Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stevens Provides 200 more spots

From the City of Hoboken......

STEVENS PROVIDES 200 ADDITIONAL FREE OFF-STREET
PARKING SPACES FOR RESIDENTS

As crews continue to clear snow from parking lanes, the process will be significantly easier if residents move their vehicles off-street and into garages or private lots, if possible. To facilitate this process, the City has coordinated with various entities to make additional off-street parking available to residents.

Stevens Institute has agreed to make 200 parking spaces available for free to Hoboken residents to park at the Babbio Center and to the west of the Griffith facility (not to the north) located at 600 Sinatra Drive. Residents may park at these locations from 5 pm on Thursday, December 30 through 8 am on Monday, January 3rd.

“We truly appreciate and thank Stevens Institute for providing free parking to Hoboken residents as we continue our cleanup efforts,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

The parking lot at the Connors School (201 Monroe Street) is available for resident parking on a first-come, first-served basis through noon on Sunday. Parking spaces are still available as of early Thursday afternoon.

Finally, the City is providing discounted garage parking in Municipal Garages B (28 2nd Street) and D (215 Hudson Street) for $5 through 9am on Monday. Garage employees have been notified of the discounted policy, and any residents with concerns about the amount charged should contact the Parking Utility during normal business hours for a refund.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/stevens-provides-200-additional-free-off-street-parking-spaces-for-residents/
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Dawn Zimmer Reflects on the Snow Storm and Administration's Response

Below is a note from Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer reflecting on the snow storm and her Administration's response...............

Editor's Note: Change thats working needs to work better next snow storm
Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! I wish you and your family and friends all the very best in 2011.

Thanks for the many compliments on my last update, and my apologies if some of you felt overloaded by all the information that I packed into it. Next year, I’ll try to do more updates so I can keep them briefer.

I was surprised that some folks complimented “the writing of the person that wrote the update….” Just so you all know, that writer is me, often at 4:30 in the morning, and I take full responsibility for the content of these updates.

Learning from the Blizzard:

First, in case you missed my official statement from City Hall, I want tomake sure that everyone knows that our City workers including Environmental Services, the Police and Fire Dept., the Parking Utility and Emergency Management, have been working extremely hard under very difficult circumstances to clean up our city, and they are continuing to work through the nights to improve the cleanup of our city streets.

Yes, I recognize that there are definitely things that went right and things that went wrong. As with everything I do, I always believe that things can be done better with reflection and evaluation, and that’s what my Administration is doing with this storm.

I welcome your suggestions and any information you may have that can help me to fully evaluate all that happened during this storm so that my Administration can serve Hoboken residents much better the
next time around.

While there are many people working hard, there are unfortunately people out there that will do anything they can to undermine my Administration for political reasons. My job, no matter the challenges, is to plow ahead
through all the “naysayers” and stay focused on the job at hand.

The reality is that this was one of the worst storms in the history of Hoboken. The bigger the storm the bigger the task of digging out and those who say that Hoboken has experienced many such storms in the past are wrong. There have only been two larger snow storms in the last 100 years, so this was truly a "big one" that needs a name...As you all know, our wonderful urban environment is exactly that – a small space with essentially no room for two feet of snow.

Our biggest snow challenges:

Where do we put all this snow? With all the packed cars, and parking such a challenge, how do I convince an entire town to move their cars off the street and enable us to fully clean up? And how do I prevent people from trying to move their cars in the middle of a storm, and then leaving them abandoned when they figure out their mistake in trying to drive? (I am not making excuses, but it is important for you to know that all of the abandoned cars in the middle of the streets throughout our City made the clean up excruciatingly difficult for our City employees. Next time we will be much more prepared for dealing with the abundance of abandoned cars that
resulted from this storm).

During the storm we had to bring in a towing company with larger equipment that could remove the cars in such high levels of snow. I am currently working on negotiating a new emergency contract that can boost our existing
outsourcing. In addition, we are re-evaluating the best locations to dump snow. (FYI – it is illegal to dump snow into the Hudson, and the issue presents challenges to negotiating with private property owners for dumping snow on undeveloped property).

To Tow or Not to Tow - That is the Question:

With each storm, I have tried to be sensitive to the challenges of finding parking and refrain from towing if at all possible. We always run license plates and call car owners before we tow. All of this takes a great deal of
manpower and time.

Going forward, I believe I’ve got to be stricter with towing. As I reflect on this storm, my Administration waited too long to begin the towing, and we ended up with emergency routes that were not cleared quickly enough and could not be navigated by our emergency vehicles. While I feel for those that may be towed, it is my job to look out for the welfare of everyone in Hoboken. I want to keep everyone safe, and if we have a situation that prevents a fire truck from getting to a fire, or an ambulance from reaching the hospital, then I will have failed in my job to protect all Hoboken residents. (For safety reasons Chief Blohm, Chief Falco and I decided yesterday that it was necessary to tow on Willow Avenue to improve access to the hospital).

For everyone’s protection in Hoboken, please spread the word that the mayor is going to be tow-tough during the next storm and will be towing from emergency routes. Since storms are unpredictable this means that with
20/20 hindsight the towing may sometimes appear to be unnecessary, but I'd rather inconvenience a few people than lose a life. (During each storm we announce our emergency routes again and again. Please heed these
announcements and know that it includes both sides of Washington Street, and the west side of Willow Avenue for access to the hospital, among other locations).

Free Parking:

Yes, it’s an uphill battle, but I am working very hard to secure as much free off-street parking as I can. I want to thank Superintendent Carter and School Board President Rose Markle for agreeing for the city to use the Connors school parking lot at 201 Monroe as a free parking location through Sunday at noon on a first come first serve basis. Thank you to CVS as well for permitting residents to park overnight last night for free.

We are working on some other options, so check the City’s site for more  information at hobokennj.org. The more cars we get off the streets, the more we can clean up the streets! For the next storm, I hope to be more prepared with back up off-street parking locations.

In addition, given these extenuating circumstances, residents can park in Garage B and D for $5.00 until Monday at 8:00 am.

Helping with the snow cleanup: Please try to remove your car from the street, and as you do it, please try to pile the snow next to the road and  refrain from throwing it back into the street. And, please, please do not
throw snow on the fire hydrants.

The Mayor on Vacation?:

It’s funny to think that I was feeling like a bit  of a work-a-holic as I had the last light on at  City Hall on Thursday night before Christmas.  (I let employees leave at 2:30).

I love my job, but it is hard to get away from our great City! I am glad to say that I had a  wonderful Christmas with my family in NH. I was thrilled to go for an exhilarating hike to an icy waterfall on Sunday with my parents, and my brothers and their families. (Ice is so cool!) I had planned to take only one day off and drive back on Monday morning, but the storm made it impossible, and so I was on the road with what seemed like everyone else on the east coast driving back from NH on Tuesday.

My time in NH was great, but it was filled with many calls with my business administrator, Arch Liston. One time he called and my mom answered and said, “I wish we had all the snow that Hoboken has….” As you can imagine, he quickly agreed!

The issue with the 911 Call system:

On Monday night a concerned citizen alerted me to the problems Hoboken was having with 911. She called 911 herself to report a fire alarm at the library and had problems getting through. (The library was fine, but the
911 system was not). I immediately contacted the Police and Fire Chiefs, my BA, and I want to thank Freeholder Romano for working with me to get information on the matter from the Chief of the Hudson County Sheriff’s
office. Through various sources we confirmed that this was a problem that Verizon was having, and that they were repairing the system as quickly as possible.

While Hoboken was at the mercy of Verizon to do the repairs, it was my obligation to inform the public and that’s why we issued a press statement to alert residents to call the Hoboken Police dispatch directly. I am asking for an investigation into what happened, why the City was not informed on the matter, and whether or not this happened in other Hudson County municipalities. I was also surprised that Verizon publicly stated that the problem was not their responsibility at a time when they were already working on correcting the problem with their system.

Conclusion: 

Again, thanks to all the Good Samaritans of Hoboken who helped out friends and strangers alike during the storm. I am sure that this email list includes many of those Hoboken saints that make our community so special.

Best wishes for a spectacular New Year! And please feel free to send your suggestions and/or information you may have to help me evaluate how I can improve our City's snow response. If you witnessed issues of concern, such as trucks driving with their plow blades up, please let me know so I can investigate to determine whether or not this was appropriate under the circumstances.

Have a happy and safe New Year!

-Mayor Zimmer

P.S. The hospital board meeting was moved to next Tuesday, January 4th. ◦
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Councilman Peter Cunningham of the Snow Storm

Here is a brief note from 5th Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham on the snow storm last weekend......

Happy Holidays and New Year to all ...

This is a brief note to thank you all...for what you did, or could do within reason...to help your neighbor, a friend or a complete stranger these last couple of days. While I will not go so far to use a famous Paine quote that these were "the times that try men's souls" we came pretty close. I have been around the Fifth Ward since Monday morning and would agree that there were things we did well, however other things which need further evaluation.

I am happy for the compliments as well as the criticisms placed not only on me, but the administration as well. If constructive, it only serves to straighten, and improve the process; and I am thankful to all that have reached out on-line, or who I have seen in the streets. However, I know our job is not done.

I have heard from some of you that there still may be areas that need attention, so please call me ASAP.

On another note, I expect to send out a recap before year end, and have set up a Twitter account to afford another media for sharing information. There's a lot going on in Hoboken, and my gut tells me we could be in for a long winter. Enjoy the balmy 40 degree weather the next couple of days and again have a Happy New Year. And as always, please forward along, call or write with any issues or concerns.

- Peter Cunningham Hoboken 5th Ward Councilman
Email: cunninghamforhoboken@gmail.com
Phone: 201-562-7071

Editor's note: Here is your chance if you live in the 5th Ward to reach out to Peter Cunningham and address your concerns.  I witnessed Peter out and about Monday night urging the City to take care of the cars on Park Avenue that were blocking plowing efforts so I know he was out observing the situation as well and giving feedback to the Administration. ◦
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Hoboken Journal Proposal - Adopt a Corner Plan and Shovel it!

Update 12/30/2010: I was able follow up on my pledge to get to my corner at 8th and Garden and clear out the 4 grates there last night. It took me a bit over an hour to clear all 4 grates. I am sure a younger person could have completed it more quickly but in the immortal words of George Bush Jr., "Mission Accomplished!" I'll try nother corner tonight. Hoboken Journal reader Midtown Authentic is on board and suggests that handicapped parking spots not yet cleared also get added to the priority list. This would be a good project for Hoboken Volunteers to latch on to an offer support.

Corner of 8th and Garden Street Before Shoveling

 


Corner of 8th and Garden Street After Shoveling




Original Post 12/29/2010: Here is an idea for those in Hoboken that want to help the City of Hoboken instead of twitter or blog away negativity about the current Administration. The City of Hoboken now has a record amount of snow fall that is about to melt over the next week. Every corner that has a sewer grate should be cleared so that the water will not build up. I am sure the City and/or North Hudson Sewer has a plan for the worst offending corners but this is my idea to help the City of Hoboken, the North Hudson Sewer Corporation as well as your neighbors.

I am encouraging any able bodied person who has the strength to pick a corner nearest your home and clear out the section near the corner where the sewer is at least enough to allow the water to flow into the sewer properly for drainage. This will help mitigate the risk for potential flooding somewhat. Your neighbors, the City of Hoboken as well as the North Hudson Sewer Authority will appreciate it.

The Hoboken Journal suggests to help out if you can by clearing the sewer grates near your street corner

Here are the rules or suggestions:
  • Make sure you can handle the shoveling physically.
  • Don't overdo it.
  • Tell your neighbors.
  • Do not shovel the snow into the street or where there is any fire hydrant.
  • Make sure you do not block traffic while doing so.
  • Commit to following up and making sure it stays clear at least once a day.
  • Make sure that the grated area is completely clear.
  • Any fire hydrants that have not been dug out could also help out our fire department.
  • If any official tells you to stop please do so.
  • Feel free to submit you photos to the Hoboken Journal by email at kurt.gardiner@gmail.com.

Editor's Note: I came up with this idea independently of any one in the Administration or any other politician. The idea came to me during my commute this morning. Whether you describe yourself as yuppie or BNR this idea is a positive way to help your community and get a little exercise only if you are up to it. Enough blogging, facebooking or twittering so get shoveling! ◦
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Emergency Towing to Begin At Willow Avenue at 6:30 pm tonight

From the City of Hoboken:

TOWING TO CLEAR EMERGENCY ROUTE ON WILLOW AVE TO BEGIN AT 6:30PM; ADDITIONAL PARKING OPTIONS FOR RESIDENTS

Residents are advised that towing to remove vehicles parked along Willow Avenue between 4th Street and 11th Street will begin at 6:30pm on Wednesday, December 29th. The decision to tow vehicles was made jointly between Police Chief Falco, Fire Chief Blohm, and Mayor Zimmer to ensure that the emergency route leading to the Hoboken University Medical Center is clear.

The City will be looking up the license plates of all parked vehicles and attempting to contact all affected residents.

In addition to providing discounted garage parking in Municipal Garages B & D, Mayor Dawn Zimmer has been working to arrange other parking options to permit residents to park off-street in order to facilitate the removal of snow along parking lanes.

The parking lot at the Connors School (201 Monroe Street) is available for resident parking on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 5:30 pm. A Parking Utility employee will be directing cars.

Also, after 5:00 pm, residents may park overnight until 8:00 am in the parking lot of the CVS located at 811 Clinton Street.


- Posted while on the go by the editor of The Hoboken Journal.

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Mayor Zimmer Makes a Statement on the Blizzard and its Aftermath

Mayor Dawn Zimmer has the followinf update for Hoboken residents on Snowpocalypse 2010.....

STATEMENT FROM MAYOR ZIMMER REGARDING BLIZZARD

I am incredibly thankful to all the City employees who worked so hard to get our City moving again after we were hit by one of the worst storms in 100 years. For days on end they’ve been working long shifts and overnight hours, and for that I especially want to thank Environmental Services, the Police Department, the Fire Department, the Parking Utility, and the Office of Emergency Management. I also want to thank our residents -- all the Good Samaritans who helped a neighbor dig out, who helped push a stranger’s car, or who directed traffic when other cars got stuck in the road. This may have been one of the worst storms in recent Hoboken history, but it brought out the very best in our community.

Cleanup Continues

The process to clean up our City continues, and while that is happening, I will also be evaluating what went right and what changes we need to make in order to make sure that we respond as quickly as possible in the future. I recognize that parking is an incredibly difficult situation. We have had crews working overnight to clear snow from the sides of the street for parking, including the south half of Washington Street and 14th Street. We are bringing in more heavy equipment to continue that process throughout the night. Crews will be cleaning up areas throughout the City where there are empty spaces in order to provide more parking spaces, and residents can help in this process by parking off the street in garages or private lots if possible.

Parking Arrangements for Residents

Under these extenuating circumstances, residents with a valid resident parking permit may park in Garages B (28 2nd Street) and D (215 Hudson Street) on a first-come first served-basis for the discounted rate of $5 through 8am on Monday morning. Additional parking alternatives for residents are currently being arranged which will shortly be announced on the City website, http://www.hobokennj.org/ and through the press. Finally, I ask that residents who have information that may help us as we evaluate the response to the blizzard to contact me by emailing dzimmer@hobokennj.org. Thank you for your patience during this challenging time.

- Mayor Dawn Zimmer

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/statement-from-mayor-zimmer-regarding-blizzard
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jersey City Residents up in arms about inadequate plowing! What? Not just in Hoboken?

Here is this story from NJ.com that states Jersey City residents are up in arms about streets not being plowed. What? you mean to say that Hoboken and Mayor Dawn Zimmer are not the only city in Hudson County challenged by this historic snowstorm? Gee Willikers Batman!

The article starts:

"Many Jersey City residents are up in arms this afternoon because their streets have still not been plowed, more than a day after the blizzard's snow stopped falling."


Below is the link to the full article: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2010/12/jersey_city_residents_up_in_ar.html

Editor Comment: So much for Mike Novak's twittering that Hoboken is the only city in Hudson County that has had issues with snow removal. Debunked! Lies, damned lies, and Novak's tweets. Maybe other Hudson County municipalities like Union City did a better job than Hoboken in terms of snow removal but the fact remains that historic snowstorms like this one paralyze all major cities even Buffalo, Syracuse and New York City for at least the first 24 - 48 hours. Could Mike Novak's Twitter and Facebook activity get him in trouble with some members of the Chamber of Commerce? Time will tell. This haiku summarizes the potential......

Mike Novak Snow Job Twitter Haiku:

Chamber of Commerce,
Could be miffed at Novak's tweets?
Was a boundary crossed? ◦
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Snowmaggedon 2010 Part Deux! More Hoboken Snow Reader Photos

Here are some photos from reader "Old Blue Lion" that reflect the beauty of snowfall in Hoboken minus the traffic problems. These photos are poignant and give a serene look at Hoboken after the snow storm that started the day after Christmas and dropped almost 2 feet of snow on the Mile Square City.






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Hoboken Snowpocalypse 2010! The photos, the commentary

Here are some photos and commentary on Hoboken's biggest snow storm since 1996. Editor's Note: Actually, the biggest snow storm in terms of snow fall was the storm of 2006. That storm was no where near as disruptive since the snow itself was extremely light and fluffy. The NY Times has  http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C03E2D7123EF937A25751C0A9609C8B63 as story on it  and described the storm as follows:

NY Times description of 2006 storm:

"Another big one was -- for lack of a better phrase -- the fluffy effect. Because the track of this storm was relatively far offshore, it did not pack the wallop of wet warm ocean air that northeasters can, so the snow was dry and fluffy. Very, very fluffy. Like a Persian cat in a roomful of hair dryers. Thus it blew right off tree branches rather than snapping them down onto power lines. It practically shoveled itself."


Back to Hoboken. I spent a good portion of the day snapping photos and helping vehicles getting unstuck during this mess. I actually enjoyed being outside and helping various motorists get moving again. At 7th and Washington Street, HHA Director Carmela Garcia Tom Foley and I along with 5-6 others helped yet another ambulance with out snow tires get unstuck. Also on that same corner was a larger snowplow that got stuck as well just 5 minutes earlier. I probably bailed out at least 20 or more vehicles myself along the corners of Washington Street sometimes by myself (that 6'8" frame comes in handy sometimes) but usually with the help of other thoughtful Hoboken citizens. This snow storm was a beast and perhaps it took longer the clear the snow than some expected but this is a once in a 15 year snow storm and I think the heaviness and wind made it very difficult to remove the snow right away. Take this for what it is, a first hand account from a part time blogger.

Several ambulances from Jersey City were sent to Hoboken and inadvertently clogged Hoboken's city streets. This one between 8th and 9th and Bloomfield seen here around 12/27 at 8:30 am was stuck there most of the day. I spoke with another Jersey City Ambulance driver and he said that their vehicles did not have snow tires, chain or even the emergency chains to deal with the snow. He was also stuck for at least 5 hours at the corner of 8th and Bloomfield. I for the life of me can't figure out how the management of the ambulances for Jersey City could send out their vehicles without the proper snow equipment.

Kudos to Dr. Kelly for clearing out a good portion of his block above and beyond just his area. Perhaps more business owners and residents should invest in snow blowers for such inclement days. And speaking of snow blowers did anyone get a flier from Beth Mason this year offering snow blowing service or was that just a one time political stunt? 

I know it must of been frustrating for many Hobokenites but contrary to the false rumors being spread by certain political operatives there were plows out in the morning of 12/27 trying to plow as much as they could that I observed. Later in the day additional plows from a contractor were brought in towards that late afternoon early evening. Some feel, including myself  that perhaps more trucks should have been out sooner but the fact remains that 24 hours since the cessation of snow at around 8am on 12/27 most if not all Hoboken roads including side streets have been plowed and the vehicles completely blocking sections of road have been towed away.

I saw this Ambulance from Jersey City going up and down Washington Street for most of the day. This is one of the few ambulances from Jersey City that I saw that did not get stuck.

Snowed in nativity scene by Hoboken City Hall. Even the birth of Jesus got snowed in.

Hoboken City Hall. Looking festive and formally opening two hours later than its normal schedule.

Some business owners were slow in removing snow from the sidewalks which forced many  pedestrians to take to the streets to walk earlier in the morning.  I look to the leadership of Hoboken's Chamber of Commerce and to the City of Hoboken as to how to get businesses to comply with their responsibility of clearing the sidewalks. It is certainly understandable that some small businesses could not get there to clear their section of the sidewalk given the severe nature of the storm. However,  having pedestrians in the streets because that is the easiest place to walk isn't exactly an ideal  public safety condition either.

Hoboken's own Mount Everest made out of snow drift.

A livery car was left behind Hoboken City Hall on the evening of 12/26 during the height of the snow storm blocking the entire block. Here it is finally getting towed at around noon on 12/27.

Front end loader clearing snow behind City Hall at around 12 noon.

Once some of the business owners started at least partially clearing the sidewalk pedestrians no longer took to Washington Street to walk.

Another snow plow truck on Washington Street during the afternoon of 12/27. According to Hoboken 411 this truck is inadequate. Seriously, Perry take your meds and get a brain. This truck on Washington Street is more than adequate. Whether or not there were enough trucks is another valid concern or whether they were deployed quickly enough is another.

A City of Hoboken vehicle also helping out plowing Washington Street. Where was the County in all of this? I know there were county trucks but perhaps they should have been here sooner as well or in greater numbers. A source of mine indicated that the County was indeed out at first snowfall. Not all of the snow removal responsibilities in Hoboken rest on the City. The County has its share of responsibility in this too. After all Hoboken saw the biggest county tax increase this year but where is the level of service to go along with this tax increase?

This is the little snow plow that could. All types of vehicles both big and small were out yesterday helping clearing the snow. Perhaps bigger vehicles are in order as this little guy was helping but given the amount of snow might not have been enough. Of course every little bit helps.

A lot of ambulances were trolling up and down Washington Street yesterday. Some Hoboken residents might have required a whaambulance with all their whining and histrionics. I think it is unrealistic to expect perfect streets the next day and perhaps the job could have been done better but I am amiss as to what storm to compare it to other than 1996. The one in 2006 was big as well but the snow was very fluffy and much more manageable. Keep in mind back then snow was dumped in to the Hudson River and the City of Hoboken got in trouble with the EPA. One resident suggested using 1600 Park to dump the snow instead of in the Hudson. Suggestion duly noted.


Watch out where the huskies go, don't you eat that yellow snow. This very well behaved dog was quite the poser and its beautiful coat of fur is ideal for these conditions. This dog was seen earlier rolling in the snow and is quite photogenic. Mush! 
 
Even Hudson County Mosquito Control got into the act helping out with the plowing.

Peter Cunningham was on the corner of 10th and Park seeing to that the vehicle abandoned on 12/26 after it caught fire was finally towed last night after 8pm. He was upset on behalf of his constituents that this car and another up the street had been sitting there all day and had still not been towed. The situation was eventually rectified. The question is were there enough tow trucks in the area to handle all the stuck cars? The short answer appears to be yes but Mile Square towing according to one source was not up to the job. High Point towing had to take over towing responsibilities at one point since Mile Square Towing was not getting the job done. In one case MST sent the wrong type of truck even when they did respond. Given their apparently dismal performance does anyone think MST should get their towing contract renewed?

I ran into Director Pellgrini who was working various issues the clock and walked up Washington Street at around 6pm to witness this at 10th and Park. On the way up the Director and I helped a woman get unstuck at 6th and Washington and then proceeded up to assess this situation. The car caught fire he evening of  12/26 and was put out by the Hoboken Fire Department but the tow trucks did not come until the following evening. A front end loader was required to clear the way for the tow truck to take it away last night after 8pm.  
 ◦
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911 Service in Hoboken Restored

From the City of Hoboken.....

911 SERVICE RESTORED; HOBOKEN STATE OF EMERGENCY LIFTED

The 911 service is back in service. Thank you to Verizon and Hudson County for working to restore the system.

The Zimmer Administration has lifted the state of emergency for Hoboken. The state of emergency has also been cancelled for the State of New Jersey.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer thanks all Hoboken residents who volunteered to help their neighbors during the storm.

As residents dig out their cars, they are reminded not to shovel the snow back onto streets or fire hydrants. Residents and business owners are also reminded to clear a path along the sidewalk in front of their properties.

Reduced rate garage parking has been extended. Residents parked in Garages B (28 2nd Street) and D (215 Hudson Street) may remain there until Wednesday, 8am for the same $5 rate.


- Posted while on the go by the editor of The Hoboken Journal.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

City Hall to open 2 hours late

I received an update from the Hoboken Administration and City Hall will open 2 hours later than its normal schedule.



- Posted while on the go by the editor of The Hoboken Journal.

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Snowboken Photos!

Here are some photos from Washington Street in Hoboken during yesterday's winter storm. This is perhaps Hoboken's second biggest snow job in 2010 besides the claim that 4th ward vote buyer Tim Occhipinti is indeed independent. Expect Hoboken 411 to blame Dawn Zimmer for the snow.

Two women brave the elements at 10th and Washington

Safety in numbers from this traveling pack of nordic types

Have fun digging out this car today- This is oen reason I don't own a car in Hoboken!
This NJ Transit bus spun out and evenualy had to be towed at 10th and Washington.

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Emergency! Emergency! Everybody to get from Street! No, The Russo's aren't coming

For some reason this snow storm alert from the City of Hoboken reminded me of the movie "The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming" and the line "Emergency! Emergency! Everybody to get from street!". Having been one of the few brave souls to actually walk the streets yesterday I can attest that walking was even difficult. The Hoboken Police were urging residents to not walk in the streets but that was the easiest place to walk for the few pedestrians that were trying to get home or hopping from one bar to the other.  On a comic note, Perry Klaussen of yellow blog Hoboken 411, the most complete website for hatred of all things Zimmer was true to Nordic form and was spotted in shorts yesterday afternoon. What an Arctic loon that cat is! If he was a native American his name would be Crazy Shorts! Anyway I digress, here is some useful information from the city of Hoboken.......

STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED IN HOBOKEN

The Zimmer Administration has declared a state of emergency for Hoboken. Residents are urged to stay indoors and avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.

Hoboken City Hall will be open on Monday, December 27, 2010. Essential personnel are required to report to work, and non-essential personnel who are able to safely travel to work are also requested to report to work.

Residents are reminded that sidewalks must be cleared of snow within six hours after completion of the storm and that cars must be removed from all emergency snow routes:

Street and  Location
  • Washington Street- Both Sides
  • Willow Avenue West Side- Observer Hwy to 11th Street
  • Third Street North Side- Jackson Street to River Street
  • Fourth Street South Side- River Street to Jackson Street
  • Fifth Street South Side- Clinton Street to Hudson Street
  • 13th Street North Side-Washington Street to Willow Avenue

The Hoboken Parking Utility is extending the courtesy to Hoboken residents with Residential parking permits to keep their vehicles in Garages B (28 2nd Street) and D (215 Hudson Street) at the reduced Resident rate of $5.00 through 8am on Monday. Regular rates apply at other times.

Dumping or shoveling snow into restricted fire hydrants areas or into City streets is a violation of the law and subject to a fine. Keeping these areas clear is vital for the safety of the general public.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/state-of-emergency-declared-in-hoboken/
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

City Of Hoboken Announcement on Potential Blizzad

From the City of Hoboken on the possible upoming snow storm......

BLIZZARD WARNING, EMERGENCY SNOW ROUTES, AND REDUCED RATE GARAGE PARKING FOR SUNDAY And MONDAY

 
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning from 6:00 am on Sunday, December 26 to 6:00 pm on Monday, December 27. Wind gusts of 40-55 mph and 11 to 16 inches of snow are possible. Please be advised that as soon as City streets are covered with a layer of snow, cars must be removed from all emergency snow routes. These routes are clearly identified on street signs. They include:

 
Street Location:

  • Washington Street Both Sides
  • Willow Avenue West Side- Observer Hwy to 11th Street
  • Third Street North Side- Jackson Street to River Street
  • Fourth Street South Side- River Street to Jackson Street
  • Fifth Street South Side- Clinton Street to Hudson Street
  • 13th Street North Side-Washington Street to Willow Avenue

During a snow emergency there is no parking permitted on these streets. Violators will be towed. This is necessary to move ambulances and police and fire vehicles throughout Hoboken in times of emergency for the safety and welfare of all our citizens.

 
The Hoboken Parking Utility is extending the courtesy to Hoboken residents with Residential parking permits to keep their vehicles in Garages B and D at the reduced Resident rate of $5.00 from 4pm on Sunday to 8am on Monday.

 
In addition, please be advised that all sidewalks must be cleared of snow within six hours after the completion of the storm. Please be advised that dumping or shoveling snow into restricted fire hydrants areas or into City streets is a violation of the law and subject to a fine. Keeping these areas clear is vital for the safety of the general public.

Please stay tuned to the City of Hoboken website (hobokennj.org) or sign up for email or text alerts via Nixle for updates.

 
Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/blizzard-warning-for-sunday-monday/
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays from Mike Novak and Atlantic Environmental Solutions

Mike Novak and his company Atlantic Environmental Solutions sent out this email to me. With a little imagination and a bit of retouch this is the message I think he really wanted to get out to those voters (err workers) or voting non-workers in the 4th Ward, that by their actions will allow developer freindly binder reading and Lane Bajardi coached Tim Occhipinti to help shape the Hoboken zoning board into a place where variances are given out like candy and companies like Mike Novak's can benefit from the enhanced construction opportunities. Nothing wrong with smart development but something is seriously wrong with planning by varience. Time will tell if my sentiments are a strech or not but I am betting that unfortunately I am right. Look at Tim Occhipinti's main campaign contributors and you will start to see the picture. My more avid reform readers are already there. Happy holidays!


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Monday, December 20, 2010

Update from City Hall on Parking Permit Renewals

Here is an update from City Hall on parking permit renewals......

HOBOKEN RESIDENTIAL PARKING
PERMIT RENEWAL INFORMATION

Hoboken residents with a current Resident parking permit should find an annual renewal letter in their mail in the next few days. The Hoboken Parking Utility offers the following to points of clarification:

1. Current permit holders who do not receive renewal information should contact the Parking Utility by phone at 201-653-1919 or email at parking@hobokennj.org.

2. Please note that there was an error regarding the renewal deadline in the letter. All documentation is due by January 15, 2011. The validity of current Resident parking permits will be extended to that date.

Questions about Multiple Vehicles in the Same Household

Residential parking permits are issued and priced based on the number of vehicles in a household. The first vehicle is $15, second is $30, and the third and all additional vehicles are $90. If you received a renewal notice with vehicles listed other than those in your household, the Parking Utility may not have an appropriate apartment/unit number for your address on file, and your vehicle(s) may be combined with others at the same building also missing similar mailing address information. Simply submit or bring in the proper documentation indicating your apartment/unit number as well as the appropriate fee for all vehicles in your household. We will also contact the other individuals on the list to clarify their mailing address information.

Please note that it is the resident's responsibility to make sure that the Parking Utility has all current information, including the apartment/unit number of the household. If a resident's vehicle documentation issued by the State of New Jersey does not specify an apartment/unit and you believe that your household does not include the vehicle(s) on the list you received, please contact the Hoboken Parking Utility to learn what additional documentation may be necessary.

Q: Why are there other people/vehicles listed on my renewal letter?

A: These are likely your neighbors who also live in your building. We don’t have your or their apartment/unit number in our records, so we combined your information with theirs as the same household. If you are in separate household than the other people listed on your renewal letter, we simply need you to show your apartment/unit number on your New Jersey driver’s license and registration.

Q: What if I don’t have an apartment/unit number on my driver’s license and registration?

A: You can also demonstrate that you live in a separate apartment/unit with a current utility bill, insurance document, or a rent/lease agreement.

Q: Do I have to pay for these other people?

A: If the other people listed on your renewal letter live in separate households, you are not responsible for their renewal.

Q: What if I rent an apartment from someone else in a smaller building?

A: The City Code requires that all vehicles in the same household conform to the pricing schedule described above. If your apartment/unit is separate from others, all we need is documentation to demonstrate this.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hoboken-residential-parking-permit-renewal-information/
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Minion Lane Bajardi and Beth "I want Power now" Mason Christmas Card

For those of you that watch city council meetings but may not know the close association between Lane Bajardi and his provider Beth Mason, the photo used in this parody Christmas card was taken at the conclusion of the last Hoboken City Council meeting of the year. My they make quite the pair don't they? Happy holidays.


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Video - Lane Bajardi and more race baiting and cultural division on display

Lane Bajardi's race baiting, negative and incendiary culture war tactics continued at the Hoboken City Council meeting 12/15/2010. In this clip Lane Bajardi who resides at 70 Park Avenue, right next to the Municipal Garage (in case you were looking for a place to throw your old rotten eggs. Just kidding by the way, the Hoboken Journal does not advocate hooliganism, that was mastered in full effect by Timothy Occhipinti's campaign at times), goes over his usual rant about the Zimmer Administration and towards the end implies that people with vowels at the end of their name somehow are  inferior (as perceived by the supporters of the Zimmer Administration). His remarks got a few hissing sounds which were gavelled down by Carol Marsh in one of her last moments as City Council President now that the "new majority" has changed the rules in their power grab to make Beth Mason City Council President.

Here is Lane doing what he does best spewing contempt at the 12/15/2010 Hoboken City Council meeting:

 

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Season Gift Giving (Vote Buying) from the Mason Russo Axis of Obstruction

The political gifts are being doled out this holiday season from both Beth Mason and Mike Russo. We know where the likely source of the money Beth Mason was using to indulge the neighborhood this holiday season; that being a big fat check from her husband Ricky who profits from the struggling economy quite greatly these days. My question is: Where did the money come from for all this for the Russo's? If it's the Russo's money, wouldn't this be better spent paying back the Russo debt to the city? Instead it would appear that Michael' is spending this money on votes for the upcoming election.

Beth Mason was making her rounds uptown leaving a bunch of these flower pots at Sparrow's this weekend.

One reader sent me this picture with comment: "Sparrow's wine told me (shaking his head)
Beth Mason left a bunch of these flower pots for customers. Guess it's election season."

On Friday a Hoboken resident noticed boxes of poinsettias being packed floor-to-ceiling into Russo's Civic Association Clubhouse. Matt Callicio and Michele "Mama" Russo were helping with the move with Michael "Baby Doc" Russo presiding inside. The resident wondered what they were going to do with them all. Saturday morning the observer found found out where two of them went: on the doorstep of a Third Ward residence. Presumably the rest have been distributed to other Hoboken residents.

From the Mike Russo Civic Association which politicizes Halloween events for children,
to the door step of a member of "La Familia"

Lucky pointsettia recipient in the 3rd Ward courtesy of "Mikie Squared" Russo

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Hoboken High School Charity Wrestling Match October 18, 2010

This Hoboken High School event is coming up tomorrow night:

HHS Charity Wrestling Match

 Time: Saturday, December 18, 2010 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Hoboken High School will host an evening of wrestling wherein professional wrestlers from East Coast Professional Wrestling will conduct a charity wrestling match to be held at Hoboken High School on the evening of Saturday, December 18, 2010 from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Proceeds from the event, after costs are covered, will be donated to Hoboken High School.

Tickets ($20 ringside, $15 general admission) are available at Hoboken High School's Main Office, as well as the School Store. In addition, tickets may be purchased at Mr. Wrap's (8th and Garden, Hoboken) Luca Brasi's Deli (1st and Park, Hoboken) and online at ecpw1.com (973-402-9599).

Highlights include: Cage match: Tony Fiore VS Dan Mandini
Tito Santana VS La Parka USA with Donnie Diamond
ECPW Heavyweight Championship Match: Champion Jeff Coleman VS Brolly
ECPW Tag Team Championship Match: Champions Red Hot Russ & The Jersey Devil VS Little Tony Moose & Marquez
ECPW Television Championship Match: Champion C. K. Kross VS Crazy Ivan
ECPW Light-Heavyweight Championship 3-Way: Champion Merengue Warrior VS Timothy Plazma VS Nick Napoleon
Gino Caruso VS Tony Meyers
Rob Vegas VS Mike Donovan
Andrew Anderson VS The Dark Shadow
Plus a 20-Man Battle Royal! ◦
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Editorial in Support of Hoboken Recreation Fees Remaining by Citizen Greg Lincoln

Greg Lincoln a 3rd Ward resident who is unfortunately served by Mike Russo as his city councilman had this to say about the keeping the recreation fees that was a hot topic at the last city council meeting on 12/15/2010......

Here is his introduction:

:In the interest of full disclosure, I am a parent of two boys who participate in the Hoboken Recreation programs. I have also served for 3 years as a volunteer assistant coach for instructional league soccer teams (5 and 6 year olds). After that, the kids tend to know more about soccer than I do.

I was fully supportive of the $25 recreational fee (as was the City Council, unanimously at 8-0) when it was first introduced, despite meaning money out of my pocket. I was supportive of it in part because of the provision that lower income families would be able to get the fee waved, so no children would be denied the opportunity to participate.

I spoke at the Council Meeting against the measure to remove the fee, and I applaud the Mayor’s decision to veto the ordinance."

Here is his editorial:

The Arguments Against the Fee

#1: “Do it for the children”

Michael Russo argued that repealing the fee will “allow the children to participate”, and that we should give up the revenues garnered by the fee ($32,00 to date, with an expectation of annual revenue of $50,000 or more). He said we should “give it up for the children”.

Counter: Are opportunities for the children to play denied due to the inability to pay a fee? NO. Is the fee stopping children from participating? NO. Does the fee discourage parents from signing their children up for recreational sports? Not if they are aware that the fee can be waived.
#2: “It’s a backdoor tax on the backs of our children”

That’s a direct quote from the mouth of Michael Russo. Tim Occhipinti also called it a “back-door tax.” The expressed concern is that Hoboken families should be given recreation sports to play for free, and not be subject to a tax or fee in order to do so.

Counter: Someone has to pay for Hoboken Recreational sports. In fact, all tax-payers in our community are already paying for them. By eliminating the fee, Russo and Occhipinti were deciding that ALL tax-payers should continue to pay for 100% of the recreational budget, as opposed to having the people who actually use the service pay a little bit more than the rest of the community.

The analogy given by Councilman Bhalla of toll roads is an apt one. When you use a toll road, you pay to use it. It’s only fair to charge those who use a service. Most of the parents I know from my children’s sporting activities feel the same. We feel we are using a service, and are contributing to it happily. We like the service, and want to see it continue and improve, and give it our financial and moral support.

#3: The city doesn’t need the revenue

Arguments were made that with such a large budget surplus, why do we need to piddle around with $32,000? Just waive the fee!

Counter: So much for self-proclaimed “budget hawk” Michael Russo. Wasteful spending, no matter how “small” (only $32,000) is still wasteful spending. Throwing away money that can offset costs, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is still wasteful and irresponsible. Tax savings for the residents are not only accomplished at the macro-level. It’s unethical to only choose be a “budget hawk” when it serves your own agenda.

#4: Waiving of fees is “embarrassing for some parents”

This was given by Occhipinti as a reason to not charge any parents a fee.

Counter: We certainly don’t want people to have their feelings hurt. But under Tim’s logic, we should also make school lunches free for all students at the responsibility of all the tax-payers.

I’m sure that Director Pellegrini takes all matters of family finances in strict confidentiality. However, the data show it isn’t a deterrent for the parents or children. Director Pellegrini gave the example of football participation at the Council Meeting. Participation was up from last year to this year (one with fees, one without), but about 2/3rds of the football participants had their recreational fees waived. A program doesn’t grow if people are too embarrassed to participate.

#5: Accountability

This argument was touched on at the City Council meeting, and I will give some credit to Occhipinti for mentioning it. The argument is that the waiver of fees are not well communicated to the public (via registration, on the website, etc.), and the usage of those fees to date are not documented.

These are valid points, and were also brought up by Councilman Cunningham and public supporters of the fee. The current legislation needs work, that was freely admitted. Revisions need to be formalized, codified, and approved by the Council to make it better.

Counter: The proposed solution however, was not to address the issues and fix them. The solution was to get rid of the fee altogether. As I stated at the Council Meeting, this “solution” is the most wasteful and irresponsible way of ‘fixing’ the problem. As Michael Lenz said (cliché, but true) “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”

The Arguments For the Fee

#1: It is a usage fee

The HOP isn’t free. You have to pay to ride (but only $1). Same for the 126 NJ Transit bus, the Path train, the ferry, and taxi services. You have to pay to park in Hoboken whether in a garage, or for your residential parking sticker, or by meter. Residents pay for water, sewer, electricity, and recycling.

No one expects services for free, we’re not a socialist society. As stated previously, many parents are quite happy to pay a reasonable fee.

Counter: (from Patch) “The fact that the $25 is a user fee for the program, didn't matter to Russo. "That's what government does," he said, "it subsidizes things.”

#2: It supports a program that has growing needs

More and more families with children are staying in Hoboken permanently. As this happens, the Recreation programs need to grow as well. The revenue generated by these fees allow the Director to add programs, purchase more equipment, and improve the quality of the programs during the year without having to ask the city for more money mid-budget. It gives flexibility and options which help the recreation department operate successfully.

Counter: Occhipinti claims he “wants to make sure resources are available” for the Director to operate the recreational leagues. But by voting to remove the fees, he did the opposite.

#3: It’s a community best practice, used commonly in Hudson county and elsewhere

That’s pretty self-explanatory. Most other municipalities have much higher fees for their programs as well.

Counter: Councilwoman Castellano: “Hoboken is special.”

Conclusion

Thankfully, the fees are here to stay, and will help bolster a growing program that will continue to serve the needs of all children in Hoboken. While changes can and should be made to make the ordinance better, the keeping of the ordinance in place will help the city defray extra costs and tax burden as well.

-Greg Lincoln
Third Ward ◦
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City Acquires Deed to Maxwell Place Waterfront Park

The Zimmer Administration has cleaned up again from the Roberts Adminstratation and its past follies by finally getting the deed for the Park area the city should have had in the first place.

CITY ACQUIRES DEED FOR MAXWELL PLACE WATERFRONT PARK

After extensive negotiations and approval from the City Council on Wednesday, the City of Hoboken on Friday morning officially closed on the deed transfer for the Maxwell Place Block E waterfront park.


As a result, the City-owned amount of open space has increased by more than 3.5 acres.

“I want to thank Community Development Director Brandy Forbes, City Council Quality of Life Subcommittee Chairman Nino Giacchi and members Peter Cunningham and Beth Mason, and the entire City Council for working together to make this happen,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
 
Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/city-acquires-deed-for-maxwell-place-waterfront-park/
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Meeting for 1600 Park and Hoboken Cove

From the Hoboken Mayor's office:

COMMUNITY MEETING SCHEDULED FOR DESIGN OF 1600 PARK AND HOBOKEN COVE

The City of Hoboken will host the first public meeting on January 10, 2011 to solicit community input on the design of two parks in northern Hoboken – 1600 Park and Hoboken Cove. The meeting will be held from 7-9pm at the Wallace School gymnasium, 1100 Willow Ave.

“This is an exciting opportunity to build more active recreation fields that we so desperately need,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “We look forward to working with the community to design these parks.”

On December 15th, the City Council voted to approve a contract for Remington and Vernick for the design of both parks. The design phase is expected to be a 4 to 6 month process, including the preparation of bid documents for the construction work. Ideally, construction will begin in spring 2011 with completion early next fall. Any grass fields that may be constructed may need adequate time for seed/sod to take and therefore may not be immediately usable.

1600 Park is located north of 16th Street between Willow Avenue and Park Avenue, while Hoboken Cove is east of Park Avenue and north of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway just north of the Hudson Tea building. A related Hudson County project, Weehawken Cove, is an 800 foot stretch of Hudson River Waterfront Walkway adjacent to the Hoboken Cove area that will connect Weehawken to Hoboken and include a kayak and boat launch. Due to their proximity, 1600 Park and Hoboken Cove will be designed as one comprehensive, cohesive park.

Because the project had been stalled for many years, the City risked losing grant funding due to inaction. More than $1 million in site remediation funding which was nearly lost was saved when the Zimmer Administration jumpstarted the project in late 2009.

Environmental cleanup of 1600 Park is complete, and the City is awaiting approval from the DEP that the remediation is satisfactory. Remediation has been contracted out for Hoboken Cove, which includes more extensive remediation than 1600 Park.

To complete the design and development phase, the City has a $1 million Green Acres grant for Hoboken Cove and $237,000 of Hudson County open space funds is available toward the construction of the boathouse. An additional $1 million Green Acres grant will go to fund 1600 Park, along with a $700,000 Green Acres loan which may be forgivable and approximately $200,000 remaining from a Hudson County open space grant.

Residents interested in joining the “Friends of 1600 Park and Hoboken Cove” group should email friendsofparks@hobokennj.org.

Link:
http://www.hobokennj.org/news/community-meeting-scheduled-for-design-of-1600-park-and-hoboken-cove/

- Posted while on the go by the editor of The Hoboken Journal.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Zimmer Vetoes City Councl Majority Down Vote on Rec Fees

Dawn Zimmer had a press conference at 3pm today at the Multiservice Center. She announced that she is returning Ordinance Z-76 without signature thereby vetoing the repeal of the $25 rec fees voted in by the new Council majority last night.

She remarked that it is common for other municipalities to charge fees while being mindful of waiving the fees for those families in need. She stated that Hoboken can not ask the taxpayers to subsidize the total cost of the recreation prgorams as the reason for her veto.

A more detailed update is forthcoming. ◦
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Hoboken City Council Meeting 12/15/2010- Archive Video

The Archive video is now up for last night's Hoboken City Council neeting held last night 12/15/2010.

Agenda: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/agenda10/ccm_12-15-10.pdf
Resolutions: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/respack10/respac-12-15-10.pdf

Video from City of Hoboken of entire meetign and Live blog comments archive:



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More Hoboken Holiday Events for this Week!

Here are more upcoming events for Hoboken this week and weekend. As for the rest of you bah humbugs, it is festivus for the rest of us!

Hoboken Holiday Crafts and Art Fair

Saturday and Sunday December 18th and 19th - 11am to 5pm


NEW LOCATION: Monroe Center for the Arts, 720 Monroe, 3rd Floor, Suite C-301
Elevator available

Unique Handcrafted Gift Items by local artists, photographers and crafters
Featuring: art, photography, stained glass, mirrors and frames, hand knit scarves, hats, mittens, baby sweaters, jewelry, baby clothes and blankets, holiday ornaments, soaps and body lotions, candles and so much more.

Most items are one-of-a-kind, and if you don't see exactly what you want, you can place a special order with the artist/crafter. Free Gift wrapping will be provided by by True Mentors

Monroe Center is located just 1 block from the the Hudson Bergen Light Rail or take the PATH, NJ Transit Trains and Buses or NY Waterway and hop on the City's FREE HOP shuttle bus which will take you right there.
Parking is also available at Monroe Center. For more information call 201-420-2207 or online at http://www.hobokennj.org/

There will be lots of other events taking place at Monroe Center during the time of the Craft Fair, fun for the whole family. See below.

Also, many of the artists in the building will open up their studios for an Open Studio Day. Stop by for some holiday cheer, live music, art, craft, theatrical performances, a visit with Santa Claus and so much more.

MusicSpace presents Holiday Music Mart and Lounge

Saturday and Sunday December 18th and 19th from noon to 5pm
720 Monroe Street, 3rd floor, Suite C304

Featuring performances by local musicians. Music by all performers will be for sale. Coffee, tea and sweets will be for sale as well.

The Theater Company presents:
Happy Holidaze
http://www.thetheatercompany.org/
720 Monroe St., Studio C413

The Santaland Diaries and Season's Greetings

THE SANTALAND DIARIES, featuring Brendan Applegate, is a brilliant evocation of what a slacker's Christmas must feel like. Out of work, our slacker decides to become a Macy's elf during the holiday crunch.
Season's Greetings, featuring Joanne Smith, is another funny, touching and twisted monologue about the season, told in the version of the "Christmas letter".

December 16 and 17 at 8pm
December 18 and 19 at 3pm
Tickets: $20/adults; $15/students & seniors, $35/couples
Credit card: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/135782
Discover Jersey Arts cardholders: purchased online or at door
(performances not appropriate for young children)

Visit with Santa Claus, Storytime, and Caroling:

Bring your own camera, do a craft, hear a story, and sing some songs!
Gifts given out to all good little boys and girls (while supplies last)
December 18 and 19 from Noon-2pm
Suggested donation: $5 at the door

Mile Square Theatre presents:

A Christmas Carol

Saturday December 18 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday December 19 at3pm
Tickets: $20 - Students and Seniors: $12

Charles Dickens’s beloved holiday story is brought to life in a tour de force solo performance by Lenard Petit. Mr. Petit appears as the spirit of Charles Dickens, who in the reading of his classic novella, creates a magical world of characters, from past, present and future, bringing to life this time-tested story of a cold-hearted miser who finds redemption on Christmas Eve.

A Reading of  The Odd Couple by Neil Simon

Starring MST Artistic Director Chris O'Connor as Felix
and Associate Artistic Director Matt Lawler as Oscar
Sunday December 19 at 7pm, $5

Both at: Monroe Theatrespace,
720 Monroe Street, 2nd floor
Reservations: 201.683.7014
For info about additional performances: http://www.milesquaretheatre.org/
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Hoboken Holiday Banding Concert Tonight at Willie McBrides 7PM

Hoboken Holiday Banding Concert
Thursday December 16, Doors open at 6:30pm
Concert Begins at 7pm Sharp
Willie McBrides, 616 Grand Street
Admission is $10
Proceeds to support Movies Under the Stars 2011 Summer Series
Come by and learn how to get involved with True Mentors


Featuring your favorite local performers singing popular holiday classics performances by:

John Bauers
Benson Ridge Project
Bianca Bob
Dave Calamoneri
Jon and Deena of the Cucumbers
Gene D. Plumber
Julio Fernandez
Beele Hamilton
Kate Jacobs
Jennifer Lampert
Las Vandelays
Lloyd United
Dan McLoughlin and Garden Street Music
Jack Skuller
Shrub
Emily Turonis
Abbe Rivers
Jim Testa
Annalee Van Kleeck
Tom Vincent and the Holiday Banding House Band featuring John Keim ◦
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Photo of the Day - Hoboken Terminal Waiting Room

As the old phrase goes - they don't build them like they used to. Here is a different angle of some of the architectural features of Hoboken's Rail Terminal Waiting Room.


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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NYC Downtown Multicultural Holiday Decorations

I took these photos during my lunch hour today from downtown New York City. the first photo is the Christmas tree near the NY Stock Exchange and photo below shows NYC at its multicultural best with a Kwanzaa decoration below the Christmas tree. In the multicultural spirit of what the Hoboken Journal advocates: happy holidays regardless of your faith or lack thereof. After all, there is always festivus for the rest of us!



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Recap of NJ Transit Meeting at Hoboken Rail Terminal 12/14/2010

Update 12/15/2010:

Last night John Leon of New Jersey transit gave the second presentation of the 1.7 acre site redevelopment plan nearest the Hoboken Train Terminal.  The key feature will be a 18 story 500,000 square foot commercial office building with improvements for the commuter experience as well as retail.

Here are some of the main points from the introduction and design walk through:
  • The NJT views the Hoboken Terminal as a key intermodal transit hub.
  • Having 5 modes of transit (train, bus, ferry, rail, taxi, bus) intersect at one location makes this location a prominent one throughout the country.
  • The NJT views this portion of the project as a community gateway.
  • It will provide office space for one world class tenant.
  • The building will be 18 stories, 500,000 square feet and utilize a green roof, refinement of massing (asymmetrical three tier stacking)  and bronze toned cladding to give it a unique architectural design.
  • NJT claims it will create 800 construction jobs and 1,740 permanent jobs.
  • NJT claims it will add $2.4 million in City property tax revenue (via commercial PILOT).
  • It will provide the following community improvements: new bus terminal, new public plaza and market place, expanded pedestrian connections, new cycling paths and storage, and enhanced PATH access.
  • Bus terminal design would include green roof mixed with wind veil in an innovative design.
  • Plan would also include open retail marketplace and sculpture garden.

This time  around, it would appear that the NJT took the feedback from the first public session and seemed to incorporate the feedback into design changes using the following key takeaway points...

Community Priorities as per Hoboken feedback to NJT:
  • Buses no longer circulating off of Hudson place. They will actually have a turning circle and go out the same way as before to observer.
  • Enhanced vehicular and pedestrian circulation.
  • Mix of commuter and destination retail.
  • Create great public spaces and amenities.
  • Greening of Hudson Place.
  • Landmark design for bus terminal.
  • Landmark design for TOD office building.
  • Sustainability focus (LEED Silver).

After the presentation I relayed my concerns to John Leon who is the key NJT contact for this proposed project. I told him that many Hoboken residents are concerned about the other 50 acres or so that are not in this plan. He assured me that no plan would be put forth and finalized until it had approval from the Mayor and City Council.

Currently the interlocal agreement is not in place and until it is Hoboken will not have the legal protection it needs to vote up or down any NJT proposal. The Mayor has stated that she will not approve any plans until such and interlocal agreement is in place.

Also worth noting that due to the short notice and holiday timing the turnout for this meeting was not as good as the last time. Those that did attend including 2nd Ward Council Candidate Tom Greaney paid very close attention and were active after the presentation asking questions of NJT officials.

Here are some talking points that I gathered from the Q and A session after the presentation. Some of these might not necessarily represent my opinion and in some case just me playing devil's advocate for the sake of discussion.

For Discussion:
  • Should NJT be in the business of real estate or retail? Shouldn't they just stick to transit?
  • Should the Hoboken Mayor and City Council give approval to any plan unless the interlocal agreement is ironed out and signed first?
  • Should Hoboken demand better train, bus, PATH, and light rail service in exchange for saying yes to such a plan?
  • What levels of infrastructure improvement should also be provided? Here are some suggestions: under ground electric, expanded sewer lines, expanded water lines, an additional pump, and better pedestrian safety features like a wider sidewalk, etc.
  • Someone suggested making the bus terminal two stories; one level for buses and the other for taxis. This would cost more but allow the street by Hudson Place to be an open pedestrian plaza.
  • Some have remarked that if you are going to do commercial development it would be best to do it near the transit hub and not uptown? Do you agree or disagree?
  • Some people think that there should be a moratorium on all new building in Hoboken. I am not saying that they are a political majority at this point but could they have a valid concern given Hoboken's geographical limitations (i.e. low sea level, high water table, built on loose soil and marshy geography). Do you think a moratorium is in order or out of line with reality?
  • Is it worth it to Hoboken to build a 500,000 square foot office tower to get some of the enhancements that NJT is promising? Shouldn't we get those improvements anyway without all the additional commercial space?
  • Or, is the giving the ok on a plan for that much office space economically necessary to make the project viable and give Hoboken what it needs in terms of fixing the problems near the terminal?
  • There are still concerns over what NJT has in store for the rest of the site and those might not go away even with an interlocal agreement. Contracts can always be amended down the line if the composition of the City Council or Mayor should change hands. What else should Hoboken do to protect their power of self-determination with respect to redevelopment?

Below is a slideshow of some of the highlights and slides of the second
presentation by NJT for their rail yards redevelopment plan in South Hoboken:



Click read more below for previous updates (extensive): 


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