubileecenter.org/
High marks to the Mason team for keeping the card to charitable giving only.
This card is essentially the same as the email I received last week with less detail.
And from Mike Russo 3rd Ward Council and Family.
Notable absence: Dave Roberts. Did anyone get one from the Roberts family? Curious, maybe with all my silly poems I have been dropped off the mailing list. Serves me right for speaking up for a better government that serves the many and not the few. Usually if a candidate is runnning for Mayor the Christmas/Holiday cards are a part of the campaign kickoff. We will have to wait and see if Roberts decides to run. ◦
Friday, December 26, 2008
For those of you who are curious about where Hoboken's Mayor Dave Roberts spends his summer months, a little quick research indicates that he spends it in Mantoloking, NJ. Nothing wrong with a little fun in the sun while Rome burns right Davey?
I bring this up because Dave was out in Mantoloking being driven in a City car by a City employee, Captain "Stick" Ramano when knowledge the budget shortfall made news. This was in June 2008 when Dick England spilled the beans on the budget at a City Council meeting that the Administration had over spent the Municipal budget by at least $10 million.
Dave had declined to address the Council Directly and instead asked the City Attorney Steve Kleinman to urge the City Council to pass a bonding issuance to close the gap. The majority of the council was not buying it and further questioning led to the truth. Dave was not there but was in Mantoloking, NJ utilizing Public resources including a car and the time of a Police Captain to drive him around on the City's dime. Someone tipped him off that all hell was breaking loose(possibly Terry Labruno) and he came barreling back to the City Council meeting in a flash.
Here is the route retraced assuming he went to his main home first to change his undies before going to City Hall. How fast did Stick go to get him there? Was it faster than Corzine's driver?
Dave's Summer Home Address
1014 Barnegat Ln
Mantoloking, NJ 08738
Driving directions to 626 Hudson St, Hoboken, NJ 07030
64.8 mi – about 1 hour 24 mins (up to 1 hour 50 mins in traffic)
1.Head south on Barnegat Ln toward Lyman Ave 69 ft
2.Turn left at Lyman Ave157 ft
3.Turn left at Ocean Ave/RT-35 Continue to follow RT-35 5.3 mi
4. Continue on RT-34 2.6 mi
5. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on RT-34 0.7 mi
6. Take the Garden State Pkwy ramp 0.5 mi
7. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Pkwy and merge onto Garden State Pkwy N
Partial toll road 31.2 mi
8. Take exit 129 for I-95 N Toll road 1.2 mi
9. Continue toward I-95 N and merge onto I-95 N Toll road13.0 mi
10. Take the exit onto I-78 E toward Holland Tunnel Partial toll road 8.4 mi
11. Turn left at Jersey Ave 0.4 mi
12. Continue on Newark St 0.2 mi
13. Slight right at Vezzetti Way 0.4 mi
14. Slight left at County Route 505/Washington St 0.6 mi
15. Turn right at 7th St/Passaic Ave 308 ft
16. Turn right at Hudson St Destination will be on the right 144 ft
626 Hudson St, Hoboken, NJ 07030 for a quick change and then off to the City Council meeting.◦
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Video courtesy of estevens65 on YouTube.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
When candidates get campaign websites I will update. For now I will put in the link to where they hold their governmental post.
Frank “Pupie” Raia
Frank Raia Board of Ed
City of Hoboken Web Site
City Council Bio Page
Other interesting link:
This link is the one Country Club in posh Mantoloking, NJ that David Roberts wants to join but simply won’t let him. He has tried for years but they apparently have high standards and will not let him join.
Seasons Greetings! The holidays are a cherished time to spend with family, friends and all those who enrich our lives. It's also a time to look back and reflect upon the year that was, while planning for better days ahead.
In the coming months, I am confident we will begin the journey towards getting Hoboken back on track. Together, we can make sure our families and neighbors have quality of life, our businesses are thriving, our schools are improving, and our City is safe, prosperous and proud.
It's time for forward-thinking leadership and common-sense solutions that bring our City together. I firmly believe there is no such thing as Old Hoboken versus New Hoboken. That's why I'm going to keep working to build a better, more affordable Hoboken for all our families. Working together, we can balance the budget, fix flooding, protect open space and invest in our financial future. And, we can do all this while lowering taxes.
2009 promises to be a year of great possibility and opportunity for our City, and together we can meet the challenges of this defining moment. As we imagine what the future holds for Hoboken, we must all think anew about how to improve our City. It's time to bring people together, and it's time to restore a local government that's working for you rather than against itself.
My New Year's resolution is to continue the fight to make Hoboken more affordable for all our families. I promise to stand up to help our families and small businesses thrive, preserve more open space and improve educational opportunities for our children. I also pledge to do all I can to bring our property taxes back down to earth.
May the joys of friendship and family fill your heart and home throughout the New Year. Marita, Abigail and I wish you and your loved ones all the best this holiday season and throughout the New Year.
P.S. - As always, if you have any ideas about how, together, we can get our City back on track in this New Year, please feel free to email me. I also hope you will check out my new website - http://electionfundofpetercammarano.cmail1.com/t/y/l/dyddw/tdlyxmh/r. I'd love to hear your suggestions about how we can steer Hoboken back in the right direction in the months ahead.
Paid for by Election Fund of Peter Cammarano 1113 Bloomfield Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030 ◦
Court Street even had its own Drunken Sailor Kevin-Gerrard:
Monday, December 22, 2008
Here is a description that is on the Site:
"Dave Roberts is a good name that has thousands of claimants. We've only got a few of them here, but maybe you'll find someone you'd like to meet. As you read the page think about the likelihood of having two television weathermen with the same name, or two disk jockey types in the south-central US. The most-found profession turned out to be photography, but that may have more to do with usage of the Internet than anything else. I also detected enough computer researchers that we may want to huddle up to form a new company. New Daves get added as I am told about them."
I sent this letter to the site owner asking him the following:
"Could you please add on your site that for that Dave Roberts, Mayor of Hoboken that our taxes have went up considerably due to his mismanagement of our City’s Finances. I don’t know if you should have him up on your site any more because he gives the Dave Roberts name a bad reputation:
There are many stories on this one but this gives you the general idea:
Just the humble opinion of one but there are many others in this town that agree with me. Also please let me know should you decide to ban him. There are many of us in Hoboken that need the slightest moral victory in light of our municipal taxes going up 47%."
Here is the site's owner response:
"47% increase? Ouch! I haven't had requests to ban people before, but I'll take it under advisement. I'll let you know what I decide to do. Dave Roberts, Santa Rosa, CA. "
For those of you who might not know Jeff Boss, he did secure 601 votes for President in NJ when he ran on a platform that stated he witnessed the US Government arrange the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He also ran a dual campaign for US Senate where he was able to get 9,877 votes in his effort to unseat Frank Lautenberg. That was almost 15 times more.
Here is the source for the above:
PolitickerNJ.com - On Jeff Boss for President
Here is Jeff Boss's new web site for his gubernatorial run:
A quick read of his web site indicates he could garnish the majority of support from the tin foil hat crowd. However, I challenge the reader to look beyond the ALLCAPS and bad web design to see if there are any points he makes that are valid.
1. GET RID OF TOLLS ON THE PARKWAY AT THE UNION, ESSEX, BERGEN TOLL PLAZAS THE FIRST WEEK I AM IN OFFICE OR I WILL RESIGN.
2.GET RID OF TOLLS FOR N.J. LICENSED CARS ON THE TURNPIKE A 500%-1000% INCREASE FOR OUT OF STATE VEHICLES ON THE TURNPIKE.
3. BRING THE UNION JOBS BACK TO N.J. BY PUTTING THE CEO'S AND THE FOREMAN THAT HIRE THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN JAIL FOR SEVEN DAYS FOR EACH PERSON HIRED. BRING THE UNION JOBS BACK TO NEW JERSEY, AND REGAIN QUALITY MIDDLE CLASS JOBS.
4. LOWER PROPERTY TAXES 25%-50% THE FIRST YEAR.
5. LEGALIZE SPORTS BETTING.
6. LOWER CAR INSURANCE 20%.
7. NO INSURANCE COMPANY OR HMO THAT DOES BUSINESS IN NEW JERSEY MAY DENY ANY LEGITIMATE CLAIM FOR NEW JERSEY RESIDENTS.
8. BRIDGE LOANS FOR THOSE NEAR FORECLOSURE OR IN FORECLOSURE SO PEOPLE DON'T LOSE THEIR HOMES. A TWO YEAR MORATORIUM ON FORECLOSURES.
9. BUILD A NEW GREEN ECONOMY IN N.J. AND CREATE 100,000+ JOBS IN N.J. WE WILL BUILD WINDMILLS,SOLAR PANELS,AND THE ELECTRIC CAR IN N.J.. WE WILL USE N.J. LABOR,PARTS FROM N.J. AND CREATE 100,000+ NEW JOBS IN N.J.
10. INTEREST FREE LOANS FOR EVERYBODY TO PUT UP WINDMILLS AND SOLAR PANELS ON THEIR HOMES AND BUILDINGS. PAY THE LOAN BACK AT HALF YOUR CURRENT ELECTRICAL BILL. WITHIN A FEW YEARS,ALL YOUR ELECTRICAL NEEDS WILL BE FREE. WE WILL FINALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING.
11. STOP THE TESTING ON LABORATORY ANIMALS IN N.J..
12. SCRAP OUR CURRENT VOTING MACHINES. REPLACE THEM WITH VOTING MACHINES THAT GIVE RECEIPTS AND ARE COUNTED SEPARTELY.
13. I WILL WORK WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO MAKE SURE THAT N.J. TAX DOLLARS WHICH ARE PAID OUT TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AT THE TOP 5% OF ALL STATES AND IS PAID BACK AT THE LOWEST 5% TO N.J. IS CORRECTED. I WILL MAKE SURE THE MONEY WE PAY IN, GETS PAID BACK TO NEW JERSEY AS CLOSELY AS POSSIBLE.
14. I WILL WORK TO GET THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO REPEAL THE PATRIOT ACT, WHICH HAS TAKEN AWAY OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES, PRIVACY, AND CIVIL RIGHTS. THE PATRIOT ACT HAS ALSO TAKEN AWAY OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.
15. I WILL FUND EDUCATION, INCLUDING RAISING SALARIES FOR TEACHERS.
16. I WANT TO BUILD NEW ROADS AND BRIDGES IN N.J. WITH UNION JOBS. I WANT TO GET THE NEW JERSEY ROADS WORKING CORRECTLY, WITH LESS TRAFFIC.
It goes on from there but you pretty much get the idea. Actually, if you look at the statements closely some of them sound ok. Afterall, who of liberal mindset wouldn't want to see the Patriot Act repealed. Even if you see eye to eye with this candidate, this should be a reminder that an informed voter should vote for the candidate that they agree with most as well as have the skills and political clout to carry that out. That reminder should play out when you consider who to vote for Mayor in May 2009 as well.◦
Labruno may be out as Police Chief but the story doesn't stop there. Those who were in power to stop him sooner did nothing. It is time to move on with Hoboken's new Police leadership but we should never forget. Wear this t-shirt with civic pride in mind to let our new Police Leadership know we are willing to work with you but we will not allow the corruption to continue. I wear my XXXL Hoboken SWAT t-shirt from time to time. Talk about a human billboard. :)
Cafe Press Web Link
For more information on the Hoboken SWAT scandal here are a few links.
NJ.com Stories on Hoboken SWAT Scandal
My Fox News Story on the Hoboken Swat Scandal
35 Page Report on the Hoboken Swat Scandal (pdf) ◦
- For the most part the M-F rush hour PATH trains seem to be adequate in coverage for 33rd Street and WTC lines. Bad weather can of course affect service.
- There are 4 bus lines that services Hoboken locally. They are 126-Washington, 126-Clinton, 22, and 89. The 126 route goes directly to the Port Authority Bus Terminal where you can link up to the rest of the NJ transit bus system.
- You can go see a NJ Devil's game via the PATH. But then again who wants to see a NJ Devil's game?
- There is a special bus to Giants stadium for games and concerts from the Port Authority.
- There is also a private ferry service to Midtown, WFC and Pier 11 downtown. Tickets are $6 one-way to Pier 11 from Hoboken South though.
- The Light Rail system is a big hit. It addresses somewhat the needs of the West side of Hoboken and links up to the main PATH, NJ train, Bus Terminal, Ferry Terminal at Lackawanna. For people without cars it makes getting to certain part of Jersey City or even Bayonne fairly easy.
- Smart link is a great idea and makes it more convenient for commuters of the PATH and NYC subways.
- Many of NJ transit buses in Hoboken are very old and in bad condition.
- Some of the newer buses are the wrong type for Hoboken. They are the buses that sit higher and have only one exit. Due to that fact, when the bus is crowded it makes it very difficult for people to get on and off which has caused delays in them doing their routes. Also, the high step up is not friendly for Senior Citizens.
- "Bus Bunching" seems to occur often. This is where several buses in a row stop within a minute of each other. Usually happens when there are traffic or weather related delays.
- Many buses are too hot in either the Winter or Summer.
- Bus service (the 126 line) is inadequate for the weekends. Ever since Academy Bus went out of service this has been noticed.
- The PATH service to 33rd Street is too infrequent on weekends. The trains are almost always overcrowded.
- There used to be a Jersey shore express from Hoboken direct to the Jersey Shore points on Saturday morning. That schedule was dropped two years ago.
- NJ transit should accept Metro Cards or Smart link Cards. This change counting is a real drag for me in the morning and it slows down service.
- Private ferry NY Waterway went from $36 for a ten trip to $57 to pier 11 in 3 years. That is a 58% increase in 3 years. There are other options like the PATH but they include 1 15 minute wlak for those who work near South Street Pier 11.
- Cross town bus? Is this needed for Hoboken's Westsiders?
So in conclusion, Hoboken does have many transportation options but as I have pointed out there is always room for improvement. I think campaigns like "Stop the Path Hike" while playing to populist sentiment are over simplistic in their approach. A better perspective would be to say what level of services the Public needs or wants, what does it cost, and is the Public willing to pay for it. Or, the question could be posed to NJ Transit "What have you done for Hoboken Lately".
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Mike Lenz on the root causes of Hoboken's Budget Mess:
1) For the past 15 years Hoboken has kept taxes close to stable, while allowing spending to rise and rise.
2) Mayor Russo covered the growing gap by selling off city assets (916 Garden, the water utility etc.)
3) Tony Soares, Roberts and many others saw the folly in this and by 2001 were ready to run a fusion ticket committed to fiscal sanity.
4) After they won, Carol Marsh and Soares continued to fight for what they ran on, while Roberts morphed into a worse version of Russo.
5) Dave's problem was he was out of "surplus" assets, so he needed to resort to sham sales, like the sale-leaseback of the municipal garage, to keep alive the fiction that the city was on sound fiscal footing.
6) By 2007 there was nothing left to borrow against so the city just stopped paying its bills, to the tune of $10 million.
7) The council led by Cunningham and often supported by several of Zimmer, Mason and the Russo cousins tried to cut of the money faucet.
8) Finally, in May, Dick England admitted in response to my question that they'ed overspent the legal budget by $10 million.
9) At that point, there was no way for the council to pass a legal budget, they refused to apply for a waiver to ratify -- after the fact -- the illegal overspending, the state came in, and the rest was history. ◦
I had challenged frequent poster BethRusso to tell me why they supported Peter Cammarano for Mayor. BethRusso has had many posts that were critical of both Mike Russo and Beth Mason. In the interests of keeping a dialogue open I have posted the content as is with some formatting changes for readability. This is not my position as Peter would not be my choice for Mayor. Refer to post 14516 on the forum for the orginal discussion.
Peter Cammarano Talking Points by poster BethRusso:
- He publicly called for the suspension of the Hoboken Police officers involved in the Hooters scam.
- He publicly is fighting against the NJ Transit Development by the train station.
- He was the founder of healthy Tuesday for needy children where they learned how to eat healthy to avoid obesity, these children when to the farmers market to pick put fresh fruit, they went to HCCC for cooking classes, and held an event at the Jubilee Center where Good Morning America held their daily morning show.
- He fought and stated the “SAY NO TO FARE HIKE” when port authority wanted to raise fare by 33percent and he won. Visit http://www.stopthepathhike.com/.
- He also was the only council member to offer a re-organize the table of organization.
- He fought not to sell the garage to the lowest bidder when mason Zimmer and Dave Roberts wanted to along with other council members when the difference was extremely large amount.
- He also has worked extremely hard with seniors, HHA, and all Hoboken Citizens .
- But most important is he voted against the state takeover, when other council members voted for it, and then realized when they were wrong they went to Trenton and made a fool of themselves.
And finally, poster BethRusso asserts Peter always votes with the best interest of the Hoboken citizens.
How do you feel about this? Feel free to chime in. ◦
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Update: 1/14/2009 I wrote this poem at a time I was upset with the developments of the Mason campaign, not because of issues she stands for but what I perceived to be her loyal core of supporters being critical of every word I wrote. I stand by the initial post that got me upset (I was misinterpreted in my challenge to Mike Lenz) which was the impetus for the original NJ.com post that spoke of a few minor tactical and not strategic areas where I disagreed . We all arrive at potential support of a candidate via many different paths and mine was and is of that someone looking for the best option given the choices. I have since been able to meet with Beth and have a good conversation about the problems and potential solutions for Hoboken and its future.
As far as trying to attribute NJ.com posters with actual people, that quest is futile at best and I admit that I was played on that one. The actual color of the object in the poem may have actually been blue. I can be like a bull in a china shop, I do take risks and I am not infallible. After hearing Lane Bjardi speak at the Board of Ed meeting last night, I was reminded that him and I both want the same things , a better Hoboken. I do respect what he brings to the table in terms of his commitment to a discourse on how to improve the City we love.
The intention of this poem was never to divide but to rather vent some of my frustrations and move on. If it has had that effect than I apologize but I also don't want to sound full of myself that an admittedly sophomoric poem could have such and effect.
Here is the original poem left up as a reminder of the fallibility of the human condition with the last defamatory paragraph removed:
This is the Purple Pillow Limerick that was once posted on Hoboken 411 but pulled after 24 hours for unspecified and unverifiable reasons recently.
A plush purple pillow was once placed,
with such servile attentive haste,
it was placed with great care,
to comfort Mason's derriere,
but it was Roberts who about the budget was disgraced.
Here is the explanation for this poem for whom this is a City Council meeting inside joke:
During the campaign for second ward Beth Mason ran against Richard Tremetidi. I give Beth lot of credit for running a mostly above board campaign which she won. Anyway, in that campaign one of Richie T’s goons wrote a midnight flyer depicting Beth as Royalty which was wrong because you can’t blame Beth for having a husband with a lucrative business. After all, Roberts is Mr. Richie Rich.
At a council meeting a purple pillow was placed for Mason’s comfort by one of her supporters and it was done in such a way that it resembled a man servant tending to her queen’s needs.
Remember too that purple is a royal color. The irony is just funny. Now I want to encourage anyone else to give their fellow neighbor comfort to do so. Some of Beth’s critics on this NJ.com Hoboken Forum have brought the pillow incident up. I wrote my limerick to tell her supporters to lighten up, accept that she is not the Mayoral Messiah, and not forget that Roberts is the one to really blame for all of this. ◦
Peter Cammarano- Allowed the spending to occur by passing bonding of city assests. Told me personally that by 2008 the deficit would be gone. He reneged. A thinner even more incredulous version of Roberts 3rd term.
Scot Delea- Superficial. Backed Roberts for political gain or so he thought. This was after Roberts had 4 years to show he was nothing about reform or at least better governance. The problem with Jersey Shore party socialite Scotch Delea is all style and no substance. A walking talking stump speech with no real ideas. Put a mirror in front of him and watch him stare and admire himself. See you at Edgars Scotch when you lose yet again.
Mike Russo- Did not do his job as Finance chair to put out the cuts sooner. No doubt. If he was Mayor Mommie dearest Michelle would be calling all the shots. Will say one thing about Mike though, you call him up with an issue, he shows up and tries to help.
Frank "Pupie" Raia- Knows where Hoffa is buried. Ha ha just kidding. Has changed alliances so much in the past 2 years I really don't know what he stands for. An affable guy who throws a good party every year. Made that crappy little Shop Rite Park that is now overgrown with weeds.
Beth Mason- She has some good ideas on transparency in government. I was asked to help her campaign but backed out when her Posse of Purple Pillow Ploppers were Pugnacious enough to not like one of my Posts. Please refer to the recent Purple Pillow Poem Post for more of a background on that. No one tells me what to think or say. Thats why I am not going to be a big part of any campaign other than donate and vote. Not very big on all the HCDO bashing from her Purple Pillow Puppets (minions). Heck, I know Jeff Barnes is a Cammarano hero worshipper. Just because I don't trust the many intricate HCDO associations doesn't mean I can't reach out to these people. This holier than thou HCDO is pure evil reminds me of GW Bush. It will drive people away from her campaign. Hillary Clinton proves that to feel like you are pre-ordained doesn't bode well in the end result.
Dawn Zimmer- I do think she is sincere and certainly has a common touch. In an ideal situation she would need more seasoning but the situation is not ideal. I will wait to see about this Lottery thing. Let the lawyers and judges figure it out. From what I hear this thing was could have been drummed up by Peter Cammarano who has ties to the AG's office. Looks like he has already started the attacks before the campaigns are formally declared.
Beth and Dawn are right now are the names out there for the closest thing to some change we can get. There could be others like Marsh Cunningham. I know I will not make my choice until candidates have formally declared and assemled their tickets. No one has formally declared as of yet so this is all speculation.
Just my opinion, but I could be wrong.
1) The process that awarded the contract was wrought with legal problems.
2) The program is not proven to get the results expected.
3) The qualifications of those selected are not up to the appropriate standards.
4) Lowering the standards for Hola would not be fair to other teachers who worked hard for their certifications.
5) There are other priorities that the school board should be addressing like dismal SAT scores.
Whatever your opinion on standardized test scores we all know that parents look at those numbers to find out how a school measures up to other schools. Hoboken's SAT scores where mentioned but I don’t remember the exact figure. If anyone has them please share.
It was great to see the concerned parents at the school and I can only draw one conclusion about Hola; it should be named Moolah or Pay-hola since it is nothing but money going out the door.
Jack Raslowski’s program Hola should be put in ESPN’s football segment C’mon man. What a bad joke to play on the taxpayer during these tumultuous economic times. Then I am reminded that Jack does not have the proper background and is a David Roberts political pick. He does live in Hoboken but the fact seems to escape him of the exorbitant taxes needed to fund his $30K per pupil district. ◦