Thursday, December 31, 2009

Photos of the Day - Snowboken!




Here are some photos of the snow storm on my commute this morning to work from Hoboken to New York City. The buses on Clinton and Willow weren't running for a while according to one of my commuter friends. The Washington Street bus line was running understandably a bit slower this morning. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mile Square Theater Fundraising Campaign

Here is another charitable organization that could use donations this holiday season. Just so it is perfectly clear, the editor of this blog (me) or many of the fine organizations that do good work in Hoboken don't think that people are bad just because they choose not to give or can't afford to give to their charity. It is my hope that this post and others at least raises awareness of the number of organizations around town that take care of those who are less fortunate or provide cultural outlets such as the Mile Square Theater. No judgements as to which is the best charity to donate to or any obligation inferred from this editor as to who contributes what or if anything.



The Mile Square Theatre needs your support

As the year comes to a close, we would like you to consider adding Mile Square Theatre to your list of charities. Entering our 8th year of operation, we have made our mark on the national theatre scene and have become an integral part of the cultural landscape of our own community. This past year has been a significant one. We have...

Developed a 120-seat performance space, the Monroe Theatrespace, at the Monroe Center for the Arts, creating a much-needed venue in Hoboken where many performance groups can present work.

Celebrated our seventh annual 7th Inning Stretch: 7 10-minute plays about baseball. In 2010, Playscripts, Inc. will publish an anthology of selected plays from the series.

Established the MST Drama School and the MST Education Fund, which provides scholarships to young people from the Jubilee Center.

Launched MSTkids by producing our first play for young audiences, Kevin Henkes’s Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, which the Star-Ledger called “…the purple treasure of Hoboken.”

Produced Hoboken playwright Joe Gallo’s My Italy Story, which Peter Filishia of the Star Ledger championed, “No excuses now, time to run to My Italy Story.” It enjoyed sold-out houses in June and was then revived in July during the St. Ann’s Feast.

The coming year brings many challenges. While we continue to work with Monroe Center for the Arts and Hoboken Children's Theatre to develop the Monroe Theatrespace into a much-needed performance space, the cost of maintaining a venue is high. Add to this the cost of producing high-quality works of theatre and we have a significant fundraising challenge. Unfortunately, we will not receive funding from our most significant funding source, Hudson County, due to a clerical error, so support from individuals becomes even more critical.

Please support Mile Square Theatre with your tax-exempt donation.

All the best to you and your family in the new year,

Chris O'Connor,  Founder and Artistic Director
Matt Lawler, Associate Artistic Director

To donate go to this website link:

https://co.clickandpledge.com/advanced/default.aspx?wid=20765

Or send your donation to:
Mile Square Theatre
720 Monroe Street #E202
 Hoboken, NJ 07030

Website Page:
http://www.milesquaretheatre.org/
Share/Bookmark

Wild West West on Reprieve- You must be registered for comments in the short term


For the short term you will have to be registered to comment on this site. I have decided that a certain number of annons are agents of personal destruction and will need to at least register to spew their bile. To recap there have been rape threats (deleted), bigotry, homophobia, bullshit histrionics, personal attacks against me, personal attacks against Katie_Scarlett (who frankly my dears doesn't give a damn! Oh by the way she is not a Quaker!) as well as threats towards some of my commentors that their employers will be informed of their blogging activities on this blog and others.

I know some of my loyal readers are frustrated by the anon. posters but until I get my website on the new platform please accept the limitations of Blogger in the meantime. My focus is still on content and not technology for the moment.

To register for this site I created a handy guide for those who still want to post. Your true identity if you so choose is never known to me since registration is through Google and not some centralized software agent in my control.

Here is the tutorial if you haven't already registered:

http://www.slideshare.net/kgardiner67/sign-up-for-comments-on-the-hoboken-journal?type=document
Share/Bookmark

Heard on the street - Pedestrian reaction to the long lines at Carlo's Bakery


Earlier this week on monday night I heard a fairly funny reaction by someone who was walking up Washington Street while on his cell phone on the long lines outside Carlo's Bakery. The pedestrian said while briskly navigating through the crowd "What the f*ck! You would think the pope was here or something! It is just friggin' cake!". It got me a chuckle. Two of the most predictable things in Hoboken now are long lines at Carlo's Bakery and the whining on a daily basis over at Hoboken 411 about the Zimmer Administration. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Yogurt Wars - The Secret Weapon - Koa Koa presents The BBQ Hot Dog!


Around 5th and Washington there are now 3 self-serve yogurt options in the area with Koa Koa, Wild Ginger and the recently opened Oyo. Apparently selling yogurt isn't enough for Koa Koa and they will be brandishing a new not so secret pair of weapons:

1) The BBQ BulGogi Hot Dog and
2) The BBQ SamGeubSal Hot Dog.

Just the names alone are more than a mouthful. Hot dog and a yogurt anyone? Some other crazy pairings in the future could include smoke and a pancake, haircut and a waffle, bong and a blintz? :) Share with me your thoughts below on whether or not this is a recipe for success in terms of customer traffic as well as the comedic film reference... ◦
Share/Bookmark

Photo of the Day - Hoboken Marina


Photo by Hoboken Journal - All Rights Reserved

Here is a Christmas Eve photo taken of the Hoboken Marina close to sunset. Some boats are still on the water this late in the year. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Hoboken 411 virus? - Reader Mail

Here is a reader mail sent to me on December 27th, 2009. They had some issues with a virus while trying to read Hoboken 411. Here is what they had to say. My comments are below.....

I was doing my early morning news check but my anti-virus software is denying access to 411, screenshot of warning is attached. Both Firefox and IE are blocked. Could that mean Hoboken 411 has a case of the clap? Well, a warning to you/your readers they could catch something over there.




My comment: In all fairness to Hoboken 411, this is the only case I have ever heard of someone getting this message while trying to browse Hoboken 411. There are many cases of ip address blocking in the past that are well documented but I haven't heard of them lately. Besides, "The Clap" is an infection and not a virus.  Furthermore, would the irresponsible owner of that site ever be affiliated with "Trojans" in either an actual or metaphorical sense (script error above indicates Trojan virus) ?

Myth Busted. Probably this reader got the virus from some other source. Has anyone else had this same issue? ◦
Share/Bookmark

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gorilla Marketing for Another Website in town


Here is a cropped recently snapped photo I took of a newer Hoboken species I like to call Hobokenus Gorillaus Flyerus Distributus. The gentleman in the animal suit was distributing flyers for http://www.hobokencityguide.com/  earlier this weekend near Carlo's Bakery on lower Washington Street. Talk about "Gorilla marketing". I have corresponded with the owner of  Hoboken City Guide and you will see of my articles on the RSS feed in the local news segment on that site. I will see how that arrangement works out in terms of generating additional interest in my site. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Farina- Its not just a breakfast grain, He's our acting Mayor


As Reported on NJ.com's Hoboken Now yesterday, Jimmy Farina is acting Mayor of Hoboken until Dawn Zimmer gets back from vacation next week. Jimmy as a long time City Clerk is probably the best choice Dawn could make to temporarily fill given his experience, the fact he has done it before several times under the Roberts Administration, and knows all the contacts in City Hall. With that said one reader sent me this yesterday:

WTF! My heart skipped a beat for a second today....thankfully it was just for a moment after reading beyond the headline.


Hoboken City Clerk Acting as Mayor (on NJ.com)

Photo Courtesy of the MSV Blog (cropped)

My comments: Despite one readers initial reaction the City of Hoboken should be in good hands with Jimmy's experience and knowledge of the workings of City Hall.

Here are things that I can guarentee that you won't see Jimmy do in his week long stint as acting mayor of Hoboken....
  1. Have a photo-op session on a trampoline. Cammarano has been there and done that. Besides, he doesn't want to throw out his back.
  2. Do a money drop exchange at the Malibu Diner. Cammarano has been there and done that.
  3. Put his name on all City Vehicles. Roberts has been there and done that.
  4. Cut a ribbon at Pier C Park. The park hasn't been finished yet. Handrails are still needed to complete the park. David Roberts is pining for attendence at this event but will have to wait until 2010 to see his $20 million dollar kidney bean/fetus shaped park come to fruition. I must admit it looks awfully nice.
  5. Threaten to grind certain Hoboken constituents into powder. Cammarano has been there and done that.
  6. "Cut" the City work week to 21 hours. The new hours would be 10AM-4PM with a three hour siesta from 12-3PM. This is simply too radical for someone like Jimmy Farina. The increase in hours would be too much for some at City Hall. Just kidding. :) Joking aside, it must be noted that there are many employees that do work hard in City Hall.
  7. Search for the $600,000 in missing quarters from the HPU. Thanks to the investigative work of the NJ Attourney General, they have most likely solved this case. Due process must happen but the case against John Corea former HPU Director is pretty compelling.
  8. Find an additional 80 absentee ballots laying around for Beth Mason. Even if they were found the margin of the election (a whopping 20%, despite the way-off predictions of a close race by Hoboken 411, a leader in misinformation about Hoboken politics) was so wide it wouldn't make a difference. Besides, the County handled the last election anyway.
  9. Have a celebrity boxing match with Dave Roberts. For those of you who don't remember or weren't here, there once was a bit of a donnybrook between the two a few years ago. They have since patched things up.
  10. Get a "God Complex" and just go "Klaussen" on employees at City Hall.  While I might not always agree with Jimmy's politics he is an intelligent man who knows the workings of City Hall very well and for the most part has an even temperment. The thumbs up in the picture above should give the Citizens of Hoboken confidence that his temporary placement of holding the reigns of City Hall will be uneventful and guide Hoboken until the new year safely; that is until our duly elected Mayor Dawn Zimmer gets back from a well deserved vacation in the new year. Revolt's latest letter will be awaiting her response on top of the gazillion other things that are on her plate.
Best wishes to Jimmy on his new temporary assignment! ◦
Share/Bookmark

Jewish Young Adults of Hoboken is sponsoring a Bowling Night on Thursday, January 7th


The Jewish Young Adults of Hoboken (JYAH) is sponsoring a Bowling Night on Thursday, January 7th. Beginning with a happy hour at 6:30PM at Mikie Squared, 616 Washington Street, members can order $2 domestic bottles and drafts and $5 martinis. The bowling will begin at 8PM and run until 10PM at a local bowling alley. Refreshments and additional games for non-bowlers will be provided.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. The ticket includes bowling, shoe rental and refreshments. Pre-purchase your ticket at http://jyahbowlingnight.eventbrite.com/. Advance sales end on January 7th at 12PM. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Jib Jab - 2009 Year in Review!

Jib Jab has another one of their Year in review video specials recapping the year of 2009. Below is the funny clip:

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Share/Bookmark

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hoboken Revolt Letter to Dawn Zimmer on the Operational Audits

Here is a letter sent by the Hoboken Tax Reform Coalition otherwise know as Revolt politely asking Mayor Dawn Zimmer to release the public safety audit or at least encourage the State Fiscal monitor to do so:

December 26, 2009

Mayor Dawn Zimmer
Hoboken City Hall
94 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030

Dear Mayor Zimmer:

One of the objectives of Hoboken Revolt is to drive a significant reduction in property taxes without compromising the safety and soundness of our town. Obtaining forensic and efficiency audits of city agencies and departments is an essential first step toward identifying cost savings, while ensuring that we continue to meet the needs of the community.

Hoboken Revolt supports the City Council's request for such audits. Revolt encourages your administration to expedite the process of conducting audits and then promptly making the reports available for review by members of the public. Any completed audit reports should be released immediately to facilitate meaningful public discussion at the upcoming budget hearings.

The Hoboken Revolt Steering Committee anticipated with great interest the release of the Public Safety audit report last winter. The report recommended workforce reductions in the Police and Fire Departments by mid-2009. You yourself, as candidate for mayor last March, called for release of this audit report and Ms. Judy Tripodi indicated that the final report would be available to the City Council by April 1st. Nine months later, to our knowledge, the Public Safety audit report has yet to be released to the public.

Demotions occurred in the Fire Department, reportedly based upon the audit findings. An additional $800,000 in annualized savings was to be realized through the elimination of sixteen positions in the Police Department by the end of June. In his short tenure, then-mayor Cammarano delayed implementation of the Police Department reductions. The public has yet to hear of a new implementation plan.

Hoboken Revolt was informed that an audit of City Hall employees was conducted. We request that any such audit report be released. If no report is available, Hoboken Revolt requests a status report regarding any such audit.

Hoboken Revolt applauds the initial steps by the current administration to rein in Hoboken property taxes and we encourage you to continue your vigilance in pursuing this critical goal. Release of the Public Safety audit report as well as all other audit reports to the public will provide Hoboken residents with an understanding of the basis for the recomended staff adjustments. Such understanding should provide strong support for their implementation and will go a long way to demonstrating your commitment to government transparency.

Hoboken Revolt urges you to
1) release the Public Safety audit report;
2) release any audit report regarding City Hall employees or provide a status report regarding such audit;
3) if any audit report is solely in the possession of the State Monitor, join us in demanding the public release of all available information,
4) report to the public what steps your administrationis taking toward completion of forensic and efficiency audits of the city’s agencies and
departments and
5) commit to releasing such reports to the public as they become available.

Respectfully,

The Hoboken Revolt Steering Committee
http://www.hobokenrevolt.com/

cc: Members of the Hoboken City Council:
Mr. Peter Cunningham
Ms. Carol Marsh
Mr. Ravinder Bhalla
Mr. David Mello
Ms. Theresa Castellano
Ms. Elizabeth Mason
Mr. Michael Russo
Mr. Michael Lenz
Mr. Angelo Giacchi
Ms. Judy Tripodi
Ms. Susan Jacobucci

My comment: I was wiling to have the State come in and right the City of Hoboken's finances. One of the deliverables that I was expected was some type of forensic audit to figure out if the City was using its resources wisely from an objective third party. I think that Revolt is on point here although they should not expect an immediate response since Dawn Zimmer is on vacation this week and Jimmy Farina is acting Mayor. Share your thoughts below. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Photos of the Day - Little Tiny Shoprite Park

Here are some photos of tiny little Shoprite Park in Hoboken. I say this is jest but the 5th Ward residents of Hoboken should not complain about not having parks in their ward. After all they have this! Chess anyone?


I guess you could grow grapes in the summer to provide shade


Shameless graffiti defacing an essentially unused park - What if someone actually wanted to
play chess near a big parking lot? What was graffiti boy thinking?

Share your thoughts below.... ◦
Share/Bookmark

Support the YMCA - Reader letter from Paul Somerville

 Here is a letter from Paul J. Somerville encouraging readers for some financial support to help keep the YMCA operating in Hoboken.



 Dear HobokenJournal Readers:

As the year winds down, lost in the blizzard of catalogues, cards and invitations that blow in through the mail slot each day, most of us will receive urgent solicitations from worthwhile organizations seeking our help before we all begin to say “twenty-ten” instead of “o-nine”. Such is our culture and its abundance. This letter is one of those appeals.

Struggling to meet the demands and obligations placed on our time and wallets all in the names of faith, fun and good cheer, it’s easy to forget that despite the economic downturn of the past year, there are many others in our community who are much less fortunate than most of us and dozens of them live at 1301 Washington Street in Hoboken - our YMCA. I’ve had the privilege of speaking with some of them and here is a brief snapshot of just two of these gentlemen:

With impeccable manners and a contagious, positive outlook, “Andrew” came to live in our town almost thirty years ago after losing a business and a significant relationship in Brooklyn. Seeking a place to re-build his life, he came to reside with us looking for, in his words, a new home that was “safe, quiet and affordable”. “Andrew” stated that he believes we are providing a necessary service and doesn’t know where he’d go if we did not offer housing as part of our continued mission. Taking advantage of our fitness center and other services, “Andrew” remembers fondly being regaled with stories by a retired merchant seaman and never tired from the retelling of his tales, recalled by the kind of character that was a vestige of Hoboken’s maritime history, many of whom chose to take advantage of our facility. Though the trades have changed, the need for this important rung on our local housing ladder is still here.

Displaced by one of the infamous fires in Hoboken in which he lost not only his home but family members too, “Vinny” moved in with us in 1985 and has stayed ever since. Born at Margaret Hague Hospital, “Vinny” lived all of his life in Hoboken. Retiring after his last place of employment closed, much older and unable to find work, he now spends his days playing basketball, taking advantage of the “meals on wheels” program and the holiday dinners we serve to our residents with the help and generosity of our local restaurants, dedicated staff and tireless board members.

But housing is not the only thing we do. After 127 years, we are one of the oldest social service organizations in Hudson County and no other charity does what we do as we strive to serve every segment of our population every day of the year including our “silver sneakers” program for senior citizens, teen center nights, summer camp, after-school programs and member- scholarships offered to qualified individuals and families.

These and other programs will be part of our renewed vision and renovated structure as we continue to be a significant contributor to the Hoboken-North Hudson community’s past, present and future. We’re hoping you will be a contributor too. Your tax-deductible donation is sorely needed and very much appreciated and can easily be made through our website at http://www.hobokenymca.org/. Thank you, dear friends and neighbors.

Sincerely,
Paul J. Somerville
President, Board of Directors
Hoboken-North Hudson YMCA ◦
Share/Bookmark

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Site Tutorial - Sign up for Comments Using Intense Debate

Update 6/27/2010: The comment system has been moved from standard blogger to Intense Debate. Below is the new interface for signing in and making comments....


Here are your choices: You can use just a screen name, log in to Intense Debate and register, use Open id, Facebook, Twitter, or Wordpress accounts. Email is optional as well as website if you don't use the other five buttons as an option.

NOTE: ALL INSTRUCTIONS BELOW ARE NO LONGER APPLICABLE. THE NEW COMMENTING SYSTEM FOR THE HOBOKEN JOURNAL IS NOW INTENSE DEBATE DEPICTED ABOVE.

Update 11/21/2010: This tutorial can help you go from anonymous to having your own unique blogger identity. I recently re-enabled anonymous commenting to make it easier for newer readers to sign in. However, it always makes better dialogue when you know who you are talking to.

Furthermore, if signing up still proves to problematic there is one other option to give yourself an identity:

1) Select Name/URL option below

2) Put in your name as shown and click continue


3)  Type in your comment and click post comment button. That is it! Three easy steps.

Original Post 5/15/09:
I developed this tutorial to help people sign up for comments on this Site who want to post with a consistent screen name rather than anonymously. I recommend using or creating a Gmail account and then following these steps to be able to comment with an identity on my site. Sorry for not getting this done sooner.

Here is the tutorial on Slideshare:


Share/Bookmark

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cat Lingo at Maxwells Sunday December 27th - 8th Annual Holiday Bash

Here is a promising holiday event from Julio Fernandez (Spyro Gyra) and his very talented group of musical friends:

!!! GET OUT YOUR DANCIN’ SHOES !!!


* 8th ANNUAL HOLIDAY BASH *


hosted by
JULIO FERNANDEZ
PATTY MORALE
ROB FOCHT


SUNDAY DECEMBER 27th
4pm to 9pm


MAXWELLS
1039 Washington Street
(SE Corner of 11th and Washington)
HOBOKEN NJ

* Live Music featuring CAT LINGO *
And a Host of Special Guests


* COMPLIMENTARY SNACKS *  * CASH BAR *
* FULL RESTAURANT MENU AVAILABLE *


!!! JOIN US FOR A ROCKIN’ HOLIDAY!!!

Share/Bookmark

Hoboken Photo of the Day - Near Sunset by Maxwell Park


 Photo by Hoboken Journal - All Rights Reserved
(i.e. not to be lifted by some lazy pizza scarfing bum for his own commercial use, H411 that is)

Concrete Parks like the one at Maxwell place look a lot nicer when they are covered with snow. By now that snow has likely melted but the view is one constant that will always remain. Photo was taken Christmas Eve. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Friday, December 25, 2009

SNL Parody of The Jersey Shore's "Snookie"

The reality show The Jersey Shore by MTV has really generated some controversy as well as some great material for comedians. The complaint is that the show portrays negative stereotypes of Italians. Problem is with that assertion for me is almost all of the Italians I know don't act like the cast of The Jersey Shore. Anyway, here is Horatio Sanchez doing his an SNL impersonation of MTV's reality show actor "Snookie. " Wait for the punch line at the end, it is pretty funny. 


Share/Bookmark

Hoboken Photo of the Day - Snow covered field


 Photo by Hoboken Journal - All rights reserved

Here is a photo I took uptown west around 12and 13th and Adams Street just yesterday. It shows a large snow covered field in the former industrial area that will someday probably be condos. The down economy will probably prevent that from happening too soon but the inevitable outcome is usually driven by developers and not what is in the best interest of the community.

Too bad the field was fenced in, I had plans to make a few 6'8" snow angels! :) ◦
Share/Bookmark

Sketchysantas.com - Featuring the Creepiest of Santas

Looks like there is a another viral hit going around the internet during the holiday season. The web site is Sketchysantas.com (http://www.sketchysantas.com/) and has gotten a lot of press. Not every kid apparently enjoys a trip to Santa. Is it the red outfit or just the smell of booze beneath the beard that sets these kids off? Check it out for yourself for a good laugh or two.


Photo from Sketchysantas.com

Share/Bookmark

Hulu Video - I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown

Here is another Charlie Brown Christmas special perhaps not as endearing as the original and perhaps a bit darker but classic nonetheless. Here is "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown" brought to you by Hulu with limited commercial interruption.....



Share/Bookmark

City Budget Presentation Courtesy of Eric Kurta

Here is a sped up version of Nick Tresente's initial 2010 budget presentation to the Hoboken City Council earlier in December. Eric Kurta figured out how to speed up Nick's speaking without making him sound like Alvin the Chipmunk. Keep in mind that the City Council will begin reviewing this in a special session on January 6th. This can be a little refresher in the meantime should you tire of holiday festivities.



Video Courtesy of Eric Kurta, formerly estevens on Hoboken 411


Share/Bookmark

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Now Playing at Clearview Cinemas - Avatar in 3D!


Hoboken Clearview Cinemas


Location: 409-415 14th Street Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone:(201) 710-5581

For the most up to date Showtimes click on this link below:

http://movies.yahoo.com/showtimes-tickets/theaters/10061-clearview-hoboken-cinemas/

At Clearview Cinemas in Hoboken the following excellent movie is now playing in 3D; Avatar by James Cameron who also did the Terminator and Titanic films. Here is the trailer for the movie. My review of the movie is below:






Just on its technical merits alone Avatar is a must see movie or cinematic achievement that yet again sets the bar combining technology with innovation, and most importantly artistic vision. Director James Cameron has simply outdone himself this time. The visuals in this movie are for lack of any other word, breathtaking. The imaginary world of Pandora is brought to life via CGI and stop animation techniques in a way that has never been done this good before.

Fantastic creatures, phosphorescent plant life, mountain cloud islands, an intricate and neural eco-system as well as the details and features of the indigenous Na'vi make this movie a paradigm shifting visual treat. There is a compelling environmental and an anti-capitalist/colonial message as well. For those of you influenced by the anti-environmentalist rabble that is Glenn Beck, this message is not overdone but rather makes a compelling case for preserving the magical way of life that the Na'vi live, albeit fictional. At the end of the movie, because such a good job was done showing how special their relationship was with the land, I couldn't help but find myself rooting for the tall blue creatures by the middle of the movie at the expense of the ore coveting human antagonists.

For those of you who are history buffs, some of the issues about exploitation of indigenous peoples shown in the movie against the Na'vi remind me of the plight of Native Americans by the U.S. as portrayed in the book "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown. Here is a brief excerpt of the book on Wikipedia below:
  

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee expresses the American Indian perspective of the injustices and betrayals of the US government in its dealings with the Indians, which seemed continued efforts to destroy the culture, religion, and way of life of the people.

The book begins with the statement that Christopher Columbus had named the Native Americans "Indios" and with the differing dialects and accents of the Europeans to come, the word became known as Indians. Life as known to the indigenous people of the Americas would never be the same from the point of Columbus' arrival in the Americas in 1492.

Another movie the plot reminds me of is Dances with Wolves where Kevin Costner's character starts out as as a Union soldier but ends of up siding with the Native Americans in the end. In this movie the result is a little bit different. I'll stop here so as to avoid being a spoiler.

History lesson, environmental parables, and anti-colonial allegories aside, Avatar is a stunning cinematic achievement both visually and emotionally that will probably compel me to see it a second time. If you don't want to endure the long lines to the very large IMAX screen in Manhattan stay local instead and see it at Hoboken Clearview Cinemas. The sound and video were more than adequate to handle the demands that this movie brought to the screen. The 3D effects which were tastefully deployed in no way subtracted to the movie as one might have experienced with other 3D movies in the past.  I give this movie a grade of an A-. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Photos of the Day - NYC Times Square




Photos by Hoboken Journal - All Rights reserved

Here are a few shots of New York City's Time Square area I took last week while finishing up my Christmas shopping. The place is always lit up like a Christmas tree 24-7 365 days a year. ◦
Share/Bookmark

November Election Maps - Finally! - from Eric Kurta

Long time Hoboken resident and ELEC watcher Eric Kurta has finally compiled the Hoboken November 3rd Mayoral Special Election results in a graphical format to get a visual look at the election results. This shows the overwhelming win that Zimmer received in the election in terms of wards won out of 36 total.


View 2009 November Hoboken Mayoral Votes in a larger map

Key:
Zimmer - Green
Mason - Purple
Raia - Red
Glatt - Blue

Darker hue indicates greater margin of victory

Thanks go out to Eric Kurta for taking the time to compile and present this data for the Hoboken residents. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

h-Mag- A new print and online alternative on Hoboken

Here is a new print and web offering for Hoboken residents called h-Mag:


Editor's Note: The statements below are from h-Mag and not from the editor of this blog. I am publishing this since I do not believe the online version of this magazine covers areas that this blog focuses. Even if it did I find I always find a little competition is healthy unlike one other website out there that preaches free market pro-business approach and then gets in a hissy fit  when another blog starts up in Hoboken. I will place a wager that you won't see Hoboken 411 putting this up on their site. Care to bet? As one reader suggested perhaps I'm gracious but tis' the Season. 

hMAG, Hoboken, New Jersey’s premier lifestyle magazine, releases its January/February 2010 issue featuring America’s Next Top Model Cycle 4 winner Naima Mora and her identical twin sister, Nia Mora, on the cover. One of the most memorable contestants from Top Model history, Mora and her sister were photographed by River Clark, sticking to the Valentine’s Day theme of the issue.

hMAG is a high end, bi-monthly magazine, celebrating local businesses, history, culture, fashion, and the arts with articles featuring the people who live and work in “The Mile Square”. 15,000 complimentary issues are distributed to every doorstep in town, in every room of the prestigious W Hotel, as well as at Path and Ferry stops during rush hour, and to over 100 retail establishments.

hMAG’s website, with social networking features reminiscent of Facebook, will also display the images of the Top Model and the feature story about Hoboken bakeries. The social networking features on the site are built around the magazine’s contents and are designed to connect registered members to the vast and diversified Hoboken community. http://www.h-mag.com/.

My comment: Yet another contender and alternative to the Hoboken web and print landscape. The field of Hoboken websites is starting to get crowded but so far I am pleased with my little niche of political coverage sprinkled with other events in Hoboken. Perhaps this new magazine and website will start to compete seriously with other blogs in town that rely on advertising. We will have to see how this plays out. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Mile Square View Profiles the Four Zoning Board Appointees


The Mile Square View blog hosted by "Da Horsey" aka "Smarty Jones" has profiled the four recent appointees to the Hoboken Zoning Board of adjustment. Here are the links below for your convienience:




The Regulars

Nancy Pincus:

http://hobokenhorse.blogspot.com/2009/12/pony-profile-nancy-pincus.html

James Aibel:

http://hobokenhorse.blogspot.com/2009/12/guest-of-stable-jim-aibel.html

The Alternates

Phil Cohen:

http://hobokenhorse.blogspot.com/2009/12/guest-of-stable-phil-cohen.html

Mike Evers:

http://hobokenhorse.blogspot.com/2009/12/guest-of-stable-mike-evers.html
Share/Bookmark

US Census 2010- New Jersey projected to lose one Congressional Seat


Here is another tidbit about our beloved State of New Jersey that has recently come to light. According to estimates on that latest US Census numbers the state of New Jersey will be losing one Congressional seat and thus one electoral vote once the 2010 US census is finalized next year.

Read the whole article on Bloomberg below:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=azF7JOVMfM_o&pos=8

My Comments: Look on the bright side, that will be one less congressman/woman and their staff and all the other expenses associated with that seat for New Jersey. :)

Also important to note is that all of the population gains went to southern and western states so New Jersey is not alone in this demographic shift. New York state also lost a seat as well. Texas gained the most number of seats at 4 new ones. This shift must have the Republicans hopeful in the near future with respect to electoral politics and the Presidency. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Peter Cunningham on stopping PERC nominations

Here is another Holiday message from Peter Cunningham on stopping the PERC nominations from outgoing governor Jon Corzine. Why are these PERC (perk) nominations so important? Read below and find out for yourself. Here is Peter Cunningham's second holiday message to the constituents.....

All,

Further to my note the other day, yesterday Bloomberg had an interesting article on bond downgrades in New Jersey.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aq.K4roDA_wg&pos=11

We are caught in a perfect storm with falling property values, reduced state aid and increased costs. With more than 50% of our budget tied to union contracts, WE NEED TO FOCUS ON OVERHAULING THE PENSIONS SYSTEM, to end waste and abuse in local government employee compensation and benefits. Time is of the essence as Corzine expects to make 180 appointments by year end with confirmation by the Senate as early as Jan 4th. Of those 180, 4 appointments will be made to the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) for the next 3 years. PERC ( http://www.state.nj.us/perc/) opines on what is a reasonable burden of proof to change the pattern of union contracts and ridiculous and excessive compensation and benefits.

We must have new direction at PERC, and I have attached a form letter urging Cozine to rescind these appointments, candidates to withdrawal and State Senators to block the appointments. Please send to Gov. Corzine with copies to nominees and Gov elect, and re-tailor the letter to State Senators with copies again to nominees and Gov elect.

Here is the attached form letter:

http://issuu.com/hobokenjournal/docs/perc_letter_to_corzine

My apologies for the last minute request, but we need immediate call for action to press for pension reform. The goal is to deliver at least 1,000 letters from Hoboken alone to make any kind of impact. And to keep track of this effort and it's success, please let me know if you will participate.

govelect@govelect.state.nj.us,Senstack@njleg.org, senbsmith@njleg.org, sensarlo@njleg.org , senbuono@njleg.org

(these folks can block the nominations)

Copy the nominees:

aeeaton@rci.rutgers.edu (Adrienne Eaton) 216 Lawrence Ave, Highland Park, NJ 08904

skrengel@edlawcenter.org  (Sharon Krengel)

Local108yttw@msn.com (Ira Stern - Nominated for the Chair position)

pbvoos@rci.rutgers.edu (Paula Voos)

Please pass this on and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Special thanks to Donna Antonucci for spearheading this effort on behalf of Hoboken and all residents of New Jersey.

- Peter Cunningham
Hoboken 5th Ward Councilman

My comment: I had featured this request from Donna Antonucci in an earlier post and now 5th Ward councilman Peter Cunningham has decided to add his support to this effort. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Dino Sandwich and Cafe - New Hoboken Business



Dino Sandwich Cafe at 614 Washington Street looks closer and closer to opening up. I took a peek inside just yesterday and besides the expected offerings of sandwiches it looks like they will have Dino Style TV Dinners as well as dinners for the kids. The prices on some of the TV dinners started at $5.99 from what I could see so it remains to be seen if the portions would be "Jurassic sized" or not (playing to the Dino theme).

If the dinners are indeed of decent portion and properly cooked this could be a promising alternative out there in the Hoboken food-scape. Or, given the recent number newer choices in the midtown area get lost in all the competition.

The editor of this blog, me, Kurtasaurus Rex will at least give this place a shot when it opens. If the TV dinners turn out to be good this could be a nice convienience to the batchelor lifestyle that I do lead. Who wants to cook and wash dishes anyway? ◦
Share/Bookmark

Photo of the Day - Pier A Park


Photo by Hoboken Journal - All rights reserved

I took this photo about a month and a half ago down by pier A Park. The fall folliage Hoboken gets is not the same as the Adirondacks but at least we get some. ◦
Share/Bookmark

5th Ward Hoboken Councilman Peter Cunningham Gives Holiday Message

Here is an email from 5th Ward Hoboken Councilman Peter Cunningham giving his constituents a holiday message...

All,

It has been a while since I have reported on substantive changes at City Hall. As you have seen, the changes are underway and in many instances like the Zoning Board (ZBA), those changes have come.

I will report separately on a City Council recap which addresses ZBA, but attached is an interesting report with regards to public pension funds in New Jersey issued in early December. We all talk about excessively high taxes we pay in Hoboken (and State wide) towards public schools and municipal government. We know that these entities have inherent waste in their operation - and we stand to fix that in Hoboken. And with the recent indictment of our former Parking Utility Director, there was fraud committed and we are fixing that too. The School District as well found misuse of tax payer dollars, and of all things, misuse of fundraising dollars raised by the students. And they too are on the right track with corrective action plans.

While important, these costs and inappropriate use of funds are a fraction of what's spent on public pension funds in New Jersey, and NJ has 566 municipalities. Many of you may have seen this State investigative report, however, in speaking with several neighbors recently, I am not sure it was as widely read as I thought. So it is attached.

Click on the link below to read the whole report:


In short, it looks at a sample population of NJ municipalities and highlights the excessive waste and abuse of local government pension funds. The perks and benefits are unreal. Literally unreal...These costs make up a substantial part of the City's budget.

Please give it a read. There are anticipated changes in Trenton that may require letter writing to legislative leaders and the newly elected Gov to push for important changes and recognize the simply realities of today.

Thanks again for your interest, and please pass this around.

Happy Holidays to all.

Peter Cunningham
5th Ward Hoboken Councilman ◦
Share/Bookmark

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mayor Zimmer Announces Trenton’s Emergency Funding for Hoboken UMC

Here is some good cause for Holiday cheer as the HUMC has received $7 million to stabilze operations for 2010. Read the press release below from City Hall......

Mayor Zimmer Announces Trenton’s Emergency Funding for Hoboken UMC


Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced today that the City was informed by the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services of an allocation of $7 million for the Hoboken University Medical Center from the State’s Health Care Stabilization Fund.

"This funding is very welcome news since it recognizes Hoboken UMC as an essential safety-net hospital and will allow much needed additional time to improve the hospital’s financial performance and pursue its recovery plan,” Mayor Zimmer commented. The Mayor added that more work needs to be done to ensure that the hospital will be financially self sufficient and she is confident the new CEO and his management team are taking all necessary steps to improve revenues and lower costs.

Mayor Zimmer and the hospital’s CEO, Spiros Hatiras, together thanked Governor Jon Corzine and Health Commissioner Heather Howard, as well as members of the Governor-elect Chris Christie Transition Team which supported the awards. She also expressed gratitude to Senator Robert Menendez, State Senator Brian Stack, Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, former State Senator Bernard Kenny and members of the Hoboken City Council for their advocacy and support of the hospital.

Mr. Hatiras previously announced a budget reduction plan with a goal of reaching a break-even financial result for 2010. The Stabilization Grant funding is a part of the recovery plan and does not lessen the need for the hospital to reduce its operating expenses.

He explained, “success of the plan will require shared sacrifice by everyone at the hospital; the senior management team has set an example and already taken a 10% salary decrease." Mayor Zimmer noted that Mr. Hatiras voluntarily led by taking a 15% reduction.

The financially struggling St. Mary Hospital was made a City entity in 2006. The City guaranteed $52,000,000 in bonds for capital projects starting with the new Emergency Room. Approximately $9 million has been used to fund operating expenses. The hospital lost $22.8 million in 2008 on a budget of $136,000,000.

Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority Chairman Kevin Kramer expressed appreciation for Mayor Zimmer's advocacy on behalf of the hospital: "The Mayor's persistent hands-on lobbying for support was instrumental in getting this funding across the finish line."

My comment: This is great news on one hand as it at least gives the HUMC some time to regroup. Their cash on hand was approaching day to day if it was not already there. That organization must use this reprieve to cut total expenses by at least $1 million a month or this will end up being a case of throwing good money after bad. At least it won't be Hoboken taxpayer money and the worse case scenario would at least push back the possibility of the Hospital folding for most of 2010 if not all of it.

Time will tell if this money was a wise use of State money or not. Here is hoping that the current management can make it work. Kudos to the Zimmer Administration for giving the hospital one more chance by helping get this money. There were many others that she thanked in helping get the stabilization grant and they get my thanks as well. Keep in mind the HUMC will have to change its business model in order to survive long term by at least breaking even. The challenges are still there. ◦
Share/Bookmark

N.J. Leads Municipal Bond Downgrades as Aid Shrinks


This arcticle link was forwarded to me by Scott Siegel who from time to time heps me informed with municipal bond related research on this site. Here is a brief excerpt from the article:

N.J. Leads Municipal Bond Downgrades as Aid Shrinks
from Bloomberg.com

Bond ratings of New Jersey towns and cities are being reduced faster than in any other state as property values slide 11 percent and Governor Jon Corzine lowers municipal aid to cope with a $1 billion budget deficit.

Moody’s Investors Service cut ratings on $592 million in general obligation debt issued by 14 municipalities since October, about four times the rate for neighboring New York, the second-most indebted state, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. New Jersey’s per-capita personal income of $51,358 last year was exceeded only by Connecticut, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

To read the full article go here:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aq.K4roDA_wg&pos=11

My comment: Sorry for all the bad fiscal news today. Maybe at least the liquor stores will get an uptick in sales after all this bad news sinks in when you think about paying your 2010 tax bills. Not to heap it on any further but the article went on to state that  New Jersey’s average $7,045 property tax in 2008 was the nation’s highest and 25 percent above the 2004 average of $5,617.

Here is the source of that tidbit from the state Department of Community Affairs:

http://www.state.nj.us/dca/lgs/taxes/08_data/08taxsummary.htm
Share/Bookmark

Grafix Avenger Strikes Again- This time the target is the Hoboken Journal


Reader Grafix_Avenger has been a good contributor to this site with his/her sometimes edgy graphics of politicians and other topics that may come up. Just to show you I can take a joke, here is a little photoshop they did of me, yours truly that has a New Years theme of out with the old and in with new. Funny stuff but did Grafix_Avenger really have to show off my muscular legs on the left with the walker? I'll let it slide this time, Grafix_Avenger! Just this once. :)

Just in fun. Merry Christmas and a happy new year for 2010. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Stevens Institute is Beset by Accusations according to NY Times


Stevens Gate House - from Wikipedia Commons

As previously reported, the NJ state attorney general Anne Milgram has sued the institute and its president, Harold J. Raveché, accusing him of plundering the endowment and receiving $1.8 million in illegal low-interest loans for vacation homes, with half of them later forgiven. The lawsuit was filed on September 17, 2009 and also names Lawrence T. Babbio Jr., the chairman of the institute’s board and a former Verizon president in the case.

The New York Times has coverage of this event today amd here are two brief excerpts from the article:

The institute’s trustees tripled Dr. Raveché’s salary over a decade, to $1.1 million last year, higher than presidential salaries at Harvard, M.I.T. and Princeton, and, the lawsuit says, Stevens used multiple sets of books to hide its deteriorating financial condition.

We found extensive misconduct going back years, a pattern of misinformation to the board and misuse of the endowment,” the attorney general, Anne Milgram, said in an interview this month. “Stevens Institute needs real reform.”

..........

Jack B. Siegel, a Chicago lawyer who follows nonprofit cases nationwide, called the allegations against Stevens “the case of the year” because, unlike previous campus scandals focusing on presidents’ salaries or spending, the case against Stevens outlines a sweeping list of accusations.

“You’ve got allegations involving excessive compensation, but also abuse of the endowment, keeping two sets of books, misleading the board and forgiveness of below-market-rate loans,” Mr. Siegel said. “The entire process of oversight looks tainted. You rarely see a case this extreme.”

Here is the entire NY Times article by Sam Dillon:

NY Times - Stevens Is Beset by Accusations

My comment: It is now apparent that two major employers in Hoboken are now in some financial trouble. They are the Stevens Institute and the HUMC. The process of justice must take its course but the evidence uncovered so far could mean larger financial problems down the line for the university. How much more bad financial news can Hoboken take? ◦
Share/Bookmark

Holy Carbon Footprint Batman! Dogs Carbon Pawprint Double that of SUVs


Here is an article from Yahoo News! that talks about a recently released scientific study that analyzes the carbon footprints of pets with focus on dogs and other domestic animals. Here is an excerpt from the article:

The Vales, specialists in sustainable living at Victoria University of Wellington, analysed popular brands of pet food and calculated that a medium-sized dog eats around 164 kilos (360 pounds) of meat and 95 kilos of cereal a year.

Combine the land required to generate its food and a "medium" sized dog has an annual footprint of 0.84 hectares (2.07 acres) -- around twice the 0.41 hectares required by a 4x4 driving 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) a year, including energy to build the car.

To confirm the results, the New Scientist magazine asked John Barrett at the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, Britain, to calculate eco-pawprints based on his own data. The results were essentially the same.

"Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance, mainly because of the carbon footprint of meat," Barrett said.

To read the full post click on the link below:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091220/sc_afp/lifestyleclimatewarminganimalsfood

My comment: This study has already stoked the ire of some pet owners who understandably have many reasons for owning their pets. The initial study has been confirmed by at least one other source with similar results. The goal of these scientists is to present of full cycle analysis of what it takes to sustain pets. This isn't surprising to me since there are previous studies that indicate a change in the American diet away from beef would result in a reduced carbon footprint due to the high environmental costs of raising beef.

There is an irony of sorts in this in that many environmentalists are also avid pet owners. I'm certainly not asking pet owners to give up their pets but just pointing out the environmental cost of domestic pet ownership. Share your thoughts below..... ◦
Share/Bookmark

Hundreds Vaccinated at City’s H1N1 (Swine Flu) Clinic Held at HUMC

Here is a press release from City Hall regarding last Saturday's efforts to vaccinate residents for the Swine Flu Virus:

Hundreds Vaccinated at City’s H1N1 (Swine Flu) Clinic Held at HUMC

Hundreds of people took advantage of the City of Hoboken’s H1N1 (Swine Flu) Vaccination Clinic, which was held at the Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC) on Saturday, December 19th, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. “The people who put this clinic together should be commended,” said Anthony Oland, who came to get vaccinated along with his two-year-old son Charlie, five-year-old daughter Isabella, and wife Susan Icklan. “Everyone is so professional and attentive.” The clinic was the latest event in the City’s ongoing efforts to help vaccinate members of the community against the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus.


Ashley Boyle, 22, from Hoboken  gets her H1N1 Vaccination on December 19th 2009
Photo Courtesy of Hoboken City Hall

Share/Bookmark

Christmas 2009 at the Hoboken Shelter - How to Volunteer

Christmas 2009 at the Hoboken Shelter - How to Volunteer

300 Bloomfield Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
201-656-5069 (tel.)



If you are interested in volunteering on Christmas, 12/25/2009, at the Hoboken Shelter please call Jaclyn at 201-656-5069.

Volunteers are welcome from 12pm to 8pm.

The schedule of activities is as follows:

12:00pm-7:00pm: Board Games and Social Time
1:30pm-2:00pm: Christmas Lunch
3:00pm-5:00pm: Movie
7:30pm-8:00pm: Christmas Dinner

The Hoboken Shelter can always use the following:

Hot Cups, Paper/Plastic Plates, Plastic Utensils, and Napkins. Thank You!

The Hoboken Shelter

Purpose: The mission of the Hoboken Shelter is to prevent homelessness and to assist homeless men and women re-integrate into the community.
Address: 300 Bloomfield Street, Hoboken NJ 07030
Website: http://www.hobokenshelter.org/
On-line donations (via Guidestar), please click:

http://www2.guidestar.org/organizations/22-3174286/communities-faith-housing-dba-hoboken-shelter.aspx# ◦
Share/Bookmark

Philadelphia Eagles Fans at it Again!

Philadelphia Eagles football fans are notorious for being tough minded and loyal fans to their team. They are also notoriously critical when their team is not doing well. They actually once booed Santa Claus (played by Eagle's fan Frank Olivio) and pelted him with snowballs when he made an appearance at half time back in December of 1968.

Here is the reference to the 1968 incident from the NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/30/sports/football/30nfl.html

An another article from Snopes.com indicating as urban ledgends go that it is indeed true:
http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/santa/philadelphia.asp

This last weekend the fans from "The City of Brotherly Love" were at it again. This time two San Francisco 49ers fans apparently ran their mouths off enough to deserve this snowball bombardment from the fans in that area of the stadium. The Eagles won last Sunday's game 27-13 convincingly over the 49ers. You can't chalk this outburst up to frustration.

Here is the Youtube video captioned "The Philadelphia Eagles fans let two misguided 49ers supporters know what its like in our house":



As a Giants fan I have been rooting for the Eagles when not playing against the Giants just as a hedge so that the Dallas Cowboys have less a shot at the division. For me it is ABD (anybody for Dallas) so I don't have antipathy for Philly fans but I do marvel at their toughness. Share your thoughts below. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jubilee Center Fundraiser upcoming Janauary 15, 2010 at Amanda's


The Jubilee Center is having a fundraiser with special guest U.S. Senator Robert Menendez on Friday, January 15th, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The location is Amanda’s Restaurant at 908 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030. The cost is $250.00 per person. R.S.V.Ps are requested by January 7th, 2010.

Email: development@jubileecenterhoboken.org
Phone: 201-792-0340 (http://www.jubileecenterhoboken.org/)





Share/Bookmark

Photo of the Day - religious statue, but where?


Photo by Hoboken Journal - All Rights Reserved

Today's photo of the day is a nice statue outside of one of Hoboken's Catholic Churches. Can you guess where? This should be pretty easy. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Photo Hoboken History - Political Figures that are Recently Essentially Kaput


Peter Cammarano Center, Lane Bajardi right in better times Summer 2009
Oh happiness is so fleeting for the corrupt and morally devoid
Photo sent by "Eastern_Salvation"

Another borderline insane website has inspired me to look at Hoboken History. With Hoboken still being so transient, I decided to focus on recent history of Hoboken. Rather than scan in old postcards and old post card remakes and possibly violate copyright laws like they alledgedly do, I figured I would share the recent photograph of two down and out politicos enjoying the most fleeting moments of being kings of the world only to see the vestiges of power crumble from their very grabby hands about a month later. Wonder what there are laughing about? Did Lane pull Petey's finger? Just a guess. ◦
Share/Bookmark

Reminder- Hall Craft Fair this Weekend

Holiday Crafts Fair

Sat.and Sun. Dec. 19th and 20th from 11am to 5pm
94 Washington Street; all 3 floors, elevator available.
New crafters everyday

Unique handcrafted gift items; featuring the work of over 40 artists, crafters, photographers & more.

Just 3 blocks from all publictransportation including PATH, NJ Transit trains & buses, NY Waterway Ferries and the Hudson Bergen Lightrail.

For more info call 201-420-2207
http://www.hobokennj.org/
Share/Bookmark

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hungry? - Try "The Boken Online"


For those of you who do not not know already,  The Boken Online is a Hoboken Website about food, drink and entertainment in our Mile Square City. I met the people who run the web site and they are very nice. The link to their website is http://thebokenonline.com/. I have also put their ad on the right top of my site for some time to give them some publicity and see if they will do the same.


I let them use my write-up of Stack's Pancake House and Cafe here:

http://thebokenonline.com/2009/12/16/stacks-pancake-house-and-cafe-open-for-business/

The above is an example of using syndication of my article to help me get more traffic to my site while providing their site with content of interest. In general business jargon that is called a win-win.

This is a story I think my readers will find valuable to let those who drive here find parking.....

Hoboken Parking a Breeze for Out of Town Diners

http://thebokenonline.com/2009/12/10/hoboken-parking-a-breeze-for-out-of-town-diners/

My Comment: Clearly there are other alternatives in the blog-o-sphere to the nastiness that has become Hoboken 411. My site covers politics and a variety of things and the The Boken Online offers valuable insight into the nightlight, food and entertainment scene without the "crazies" that dominate that other site. Welcome to the Hoboken Journal circle of friends, the circle that continues to grow without the jerk (Klaussen). ◦
Share/Bookmark

The New 7-Eleven, It is a hit! Fight Club Anyone?

Update: According to the HPD no arrests were made for this altercation as niether party filed charges. One of the pugilists was driven safely home by the police. No injures reported. Honestly, this is the best result. Who wants to go to jail over a stupid fist fight triggered by alcoholic consumption? Hopefully, if these two guys are buddies they will laugh about it over a couple of beers soon.

Original Post:

I have a tendency to be up late from time to time and happened upon this scuffle as I was walking along Washington Street sometime after 12AM. Inside the newly opened 7-Eleven doorway I spotted two younger men struggling on the floor at first. I was not there to see what precipitated that other than usual suspects of alchohol, one's inability to handle it, blatant immaturity, and an unfettered testosterone rush enhanced perhaps by a half dozen Red Bulls and a dozen shots.

At the urging of the store owner and a few of their friends the two eventually got up and took it outside. At first they just argued and but then started it up again when one of the guys threw something at the other one and a full fledged donnybrook ensued. One of the girlfriends recieved a fairly substantial blow while caught up in the middle of this but she looked like she will be ok from the punch.

I spoke with the manager and he did call 911. The group did eventually disperse (one of my favorite bouncer words) and head uptown. On my way uptown I spoke with a bouncer at East LA and he said the police did get the guys up the street but I do not have a second source to confirm for sure if it was the same actors or not.

Not a fun evening for the 7-Eleven manager. He did express concern that the police did not show up sooner. From what I stated above, it looks like the police possibly got the two fighters. Perhaps like East LA that was having a jamming good time Thursday night, they should consider a doorman or two as well.

Question: Will 7-Eleven late night become Hoboken's new fight club? The mulitude of carb offerings, brand name, and late night hours are like a beakon that invites members of the male species, who have had more than their normal allottment of "liquid courage" to make the hunter-gatherer-esque pilgrimage, get their microwaved sustinence and possibly punch their way home. Important to note that the store was busy with mostly happy drunks and late shift workers when I was there. Time will tell. Hopefully this is an aberation.

Here are some blury iPhone photos shot in sequence of the three round event:




Share/Bookmark

Reader Mail- Donna Antonucci - Stop the 4 PERC Appointments Letter Writing campaign


Here is a reader mail from Donna Antonucci asking me to publish this article urging citizens of Hoboken to write letters to various politicians on 4 PERC committee appointments that the outgoing Governor is trying to make before duly elected Chris Christie takes office.

While I do agree reform of the binding arbitration rules are in order and that this committee has an important role to play which could impact municipal budgets for years to come, the opinions of Donna Antonucci are hers alone and not necessairly the editor of this journal (me) or any group to which she is affiliated with. Feel free to comment below on the issue of these last minute PERC appointments.

Here is her message:

Of the 180 11th hour appointments Corzine has put forth for senate confirmation, 4 are for the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC). These people set the tone for the collective bargaining process as they hear appeals to arbitrated contracts.

For example, if a municipality appeals an arbitrated union contract to them saying that the arbitrator did not consider today's dire economic state, it's up to this body to opine if it has merit. If it sides with the municipality it changes the threshold for change for all arbitrated and by implication all contracts that don't go to arbitration as that's always an option.

This body has been and would continue to be extremely labor friendly. Our labor contracts constitute 55% of our budgets. We are giving away golden packages with healthcare plans that cost >$20K per person, $150 - $250K checks at retirement for unused vacation and deferred comp while they have gotten "extra" days for bar mitzvah's, weddings and even shopping.

Please write a letter to Corzine, and the senators who can block these nominations. I have penned a sample letter and below are all the addresses you need. PLEASE HELP MAKE SURE WE GET THE ADMINISTRATION WE VOTED FOR. (some of the terms of these appointments are for 3 or more years!!! The PERC ones are for 3 years and it's a 7 panel board for 4 appointments = a labor friendly majority)

Here is what I penned and for your convenience the list of addresses to copy. For Corzine, all we have is his home address so you have to send it though the USPS.

govelect@govelect.state.nj.us,Senstack@njleg.org, senbsmith@njleg.org,senbuono@njleg.org, sensarlo@njleg.org, (these folks can block the nominations)

Please copy me so I know how many people participated
donnaantonucci@gmail.com

Copy the nominees:

1) aeeaton@rci.rutgers.edu (Adrienne Eaton)
216 Lawrence Ave, Highland Park, NJ 08904

2) skrengel@edlawcenter.org (Sharon Krengel)

3) Local108yttw@msn.com  (Ira Stern - Nominated for the Chair position)

4) pbvoos@rci.rutgers.edu (Paula Voos)

Here is the sample letter:

RE: 4 PERC Nominations

Governor Corzine,

I am writing to ask you to withdraw the 4 nominations for the PERC Board. As you know, these 4 positions have been in hold over status for quite some time. I believe one post expired at the end of 2007. As such, you are creating a majority that will serve for the next 3 years rather one that would have been staggered out over one year of the new administration. I believe NJ needs a new direction.

As I am sure you have read the NJ Commission of Investigations report dated December 2009, our public employee contracts under the collective bargaining process are fleecing the state. Most embarrassing for Hoboken, Hoboken was cited as an example of how the current collective bargaining process has condoned tremendous excesses and abuse. The PERC board sets the tone and determines the burden of proof in any appeal.

We sent former Police Chief LaBruno off into retirement with a $525,000 payout on top of his 7 figure NPV retirement + health care for life. We cannot get our public employees to contribute to healthcare premiums or take a plan limited to a network or has a deductible above $200 per family. In 2008/2009 we spent $23,000 per employee because we have not been able to get them away from a very expensive plan. Our contract has extra days for weddings, bar mitzvahs, blood donation. As such, they accrue a tremendous amount of vacation that they take at the retirement in addition to terminal pay. We are paying out $150 to $250,000 per public safety employee who retires with 25 years or more on top of their lucrative pension.


I have reviewed the PERC website and have looked at various appeals. Many municipalities have tried to make the argument that these are dire economic times. Our population is out of work, underemployed and leaving the state. Hoboken's median age is 30 v the state average of 36. We have a disproportionate number of young people who are experiencing much higher unemployment - as much as 50%. Personnel costs represent 55% of our budget. We cannot afford to pay into the pensions system to make good on these contracts. NJ comes in dead last in terms of property taxes in the country based on the The Tax Foundation - a non profit that looks at taxation across the nation.

We have the highest income tax rate in our upper income bands and many of our wealthy are leaving the state and on a microcosm, Hoboken as well. If we don't impact these contracts, we cannot bring relief to the citizens of Hoboken.

The PERC Commissioners burden of proof that economic conditions are severe enough to curtail increases much less wage and benefits cuts never seem to be enough. We need a PERC board that thinks differently and I think Governor-elect Christie will marshall in that group if you let him.

We are in the middle of negotiating our public safety contracts. The unions are well aware that the terms of 6 out of 7 PERC Commissioners have expired. By putting forth these nominations at this time is allowing them to continue to resist necessary and prudent benefits cuts and wage freezes.

I urge you to rescind these 4 nominations and allow the new administration to do so.


Sincerely,

Your name here

- Donna Antonucci ◦
Share/Bookmark