Monday, March 8, 2010

Hoboken Journal Signs Out! - So long farewell .....

I am not one for long goodbyes in writing so I thought this video would put it best in saying farewell to my readers.......


Final Reader Mail - "The Info Story"

Here is the final reader mail from frequent reader Infotainme whose writing style has put a unique stamp on this website's commentary from time to time.

The Info Story

It all started one fine spring day. I was visiting the rough-and-tumble Hoboken forum of I have a soft spot in what I refer to as my heart for that milieu. At least when I don’t feel like throttling one of those curmudgeons with a pry bar.

I had a number of questions about city government and run-off elections, and has more than a few municipal employee bloggers. Finding myself in the role of ‘new kid, seeks info’ I picked the name InfotainMe and started posting my questions.

At the same time I was known as AndThenOneDay on 411. I had chosen that name because of an epiphany in 2008 from which I am still recovering and which has turned all of life upside-down and kept it that way. I have a few thousand posts at Huffington by that name as well. But I liked the new name and its more genial spirit. And I didn’t like having different names on different blogs, so I registered InfotainMe at 411 and started blogging with it there.

Unfortunately, with both the Info and AndThen registrations, I used emails which contained my real name. It was not my intent to hide my identity from my host.

Flash forward to later in the summer. My son had become “very interested” in local politics (the little ambulance-chaser…). So I took him to a Council meeting. We sat in the back, made snarky remarks, tuning in and out. Generally, a reprise of my entire academic life. Things got exciting when Jim Vance stood up to passionately call for an end to blogging, and get facial with FAP on his way back to his seat. A short time later that most decorated of Zimmophobes took up the microphone to address the council/berate the council president.

It was another in a series of bizarrely inappropriate public tirades. As it concluded my son cupped his hand and made one of Those Remarks to me. I don’t remember all of it, but I do seem to recall that the last syllable was ‘hole’ and that it was a rhetorical question.

Your parent-y obligation is to focus attention on the Importance of the Democratic Process, the courage to share one’s convictions in a public forum, etc, etc. But, as Jim Stockdale so eloquently put it, I was outta ammo on that one. We left shortly thereafter.

I went home and wrote a quick tongue-in-cheek piece on the evening’s events and posted it on Revolt.

And the very next day, someone began posting on with a handle meant to show me that he knew my real name. Moreover, he meant to show me that he had made the connection between AndThenOneDay and InfotainMe. A few of his posts to InfotainMe, in fact, went something like, “And then one day your house of cards falls apart” or words to that effect. Let’s see what else – called me a coward, asked what my wife thought of my obsession with Dawn, that sort of thing. My son learned a lot about the intersection of anti-social pathology and politics reading all that.

The problem for this poster was that there was only one way to have linked InfotainMe, AndThenOneDay, and my name. I am an intentionally obscure person in Hoboken politics. I have written a handful of letters to the editor and checks to campaigns. People in defined political groups generally make me uncomfortable, not that I don’t love you all… As the wise man once said, I’m not a member of an organized political party - I’m a democrat.

Consequently few people knew me by name. (Few in politics still do – and only because I like them personally, Michael, Tony, etc). But suddenly, my name, slightly altered, was appearing on It still does, as recently as this week. And all considerable evidence to the contrary aside, he still claims he has nothing to do with 411. It is his nature to seek private information, look up your FaceBook page, see who your friends are, and wave your name around on blogs like a spoil of war. Not out of any healthy social impulse, but to try to gain an advantage in a fight that makes sense to him alone.

So be it. Just know what you are dealing with, those of you who wish to continue where Kurt is leaving off. Extreme compartmentalization, the kind only senators and serial killers can manage to pull off. If you challenge one 411’s heads but call it by the wrong name, its indignation will be real. It will be Truly Offended. Every other word of your complaint may be true. Yes, it does have and does abuse admin privileges at 411 - but it is not Precisely the head your were addressing. It prides itself on making these connections well. Whether it has any other causes for pride in its life is up for debate.

And I am surprised that people still can’t tell the difference between the two. Let me help. Follow this link. “Whomever flagged it must not be a true American.” ‘Whomever’ used as a subject; add to that the self-appointed arbiter of who’s a ‘true American’ crap. Et voila – there it is in one sentence - that’s the 411 you know and love. He doesn’t have the attention span or the competence as a writer to be behind most of the posts and articles that are attributed to him on 411, here, MSV, or Trust the 411’s other head – which actually DID write the post or article - to shower you with much better written contempt when you guess wrong. My point is, you shouldn’t have to guess. It’s a lay-up, boys and girls.

Which brings me to Kurt. I started posting at HJ when my doppelganger showed up at I was a bit fragile at the time. If anyone had looked twice at either of my kids as a result of some coward’s use of my name in a public forum, I would have recognized no limits or boundaries, nor doors nor windows. Nothing. The decision to be public or private belongs to the individual. Questions?

I explained the situation to him and that I wanted a place to post longer pieces. He was quite open and understanding, and I felt at home on this blog; the first time I have really ever felt that way. I was not a good fit at Revolt after all. There just aren’t enough good jokes in the tax code. And as for 411, a moderated Info is an oxymoron. I liked seeing that wall come down in Berlin.

HJ has been a good home. I looked forward to writing a Saturday afternoon essay, knowing I had a place to put it that was neither too wonkish nor too frivolous. I have met a handful of excellent people through HJ’s soon-to-close doors. I email with a small group fairly often.

As I have commented privately to a few people, not much is funny to me right now. The Empire is Striking Back, or trying to, on many fronts. I’ve thought about a piece on the Tactless Avenger - about a certain council-person’s pattern of springing resolutions and oath-taking on unsuspecting targets in the middle of CC meetings. Perhaps.

But today it’s time to say thanks to a gentle, self-effacing soul who gave me a place to play when I really needed one.

Thanks Kurt. You rock. Rock on.

- Infotainme ◦

Photo of the Day - Kids First Kickoff 2010 Team Photo

Here is the Kids First team Kickoff photo for 2010 outside of Maxwells. The kickoff party was very well attended and the checks were coming in as well. The odor of bleach in the back room was not detected this year as opposed to last year. With notable absenses of Maureen "Anger Management" Sullivan and "Looney" Lane Bajardi, perhaps the bleach wasn't needed  to mask the stench of false reform that these two brought to the party previously. Good ridance. Many other supporters were there to make up for such defections.

Politicians in attendence were Mayor Dawn Zimnmer, Michael Lenz, Carol Marsh, and Dave Mello, and Anthony Romano. ◦

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Parade 2010 Aftermath

Here is some video (poorly shot) from last night showings some night time activity after the parade. There were a few fights last night but unfortunately I wasn't able to catch them on tape. Police Chief Falco will not release stats from the day until he meets with Mayor Dawn Zimmer on Monday.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hoboken St Patty's Day Parade Video Highlights

This is just video of the 2010 Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Parade. Perhaps on my nighly stroll I will get more video of the bad and the ugly......


Perry Klaussen of Hoboken 411 gets very touchy as empire is about to crumble

On live chat today one of my readers asked a simple question as to why Hoboken 411's commenting is down. Here is Perry Klaussen-fuhrer's response. It seems that my post earlier in the day might have struck some kind of nerve.

Perry Klaussen is losing it and losing it fast. Comments are in fact an indicator of the depth of a site. Search engine hits from outside the area have no bearing on the success local adverstisment and he knows it so that would explain his defensiveness. I think store owners and local businesses should move over to and Hoboken Patch before his whole insidious empire crumbles.

Whether or not his site lingers on or not one thing is for sure: it  is no longer the place to go for reasonable coverage of Hoboken politics since his recent posts and commenting policy has destroyed what was once an open forum. Good riddance when he eventually blows his stack and closes shop. ◦

More Photos from St. Patrick's Day Parade

Here are some highlights of Before and during the Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Parade for 2010.....


Elysian Party Update

Ames Crawford manager at Elysian Cafe is being interviewed by Channel 2 news from NYC.


Party at the Elysian Cafe

The party has started at the Elysian Cafe which is one of my favorite places to hang out in Hoboken.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone ◦

Lord of the Bling! Reformerus Gianticus Goes Irish!

Hopefully, it won't be like that movie "I'm Gonna Get you Sucka" where one character dies of an OG overdose (over golded). Today I am in the festive Irish spirit with much bling as the picture below can attest:

Just like there is matter and antimatter in the universe, consider me the Lithuanian/German/Irish antidote to the Leprechaun, the anti-Leprechaun. ◦

Perry Klaussen Late Again!

Perry Klaussen Cyber-Fuher and proprietor of Hoboken 411, the sleaziest and most slanted website in town had promised to have his live blog up and running at 10 am this morning. What is a matter Perry, late like Beth Mason to every meeting? ◦

Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Morning Photos

Here are some early morning photos of Hoboken St. Patrick's Day. I can tell you there are at least 3-4 policemen per every block on Washington Street which is a much greater presence then what Hoboken had last year. There are big lines at Black Bear, Texas Arizona, Green Rock and the Shannon, just to name a few bars.


Selling the goods

There are plenty of Irish vendors out today selling trinkets made in China.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Oh Danny boy, the lines are forming

The lines have already started to form at several dowtown bars. Here is the queue at Black Bear at 2nd and Washington.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Top of the morning to you! Hoboken St. Patty's Day is Here!

Hoboken's big day of partying and reckoning is here. I plan to take pictures and videos throughout the day to keep my readers, especially those who have left town informed of the the good, the bad and the ugly of St. Patrick's Day.  Enjoy and be safe! ◦

Hoboken 411 Comments Way Down

It should not be any surpise that given the recent shoddy content of Hoboken 411 that Perry Klaussen's site has been in free fall at least with respect to commenting. Here is the lastest recent comment tally from his rapidly depleting and insanely stupid political hack-job website.......

Hoboken 411 used to consistently have 100's of comments on many posts

Several merchants I have spoken to that wished to remain anonymous have been taken aback by Perry Klaussen's strong arm tactics when it comes to adverstising in this town.  They don't speak out openly because they are aware of previous articles published by the cyber-extorter that have demeaned other businesses that have been in Perry Klaussen's crosshairs (East LA comes to mind).

My advice to any new business owner in town is to think twice before plunking down his asking price for a banner ad for a month. If there are that few comments for the traffic numbers he is claiming then you are not going to get the anticipated pop at the prices this sheister is over charging you. Take that to the bank! Just don't fund his as much. ◦

Friday, March 5, 2010

Citizen's Campaign - Path to Political Party Service - March 13 at 10AM

The Citizens’ Campaign will present its “Path to Political Party Service” seminar on Saturday, March 13 at 10 A.M. at St. Matthew’s Parish Hall. This course will teach the basics of how local political party committees work and prepare interested citizens for the June 8 committee elections. The course will will be taught by an educator from the nonpartisan Citizens’ Campaign.

It is the second of four seminars the QLC and the Citizens’ Campaign plan to host. St. Matthew’s Parish Hall is located at 8th and Hudson Street.

What Do the Local Political Party Committee People Do?

Every district of every ward in Hoboken elects both a Democratic and Republican committeewoman and committeeman. The party committees exist to represent the interests of local voters to the party, and to raise funds and rally support for party candidates.The responsibility taken on by each committee person depends completely on the level of involvement they choose. Many run for committee to promote change in local government or to help build a political platform. Others see it as an introduction to the political process or a chance to socialize with politically like minded neighbors. The local committee people also represent Hoboken at the county level by helping to choose the county party leaders.

The June election is a great chance to dip your toe in the political waters. Only a few signatures are needed to get on the ballot and, depending on your district and party affiliation, getting just a half dozen votes may get you elected .

The goal of the Citizens’ Campaign in sponsoring this event is to inspire citizens to participate in the leadership of their communities and reverse the tide of government waste and corruption. ◦

There goes Hoboken 411 again and again- Klaussen has serious problems with "little people" except one

Hojoken 411 had another smear classic on Perry Klaussen-Fuhrer's website posted yesterday once again using the image of Tony Soares to demean "little people" or at least Tony in particular. See the article here:

Here was the Craigslist ad that is now longer up on the site since the position has been filled according to Mike who I called in order to verify if the ad was a prank or not.

Mike confirmed that the ad was indeed not a prank and he was surprised that his ad was used as the political tool of the politics of personal destruction. I gave him the website information for Hoboken 411 and left it up to him to see what he wanted to do about it. Mike wanted my readers to know that they wanted a little person just for photos and that in know way did they plan to demean this person they had hired.

Of course now it is my turn to take a guess as to who that hire could be (turn about is fair play):

Looney Lane the Leprechaun

Welcome Back "Looney Lane the Leprechaun" Bajardi to the political dysentery that is Hoboken 411. You and Perry really make a fine couple. Glad that Klu Klux Klaussen has grand effections for at least one little person in his life.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reader Mail - Last Hurrah from Tony Soares on the Pay to Pay City Council Issue

Here is a letter to the editor from Tony Soares on the recent pay to play issue amplified by Beth Mason for her own political gain. I have spoken to several second ward constituents who feel that Beth Mason has not done anything for them in their own ward and her recent politics of destruction against Mr. Condon and Mr. Bhalla are yet another example of  Mason First, and well Second Ward not only second but last. Here is Tony's opinion un-edited for the readers....

Dear Editor,

Last night Councilwoman Mason and her ally Councilman Mike Russo lashed out against Zimmer allies Councilmen Cunningham and Bhalla. We live in a democracy, and honest criticism comes with the territory, but these attacks were from Mason and Russo were rather disingenuous.

First we have Mike Russo – yes, Mike Russo – chanting the phrase "Pay to Play" ad nauseum, when back in 2004 he led the opposition to placing the Pay to Play ban on a public ballot and even attempted to replace it with a toothless ordinance against the will of "People for Open Government" (POG)

Then they start going on about the “appearance of impropriety." If appearances were illegal Beth Mason and Mike Russo would be in jail today. Think I’m exaggerating? Take these examples:

Beth Mason hosted a closed meeting with Residents of Mike Russo's building while promising a vote for their tax abatement extension. Mason’s springing a resolution to hire Howard Safir to a no-bid contract, while Mason's spouse is a partner in the law firm representing Safir's firm. Mason breaking local laws by posting her political signs on public property under the banner of "free speech."

Now onto Mike Russo:

Buying a share in your parent’s beach house for "$1" around the time your father goes to jail. Supporting the hiring of David Corrigan as City Attorney after he served as your uncle’s lawyer in a lawsuit against Hoboken. Sitting in closed sessions discussing Police Contracts when you had TWO brothers on the Force. Collecting thousands in campaign contributions from The Hoboken Democratic Party while your mom served as its chair. Running your political operations out of The Anthony Russo Civic Association while loudly demanding to be judged as your own man.

So Beth and Mike, if Councilmember Bhalla's office share and Cunningham's wife working for the same employer as Mr. Condon's wife "appear" to be improper I gotta tell ya, they’ve got nothing on the two of you.

- Tony Soares

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hoboken City Council Meeting Tonight 3/3/2010

There is a City Council meeting tonight 3/3/2010 starting at 7PM.

I will not be live blogging this event but the City's live video feed is provided here for your convienience....


Hoboken Journal - Spring Break and Beyond

Spring Break For The Hoboken Journal - Permanent?
Answer- I don't know.

After this weekend and the St. Patrick's Day Parade (which will be a hoot one way or the other ) I will be suspending my blog indefinetely to focus on other aspects of my career and personal life outside of the Hoboken political arena. I will still vote and be active in town but I feel I have reached the end of this very fun little experiment and feel this is the time for me to stop for now and let others take over the discussion.

The sheer stupidity of Maureen Sullivan and her vindictive nature on so many levels has made me realize that while Hoboken may have some good people with good intentions, it is full of hypocrites and posers that only want in it what is for them and not the good of the town as a whole. I started my blog in reaction to the garbage that was being produced over on the Hoboken 411 site. Political slant is for sale over there and I for one will enjoy the view from the sidelines while Rome burns from the yellow journalism of  Hoboken 411, lack of investigative reporting on Hoboken from real news sources, Sullivan's campaign of reform destruction on the BOE, Beth Mason's obstructionism and Alvarezian hypocrisy, stupid PILOTs for millionaires that cream normal taxpayers, Dave Robert's Fiscal Stewardship (think Titanic), Parking meter thievery, Malibu money bag drops, Hooters, SWAT, Craigslist spamming, an unbelievable amount of false fire alarms, short little unemployable former radio wimps that hide behind multiple screen names with their own vile brand of convoluted crap, Crazy a-holes who wear shorts in the winter and have a blogger god complex and extort local businesses for ad space, selfish unions that don't get the current economic picture and a Mayoral Administration that while well intended can't put out meaningful status updates on all issues that are important (i.e. status report). So I can now sit back and watch the political sh*tstorm that is Hoboken and when the fires are burning at their brightest, I will bring the marshmellows. Besides, I have plenty of fun projects outside of blogging planned.

I will provide coverage of Hoboken St. Patrick's Day and that will be my last coverage on this site. Whew, that felt good! Thanks to all my readers who participated and gave me feedback both positive and negative. I have reached the point where I feel I have run out of things to say so it is best to put the keyboard down and enjoy other aspects of what life offers. Oh, and when the real estate market gets better, sell, sell, sell. Thanks again.

The one, the only
Jolly Green Giant aka
Kurt The Unfriended aka
Reformerus_Gianticus aka
Kurt R. Gardiner ◦

"Real Results" Press Release Verbatim and my Rant

Now that Maureen Sullivan has helped push out a candidate against the intent of 7-2 majority her team has released a press release on their search process to make sure queen Maureen gets her "next Michelle Rhee" , the highly underqualified political hack from Washington DC for Hoboken BOE. Read below for the press release in its entirety and a surprise celebrity endorsement afterwords....


Now that Frank Romano has withdrawn his application for superintendent, the school board has a second chance to hire a new leader for our district—and a chance to do it right this time. The "Real Results" team for the April 20 school board vote—Elizabeth Markevitch, Perry Lin, Kathleen Tucker and John Forsman—vows to push for a careful, transparent and comprehensive search if elected.

Markevitch, Lin, Tucker and Forsman would all bring practical, hands-on business and management experience to the board. Here is their plan to handle the search process if elected:

“1) HIRE A FIRM THAT SPECIALIZES IN SUPERINTENDENT SEARCHES. Often the best candidates are not looking for new jobs, especially in this economy. It is a search firm's mandate to ferret out and persuade highly qualified individuals to consider switching jobs. The top school districts in the state use search firms and we must do the same.

“2) MAKE SURE THERE ARE AT LEAST 10 CANDIDATES WORTH INTERVIEWING. Competition is healthy. It gives the board a sense of the talent level available and leads to better decision-making. In Hoboken's case, the last search was so superficial that naturally the results turned out poorly.

“3) CHECK REFERENCES DILIGENTLY. The ‘Real Results’ team will thoroughly vet the finalists. We've hired and evaluated people so we know how to do this. We know that candidates will undoubtedly have glowing recommendations from colleagues and peers, but we also know to look for the red flags. We know how to read resumes with a skeptical eye. Skeletons should not be coming out of the closet after the person is hired.

“4) BE SMART IN THE NEGOTIATIONS. Once the finalists are picked, the board must decide on the salary range and benefits it is willing to offer before the negotiations begin, and not just react to a candidate's demands. It might make sense to begin negotiating packages with all of the finalists before the final selection, giving the board more leverage and a fallback if the first choice drops out. We need to maintain the upper hand at all times during negotiations.

“5) CONDUCT A FAIR AND OPEN PROCESS. ‘Real Results’ will demand a fully transparent process. Before the last board meeting, Kids First announced that hiring the superintendent would not be on the agenda, and then it was rammed through late that evening without notice and after much of the audience had left. ‘Real Results’ will not treat the public like that.”

The "Real Results" team will draw upon its wealth of real world, private sector experience, and make sure that our next superintendent search is conducted in a competent, professional manner. Elizabeth Markevitch is the founder and president of a firm that recruits staff to fill technical positions. She is exactly the kind of person Hoboken needs on the school board when it conducts a new search after the election. She and her running mates—Lin, Tucker and Forsman—are determined to find a top-notch superintendent that will take our schools to the next level and provide each student with the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

My comment: Transparency is great but let me get this straight, we must need use of an external search firm to yield better results? Who says? Ahhh, The BOE Red Elephant and self-professed Queen of Reform Maureen Sullivan. This press release sounds like one big Sullivan talking point to me and the jury is out on whether or not this process will yield any more of a qualified candidate than before. Hoboken is so toxic right now in terms of the environment hiring that regardless of the process no one in their right mind who is a "high performer" would want to come here. Guess who made this environment even more toxic? Maureen Sullivan the crazy-maker who doesn't see her will fulfilled and smears Romano all over the internet because she didn't get her way. When will these candidates actually speak for themselves instead of sending out a prefab press release?

I am all for the supposition that there is always room for improvement in the hiring process but to think that they can get a good candidate now after the stunt Maureen pulled is laughable (I do hope I am wrong).Of course many public school parents are not very happy now but that wouldn't stop Sullivan's slate now would it? Thus, from the grave comes this surprise celebrity ensorsement from Ricardo Montelban.....


2010 Election Hobboken BOE Predictions

Sun Tzu once commented that a war is over before it begins. With that sentiment in mind here are my...

2010 Election Hobboken BOE Predictions

Front Runners for first two three-year seats (likely to get in):
Irene Sobolov (has natural broad appeal despite Sullivan's anti-Sobolov rants)
Frank Raia (has 2,000 vote base that will be solidifed once again with Easter loaves of bread and now a little HTML)

Battling for the third 3-year seat (only one will get in):
Rose Markle
Elizabeth Markevitch
Leon Gold

Contenders for the 1-year term (only one will get in):
Ken Howitt
Jean Marie Mitchell

This is based on past voter patterns and what I project to be the voting patterns coming up based on the issues. If my assumptions are wrong then of course the election will could turn out differently.

Anyway you slice it Maureen's slate will very likely not have working majority so ask yourself what she hopes to gain by running this slate other than to stick it to Kids First? If Frank Raia and Ken Howitt are able to get in the "Old Hoboken" BOE will once again be in control. Watch that budget go to $70 million before you can blink an eye. A $2,000 plus junket will be the least of the taxpayers problems. Again, a split reform ticket is bad for progress.

Of course I will note to the readers I predicted the Colts to win the Superbowl. That is why we have elections. ◦

Kids First BOE Kickoff Sunday March 7 from 12-3PM at Maxwell's

Update 3/2/2010:  The Poster has been updated to include the names on the Kids First Slate.

Posted 3/2/2010:
Kids First will be having their kickoff event this Sunday March 7 at Maxwell's from 12-3PM. Kids First 2010 consists of Rose Markle, Irene Sobolov, Leon Gold, and Jean Marie Mitchell. Here is the flier for the event below:


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

McDonalds Incident Yesterday - French Fried Fire?

According to a source of mine "Derek the Viking", there was a small fire or incident yesterday at Hoboken's McDonald's at Third and Washington. Mickey D's was scheduled to open up today at 10AM so all appears to be back to normal in Ronald McDonald land.


Frank Romano Withdraws from Hoboken Superintendent Position

Frank Romano has withdrawn his candidacy for Superintendent of Schools according to Hoboken Patch:

My Comment: It appears that negotiations had reached a sticking point on several issues of the contract but I have to wonder if all of Maureen Sullivan's negative blogging had an effect as well. If so, congratulations to Maureen Sullivan for getting her way despite being out voted 7-2. Real Democracy in action. Now, no qualified person in a good performing district will in their right mind ever apply for the Hoboken  BOE Superintendent position. Does this mean Elnardo Webster, Carrie Gilliard's favorite from the land of  patronage plums in Newark moves near the top of the new list? Time will tell.

Both Sulllivan and Gilliard bickered about $20,000-$25,000 per year on a key position but yet again fail to see the bigger picture to the detriment of Hoboken Schools. Now the search for Hoboken's next Superintendent will resume with the situation much less in favor of Hoboken than before. ◦

City of Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Announcement

City of Hoboken Announces St Patrick's Day Information Resources For Residents And Visitors

Photo by Hoboken Journal

City of Hoboken - In anticipation of the tens of thousands of visitors expected to converge on Hoboken for the 23rd annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 6th, the City of Hoboken is taking steps to inform residents and visitors about what to expect.

A special page on the City's website was launched containing important information including a map of Port-O-John locations, advice for those traveling from out of town, and law enforcement-related information.

This year the City doubled maximum fines to $2,000 plus community service for certain violations including consumption of alcohol and urinating in public. To raise awareness of these new fines and the zero tolerance enforcement policy, the City created a Facebook page titled "I'd rather be down the shore than cleaning up Hoboken."

“We have taken the necessary safeguards, which you can review on the City’s website, to benefit the vast majority of celebrants who are planning to honor the traditions of St. Patrick’s Day and Irish culture," Mayor Zimmer said. “I hope you will join me next Saturday on Washington Street for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.”

Please visit the City's St. Patrick's Day information page ( and Facebook page ( for additional information. ◦

Ken Howitt - Independently filed BOE candidate

Ken Howitt is a parent with a child in the Hoboken Public Schools and has sent out two intial statemnents about why he is running for the one year term for Hoboken BOE and a little bit more about himself. ...

Ken Howitt Initial Statement

Dear all,

I am slowly creating my bio and the pertinent (or impertinent) information about myself for an initial description of my board of education candidacy.

I took a brief break from creating that treatise in order to state unequivocally, that I am running an independent race for the 1 year term. I picked the petition up by myself, and this morning I dropped the completed petition off with my 15 year old son (a Hoboken High School sophomore), so that he could see what the process is. It would have been nice to have a photo op or something more organized. It also would have been nice to have prepared something for release a little earlier than tonight

The reason for this email, is that Smarty Jones is today not-so-Smart. I am not running on a Frank Raia slate. Outside of my candidacy, I had no idea who would be turning in petitions. Until today, neither Frank nor I had any idea that the other was a candidate.

I am very happy that this many people care so much for the school system and wish it success. Having lived in Hoboken for 22 years and raised my three children here (all products of the Hoboken Public Schools), I am hoping that the debate will focus its attention on the good and how to make it better.

- Ken Howitt

Ken Howitt Bio Statement

I am a resident of Hoboken for the last 22 years. My wife and I have three children all of whom attended Hoboken Public Schools, first Wallace Primary School, then Brandt Middle School. The two eldest attended High Tech High School in North Bergen, part of the Hudson County Schools of Technology, which is also a public school. Presently, the eldest is a junior at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and our middle child is a first year student at Columbia College in New York City. The youngest is a sophomore at Hoboken High School.

During my time in Hoboken, I have volunteered in a number of community activities, including Hoboken Recreation Department activities as a coach and parent rep in soccer, basketball, girls softball and Little League. I also have a long relationship with HOPES Cap Inc., the Hoboken Community Action Program, first as a Head Start parent committee representative, then as a policy council member and chair, and finally, as a trustee on the board of directors for over a decade. I am also an active member of the troop committee for Hoboken Boy Scout Troop 146, sponsored by Hoboken’s St. Francis Church. At the Hoboken Public Schools, I have been involved in the PTOs at the primary school, middle school and high school level. With three very different children having attended those schools, I have hands-on experience of the processes and capabilities of the schools.

I grew up in Little Silver, New Jersey – graduating Red Bank Regional High School in 1972. I then attended Columbia College in New York City, receiving a B.A. degree in 1976. The next 7 years, I worked in advertising and promotion at Doyle Dane Bernbach Advertising , CBS Television, Burson Marsteller Public Relations and Macy’s New York. In 1983, I joined the family printing business in Little Silver and remained there for the next 20 years. After closing that business, I have continued my print sales career with two firms in Bergen County.

I am mounting this independent race for the Board of Education, because the main issue in recent years centers on test scores and not the quality of life training that is omni-present in the Hoboken Public Schools. I recall fondly my own high school involvement in school plays, school newspaper, band, orchestra, student council and many community service projects. Those activities were important lessons in community building and leadership training and those activities exist in Hoboken and serve our students well. The changing curriculum offerings and successes are not even mentioned during these campaigns by either the challengers or the incumbents.

I want to change that with my candidacy and my tenure on the board. The students and staff must be empowered and incentivized to continue to achieve and improve on those successes. The board must build trust and confidence throughout the system to institutionalize the cycle of success. And most importantly, those successes should be used to promote the schools and attract many more Hoboken children into the Hoboken Public Schools. That is the best way to reduce the per pupil cost, which admittedly is too high.

Instead, the present leadership (both in the administration and the board) choses to marginalize and demean the students and staff with a continuingly mindless harangue that the school system is failing. In my opinion, continued success will only be achieved through progressive leadership that rewards not punishes, that constructively evaluates not criticizes, and most importantly, that brags how great our Hoboken Public School students really are. I know from all the school events that I attend, that our Hoboken Public School students are proud of their schools. At minimum my campaign will let them know that I am equally proud of them.

I look forward to being a part of this process for the next month and a half.

Ken Howitt
My comment: Ken Howitt is "Candidate X" that I referred to in my article on potential BOE Candidates in my post on Sunday.  Candiate X has now been revealed! ◦

Nathan Brinkman Delivers Press Release for Maureen Sullivan's Slate "Real Results"

Here is the press release for the the BOE slate led by Elizabeth Markevitch sent to me by Nathan Brinkman on behalf of Maureen Sullivan's Slate in its entirety.

Note: Grafic by me as a placeholder until team Maureen gets their logo finalized


Running under the banner Real Results, a new slate of candidates for the Hoboken school board filed its petitions Monday and launched its campaign for the April 20 election. The slate is led by long-time Hoboken activist Elizabeth Markevitch and includes Perry Lin, Kathleen Tucker and John Forsman. Markevitch, Lin and Tucker are running for three-year terms and Forsman is running for a one-year term.

Real Results promises quick and effective action to improve Hoboken's schools and get the system's bloated budget under control. Markevitch, Lin, Tucker and Forsman say Hoboken's traditionally low expectations for its schools must be dramatically raised, so each student has a chance to reach his or her full potential. At the same time, the Real Results team will tackle the school system's enormous amount of waste--money that never reaches a classroom but instead goes to employees with little or nothing to do, outrageous benefits that are far out of line with the real world and even a junket for a board member next month. At nearly $25,000, Hoboken spends the second-highest amount of money per student of any K-12 district in the state (behind Asbury Park), and almost twice the state average.

Markevitch, Lin, Tucker and Forsman all would bring a wealth of business and management experience to a board that's now woefully short of real-world knowhow. Hiring executives, negotiating multi-million-dollar contracts, and supervising top management are what a school board does, and the current board has virtually no one with the skills for these crucial tasks.

All four candidates supported the Kids First slate that last year won control of the board. But as the year wore on, Markevitch, Lin, Tucker and Forsman lost confidence in Kids First as some members lost interest in keeping their campaign promises. For example, Kids First missed countless opportunities to cut costs, they shut the public out of an important meeting in December in an apparent violation of the state Sunshine Law, they failed to move quickly against highly paid administrators who they knew were double-dipping and/or incompetent, and they teamed up with the board's minority faction to ram through the appointment of a new superintendent without giving the public any notice.

Most important, the board has not focused on making any meaningful budget cuts for next year and is not planning any tax cut, despite the huge amount of fat in the school budget. Last year's tax levy--the amount of tax revenue raised from Hoboken property owners--was $36,764,796. The planned tax levy for this year: $36,761,743. That's right--the expected tax levy is only $3,053 less than last year's. Real Results promises to cut more than $3,000 out of a $60 million budget.

With the election approaching, Markevitch, Lin, Tucker and Forsman feared that no reformers would decide to run this year. The Kids First slate is led by two incumbents who haven't stepped up and made the tough decisions that equal reform. So Real Results expects to be the only slate in the race intent on making real changes in the schools and paying real attention to the budget. Markevitch, Lin, Tucker and Forsman expect to have the reform field to themselves in the election while the Kids First slate and other candidates battle for supporters of the status quo and the way things have always been done. Voters deserve a choice and Real Results will give them that choice.


Elizabeth Markevitch has lived in Hoboken for 20 years and has attended school board meetings since 1995. Her daughter attends Elysian Charter School and will go to Hoboken High in September. Liz comes from a family steeped in education--her mother is a retired teacher and her sister is a teacher. She's also a former director of the Boys and Girls Club of Hoboken. A graduate of Bucknell University, Liz is the founder and president of a firm that recruits staff to fill technical jobs and provides career guidance, and has 18 years of business-management experience. "My mission is matching the right people to the right position, something that the school board has often not been good at," she says.

Perry Lin moved to Hoboken in 2004 and purchased his home here in 2005. He's a product of the Millburn public schools and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis. Perry serves as the Northeast regional manager of a publicly traded medical-device company and has 10 years of experience in sales and management jobs in health care and technology. "I so wanted Kids First to work out last year but they really disappointed me," he says. "It's unbelievable that after all their criticism of the budget a year ago, all they did was nip and tuck around the edges. They not only avoided the hard decisions, they avoided many of the easy ones. Their hearts may have been in the right place, but that wasn't good enough. This ticket will show much more backbone."

Kathleen Tucker has been a Hoboken resident since 2004; she and her husband purchased their home here in 2007. She works as a designer for a marketing and media agency in New York, where she focuses on how customers interact with health care industry websites. Kathleen grew up in Chester and still regards her high school history teacher as an important role model. A graduate of the University of Scranton with a degree in international relations and German, she's long had a keen interest in how students learn and what they learn. "I got an excellent education in New Jersey public schools and that's an opportunity every child deserves," she says. "There's so much more we can do to make sure every child here gets that opportunity."

John Forsman has called Hoboken home for five years. He and his wife became homeowners three years ago and plan to raise their family here. John belongs to St. Francis R.C. Church and the Hoboken Rotary Club, and will soon begin serving as club secretary. He's helped organize the Rotary's Spelling Bee for Hoboken fourth-graders and he's also been a Big Brother. A native of Monmouth County and a graduate of St. Joseph's University, John has worked in health care administration and now works for a major financial institution as a financial adviser and health care specialist. He aims to apply this background to the schools' ballooning medical costs. "Our insurance costs are jumping 16-22% in the new budget," he points out. "We're spending $6.6 million on insurance premiums for probably only 500 full-time employees. It's amazing. With some smart adjustments, we could cut that substantially and still provide virtually the same care."

Real Results promises a full-blown campaign that will point out where the schools can do better, suggest innovative solutions, and challenge its opponents to defend their records and provide better answers. Markevitch, Lin, Tucker and Forsman encourage every Hoboken voter who wants real results to support this ticket.

My comment: I am not surprised that this slate is out of the gate with negative statements about Kids First. At least the voters are getting a hint of the Mason-esque style of campaigning that we can expect from Maureen Sullivan "The Unfriender". I reached out to Kids First's campaign manager and their capmaign will foucs on a positive campaign based on accomplishments and platform going forward. Other than Elizabeth Marketvitch who I have respect for given her community involvement over the years, the rest of this slate is unknown. It is my hope that these candidates will speak their own mind rather than be fed talking points from Sullivan some of which are simply factually incorrect. ◦

And then there were 13! - List of BOE Candidates that filed Yesterday

Thirteen Candidates files yestyerday for 4 Board of Education seats. The filings have yet to be certified but here is the list of Candidates:

Kids First slate
Irene Sobolov
Rose Marie Markle
Leon Gold
Jean Marie Mitchell (one Year term)

Maureen Sullivan's Slate (delivered by Nathan Brinkman)
Elizabeth Markevitch
Perry Lin
Kathleen Tucker
John A. Forsman III (one year term)

Filed under no slate
Frank Raia
Patricia Waiters
Kyelia Colon
John Madigan
Ken Howitt (one year term) ◦