Monday, September 21, 2009

Hoboken Journal on Temporary Hiatus

I have decided to put the Hoboken Journal on temporary hiatus until I can resolve some issues regarding legal threats and their implications made to me for two situations...

1) For a post someone else wrote that a reader considered slander.

The email sent to me on this issue was ultimately dealt with and the offending post removed. I had deemed the comments to be without foundation and removed it on the side of caution since it seemed implausible. The request was a valid one. The use of expletives, haughty tone, and accusations that I am behind such posts were unacceptable to me. I simply will not let people talk to me in the tone that some take at City Council meetings towards elected officials.

Going forward I recommend that if someone posts something that you know is false or even potentially false please email me the article and comment and I will deal with it. Please make your request in a civil tone is all I ask.

Keep in mind I don't read all the comments and I do not know the identity of the posters on my current platform of Blogger. This site is also part time and non-profit. I will not back one candidate over the other just because I think I can get more ad revenue. I don't have any. Also important to note is that even though I don't know Google likely does and I ever I was subpoenaed to divulge information in a legal case, I would oblige with respect to those legal obligations. Keep that in mind when you post. Hopefully, it will never come to that.

2) For a comment that I made that was an observation.

Yet the person who I made the remark about thought it was my attempt to out them. That wasn't my intent but I see how that could be viewed as an attempt to out them. Since I was wrong I have apologized to the real individual and suggest that the poster who I don't know would refrain from making statements that could be considered slander. I don't like to delete posts but if you call someone a crook, you better believe it to be true and have the evidence to back it up.

For those who think such threats can suppress the free exchange of ideas and information, think again and do not declare premature victory. I intend to bring this site back on some level soon but with perhaps more features to help me with such issues.

For up to date information on all things Hoboken and Beth Mason, please go to Hoboken 411 for all those valuable nuggets of information that you simply can't get on or the Hoboken Reporter. Is sarcasm slander? :) ◦

Friday, September 18, 2009

"Project Play" Update - Church Square Park

Here is an email I received updating the distribution list on "Project Play". The goal of this project is to renovate the aging play equipment in Church Sqare Towers Park. I always like the idea of a group of concerned citizens getting together to solve issues in the community. Here goes:

Hello friends and Neighbors,

We wrote to you in the spring about our plan to renovate the aging equipment in Church Square Park and our desire to actively participate in solving this problem. "Project Play" was born!

The first thing we did was contact the head of the City Council subcommitee (Peter Cunningham) and the (then) Director of Environmental Services (Jim Ronga). Since the change in City administration, Jim Ronga retired and a new Director Of Environmental Services was named. His name is John Pope.

About 2 weeks ago the swings in Church Square Park were taken down by the city due to a child being injured. We saw this unfortunate circumstance as an opportunity to introduce ourselves to Director Pope and present the swing portion of our renovation plan. We had the meeting last Thursday and it was fantastic! Director Pope welcomed our ideas with open arms, pulled additional City resources into the room, and we all walked away with major "to dos".

We obviously want to capitalize on the momentum we created in this meeting with Director Pope, Councilman Cunningham, and Councilwoman Marsh. This is where you all come in!

1. Researching grants (other than Green Acres and NJ Open Spaces).

The goal is to get a list of grants available and ensure that this project qualifies. There is a person in City Hall whose job it is to write grants. Director Pope has communicated that he will make her available to write all grants. We need a team of 3 people. Please contact Zabrina Stoffel at 646-621-3012 or if you interested in participating in this project.

2. Develop a "press/marketing kit"

This will go out to corporations and small businesses interested in being a "sponsor" or "contributor" for this project. The City Council subcommittee will be giving us guidelines for "advertising" for these corporations in "exchange" for their support (ie a plaque on a bench, etc.). We need a team of 3 people . Please contact Regina Gannon at 646-319-9012 or if you interested in participating on this team.

3. Contacting Politicians for help

The last team will work on getting a list and eventually contact politicians interested in shepherding this project and using their connections to get funding. These people love to have their picture in the paper and be a part of something happy! We need a team of 2 or 3 people. Please contact Zabrina Stoffel at 646-621-3012 or if you interested in participating in this project.

This is just the beginning! Once the project is approved and we know the advertising guidelines the hard work of fund-raising will begin. We will need individuals to run events (car washes, a battle of the bands, a carnival, etc.), act as members of the Project Play Board (a treasurer, secretary, accountant, web site director (we need this to be as transparent and open as possible), etc. Keep this in the back of your mind!

Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement as we make our way through the politics of Hoboken to make this dream a reality for all of the residents and children of this great City!

Regina and Zabrina

PS- I included some people who have already moved from Hoboken but you just might still have friends, contacts who will be able to help us! Please pass this email on to anyone you may know who likes getting involved in their Hoboken community!

My comment: Posting this on my website is my small contribution to spreading the word on this initiative.


Jubilee Center Open House - September 23 6-7PM

Here is an event notification from the Hoboken Jubilee Center which is a valuable asset to Hoboken's children.....

Please join us on Wednesday, September 23
6:00 pm—7:00 pm

The Jubilee Center opens for the fall season on Tuesday, September 8, with a record number of children enrolled for our after-school program. We’d like you to come see The Jubilee Center and our newly-configured computer room.

Meet the leadership team: Dr. Michelle White, Director, and Craig Mainor, Program Coordinator. Experience the energy as some of the children perform an African Drum Dance, choreographed by LeeAnet Noble.

In conjunction with the chefs from Zylo Tuscan Steak House (located in the “W” Hotel), some of the children will be preparing the hors d’oeuvres for the evening. Come support these budding chefs!

The Jubilee Center is located at 601 Jackson Street. We hope to see you there! ◦

Zimmer Responds to Action on Key Flood Control Project

Here is a press release from acting Mayor Zimmer's office on a key step to help solve the flooding problems that have been an issue in Hoboken for quite some time. As I like to say, the forces of gravity are not influenced by politics. However a pump to get rid of excess water has me flushed with excitement. :) .....


HOBOKEN, NJ, September 17th, 2009 – On Thursday, September 10th, the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders granted an easement on County property along Observer Highway in the Southeast portion of Hoboken. Their decision to grant the easement is a crucial step for the North Hudson Sewerage Authority to move forward with their wet weather pump station, which is designed to reduce storm water flooding by approximately 80 percent in low-lying sections of our community.

“This is a crucial victory for Hoboken,” Mayor Dawn Zimmer said. “My fight to solve the flooding problem was one of the main reasons I ran for Mayor. I congratulate Authority Chairman Richard Wolff, Executive Director Fred Pocci and the entire North Hudson Sewerage Authority for all of their hard work. I’d also like to thank Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano and the entire Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders for paving the way. I will take every action necessary to ensure this project proceeds in a timely manner.

“Moving forward,” Zimmer said, “I am working to implement an integrated approach that combines the pump station with green technology solutions.” Mayor Zimmer will also be applying for FEMA grant opportunities to assist with solving our flooding.

Finally, she will be working with the North Hudson Sewerage Authority and the community to design the exterior of the pump station. In nearby West New York, a pump station is designed to look like a neighborhood home.

Please see North Hudson Sewage Authority’s press release below for more information:


Hoboken Fall Festival September 27th

Hoboken Fall Festival September 27th

The City of Hoboken is proud to present rock legend:

Leon Russell

When: Sunday Sept. 27, 2009 11am to 6pm • FREE
Where: Washington St. - Observer Highway to 7th St.

Over 300 Artists, Crafters, Photographers, Local Businesses, Restaurants, Food Vendors & more .

With 3 Stages of live music with performances by:

Leon Russell, Alfio Sydney, Red Molly, Buzz Universe, Christine Santelli, The Ukuladies, Bandwidth, Midnight Rain and others

And on our Children's Stage, located in the Capital One Bank parking lot on 3rd Street:

Polka Dot & Raven Idd & his Wacky World of Puppets and much more.

Performance Schedule (schedules are tentative and subject to change):

Observer Hwy (bet. Newark & Observer Hwy) :

Noon - Ukuladies -
1:00 pm - Christine Santelli -
2:00 pm - ALFIO -
3:15 pm - Red Molly -
4:30 pm - Leon Russell -

Sixth Street Stage:

12:30 pm - Bandwidth
1:15 pm - Jack Skuller -
1:45 pm - Hoboken's STY Academy -
2:15 pm - TBA
3:00 pm - BuzzUniverse -
4:00 pm - Midnight Rain -
5:00 pm - Danny Matos & Son Candela Band

Kid Zone (Third Street):

11:30 pm - Hanna Valente
12:00 pm - Raven Idd & his Wacky World of Puppets
1:00 pm - Polka Dot aka Ron Albanese -
2:00 pm - Raven Idd & his Wacky World of Puppets
3:00 pm - Polka Dot aka Ron Albanese
4:00 pm - Raven Idd & his Wacky World of Puppets
5:00 pm - Polka Dot aka Ron Albanese -

Special features include:

* Fine artists are located between 2nd & 3rd St., so if you are an art collector, this is the place to be. Oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, sculpture, mixed media, etc.

* Children's area on 3rd street with rides, games, creative activities, puppet show, face painting,
clowns, balloons, live performances and much, much more.

* Crafters display / sell handmade: pottery, metalwork, wood items, furniture, blown & fused glass, quilts, household items made from recycled materials, cementware, batik clothing, hand painted furniture, candles, jewelry, dried florals, soaps & lotions and much more.

* Food: Lots of great food throughout the fair. Hoboken restaurants will set up street cafes offering an eclectic variety of international foods such as: Thai, Indian, Greek, French, Mexican, Cajun and Italian.


PATH, Port Authority of NY & NJ; Verizon Fios, IKEA, The Hoboken Reporter & The Hudson Current, and The NJ Division of Travel & Tourism

Located just 3 blocks from all public transportation:

PATH, NJ Transit Trains & buses, NY Waterway Ferries & the Hudson Bergen Lightrail ◦

To the Mattresses - 1st Annual Hoboken High School Mattress Fundraiser October 3rd

To the Mattresses! Here is an upcoming Hoboken fundraiser for the High School.....

1st Annual Hoboken High School Mattress Fundraiser



Brand new mattresses with Manufacturers warranties

All Sizes – Twin, Full, Queen, King
All Types - Firm, Orthopedic, Plush, Pillow Top, and Memory Foam
All Name Brands – Therapedic, Spring Air, Nature’s Sleep, and Comfort Bedding

Profits Go Directly to the Class of 2012

Cash, Checks and Credit Cards accepted!!

Delivery available

When - SATURDAY, October 3 rd, 11 AM – 4 PM
Where - Hoboken High School, 9th & Clinton St – Hoboken, NJ

Mention this ad and receive $50 off all orders of $500 or more!!



Messsage from Beth Mason

Here is an email message I received from Beth Mason late yesterday as a follow up to this Wednesday's City Council meeting. As always, regardless of my editorial positions I will publish any candidate's communications as best I can during the election season. Another popular Hoboken blogger website has a different policy which should be apparent by now.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

Last night’s council meeting was another grueling six hour marathon. Thank you to members of the public that hung in there to the end, it’s a true test of stamina.

First, let me congratulate Eduardo Gonzalez as newly appointed Commissioner to the Hoboken Housing Authority. His interest in serving his community and the people of the Housing Authority, I believe, will make him a tremendous asset to the board.

I wish to also congratulate community board appointees; Laura Burkhart, Michael Mastropasqua, Mark Critides, Lutricia Alexander, Michael Chong and Cheryl Fallick to the Rent Leveling Board and Robert Phillips to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Thank you for your service to the city and the best of luck to you all.

The resolution I initiated to review Michael Schaffer’s appointment to the North Hudson Sewerage Authority Board was moved forward by a unanimous vote. As the appointing body, it is the council’s responsibility to hold all members of community boards accountable and assure the utmost integrity. The council undertakes this procedure as a means to restore the public trust.

I am pleased that the council took the first steps toward re-examination and updating of the Master Plan. I hope to see this completed quickly so we can move forward with initiatives on new parks, green building, transportation and the codification of new city-wide zoning.

Based on some comments from the public last evening, I believe there has been some misinformation circulated with regard to the Rent Control & Affordable Housing Committee and the purpose of the upcoming hearings. This committee was established by Council President Zimmer who appointed me to chair the committee and Councilmen Bhalla and Russo as members. Initial review of the laws and per conversations with the Rent Control Office and board attorney, it is evident that Hoboken is subject to far more litigation than other like communities. The most frequently argued case is over interpretation of the law.

It is the unified objective of the committee to undertake a comprehensive review of the current law, compare the Hoboken code to that of other communities, gather community input and then provide legislative recommendations to the council. There is no intent on the part of the committee to do away with rent control. It is however, the goal of the committee to recommend ways to update the law and sharpen the language to remove room for “interpretation.”

Rent control is a difficult and emotional topic for many people on both sides of the argument. I hope that as many people as possible come and participate in these hearings. The first will be held on Monday, September 21st at 7:00 in City Hall.

Second Ward Councilwoman, Beth Mason

Other community notes:
A Community Safety Meeting is scheduled for 2nd Ward residents, Tuesday, September 21st from 7:00-9:00 PM in the Parish Hall at St. Matthew’s Church at the corner of 8th and Hudson. The Hoboken Police Department is hosting this meeting to share with the community new programs they are implementing and to get direct feed-back from residents on all manner of safety and policing issues. Please plan to join us on Tuesday.

I am happy to report that Human Services Director, John Pope has informed me that a majority of lights in Elysian Park have been repaired and that remaining lights requiring addition work have been scheduled for service. He also reports that the city is in the process of procuring gravel for the dog run there. Mr. Pope did ask that I remind everyone to use the provided equipment and pick up after their dogs. ◦

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Message from Dawn Zimmer Mayoral Campaign

Here is a message from the Dawn Zimmer campaign...
Dear Friends,

Filing day was today and we turned in over 430 petition signatures for Dawn Zimmer to continue bringing change to Hoboken.

In total, 8 people have submitted their names to be on the ballot. With such a crowded race, we are going to need your support more than ever!

Only by bringing together our hard working supporters from across Hoboken, will we be successful on November 3.

Please join Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer and residents from all over our great town this Thursday, September 17th, to Kick-Off the election campaign at the Black Bear on Washington street starting at 7 pm.

Together we will continue the job of bringing Change that's Working to reform City Hall. See you there!

-Sam Briggs
Campaign Manager

P.S. Even if you are unable to attend, please show your support today with a contribution.

Thanks again for your continued support! ◦

Nathan Brinkman Enters Race For Hoboken Mayor

Here is a press release from Nathan Brinkman, co-founder of the Hoboken Republican club who has declared his candidacy for Hoboken Mayor......


Unbossed. Uncorrupted. Undaunted.

Nathan Brinkman, co-founder of the Hoboken Republican Club, yesterday joined the race for Mayor of Hoboken. Brinkman filed 173 signatures on nominating petitions at the Hudson County Clerk’s office.

"Because our property taxes are too high, because our quality of life isn’t as good as it could be, because our city government still spends too much, because our recent experiences with Mayors is proof that our leaders are still not open and transparent enough, today I filed the papers necessary to qualify for the ballot as a candidate for Mayor of Hoboken,” Brinkman said.

"Some say a mediocre quality of life is what you have to put up with to live in Hoboken. Some say corruption is a fact of life in Hudson County. Some say high property taxes are just part of the cost of living in New Jersey. Some say out of control spending is a problem all over the nation.

"I say, hogwash.

"I say there is no reason, no reason at all, that we cannot have a better quality of life.

"I say there is no reason, no reason at all, that we have to endure skyrocketing property taxes.

"I say there is no reason, no reason at all, that our city government cannot do more with less.

"I say there is no reason, no reason at all, that we must indulge corruption in city government or the hidden costs of crooked political machines.

"I am not a member of an organized political party – to paraphrase Will Rogers, I am a Republican in Hudson County.

"I am not a member of anyone’s political machine, I am not a foot soldier in any political leaders’ army, and I owe no allegiance to any bosses other than the citizens of Hoboken.

"I am unbossed, I am uncorrupted, and I am undaunted.

"I am an optimist. Recently married, with our first baby on the way, I must be.

"I believe we can make Hoboken a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

"I believe that, though it may sound trite, what unites us as residents of Hoboken is far greater than what divides us.

"I believe that campaigns can, and should, be civil discussions about the future, not the past – about our hopes and strengths, not our fears and weaknesses.

"I believe the time has come for a different kind of campaign – the kind of a campaign YOU would run, were you in my shoes, and I in yours.

"Over the course of the next 48 days, I plan to offer solutions to the problems we face. Ours will be a campaign dedicated to the proposition that a good idea is a good idea, no matter its origin, and dedicated to the proposition that government is there to do those things, and only those things, which we, its masters, choose to allow it to do in our name. I look forward to the campaign to come," Brinkman concluded.

My Comment:

Here are the 8 contestants running for Mayor.....

1) Dawn Zimmer: Current Acting Mayor and 4th Ward Councilwoman elected in third election in 2007. If she wins (in her third election for Mayor) she will have to give up her City Council seat. If Dawn were to lose she would retain her 4th Ward Council seat until 2011.

2) Beth Mason: Current Second Ward City Councilwoman. Won 2nd Ward seat in 2007 against Richard Tremitiedi. Came in 3rd place in Hoboken Mayor Race 1st round May of 2009. Beth too would have to step down from her council seat if she were the winner of the winner take all 3rd Hoboken Mayoral election of 2009. Out of the gate she has attack ads on Dawn Zimmer's dual office holding. Most people around town I have informally surveyed don't make a big deal about it since they know this situtaion is temporary.

3) Frank Raia: Recently lost bid for re-election for Hoboken School Board in April 2009. Lost election for third Ward councilman in 2007. Lost in 2005 in bid for Mayor. Also ran for Freeholder recently and lost. Should pick up some Cammarano supporters. Ran around town in run-off election calling himself "The Difference". Delivered around 300 absentee ballots for alleged felon Peter Cammarano in the June runoff elecetion. Talk about truth in communication. :)

4) Nathan Brinkman: Co-founder of the Hoboken Republican Club.

5) Patricia Waiters: She ran for City Council in the spring and carried the ubmbrella for Peter Cammarano in a semi-famous photo when he was arrested on corruption charges and brought to Newark for processing.

6) Kimbery Glatt: Resigned her position as Hoboken Municipal Court judge this week. Now she has decalred her candidacy for Hoboken Mayor.

7) Evereton Wilson

8) Sal Demeo

See Hoboken Now for further details. Here is the link:

Notable absense is either Terry Castellano or Mike Russo. It was Terry Castellano that just last week said that one od these two or another relative would run. Was a deal made? ◦

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

City Council Meeting 9/16/2009 at 7PM - Live! Tonight!

Here is the live streaming for tonight's Hoboken City Council meeting. You will be able to watch the meeting from within this blog tonight starting around 7PM.

City Council Meeting 9/16/2009 at 7PM - Live! Tonight!:


Zimmer on Hoboken's Fiscal Situation

Here is a press release from Acting Mayor of Hoboken, Dawn Zimmer....


Mayor Zimmer announced that she proposed four benchmarks of fiscal responsibility to the State Local Finance Board, that if achieved should be given weight when the Board considers a request from Hoboken for removing State Supervision. These benchmarks were presented at the Local Finance Board meeting held on Wednesday, September 8th in Trenton by Hoboken transition counsel Edward J. Buzak. The local finance board agreed that it would be appropriate for Hoboken to apply for an end to State supervision after the benchmarks proposed by Mayor Zimmer were achieved.

They are:
- Adoption of a fully funded budget
- Completion of a certified audit
- Preparation, adoption and implementation of a Corrective Action Plan addressing any issues arising in the Certified Audit
- Hiring of a qualified Business Administrator

Zimmer, as part of her remarks before the Board, said, "These benchmarks, if met, I believe, would represent a fair and objective standard for determining that the State's fiscal monitoring of our City is no longer necessary."

Zimmer said, "I believe that we had a productive meeting and opened up what is likely to be an ongoing constructive conversation. I am strongly committed to taking the steps required to ensure fiscal responsibility. I appreciate the hard work and analysis that has been done by our fiscal monitor as we move to put our fiscal house in order... Our residents have paid a high price for budgets that were put together with smoke and mirrors. We must emerge from State supervision having set a different course, making accountability, transparency and sound budget practices the Hoboken way."


Tuesday, September 15, 2009's Hoboken Now Reports Frank Raia is Running for Mayor's Hoboken Now Reports Frank Raia is Running for Mayor. Here is the story:

My Comment: Does anyone remember the Frank Raia Commercials from 2005 's Mayoral Run? The one that went "I can't find parking on Bloomfield". Classic. I look forward to whatever ads he comes up with for this race. I do feel as the status quo candidate it would be appropriate to shoot some of his campaign shots at the Malibu Diner. Afterall, he claimed he was the difference in getting the winning margin of absentee ballots for Peter Cammarano in the last runoff election. ◦

Another Photoshop from Graphix_Avenger

Here is a another photoshop from contributor Graphix_Avenger who wishes Beth Mason well on her campaign but reminds readers what Beth has stood for in the past.


Dawn Zimmer - Mayoral Kickoff Campaign

Here is a campaign kickoff message from Dawn Zimmer:

Dear Friends, It is hard to believe, but another Hoboken election is just around the corner. In the few short weeks since I have become the Acting Mayor, we have begun to implement the changes Hoboken needs.

We are putting City Government back on the right path. But, to continue this work, we need to be successful on Election Day.And this is why I need to ask for your help once again.

This Thursday, September 17th, we are kicking off our campaign at Black Bear Bar and Grill, and we want you to be there. Join me and supporters from across Hoboken to voice our desire to keep making the change that Hoboken needs.

In addition, we are having a fundraiser tonight, Tuesday, September 15, hosted by Helen Hirsch. We are asking for a donation of $161 dollars, to signify the 161 vote gap we need to bridge on November 3rd. Be the difference in this election! I look forward to seeing you at either, or both, these events.

Thank you for your support, Dawn Zimmer ◦

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beth Mason to Announce Candidacy for Mayor - Tuesday September 14th

Beth Mason to Announce Candidacy for Mayor

Here is a press release from Paul Swibinski sent today:

(Hoboken, N.J.) - Second Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason will officially announce her candidacy for Mayor at a Press Conference Tuesday, September 15th, at 6:00 p.m. at The Brass Rail, located at 135 Washington Street. Beth's family, friends, supporters, business associates and fellow activists will be on hand as she enters the race. The Councilwoman will make a statement and take questions at the event, which will be held on the second floor of the restaurant.


Update from Ravi Bhalla - Hoboken City Councilman at Large

Update from Ravi Bhalla - Hoboken City Councilman at Large

Here is an email from Ravi Bhalla on the State Finance Board meeting last week and a call for civility during City Council Meetings.....

Dear Friends,

On Wednesday, I accompanied Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Councilman Peter Cunningham to Trenton, NJ for a hearing before the Local Finance Board. For the past year, the City of Hoboken's finances have been under State supervision. The purpose of the hearing was to determine whether Hoboken should remain under State supervision. Mayor Zimmer presented Hoboken's case before the Board.

Our trip was very successful. The Local Finance Board, while determining that supervision remains appropriate at this time, agreed to reconsider its position in the future and allow Hoboken to petition the Board for relief from supervision upon the satisfaction of certain criteria, such as the passing of a fiscally sound budget. Notably, the Board's Chairperson, Susan Jacobucci, also stated that while Hoboken is "on the right track," she watched last week's City Council meeting online and expressed strong concern about the lack of civility at the meeting.

As pleased as I am by Ms. Jacobucci's confidence that we are on our way to fiscal stability, I am saddened to agree with her perception of last week's City Council meeting. Not only was there a lack of decorum by some residents in attendance, unfortunately some of my own Council colleagues behaved no better. Council Members are public representatives and should be held to a higher standard of decorum. When Council Members speak out of turn, interrupt their colleagues, raise their voice, or act in an intimidating manner, this not only lessens the quality of discourse, but also sends the wrong message to the public - a message that unfortunately resonated all the way to the Local Finance Board in Trenton.

I attend Council meeting for the purpose of conducting the business of the City. We were elected to govern during these meetings, not play politics. As Council Members, we should behave in a civil and professional manner. Only by working together and respecting each other's opinions can we finally move forward and leave the divisiveness of the past behind. The public deserves no less.

Thank you very much, and let's get back to work!

Ravi S. Bhalla


Letter to the Editor - From Infotainme on Possible Run for Mayor

Hoboken Journal reader and sometime contibutor Infotainme Considers Hoboken Mayoral Run

Apparently Beth Mason and others already announced aren't the only one's considering a run for Hoboken Mayor. Here is an email submitted to me from writer Infotainme who contrubites to this site from time to time.

Is his consideration of running for Mayor delusions of grandeur, well crafted muckraking, or a sarcastic commentary on the state of of politic affairs? This article was submitted to me from Infotainme to serve up "a little distraction while we await the unfolding contrived drama of Ms, Mason's 'decision' ".

Note: The dealine for petitions to be submitted for Hoboken Mayor is September 15th, 4pm at the city Clerk's Office.

Here goes Infotainme again......

Run, Info, Run! Pleeeeeaaasssse…

True story. Recently I was taking my evening stroll along the strand at the Shipyard, contemplating THE REALLY BIG IDEAS, when a distraught citizen ran up to me jabbering incoherently. “Take it easy, old timer,” I said, handing him a few shillings for his trouble. I could barely make sense of his flood of words. But what came through most powerfully was a desperation for leadership. *My* leadership. Loosely paraphrased, his pleading went, “Please help, Info. Make it stop. You alone can clean up this mess in town. You and no one else.”

I listened quasi-intently through my headphones. After I got my discarded shillings back for next time, I walked on as he continued sputtering away over my shoulder. I felt the weight of his desperation like a, well, like a big ole weight that was made out of desperation.

Over the past few weeks this experience has been repeated in all corners of Hoboken. Always with the same grave concern. Info, please. Info, stop this madness. Info, you alone can bring the change we desperately need.

Could they be right? Not about me cleaning up after my LabraDane or getting him to stop uprooting trees in the sidewalk. Surely my tax dollars cover that, and that’s why I’m considering a partial payment at some point down the road. But could they be right that – now, more than ever, *my* leadership is what this town needs?

As Buster happily polished off a large cat or small dog to the delight of a sobbing child, I looked up from my reverie and I found that I was standing at the corner of Constitution and Sinatra. Just as the angels had planned it…

Constitution and Sinatra. Who could ever *unite* those two diverse notions? Our founding legal document and our beloved but not-exactly-constitutional crooner. Those are the values we all share regardless of circumstances. The sacred rights of We the People and secret wisdom of Old Blue Eyes. Must they always be at odds? New Hoboken yelling, no amount of old time politics will produce another Pier A. Old Hoboken hollering back, no amount of your parlor reform BS and consumer fetishes will produce another Frankie. (You have to give that one to the Frankophiles.)

Just then a rat came scuttling up from the ferry and stopped to face me. His ratular voice somehow cut a path through the white noise in my ears. “If you peddle it, they will buy.”

What? You want a pencil? I don’t have a pencil. Shove off. “If you peddle it, they will buy.”

Wait, one more time? I grudgingly turned off my mp3 player. “If you effing peddle it, they will effing buy. Moron.”

Buster enjoyed the pleasant autumnal crunching sounds the magic rat made in his mouth, nothing like the cat/dog, or the crybaby’s tricycle.

As we headed for home I knew I had to make a decision. I saw myself as that judge in the Bible story who was trying to figure out if he could saw the baby into enough pieces for all the guests at the wedding and wondering if the widow was worth all the trouble. Would it kill her to show a little leg?

(Notebook entry: cross off ‘incorporate some holy crap’ from the list of ideas I got from the Swibinski seminar; make sure to erase all notebook entries from final draft.)

When I got home I googled Hoboken+rat. This unfortunately yielded over 12 million entries, so I had to keep narrowing the search. After 4 hours, I got it down to 97,000 options.

And finally I found it – the reason that I am announcing today my candidacy to be your next mayor.

(Notebook entry: paid applause – 7 minutes.)

Oh how I had tried to shut out your voices, those tiny little, annoying voices. But I don’t have those really good noise-cancelling headphones that I’ll have as mayor. Or maybe, just maybe, my heart … is just too big…

(Notebook entry: fake tears. Watch a chick movie beforehand if necessary.)

Now then. Let’s talk about my ‘competition’. Can any of them *really* deliver the goods you’ve been incessantly whining about? What about the ‘transparency’ you’re always blubbering for? Can they produce a list anywhere near as long as mine of business associates and ex-girlfriends who swear that I am the most transparent person they ever met? I think not. Resumes, people, resumes.

And didn’t I hear you braying like a mud-stuck mule about efficiency? Try this on for size – I’m being fitted for a prosthetic arm, even though I have 2 perfectly good arms. Why? The extra arm will hold my sport coat jauntily over my shoulder in the classic campaign trail pose, leaving both hands free to collect donations and grope certain members of the public. Funny, I don’t recall reading anything of the sort on my opponents’ websites. Too busy?

These losers also *claim* to value the little people. But let me assure you, you can’t imagine how small you are to me; and it’s my solemn vow that no one will ever make you feel smaller than I will.

So, who stands alone at the intersection of Constitution and Sinatra with a psychotic rat-eating dog? One man – Info. In-Fo! In-Fo! In-Fo! In-Fo!

Can’t be done you say? Let’s take a simple example. Building variances. Old-timey ‘Sinatra’ way – sell ‘em at Malibu under the table, $5000 a pop. Mincing reformer, ie ‘Constitution’ way – no variances, and no $5000. *My* way – auction ‘em off at city hall. Transparency *and* - a whole lot more than $5000 for the city even after I take my cut. That’s right, bring the vulture bastards downtown and let ‘em have a bidding war for what’s left of the city’s soul. It’s a little late for hand-wringing about over-development, wouldn’t you say?

Which reminds me of transparency idea #2. Campaign transparency. Debates will be replaced by actual hand-wringing contests judged by retired Canadian school teachers. My money’s on Ms. Mason, eh?

But think of it - what if she turns out to be the biggest scandal to hit town since Zimmer tricked Cammarano into accepting bribes so she could become a dual office holder? Who didn’t see that coming?

That’s why you need me. You can see me coming from a mile off. Want more of the good old fashioned common sense thinking that will soon take this city by storm?

Washington Street. The first problem is the name. Be honest – tell me this isn’t the gayest statue you’ve ever seen. Except for a few over-hyped accidents of history Washington was basically a loser. (Re: the battle of Trenton - it was Christmas; the Hessians were as drunk as humanly possible. It was like ‘attacking’ Willie McBrides on New Years.) So, we’re officially done with George. Washington Street will now be known as – the Infobahn, a 6-lane 2-level super-highway. How does 1st to 14th 3 1/2 seconds sound, grandpa? Zoom-zoom.

Sensitive as I am to the *feelings*… of the community, I will act in my first days in office to set up a NIMFOBY office –Not in My Front or Back Yard- to field complaints about my many infrastructure projects, the debtors prison, etc. The NIMFOBY will be an unstaffed booth-like ‘facility’ such as you would find in the many construction sites around town, but you can still go there to complain if you feel traffic is passing too close to your sofa. $20/minute. PS. If your sofa interferes with traffic, expect a hefty fine. My administration is serious about fines. I’m sure public safety is nice too. (Overrated.)

Progress breaks a few eggs. Genius is an all-out egg storm.

I haven’t yet decided whether to outlaw the city council or simply outlaw city council meetings. Decisions, decisions. Given my commitment to transparency, I suppose the truest course of action would be to replace them with a rubber stamp – literally. From Staples – that was easy.

By now you are wondering what great idea animates your shepherd. Even as I am wondering how much longer I have to talk to you and pretend to care what you say.

Well, my google searches all came a cropper until I retraced my steps –and Buster’s- and added the missing ingredient: Hoboken+rat *eating*. And voila – up came Hoboken’s other native son, G. Gordon Liddy, who famously caught, cooked, and ate a rat in our fair city to overcome his fear of same.
( )

And so must you all. Until you eat of the rat you will always be afraid of each other – and more importantly – of me, who am here to save you from your natural inclination to be tedious as hell. That and to take you to the cleaners.

To inspire you I am planning a Million Rat March on City Hall. While I don’t yet have a million rats and have limited knowledge of rat husbandry, I’ll definitely get to that magic number soon enough if I judge from the non-stop squealing in the basement. I leave a mirror ball and Barry White on 24/7 for ‘my crew’. I started out with 4 rats, but it’s a full-on sex party down there. I am receiving encouraging complaints almost hourly from my soon-to-be ex-neighbors. I and the rats will process – as it were – to city hall about a week before the election. Bring ketchup.

In closing, realize that I know your thoughts. To the extent that you ever have thoughts. And I hear your questions before you can formulate them. Such as, Info - why are you squandering your valuable time with us? Info - shouldn't you be busy selecting your office staff from the Victoria’s Secret Catalog?

Yes, dear little ones, yes. Yes to both. And I am encouraged by your grasp of what a colossal waste of time it is for me to talk to you. I love you too much to spend any time with you at all. Instead, I should be looking out for your welfare as only I can do and as you will trust me to do. Because I am peddling, and you will buy. That’s what you’re good at.

And we’ll need a new name for our re-imagined city. How does Ratopia sound? ◦

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beth Mason Picks Up Petitions for Hoboken Mayoral Run

Here is a press release from Paul Swibinski on the fact that Beth Mason has picked up petitions to potentially get on the ballot for the upcoming Hoboken Mayoral special election:


(Hoboken, N.J.) -- Councilwoman Beth Mason took another step towards declaring her candidacy for Mayor of Hoboken today by picking up nominating petitions. Beth is strongly considering entering the race and has been discussing the situation with family, friends and supporters for several weeks. She has also opened a campaign account, has started assembling a campaign team and is filing with the state ELEC.

Beth is issuing the following statement:

“Over the past few weeks, I have heard from family and friends from all corners of Hoboken asking about my future plans. Many have urged me to run for Mayor in the Special Election in November. We all share a grave concern over the direction of our city and the choice by the Mayor to remain in her position as Council President, effectively flouting any separation of powers between the Executive and Legislative branches of our municipal government. This dual-office holding is a disturbing violation of our core principles. The result is too much power in one person’s hands for too long a time. Anyone who is truly committed to reform must understand that he or she is not above the values that we all share, regardless of circumstances. As an activist for openness and transparency in government, Dawn Zimmer’s decision to become a dual-office holder is extremely troubling to me.

I will be consulting my family, friends and supporters over the next several days, and will formally announce my intentions early next week.”

My initial comment: I approve of everybody that is so inclined to run to do so. Beth Mason of course has a right to run but what is her one goal? Is it hers or ours? Where is her base? Where is her platform? Or do we just have to review her resume and assume it is accurate? Can we vet that resume to see what she actually accomplished as a consultant?

Keep in mind that just last September when I had considered helping her on a campaign she did not like to word reform being attached to her potential candidacy. And now she is is purporting to be reform movement's standard bearer? I'm not buying it one bit.

Dawn Zimmer has done nothing in my mind to abuse her power in a temporary dual office situation. A situation not brought on by her but on the officially elected Peter Cammarano and his one month term in office ravaged by scandal. Guess who was Peter Cammarano's campaign manager at the end of his campaign? If you guessed Paul Swibinski you are correct!

Paul Swibinksi is a talented campaign manager (heck, he is 14-2 in regional Mayoral elections) and is a master of negative campaigning not to mention the skillful twisting of events into well honed political propaganda and out of focus bad shots of female candidates (Marsh 2005). It is a safe bet that whoever Swibinski is behind that it will not be a reform candidate. At least not in Hoboken.

With that said, I look forward to Beth Mason's plan to improve Hoboken's governance should she decide to run. I will not be taken in by negative campaigning such as this and would like to see what Beth Mason proposes she would do differently. ◦

Mitvah Day - Volunteers still needed for Jubilee Center and Hoboken Shelter

The United Synagogue of Hoboken is holding a serie of volunteer projects this coming Sunday September 13th. Here is a description of the event and a list of activities for members of the community to get involved in.

Mitzvah Day September 13th, 2009

What?: A chance for the U.S.H. community — adults and children of all ages — to participate in one of 10 different community-service projects around our area, including:

• Delivering Rosh HaShanah gifts to seniors,
• Sending cards to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan,
• Assisting at the Hoboken Jubilee Center, the Hoboken Boys and Girls Club, and an animal shelter,
• Educating families about nutrition,
• Preparing the United Synagogue of Hoboken building for the High Holidays,
• Creating artwork for hospital patients,
• And more.
The day concludes with the USH Welcome Back Barbecue (4pm).

Why?: Here are some reasons why to parctipate....

• Make a significant contribution to our surrounding community.
• Learn new skills.
• Meet people from our community.
• Have fun.
• Get a taste of a volunteer opportunity that you may be interested in doing regularly.

How? :Look over the list of activities; choose a first, second and third choice. Send the form to the synagogue, or to By Sept 9, you’ll hear back with details of your volunteer assignment.

Update 9/9/2009:
The place where volunteers are still needed the most is at the Jubilee Center, to paintrooms there. We could still use as many people as we can get for that.The rest of the activities are in pretty good shape, though theHoboken Shelter could use one or two more as well.

Here is the flier and sign up form on Slideshare:


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hoboken City Council Meeting Videos from 9/2/2009

For those of you who missed the City Council meeting last night like me, here is the meeting in two parts courtesy of the City of Hoboken....

Hoboken City Council Meeting 9/2/2009 Part 1 of 2:

Hoboken City Council Meeting 9/2/2009 Part 2 of 2:


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Website - PATHSUX - Take a survey and let The Port Authority know what you think of the PATH

Many Hobokeneites use the PATH system frequently to get to and from NY or Jersey City. There is a new group that has formed and apparently from the title is not happy with the current level of service they are getting from the PATH. This group claims that they are not in anyway affilliated with the PATH or Port Authority.

I for one think that the trains and stations are too hot in the summer and don't run frequently enough on the weekends.

Here is the email from the PATHSUX administrator:


I recently visited your blog and thought you might be interested in this.

We have gotten so sick of how lousy the NJ PATH train service has gotten over recent years, that we had to do something about it. So some commuters have banded together and created, an independent survey of NJ PATH train service.

If you are as pissed off with their poor service and crowded trains as we are, please fill it out.
It is about 30 questions, and shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes to complete.

And please pass on this info on to friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers who use the PATH system.

It would also be great if you could promote this on your blog via a link, banner, or article.
Banners are located here:

Thanks from The Administrator


Hoboken Ciy Council Meetting Tonight September 2nd 7PM

Here is the live streaming for tonight's Hoboken City Council meeting. You will be able to watch the meeting from within this blog tonight starting around 7PM. Full agenda expected since the last meeting was on August 5th, 2009.

City Council Meeting 9/2/2009 at 7PM - Live! Tonight!:

City Council Meeting August 5, 2009 Part 1 of 2:

City Council Meeting August 5, 2009 Part 2 of 2:


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Zimmer Hires Ian Sacs to Head Transportation and Parking Utility

Here is a another press release from Dawn Zimmer on the hiring of a New Parking Utility Director Ian Sacs. This means that John Correa is out as director of that utility but can stay on as civil service employee at a salary of $50,000.


Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced today that she has selected Ian Sacs to head the Hoboken Transportation and Parking Utility. Zimmer is asking the City Council to rename and expand the function of the Hoboken Parking Utility to make clear that transportation and parking are related issues that will be addressed in an integrated manner in her administration.

Zimmer chose Sacs because he is an experienced and accomplished transportation professional who can bring cutting edge solutions to the City's traffic and parking problems. He has managed, planned and analyzed many different kinds of transportation projects. Sacs received his Masters of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee and his Bachelor of Science in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Florida International University.

“I am thrilled to bring Ian Sacs on board,” Mayor Zimmer said. “He brings the expertise and new ideas we need to reduce traffic congestion, to make Hoboken a safer place to walk, bike and drive, and to improve the parking situation."

Sacs comes to the City of Hoboken from Langan Engineering, where he served as Project Manager. In his role there, he worked to improve parking and pedestrian safety, among other responsibilities.

Sacs’ responsibilities will include the upcoming restoration of the cross-town bus, engineering traffic flow in the city, and addressing our parking problems.

Sac's salary will be $103,500. Former Parking Utility Director John Correa, whose salary had been $114,265, has been offered the opportunity to join the Environmental Services team at a reduced salary of $50,000. ◦

Press Release - Terry LaBruno Resigns as Health and Human Services Director

Here is a press release from the Zimmer Administration on the resignation of Terry LaBruno as Health and Human Services Director without sniping editorial and revisionist commentary that is typical of Hoboken 411.....

Hoboken Acting Mayor Dawn Announces Resignation of Health & Human Services Director Terry LaBruno

City of Hoboken, August 31, 2009 - Hoboken Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced today that the city’s Health & Human Services Director, Terry LaBruno, has submitted her letter of resignation. Ms. LaBruno, whose resignation is effective on Friday, September 4th, has accepted a teaching position at St. Peter’s Preparatory High School in Jersey City.

“I want to thank Terry LaBruno for her service to the City of Hoboken,” Acting Mayor Zimmer said. “Through a very difficult period in our community she has performed her duties with the utmost professionalism and I wish her every success in her new position.”

Ms. LaBruno served on the Hoboken City Council for four years (2005-2009), serving as vice president for two years of her term. In addition, Ms. LaBruno headed the Parking & Transportation Committee while in office.

“I appreciate the way Acting Mayor Zimmer has treated me during my tenure as the Director of Health & Human Services,” Ms. LaBruno commented. “I also want to thank my staff for their support and acknowledge that the services they provide for the people of Hoboken are worthwhile and immeasurable.”

In conjunction with the resignation of Ms. LaBruno, Acting Mayor Zimmer announced that Hoboken resident Jonathan M. Metsch Dr. P.H. will now head the newly formed Novel H1N1 Surge Task Force alongside Hoboken Health Officer Frank Sasso. Ms. LaBruno had been selected to serve in that capacity prior to her resignation.

“It is important that we continue to move forward in a cohesive manner as it relates to the Novel H1N1 Surge Task Force,” Acting Mayor Zimmer said. “Terry’s work in putting together the groundwork for this initiative was indispensable and I am grateful to Dr. Metsch for his help in her absence.” Dr. Metsch, former President and CEO LibertyHealth/Jersey City Medical Center for 17 years, had already been appointed as a community representative on the Task Force.

My comment:
This comes as no surprise as the protector of the status quo Terry LaBruno probably wouldn't be a long term good fit for the position in an administration that wants to spend judiciously on public safety and service. It was former Chief Carmen Labruno (relative of Terry's) that once had one of the highest salaries for any police Chief in the country, just in case there was any doubt of where Terry Labruno stood on cost cutting measures with the fire and police.

Dawn's note highlighting Terry's commitment on Parking and Traffic echoes her respect for Terry's efforts that she had shared with me privately. This is a win-win resignation for both parties and I am fairly certain it was mutual and amicable. While I disagree with Terry Labruno on many things, I give her full credit for sticking around for a while and helping Dawn in this trying transition.


Video- Drunk Monkeys - Every Day is Saint Patty's Day

Here is an amusing video of vervet monkeys from the Carribean that have developed a taste for alcohol and can regularly be spotted stealing cocktails from humans on the beach. For some of these drunken monkeys, every day is like Hoboken's St. Patty's day. Like humans, some are teetotalers, some drink in moderation, and some keep drinking up every last drop. I was tempted to name the featured drunkard "Cappy" or "Campos" but thankfully these monkeys haven't learned to drive yet. :)