Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Parade Only a Week Away!



The Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Parade is only a week away. Here is the list of the current and past Grand Marshals:

This Year's Current Grand Marshal
Marie Wall


1987 Grand Marshal George W. Crimmins, Sr.
1988 No Parade
1989 Grand Marshal Tom Mooney
1990 Grand Marshal Bernard Kenny
1991 Grand Marshal Jim Bailey
1992 Grand Marshal Edward McDonald
1993 Grand Marshal Helen A. Cunning
1994 Grand Marshal Tom Kennedy, Sr.
1995 Grand Marshal Edward Cunning, Jr.
1996 Grand Marshal George W. Crimmins, Jr.
1997 Grand Marshal Jack Howe
1998 Grand Marshal Liam Benson
1999 Grand Marshal James Greene
2000 Grand Marshal Tim Calligy
2001 Grand Marshal John Carey
2002 Grand Marshal Maurice Fitzgibbons
2003 Grand Marshal Joan Smith Cunning
2004 Grand Marshal Jack O'Brien
2005 Grand Marshal E. Norman Wilson
2006 Grand Marshal Buddy Matthews
2007 Grand Marshal Sean Hession
2008 Grand Marshal Dick England


Also, a reader suggested these t-shirts for those who celebrate St. Patty's Day:

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Another Candidate Planning to Run for Mayor - Frank Orsini

It looks like we have another candidate for Hoboken Mayor. Thanks to a tip from an anonymous reader I have found Frank Orsini's web site at the following address:

http://orsiniforhobokenmayor.com/index.htm

Note: When I first checked it gave me a message that it is registered and a web site is pending. Checking back this morning at 9AM there is this message that the site is under construction:


Now there is still the formal act of filing the D-1 form to NJ Board of Elections as well as collecting about 390 signatures. As I find more documentation I will let you know. As of yet there is no formal announcement to the best of my knowledge but the web site is a strong indication of his intent to run.


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Friday, February 27, 2009

Another One Puts His Hat in the Ring for Mayor- Tom Vincent


Tom Vincent, long time resident, part time musician ("The Romance Commandos"), and full time software consultant has decided to start collecting signatures for his run for Mayor of Hoboken in 2009 . In a previous post I had listed him as "Candidate Y" since I knew he had picked up the forms from City Hall recently from a good source of mine there but I wanted to wait for him to give me the go ahead before I published anything.

Tom has never had political aspirations until now. Here is a brief excerpt from pending material which explains why he has decided to run for Mayor of Hoboken:

"I've lived in Hoboken for 28 years. And like a lot of us, I didn't really pay that much attention to local politics. It seemed the province of insiders, well- connected land-owners, business people, and life-long politicians whose dealings remained mysterious. It didn't seem like a very democratic system but it also didn't seem that there was anything I could do about it. But after watching poor decision-making and poor planning squander our resources and potential I can't just watch any longer."

Editor's Note: There will be more material forthcoming once his website is ready for public viewing. Tom is not planning on running with a slate based on my discussions with him. I know Tom Vincent personally and I can tell you he is intelligent and engaging to converse with.

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Court Street Wine Tasting Tommorow - A Few Openings Left


Here is an announcement from Court Street that I received via email at 6:30 PM on 2/27/2009:

We have a few last minute openings for tomorrow's unannounced Wine Tasting.

Saturday, February 28th, 2-4PM

Join us for a Tasting of the Wines of Palmina and Ruca Malen

Robert Parker says: "If you haven't yet discovered Palmina, these are very impressive Italian-inspired wines from one of California's most brilliant winemakers". Another favorite of Robert Parker's is Ruca Malen of Argentina

This tasting features 10 wines in a sit-down, educational format accompanied by a selection of Cheese and Crackers. We recommend that you have lunch before the tasting.

The cost of the tasting is $25 plus Tax and a $5.00 Gratuity.

If you would like to attend, please call us at 201.795.4515
(Please do not respond by email since we will require your Credit Card information)

When you make a reservation we will ask you for a Credit Card to pay for the tasting.
We will charge you for the total cost of all of the people in your party.

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Another Photo of the Day - Symposia Stroller Saturation

While sauntering on Washington Street I noticed all of these strollers outside the Symposia Bookstore bewteen 5th and 6th on Washington Street. It must have been for the nearly daily show Puppetonia that always seems to pack the house full of young tikes. The Fundamendalist South has their "Holy Rollers" and this picture makes me want to say "Holy Strollers, Batman". I have definetly noticed the baby boom trend in the 6 years plus that I have lived here. Now the question remains, will at least some of these families set down roots here and stay longer than 5 years? Time will tell.


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Hoboken Historical Museum - March 1st Exhibits



Two New Exhibits Opening, March 1, 2-5 pm at the Hoboken Historical Museum


"Up and Down the River: A History of the Hudson, 1609 - 2009"



Join the Hoboken Historical Museum on Sunday, March 1, for a free reception from 2 – 5 p.m. to kick off our latest exhibition, "Up and Down the River: A History of the Hudson, 1609 – 2009."

It's a rare chance to celebrate a quadricentennial. A hundred years ago this fall, New York City threw a two-weeklong public celebration of a double anniversary: the tricentennial of Henry Hudson's voyage up the river that now bears his name and the centennial (plus two) of Robert Fulton's first successful steamboat crossing in 1807. One of the largest public anniversaries in the country's history, offices and factories closed and the number of commuter trains doubled to handle the crowds for the banquets, parades, historical floats, theatrical performances, lectures, fireworks and an airplane flight by Wilbur Wright around the Statue of Liberty.

The exhibit will extend through the end of the year to accommodate a full agenda of talks, events, educational programs and art celebrating the river that shaped our city's fortunes, by:

Providing food and commerce to the area's first inhabitants, the Lenni Lenape Indians;

Connecting 19th century New Yorkers to Hoboken during its incarnation as the "Elysian Fields" and home of the cup-winning yacht, America;

Bringing to its piers the grand passenger ships from Europe and later a bustling cargo trade, as depicted in the film "On the Waterfront";

Inspiring groundbreaking maritime research at the Stevens Institute of Technology;

Providing recreational activities along miles of New Jersey waterfront walkway, thanks to the advocacy of citizen activists.

For the exhibition, the Museum commissioned an original mural of the outline of Hoboken's waterfront along the length of the main wall, painted by local artist Ray Guzman. Items on display, including a scale model of a Hudson River tugboat by John Marinovich and memorabilia from the 1909 Hudson-Fulton celebration, come from the Museum's own collections, as well as from the South Street Seaport Museum, Stevens Institute of Technology and the Bayonne Historical Society.

Group Art Show, "hob'art's Hoboken" Opens Sunday, Mar. 1



Eight members of the cooperative gallery, hob'art, have contributed works that focus on Hoboken and reflect a personal view of the city for the Upper Gallery exhibit, "hob'art's Hoboken," which opens Sunday, Mar. 1, with a reception from 2 – 5p.m. Admission is free.

The public is invited to meet the artists and see their interpretations of Hoboken in photographs and other media, including painting on silk, which will be on display through April 12. The participating artists are Elizabeth Cohen, Tom Eagan, Femi Ford, Andrea Milo, Virginia Parrott, Roslyn Rose, Leona Seufert and Sissi Siska.

The artists will return for a panel discussion about their works on Sunday, March 29 at 4 p.m., titled "Art in a New Era." The group's president, Elizabeth Cohen, will lead off with a brief statement about hob'art's mission and aims for the immediate future, then each panelist will explain how he or she individually used both traditional techniques and modern technology to capture an individual view of Hoboken. ◦
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Protest Rally at City Hall March 4th

Here is an announcemnet from Lower Hoboken Taxes. In conjunction with Hoboken Revolt they are planning a rally at City Hall next Wednesday March 4th to demand accountability of the City Council:

"FORCE CHANGE" RALLY NEXT WEDNESDAY!!!!

Join us Next Wednesday, March 4th at 6:30 pm, as LowerHobokenTaxes.com will join forces with Hoboken Revolt and rally at City Hall to tell our council members to start getting involved in making budget cuts or we will use our power of recall to get them out of office. We had 300 people at the last rally in December. Our goal is to double that to 600! Mark your calendar, grab your friends and neighbors and meet us at City Hall at 6:30 PM. Attached is a flier with the details. Please post this flyer in your building and encourage people to attend.





Here is the flier in Slide Share:


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Photo of the Day - World Trade Center #7

Here is a veiw of the World Trade Center Building #7 from right outside the downtown PATH Station in New York City:


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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yeah Mon! NJ Approves Medical Marijuana

Here is an article posted on NJ.com....

N.J. Senate approves bill allowing use of medical marijuana

The state Senate voted today to legalize marijuana for medical use, despite warnings the drug would fall into the hands of recreational users instead of the chronically ill patients who suffer from debilitating symptoms. The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act targets patients suffering from a debilitating disease defined as cancer, glaucoma, HIV and AIDS, and other chronic illnesses that cause "wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, seizures and severe and persistent muscle spasms," according to the bill.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/nj_senate_approves_medical_mar.html

In the interest of discussion here are two articles, one for and one against marijuana being legalized outright......

Here is an argument for making marijuana legal:

http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/stories/2003/12/22/whyIsMarijuanaIllegal.html

Here is an argument for keeping marijuana illegal:

http://www.odysseyhouseinc.org/News/bht1002.html

And here is the Hoboken Journal Reader Poll:





And here is the anti-pot propaganda film "Reefer Madness" for reference. Regardless of your position on the topic the claims made in this cult classic seem far fetched and outlandish to our modern sensibilities:


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Email on upcomming event for Teen Mentoring - March 5th

I received this email from David R. Lambert who is promoting teen mentoring for children in Hoboken. Here is his email:

To my neighbors in Hoboken:
My name is David Lambert and I am writing to invite you to an important gathering in Hoboken, NJ on March 5th. The theme of the event is Mentoring. The centerpiece of the evening will be a screening of the film Journeyman, a one-hour documentary about two teenage boys and the impact that mentoring has on their lives.

My goal is to create a discussion about the importance of mentoring in our evolving community, and I’d like you to be part of this event!

About the event:
You are invited to a screening and discussion at All Saints Episcopal Parish, at 701 Washington Street in Hoboken, NJ. Please join everyone at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 5. In addition to the general public, I am inviting many people from many local and state organizations, from the town Board of Ed and local youth groups to the NJ Division of Youth and Family Services, as well as mentoring organizations such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Boys to Men and iMentor.

This is a non-denominational event. Light snacks will be provided. A suggested donation of $5 will cover the costs of screening the film.

About the film:
Journeyman is a Minnesota-made documentary about American male culture and the need for men in boys' lives—and vice versa. The film focuses on two boys, Mike and Joe, introducing us to their families, their strengths, their limitations, and the challenges each faces in overcoming obstacles as they move from boyhood toward manhood.

The film also features Michael Gurian (The Good Son and The Wonder of Boys,) Dr. Barbara Coloroso, (Kids Are Worth It), and Dr. David Walsh (Why Do They Act that Way?).
Journeyman studies the phenomena of "at risk" boys. The documentary gives us two powerful central theses: First, that boys who lack male mentors and healthy “rites of passage” are prone to search for other things to fill in the gap; those “solutions” can include drugs, promiscuity, gangs or worse. Second, and perhaps less obvious, is the discovery that men who aren’t actively involved in mentoring the boys around them are also lacking something vital, and are just as prone to seek poor or even self-destructive substitutes.

Journeyman has had theatre screenings in major cities across the country, and it recently won the Best Documentary 2008 award at the Gloria Film Festival in Salt Lake City. It has been used to recruit and train new mentors, fund-raise and generally raise awareness about the issues teenage boys face, including teen violence, high dropout rates, depression, addiction and even suicide. Additional information about the film can be found at www.mirrormanfilms.org.


To view previews and trailers, please click these links:

Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dINl_U_vqg
Higher quality version:
http://www.videohaiku.com/journeyman/trailer.mp4
Windows:
http://www.videohaiku.com/journeyman/trailer.wmv

About the organizer:
I have lived in Hoboken since 1995 and have been active in a men’s group called the Mankind Project since 2000. (Journeyman was filmed by members of The Mankind Project.)
As I watch Hoboken and the neighboring towns in Hudson County evolve, I see an ever-growing need for support and mentoring in the lives of the teens around me. And I see a tremendous surge of people in the neighborhood who might have the time and the ability to offer their gifts, if they only knew the need existed.

Thank you very much for your time and interest in this event. Please call 201-459-8858 if you have any questions or if you'd like to volunteer to help on the night of the event, and feel free to pass this invitation on to others who might be interested or have something to contribute to the conversation.

Sincerely,
David R. Lambert ◦
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bill Maher vs. Ann Coulter in NYC March 9


2009 Speaker Series - Live and Uncensored

Here is what promises to be a good showdown between snarky liberal Bill Maher and vitriolic conservative Ann Coulter in New York City on March 9th at Radio City Music Hall.

MSG Entertainment is proud to announce the second annual “Speaker Series: The Minds That Move The World,” a timely and important series of events that will provide attendees with a unique framework for understanding America’s current political landscape and place in world politics, through the insights of some of the most prominent political figures of our time.



For additional information and tickets go to this site:


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Elysian Cafe Recap- Martin Rivas and Craig Meyer Saturday 2/21/2009

The acoustic duo of Martin Rivas and Craig Meyer entertained the crowd as always on last Saturday night (2/21/2009) at the Elysian Cafe at 10th and Washington Street. They usually start out with a mellow set of pop covers and a few originals and move to a much more lively second set which almost always gets the crowd up and dancing in the back room.

Here is a promo poster of the duo:

Here is a link to their website:

http://www.martinrivas.net/martinandmeyer/

I at first hesitated to put up these videos as even though my camera is high def, it is not as good in low-light situations as I had hoped. Here is a video nonetheless that captures the festive evening somewhat :


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$75M School Aid Cut won't be Restored - Corzine

Here is a story from the New Jersey Herald that could impact Hoboken's school budget.

$75M School Aid Cut won't be Restored - Corzine

New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine says a $75 million cut in school aid is not likely to be restored if the Legislature fails to approve a plan allowing school districts to skip this years pension fund payment. The governor says the pension deferral bill would ease the blow of midyear aid cuts to school districts, towns and counties. The bill allows local governments and schools to defer half their contribution to the employee pension fund.

http://www.njherald.com/story/news/corzine
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Economy Watch- Video on Housing Crisis on Hulu

Here is a very thorough documentary on the housing crisis that is on Hulu. This is over an hour long but you can fast forward through it if you choose. One thing stands out in at least my mind was that the sub prime mortgages didn't just originate from Freddie and Fanny, there were many less the scrupulous lenders financed by Wall Street that contributed greatly to the bubble as well.


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Photos of the Day - Sinatra Drive Parking Meters

Here are some photos of the newly installed Sinatra Drive parking meters:




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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Economy Watch- In Jeapordy of Foreclosure? - Say Three Words

Here is a video from ABC News that if for some reason you should end up in jeapordy of foreclosure, you should say these three words to possibly stall those procedings, "Produce the Note":

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?cl=12195482


My Comment: With all the complex wiz-bang and improperly regulated transactions that partially led to this housing crisis in the first place, it seems that banks can't find the original notes for some of these properties given the mulitple number of times these mortgages had been repackaged/rebundled all in the name of liquidity via securitization, lowered risk and profit. Where is the liquidity and lowered risk now? ......... Thought so! The profit has already been taken. ◦
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Reader Poll- Who was a More Effective Mayor of Hoboken?

Here is a reader poll I created since Robert's term is almost up and he is 99% certain at this point not to seek re-election. I ask the reader if Dave Roberts or Anthony Russo was more effective as Mayor, or is it too soon to tell. Constructive comments are always welcome.


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Ravi Bhalla Newsletter

I received this email from Ravi Bhalla's campaign. Here is a candidate spelling out where he stands on recent issues that have been the topic at City Hall:

This Week: Ravi on the Issues

During my almost ten years in town, I hardly get the sense that the public knows where political candidates stand on local issues.

This week I am sharing with you my views on three local issues: What has been called Hoboken's "unauthorized early retirement program"; Budget leadership by the Council; and a possible redevelopment zone designation for northwest Hoboken. At this past Wednesday's City Council meeting, all three issues were all on the table.

You should know where I stand and how I would have voted if I was on the City Council.Conventional wisdom says that it is politically saavy to be vague about on where you stand on issues.

Nonsense. Public servants should have public positions so that the public can support, critique, and otherwise engage our democratic system. Many of you may disagree with where I stand. That is ok.

At this juncture it is more important that political candidates take clear stands on issues, rather than hide behind generalities or radio silence. Let the conversation begin. Let me know where you stand by contacting me here.

Sincerely,Ravi

Ravi's Take: Why is Hoboken being billed $4.2 billion for an "unauthorized early retirement incentive program?

Background - The Law: The State of New Jersey has determined that Hoboken in 2008 initiated an "unauthorized early retirement incentive program" to about 25 employees. These programs offer employees, who are otherwise qualified to retire, some form of financial inducement to retire sooner than they would under normal circumstances.

According to state law, municipalities must obtain approval from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs prior to offering any such program to local employees. In addition under state law, any employer offering a retirement incentive program is directly billed by the State for the additional pension costs resulting from the program. So What Happened in Hoboken? In short, Hoboken offered city employees a retirement incentive program without obtaining prior approval from the State. According to state officials, Hoboken never even notified the State, much less obtained its approval, before offering this program to City employees. Consequently, Hoboken was never billed - until now - for the $4.2 million in additional costs created by the program. Learn more here.

Ravi's Take: In the Midst of a Budget Crisis, the City Council Refuses to Reduce its Own Salary


What I Saw at the City Council: This past Wednesday, the City Council, in a 4-4 vote, 1 abstention vote, rejected a measure that would have reduced their own salaries by 10%. Council members in favor of the ordinance argued that while this initiative would not greatly reduce our fiscal problems, it is a necessary start if the City Council is to consider measures to reduce the salaries and/or benefits of other city employees. Council members against the ordinance argued that it was merely symbolic and improper in light of the hours of hard work all council members place into performing their duties.My Take: I strongly support this measure and as a Councilman I would have voted in favor of it. If the measure was "symbolic", then the symbol was one of austerity and collective sacrifice - a powerful and necessary symbol for the City Council to adopt in a budget crisis.
Read more here.

Ravi's Take: The High Rise Developer's Best Friend

A Redevelopment Zone Background: This past Wednesday, the City Council passed, by a 6-3 vote, a resolution that authorizes the Planning Board to undertake a study of 19 blocks in the northwestern corner of Hoboken as a potential area in need of redevelopment. Proponents of the measure argued that a study is necessary to determine what is necessary to enhance its development and in turn generate increased revenue either through PILOTS or traditional property tax revenue. Opponents of the measure argued that once the area is designated a redevelopment zone, developers will not be bound by zoning laws and so will be allowed to build high rise condos and office space. My Take: I would have voted against this measure at this juncture if I were on the Council.


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Photo of the Day - Sinatra Field Sunset

Here is a soccer filled sunset at Sinatra Field taken last weekend:


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Monday, February 23, 2009

Website Milestone - 5,000 Visitors

Note: Updated to take out the word unique visitor.

As one vitriolic poster correctly pointed out, in my inexperience with web tracking tools and terminology I misused the term unique visitor and for that I apologize. It is a shame that some people are so filled with hate that they have to make comments with a tone such as that. If my site has such "dribbles of traffic" then why bother making the comments at all? I highly doubt that my paltry traffic numbers constitute a threat to sites that are in it to make money. At least I publish my stats but I can't say so for other sites.

I am proud to some extent of what I have accomplished in two short months but I do realize that there are limits to how much traffic I can get as I am focused on a narrow topic. Here is the blurb from Site Meter clarifying what is a visit for further clarification:

When you are browsing a site, every time you follow a link to a new web page, it
is treated as a single page view. Site Meter defines a visit as a series of page
views by one person with no more than 30 minutes in between page views. If you
click on a link to another site, and then come back to your site within 30
minutes, you are still on the same visit and Site Meter won't increment the
counter. But Site Meter will increment the number of page views recorded for
your current visit.
Here is the original article:

The Hoboken Journal just reached a new milestone today with over 5,000 visits since I began tracking exactly two months ago. Other key stats are over 1,000 visitors in the last 7 days as well as over 11,000 page views. I would like to thank my readers to spread the word about this site if you like it.


As usual, I will take reader photos and letters and I am receptive to story suggestions. Just email me at kurt.gardiner@gmail.com.




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Editor's Survey- Should I Make People Sign in for Comments?

Here is a recent post that someone sent in about the nature of the commenting rules on this site:



Hope you are happy with this garbage Kurt. You have given anonymous liars a new venue to spread trash.

Of course the irony is not lost on me that the person who posted this comment did so anonymously. Just kidding. Point taken.

Good comment for the following reason, I have been thinking of having users sign in with a google account or some other blogger id instead of anonymously for three reasons:

1) It gives some accountability to the post.
2) It is easier to track conversations.
3) You can still remain unknown in terms of who you really are.


So readers, what do you think, should I now require users to sign in and forgo the convenience of not signing in for comments (which to me isn't a big deal)?

Let me know your thoughts in comments or in this survey below:



The Editor - "Reformerous_Gianticus" ◦
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NJ.com Article on Beth Mason

Just published today in the Jersey Journal is an article from a seasoned political reporter on the possible reasons why Beth Mason has not formally declared yet. Please note that these are the opinions of the Jersey Journal's writer and not necessarily this blog. I am posting this article because it represents another conversation on process of the formation of at least one slate and is relevant to my first stab at the candidate slates earlier this morning. I will try to publish other links as they may come up for a broad-based view of the political strategies and movements of what promises to be a very interesting race. Here is the article:

Mason is yet to jump in - here's some reasons why

http://www.nj.com/jjournal/stories/index.ssf?/base/columns-0/1235373962273380.xml&coll=3

The writer of this article AGUSTIN TORRES can be reached at atorres@jjournal.com.

My Comment: I too have wondered why a front runner (based on the polls) would wait so long to announce but I understand that her campaign is being professionally managed and has its own timeframe for such announcement. Please note I am not trying to force any time table on any candidate but rather just reflecting my observations. Possible reasons for her waiting are:

1) Shortening the timeframe for attacks from the opposition.
2) Solidifying a diverse slate of council members to run on the ticket.
3) Clarifying the message and theme of the campaign. ◦
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Another Party This Weekend - Hoboken Elks

The Hoboken Elks threw a party this last Saturday night (2/21/2009) with a 70s and 80s music theme. The cover was $25 and the event was well attended with several hundred people. I apologize in advance for the poor quality video considering it is an HD camera but I wanted to capture the spirit of Hoboken from a diverse perspective. This essentially B&R reunion of sorts is one way to do this. At least this weekend Hoboken didn't seem to be in a recession gievn the activity on Washington Street but reality will most likely set in today with lower bar and restaurant attendance than last year. Get your grove on:


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Hoboken Tax Reform Coalition Candidate Questionaire

Here is an announcement sent to me from Hoboken Revolt:
Now that petitions are out and the debate dates are set it is time to focus the Mayoral and Council Member -at -Large candidates on the policy issues of concern to the citizens of Hoboken, and indeed the financial survival of Hoboken. HOBOKEN REVOLT has developed this Questionnaire which it will be sending to all candidates, the responses to which will be posted on the HOBOKEN REVOLT web site.


Hoboken Tax Reform Coalition
Where Do our Mayoral & City Council Candidates Stand on the Issues?

The objective of the Hoboken Tax Reform Coalition is to drive a significant reduction in property taxes without compromising the safety and soundness of Hoboken. We appreciate your taking time to answer the following questions that will explain your position on issues of importance, as set forth in our mission statement, to the members of the HTRC and the taxpayers of Hoboken.

1) Objective: Drive a significant reduction in property taxes without compromising the safety and soundness of Hoboken.

Question: Do you agree that the annual operating budget for Hoboken should be reduced?

- What do you think the appropriate budget for each of the next five years should be?
- Do you have a detailed plan to accomplish this?
- If so, what are the significant initiatives you will support to reduce the annual operating budget?
- What is the timeline to implement the plan?
- Please explain any calculations of savings that may be included in your plan.
- What concessions, if any, will be necessary in the upcoming Police and Fire contracts in order to achieve the target budgets you propose?
- What revenue-enhancement opportunities do you see?

2) Objective: Set standards for smart PILOTs that improve the fiscal condition of Hoboken.

Question: What are the specific quantifiable criteria that should be used to determine if a proposed PILOT brings “value-added” to Hoboken?

- How do existing PILOTs fare against your standard for evaluating new PILOTs?
- Have you conducted any analysis of existing PILOTs to determine whether the terms of the agreements are being met and whether the City is obtaining the correct revenue stream based upon the current contracts?
- In light of such analysis, what proposals, if any, do you have for modification or elimination of existing PILOTs upon expiration or through negotiations?
- Do you have a plan for transitioning PILOTs when they cannot be legally extended?

3) Objective: Remove the taxpayer guarantee to the Hoboken University Medical Center.

Question: Are you fully informed about the financial status and quality of care of the hospital?

- Do you think that Hoboken should continue to own the hospital or do you think it should be spun off back into a free-standing, not-for-profit institution by the end of 2009, free of the City bond guarantee or other financial support?
- If so, what plan do you have to accomplish this transition?
- If not, what is your understanding of the taxpayer exposure in the event that the hospital should fail? What plan would you put in place to protect the taxpayers?
- The hospital lost $11 million last year ($4 million operating loss, plus necessary accruals for long term capital repairs). The portion of the $52 million bond that was allocated for operating expenses has been fully used. How do you see filling the gap if the hospital continues to operate at a loss?

4) Objective: Force the initiation of a property revaluation, as per current law.

Question: Do your support the immediate initiation of a revaluation for Hoboken with a set date for implementation of January 2011?

- If so, what specific proposals do you have in this regard?
- If not, what is the justification in light of State law mandating identifying triggers for periodic revaluations?

5) Objective: Act as a fiscal watchdog/public advocate for the taxpayers of Hoboken.

Question: How will you increase fiscal transparency and accountability in Hoboken?

- How will you involve the public more in the policy-making process and financial oversight?
- How will you make City Council meetings more inclusive? Do you believe that the five minute public comment rule is appropriate?

6) Objective: Downsize county government to provide only essential non-duplicative services.

Question: What specific duplicative and/or unnecessary county services would you publicly campaign to close or eliminate?

- What services could be regionalized rather than provided separately in every Hudson County town?

7) Objective: Explore a change in the form of Hoboken government to one which is more transparent, accountable and responsive.

Question: Have you considered whether a different form of local government, authorized under the Faulkner statute would provide more transparency, accountability, austerity and responsiveness?

- If so, what form of government, if any, do you think could better achieve these goals and why?
- Would you support initiating an immediate change to that form of government?
- If not, why not?

8) Objective: Increase the Board of Education’s fiscal accountability and measure improvements in performance.

Questions:

- How would you make the BoE fiscally accountable to City Hall and the public?
- How would you benchmark and measure student, teacher and administrative performance?
- Would you support and institute an investigation to determine whether any unapproved non-Hoboken resident students are enrolled in the Hoboken school system?
-Would you support consolidation of schools as a means of reducing administrative costs?



Here is the questionaire on SlideShare:


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Photos and Video from The St. Patrick's Day Fundraiser

Last night the St. Patrick's Day Fundraiser was held at Our Lady Grace Church Annex last night from 5PM-9PM. The event was very well attended with the following political personalities there including Peter Cammarano, Frank Raia, Dawn Zimmer, Beth Mason, Ruben Ramos, Maurice Fitzgibbons, Mike Russo, Anthony "Stick" Ramano, Peter Cunningham, Nino Giacchi, Scott Delea, Mike Novak, Jimmy Farina, etc. Please let me know if I left anyone else out.


For a buffet I found the Corn Beef and Cabbage to be quite tasty, and predictably showing a propensity for gluttony that partially defines me, I helped myself to seconds not to mention a selection of beers and vodka.

I spoke with Bill Noonan who was quite pleased by the turnout. Bewteen the one party and the "Gold Ads" in the booklet that are for sale for $500 each the parade is fully funded each year at around $15,000.


Here are a few photos but check out the video below these for a real treat:

The band playing a mix of pop covers and Irish music

The crowd at the event



Here, in my humble opinion is the highlight of the evening with Jimmy Farina as flag bearer leading the dance. The long tenured BOE Board member knows how get the party going and is quite deft with the footwork:


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The Ticket List - For Mayor and Council 2009

This is a list I compiled using several sources as well as conversations I have had with prospective candidates to make a best guess as of today of where I see the tickets possibly stacking up for the Hoboken Mayor and City Council openings come June (that's right, there will be a runoff).

Disclaimer - do not take this as gospel but I assure you there is no attempt to intentionally mislead the reader. It is based on sources I consider to be somewhat in the know and also some educated guesswork. I am simply trying to see how this list measures up compared to what eventually unfolds. I could see an NCAA type pool coming out of this is it was Vegas but alas, this is Hoboken where virtually no betting takes place (I'm kidding).

Note: Possible Mayoral Candidates in Bold

Dawn Zimmer *
Ravi Bhalla *
Carol Marsh

Peter Cammarano *
Mike Novak
Terry Labruno
Carmelo Garcia
Former Councilman Addeo
Maurice Fitzgibbons

Scott Delea (possibly running)
Timothy Occhipinti (talked to Scott but did not confirm anything) *
Dr. Jonathan Metsch

Beth Mason *
Joe Garcia
Ines Garcia-Keim
Former Councilman Angelo Valente
Raulito Morales

Longshots:
Terry Castelano
Ron Rosenberg
Lane Bjardi

Frank Raia
Mike Russo
Ron Rosenberg
Theresa Burns

Steve Capiello
Frank Orsini
Richard Trimitiedi
Capt. Fitzsimmons (real stretch here)


Tom Foley Elder Elk- Doing really well on my web poll.
Judge Glatt- A name a source of mine has brought up from time to time.
Bernie Kenny- He still lives in Hoboken and has brand name recognition as well as the ability to work pay to play for political gain.
Candidate X- This person will run announcement pending. Aren't surprises fun?
Candidate Y- This person picked up the forms at City Hall.

Notables Most Likely Not Running:
Bill Noonan- (too busy with new job)
Eric Kurta- (no political aspirations other than City Clerk or document specialist)
John Branciforte- (former Zoning Board member not running)
Donna Antonucci- (she would have to step down from Revolt in order to run)
Carol Marsh- (for Mayor -on record saying if Dawn runs I will support her)
Omar Dyer- NJ.com crackpot actually lives in Jersey City I think which would make him ineligible yet he posts and posts.
Ruben Ramos- Not completely sure on this one but in a conversation I had with him he was enjoying his assembly job.
Tom Foley ESQ - In March starting new job in Long Island City. I can't see how he will be able to run for Mayor if that is happening.
Kurt Gardiner- (too much fun with the blog)

* Means candidate has formally declared or filed paperwork. ◦
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Photos of the Day - Little League Field

Here is a photo of the Joe Pullamo Memorial Fieldhouse:



This tile mosaic also caught my eye:



And some kids taking advantage of the nearly spring-like weather:


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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Video of the Day - Soccer at Sinatra Park

Saturday was a good day for a nice walk even though I got a late start. I seem to always end up at some point near the waterfront on my long weekend walks. I took this video of a group of men playing soccer down at Sinatra Field. I have to say that I like the new turf that was put in recently. It is a great surface! At least here is one example of a no bid contract that was done right.

This play showed a good a amount of teamwork and led to a goal with some innovative dribbling and crisp passing. At the end you can hear someone say GOOOOOAAAAAAL! That by the way is one of my favorite sports cliches. The other great one is Marv Alpert's famous YES! when Vlade Divac made that incredible off balance wrong-footed awkward hook shot in a Laker's playoff game. Of course I digress and therefore could lose my less sports oriented audience. Here is the clip:


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Photo of the Day - Stevens Garage

Here is a photo of the incomplete Stevens Institute Garage. As reported in the Hoboken Reporter, Stevens Institute intends to submit modified plans to the Hoboken Zoning Board soon to get this project moving again.


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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Site Updates

I added two new features to the blog down on the right side of the site. The first is the election countdown to the Mayoral Election on May 12th. The counter even gives you how many seconds remain.

The second section is my list of blogs other than the majors like Hoboken 411. If you have a Hoboken blog and would like it added let me know. My email is kurt.gardiner@gmail.com.


One blog of note is one done by a friend of mine who has been unemployed since October 2nd, 2008. If you need to see how others are coping or venting with the downsizing of the economy check his website out. He is also an avid sports fan so you can expect two main topics, sports and job search done with wit, humor and a touch of anger.

Here is the link to 9Nine9's Weblog:

http://9nine9.wordpress.com/



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Photos from JFK Blvd. - Salvaged Plane from Hudson River

Here are some photos of the the salvaged plane from the recent Hudson River plane crash where everyone miraculously lived. These were taken on JFK Blvd. right next door in Jersey City:





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Tax Bills have arrived for Quarter 1 2009

The first Quarter Tax Bills have arrived for Fiscal Year 2009. The breakdown is 45.38% for Municipal taxes versus 54.62% Non-Municipal for the County and the School taxes.



















What is interesting to note is that the last tax bill that went out had the components of the tax broken out into the three areas, city, county and school. Why does the current bill only show Municipal vs. Non-Municipal? As a taxpayer I would like to know what percentage goes to the schools vs. county. There was also no breakout for the county and municipal open space tax like there was on the last bill. Keeping it consistent is a service to the taxpayer.

My current total bill for just the one quarter is about the same divided by two since the last bill covered two quarters 3rd and 4th. Note: the percentage of Municipal taxes in the Q3 and Q4 2008 tax bill was less coming in at 41.26% of the total bill.


















Here is the memo from Dave Roberts that came with the tax bills:


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Richard Trimitiedi - Letter on Fiscal Monitor's Report Card

Here is a letter to the editor that was also submitted to the Hoboken Reporter for this weekend and emailed to me by Richard Trimetidi:

Fiscal Monitor’s Report Card

Dear Editor,

The performance of Judy Tripodi, fiscal control officer, is of critical significance to the citizens of Hoboken.

Since her arrival she has informed that the administration has overspent the budget for the last six years, found a current deficit of over $10 million. Because of this, she had to set the current tax levy. Additionally, she has enforced the employees operating manual, found improper purchasing procedures, ordered operational audits of all departments, stopped the retirement incentive program, and assisted the New Jersey Department of Personnel with developing a step by step guide to local government layoffs which includes creating special reemployment lists.

The operational audits of city departments and the DOP’s plan have yet to be completed or implemented and the free flow of factual information from Judy Tripodi is causing the concern of many including this writer. She has refused to attend city council meetings where the concerned public has experienced many unanswered inquiries. We have been informed to put suggestions in writing and don’t always get responses. We have also been told to obtain information from our elected representatives, who in most cases don’t possess the data that you are seeking.

I have written before that we have to give her a chance to do her job, but I still have many reservations. For example, she has hired a finance director before the Dept. of Finance has been established by ordinance. . His resume’ indicates rather little longevity with Ernst & Young and the Department of Community Affairs. He is receiving a salary of over $110K. She now wants to replace the tax collector with another high salaried person with a salary of over $110K. It has been reported that a former city consultant with the required tax collector credentials could have be employed at a $90,000 salary. I am told that Judy’s vast powers give her control over such personnel matters. In view of the current economic situation, why such a high starting pay scale?

In regard to the selection of the new Police Chief, it is the Dept. of Personnel’s regulation that the appointing authority makes promotions. There is still confusion in this area. Tim Carroll reporting in the Feb. 15th Edition of the Hoboken Reporter said that Mayor Roberts will make a decision on the promotion but Judy Tripodi will approve it. This is confusing since Public Safety Director Bill Bergin was the appointing authority for the most recent Fire Captain promotions. Did Mayor Roberts now make himself the appointing authority? There is some question as to whether the Mayor can legally do this. How come the Public Safety Director will only be consulted with regarding this promotion? The Chairman of the Public Safety Committee of the City Council stated at the Feb. 4th council meeting that it is up to Judy Tripodi. What is correct? I believe the employees and the public deserve to know real facts. We all are now well aware of how mismanagement hurts municipal employees and the taxpayer!

At this point in time, I cannot give our fiscal control monitor a good grade on employment practices, communication or interpersonal skills. Her total performance is still to be rated.


Respectfully,

Richard Tremitiedi

Retired Fire Chief – 1995
2 Constitution Court
Hoboken, N. J. 07030
Cell: 201-600-4269
Home: 201-222-9050

My comments: I spoke with Richard Tremitidi at the last City Council meeting and he is currently collecting signatures to run for City Council at large, slate to be determined.

If any other potential candidates would like to submit position pieces or announcements for fundraisers. Please email me at kurt.gardiner@gmail.com and specify when you want it published.
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Photo of the Day - The New Clam Broth House Building

Photo of the Day for today is the newer building where the Clam Broth House used to be:


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Friday, February 20, 2009

Dilbert Strip on the Economy

Here is a Dilbert strip on the state of the economy:

Dilbert.com











My comment: I thought this would be a funny and relevant comic since the City Council refused to take a 10% paycut just this Wednesday at the last City Council Meeting. Do you feel that they are sharing in the sacrifices that we taxpayers are facing? Your thoughts are welcome. ◦
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Hoboken Isn't the Only City Nearby with a Big Tax Increase

West New York Mayor Sal Vega defends tax increase

A day after nearly a thousand people stormed a Board of Commissioners meeting to protest a proposed 27 percent municipal tax hike, Mayor Silverio "Sal" Vega defended the increase and the steps he's taking to lower taxes in the future, saying the hike was due to increased costs and years of deficit spending. "A lot of it has to do with putting things off until it gets to the point where the house of cards will not stand. And it's my responsibility as mayor to create a budget that we can stand on in the future," he said in a sit-down interview at Town Hall yesterday afternoon. (Clark, Jersey Journal)
http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2009/02/west_new_york_mayor_sal_vega_d.html

My take:
This key quote from Sal Vega stands out:
"A lot of it has to do with putting things off until it gets to the point where the house of cards will not stand. "

This is exactly what happened in Hoboken. Our Municipal Government sold city assets to cover operating expenses, delayed payments and didn't gradually raise taxes or cut expenses to compensate until the "house of cards" collapsed. Enter Judy Tripodi. ◦
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Rumor Mill- Outsider Mayoral Candidate to Announce Within a Week

There will be another announcement for a Hoboken Mayor Candidate sometime next week. It will not be any of those already considered prominently in discussion or on my mayoral survey on this blog. This person will be an "outsider". The source is first hand and sincere and I am sworn to secrecy until the announcement is ready.

This is shaping up to be a very interesting race indeed! ◦
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Editorial Comment on Comments and Focus of Blog


Readers-

I received a comment that has prompted my post as a reply:

"Is this the new blog for baseless rumors? I had hoped this place would be more like Hoboken411 and less like the NJ.com boards."

Editorial Policy: I am trying to let the comments stay up unless I can 100% prove that a statement is patently false. A lot on this particular thread is posturing and conjecture and that is too bad. As a part time blogger I don't have time to play the censor and will not engage in IP address blocking and other tactics that other sites do since I don't have my hosted servers and it is counter productive to producing content.

I will be starting to post a series of articles on issues coming soon. I implore my readers to focus more on the issues than the petty attacks which I admit sometimes I too am guilty of.

Beth Mason stated her reason for abstaining on the City Council salary reduction vote. You can agree or disagree on that decision and the resulting stalemate on the Council salary reduction vote but in my opinion it doesn't make a difference in the bottom line. I still would have liked to see it passed as a symbolic gesture to send to the unions with collective bargaining coming up but again it doesn't make a real difference.

What I really want is a plan of action for how to get us out of this mess. Who will provide such a plan? Focus on that and the discourse on this site will improve.

Just my humble opinion.

- Chief and Only Editor
Kurt Gardiner aka "Reformerus_Gianticus" ◦
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Angry Mob Playset- Citizen Activism Toys


For those Hobokenites who are outraged at the current tax situation and overall mismanagement of government, here is an educational tool for your children (if you have them) on the importance of citizen activism.

Angry Mob Play Set by Archie McPhee

Add some dramatic tension to your playtime with the Angry Mob Play Set. Each set includes nine 2" to 3" tall, hard vinyl villagers wielding a variety of weapons for them to wave menacingly at the object of their disdain. Great for intimidating your action figures and teaching children the concept of mob rule.

Angry Mob Play Set item 11835 $15.95 ea.

Shoppers Note: You can check out and see if they have this item at Big Fun Toys at 602 Washington Street. Here is the link to the store online http://www.bigfuntoys.com/



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St. Patrick's Day Parade Fundraiser - Sunday February 22, 2009


Here is an event coming up this weekend as a fundraiser for the 2009 Hoboken St. Patrick's Day parade:

The Annual Irish Party
This event, to be held on Sunday, 22 February 2009, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Our Lady of Grace School Hall at the corner of 4th and Willow also includes an Ad JOURNAL. This is our only fundraising event held each year to benefit the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade. The party always features a hot corned beef & cabbage dinner, live entertainment and an Open Bar, all for the price of $50 per ticket. We encourage reservations, and tables of ten are still available.


FOR TICKETS
Please call Joan at 201 420 8127 or John at 201 420 7842
E-mail to helencunning@aol.com
Our Fundraiser: Sunday, February 22, 2009
Our Lady of Grace School Hall, Corner of 5th St. & Willow Ave.
Entertainment by: “Round The House”
Hot Buffet & Open Bar
5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
$50 per ticket

To see the Party details on the organization's site go to this link:

http://www.hobokensaintpatricksparade.org/html/irishparty.html
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Photo of the Day - Circle Line Ferry from Hoboken Waterfront

The photo of the day is the Circle Line Ferry from Hoboken Waterfront:



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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Richard Tremitiedi - Special Advisor Report March 17, 2008

I spoke briefly with Richard Tremitiedi at last night's City Council meeting. He has been a frequent speaker at City Council meetings and has been a Special Advisor to the Roberts Administration for $1 a year. He is another candidate for City Council at large since he is now in the process of collecting the required signatures to get on the May ballot. Over 390 signatures are required so it is not an easy task to get on the ballot since any candidate should collect more than that number in case some are rejected. He shared with me the fact he had sent a report to the administration last year, March 17, 2008 to be exact outlining his recommendation for improving the City of Hoboken.

Here is the report on SlideShare:



Discussion: It would appear quite obvious that these recommendations were ignored by the Robert's Administration. Do you think these points are valid for moving the City forward in a better direction? Feel free to post away. ◦
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Timothy Occhipinti - For City Council - His Website

As I reported recently, Timothy Occhipinti had filed his ELEC D-1 form for City Council at Large. I met him briefly last night and he gave me information on his website. As is my policy on this site, I give all candidates the opportunity to introduce themselves if they so choose on this site.

His campaign website is:

http://www.hobokenforchange.com/

Here is the link to the issues page on his site:

http://www.hobokenforchange.com/issues/

Here is the introductory message on the main page of his site:

Jan 7, 2009
My name is Timothy Occhipinti and I am running for Hoboken City Council on May 12, 2009. Hoboken is faced with many difficult challenges that are affecting all residents. One of the biggest issues is the ongoing budget crisis which has led to a 47 percent increase in property taxes.


Due to the inability of the sitting city council to pass 2009 budget, Hoboken’s finances are now in the hands of the state of New Jersey. Over the past seven years, Hoboken’s budget has increased from $53 million to $120 million. Hoboken needs responsible City Council officials who will look to reduce the current budget without creating a loss in services to the community.

I believe we also need to find new and creative methods to increase revenue without placing the burden on the residents of Hoboken. Hoboken can achieve a sound financial budget with the cooperation, open-mindedness, and resilience of its elected officials. Now is the time for leaders to emerge who will remain steadfast in their pursuit of leading Hoboken to a brighter future.
I am running to bring about the kind of change that will improve the quality of life for all residents of Hoboken. I will not be influenced by special interest groups or backroom politics. I will be an elected official you can be proud of. I am determined to run a positive campaign that will inspire residents to vote and make their voices heard.


This will be my first campaign running for an elected city official. I felt it was time to stop standing on the sidelines and take an active role in enacting real, positive change in our community. To this end, I have several goals for this campaign.
  • Raise awareness of the importance of voting in your local elections. The ordinances and resolutions passed by Hoboken’s government have a profound impact on your daily lives and you should have a say in the process.
  • Run a highly visible grassroots campaign that energizes voters. I feel that a voter should be excited with whom they are voting for - whether it’s their first or fiftieth time voting.
  • I want to understand the issues that are important to you. I encourage you to take my on-line survey (coming soon!), e-mail me and approach me at any time with questions or concerns that you may have.
  • I believe in honesty, integrity, and dedication and together we CAN make a difference for Hoboken.

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Photo of the Day - The Boathouse Maxwell Place

This Photo of the Day is The Boathouse at Maxwell Place:


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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Peter Cammarano Cocktail Party - March 11th

I saw this on Facebook for Peter Cammarano for event upcoming on Wednesday March 11th. This is not an endorsement of any kind but an attempt to keep the potential voters abreast of any candidate's upcomming events:

An Evening with Robert Kennedy III
Come out and support Peter Cammarano with special guest Robert Kennedy III



Event Info Host: Peter Cammarano for Hoboken
Type: Party - Cocktail Party
Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Time: 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: Oddfellows Rest-Lousiana Bar and Restaurant
Street: 80 River Street
Contact Info Email: azayas@cammarano09.com

Please join, Nick Bliablias Lisa Chapland Alex D’Jamoos, David Genova, Michael Graham, Ryan Graham, Michael Jurista Rajiv Parikh (host committee in formation) with special guest Robert Kennedy III for a reception in support of The Honorable Peter Cammarano Hoboken Councilman-at-Large Candidate for Mayor.

$75 Contribution (includes 3 hour open bar)

For more information and to RSVP by Monday, March 9th, please contact Alison Zayas at azayas@cammarano09.com

To RSVP and to contribute online, please go to:
http://www.cammarano09.com/contribute/march11


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Newsletter from Lower Hoboken Taxes - Rally at City Hall March 4th


Here is a part of a newsletter that went out from Lower Hoboken Taxes.com. In order to encourage more memebrship and to get the full newsletter that contains much more information you are required to register at www.LowerHobokenTaxes.com:

We need to wake up City Hall! It is time to RALLY AGAIN! Lower Hoboken Taxes (LHT) will join efforts with Hoboken Revolt to have our voices heard at a rally on Wednesday, March 4th in front of City Hall. Over 300 people attended the last rally and City Hall took notice. Our goal is to double that number to 600. The more people, the louder the voice. Mark your calendars NOW and tell your friends! If you are interested in helping us plan the event please send an email to lowerhobokentaxes@gmail.com .

Hoping for answers about the 4.2 Million retirement debacle?:
Come to the council meeting tonight to demand answers from the council that voted to approve it! Details with full agenda are below. While this is not an item listed on the agenda residents can ask questions and state opinions in the open public speaking section at the end of the meeting. Want to make a statement? All you have to do is sign up. Sign up sheets can be found on the railing before the meeting. If you arrive late you can add your name by telling the clerk. Background on the $4.2 million pension debacle.

Upcoming Events:

-Council Meeting TONIGHT at City Hall at 7pm. On the agenda

You can find copies of all resolutions here

-Meet and greet other members of LowerHobokenTaxes.com. McSwiggan's (1st and Bloomfield) after the council meeting. We should get there between 10:30 and 11pm. Ask the bartender where we are.

-LowerHobokenTaxes (LHT) approaching 1,000 members...we need 40 more people to hit 1,000 members. Forward this message to friends and neighbors and let's hit 1,000 by next week!

Voter Registration: Election Day is May 12th. If you have not already done so please change your voter registration to Hoboken. All you have to do is fill out this postage paid form.

Have thoughts or comments? Send them to us at LowerHobokenTaxes@gmail.com and post comments at LowerHobokenTaxes.com. ◦
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Hoboken City Council Agenda - February 18,2009

The Hoboken City Council is meeting today Wednesday February 18, 2009 at 7PM. Here is the agenda on SlideShare:



Here is the agenda on the City Website:

http://www.hobokennj.org/pdf/amr/cc/agenda/ccm-2-18-09.pdf

Here is the resolution pack (over 100 pages):

http://www.hobokennj.org/pdf/amr/cc/resolutions/respac-2-18-2009.pdf
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Obama Announces Ambitious $75 Billion Foreclosure Bailout

The NY Times has an article on Obama's new plan to bailout citizens with mortgage problems as a result of the housing crisis. The plan, which is more ambitious than expected, would spend $75 billion to help keep as many as four million families in their homes, and would help as many as five million more refinance their mortgages to take advantage of lower interest rates.

Here is the article in the NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/19/business/19housing.html?_r=1&hp

Here is the Fact Sheet on the Mortgage Plan from the White House:


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