Saturday, July 31, 2010

Holy Cow Batman! Carlo's Bakery Line Longer than a City Council Meeting

Another Hoboken weekend and another insanely long line at Carlo's bakery. I certainly don't begrudge the owner of Carlo's Bakery for any success that they may have but I find it odd that people will wait several hours in line for a cupcake. Is this bakery really that good or is it just the popularity of the show?

Street Sign Commemorating the Tourist Destination (trap) known as Carlo's Bakery.

The line started between Newark and 1st on Washington Street

And continued almost to Observer Highway.

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Photos of the Day - The Not So Great Wall of Hoboken

Here are some photos of a section of a decaying wall by Stevens Institute and the Little League field. Sections of the wall along the road seem to gradually be losing stones as time goes buy. I wonder where these stones are going.

Where are the missing stones going? Honey, this ain't Berlin in 1989!

How is a wall this decimated supposed to keep out the barbaric hordes ?

Alas - an intact section of the stone wall

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Friday, July 30, 2010

The Economist Remarks on Hospitals as Investments Worldwide

The Economist had a article in last week's edition about Hospitals becoming more attractive investments around the world. In typical fashion the Economist warned of the effect of Obama-care dampening profit margins in the US but remarked that trends are favorable for more mergers and acquisitions around the world due to advancements in emerging markets and demographic shifts towards an older populace in developed countries.

Locally, I think there is a chance Obama care could help the prospects for a hospital like the HUMC since the numbers of uninsured will drop and take the bite out of the cost of charity care that the hospital currently has to deal with. I know more conservative readers of this site may oppose Obama-care but at least in this instance it could help out our local hospital in a positive way.

While I support more universal coverage I was not happy with many of the Health Reform Bill's many provisions as I do not feel enough cost cutting and efficiency was devised in the massive legislative initiative. Time will tell to see how this change plays out locally as we get closer to the year 2014.

Here is the article in the Economist:

The war of the wards
Investors are eyeing up hospitals around the world

http://www.economist.com/node/16646310?story_id=16646310
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Hoboken Photo of the Day - St. Ann's Festival Mascot?

This photo was taken from the St. Ann's Festival in one of the vendor booths. Is this guy creepy or what?

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City Hall Says Progress Made Towards Privatizing HUMC

Here is the latest update from Hoboken City Hall......

PROGRESS MADE TOWARDS PRIVATIZING HOBOKEN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
HUMC Medical Center
On Wednesday, the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority took an important step forward toward ensuring that Hoboken University Medical Center continues to provide acute care hospital services.

The Authority, an autonomous public entity with nine community members, unanimously approved a Request for Proposal to solicit plans for the potential transfer of the hospital from city auspices. Responses to the RFP are due back within a specified time frame, and an ad hoc committee comprised of a diverse group of individuals that represent a broad base of interested constituents, including Commissioners, physicians, and hospital staff, is being formed to review the submissions. The RFP will be posted shortly on the HUMC web site, as well as the City’s web site.

“I congratulate the Commissioners for moving us towards the shared goal of ensuring that the hospital remains in Hoboken as a thriving acute care facility that provides valuable services and jobs to our community,” said Mayor Zimmer, an ex officio Commissioner. “Privatization will bring us one step closer to stabilizing our hospital’s finances and removing Hoboken taxpayers from the $52 million bond guarantee.”

“Mayor Zimmer inherited a complex set of legacy hospital issues and has aggressively addressed them,” said Authority Chairperson Toni Tomarazzo. “The Mayor developed a consensus around privatization as a shared vision for maintaining access to hospital care, and making quality metrics as important as financial performance.”

The continued success of the hospital is critical not only to Hoboken, but to the entire region and state. On Thursday a new and expanded Senior Treatment & Evaluation Program (STEP) Unit opened to provide integrated behavioral health care to meet the psychiatric and medical needs of seniors. This service sets Hoboken apart in Hudson County and puts it on the forefront of providing essential integrated care for seniors.

“The physicians, employees and management team of Hoboken UMC have worked hard not only to provide quality care but also to increase the value of the hospital,” said Hospital CEO Spiros Hatiras. “We appreciate the support of Mayor Zimmer and the Authority members as we pursue our common goal of maintaining an acute care hospital in Hoboken.”

Mayor Zimmer is soliciting resumes from Hoboken residents interested in filling a recently-vacated Authority position. Applications are available from the City Clerk’s office at 201-420-2070 or j.lore@hobokennj.org.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/progress-made-towards-privatizing-hoboken-university-medical-center/
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Video - Smokey Hormel at Sinatra Park 7-29-2010

Here is the latest recap of the Music under the stars Series from last night. It featured a virtuosic performance from Smokey Hormel and his Roundup band.

Smokey Hormel at Sinatra Park 7-29-2010 video highlights:



Smokey Hormel with his Roundup

Smokey Hormel crooning with NYC in background

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Hoboken Spaghetti Dinner and Block Party September 2 5pm-8pm

Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the City of Hoboken proudly present:

Spaghetti Dinner Block Party
Thursday September 2 from 5pm-8pm



Tickets:
If you purchase tickets by August 26 individual tickets are $15 each.
To reserve a table for 10 the price is $150.
If you purchase tickets after August 26 tickets are $20 each.
To reserve a table for 10 is $200 after August 26.
Seating is limited. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available at the Cultural Affairs Office, City Hall, 94 Washington St.

Where: The Walkway Along Sinatra Drive between 1st and 2nd Streets. (Overlooking the Manhattan Skyline)

More Information:
Call 201-420-2207 or go online at www.hobokennj.org

Dinner Includes:
4 types of Pasta, Salad Meatballs, Sausage, bread and italian pastries and cookies.
Beer, Wine, Soda and Water will be available for an additional charge.

Proceeds from beverage sales support the Hoboken Ambulance Corp. ◦
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William Howard Home Mirror Sale - From July 30th to August 1st

William Howard home is having a mirror sale this weekend. The store is located at 138 Park Aveneue.


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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hudson Reporter Mentions Triumvirate of "Pro-Zimmer" Blogs

Just kidding with the graphic by the way - The Hoboken Reporter finally got a story mostly right:)
The Hudson Reporter did a story today on the commentary between The Hoboken Journal, Grafix Avenger and Mile Square View (HJ, GA and MSV in short) blogs regarding differences of opinion on an appointment of one citizen to two Hoboken Boards.

Here is the link to the article on the Hoboken Reporter Website:

Pro-Zimmer bloggers divided over Hobokenite being appointed to two boards

My comment: I have to say this is a good piece overall. I am surprised that the news websites did not pick up on this discussion sooner. Perhaps their is a role for us opinion blogs to play in the local web-sphere after all. There are no hard feelings between the bloggers at MSV, GA and HJ today. I just got off the phone with GA and Da Horsey and all is right between us. Her opinions and mine and that of Da Horsey" all differ and that is fine by me. Other than a minor error*, the story shows that unlike Hoboken 411 who appears to be beholden to the political whims of Beth Mason, these three blogs don't always tow the party (i.e. Zimmer) line. For the record, I only regard myself as a pro-Zimmer blog because so far I agree with most but not all of the Mayor's decisions to date. Should the Mayor steer away from the positive things she has been doing perhaps my support of her will wane like Beth Mason's reform base.

*Slight correction:
The story makes reference to the Mile Square View blog in paragraph 7 when it should be paragraph 8 and The Hoboken Journal is mentioned in paragraph 8 when it should be refered to in paragraph 7.

I liked this comment from FJHoboken:

"The fact that they can debate these issues shows that they are not afraid, which is a keystone of reform.

However I wish we could all agree that we shouldn't let anyone accumulate too many political power positions, and stick to that instead of making special exceptions. But that's just one man's opinion."
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HUMC Meeting Recap 7/28/2010

Here is a brief recap from last night's HUMC Board meeting:

CEO Spiros Hatiras and Chair Toni Tomarrazo

Officers Selected
The election for the Board of Commissioners took place at the beginning with Toni Tomarazzo retaining Chairperson, E. Norman Wilson continuing as Vice Chair, and Tejal Desai staying on as Treasurer. Jonathan Metsch stepped down as Secretary and nominated Eric Kurta for the position  The move by Dr. Metsch seemed to surprise Mr. Kurta at first creating a small comic moment but he accepted and was approved. All votes were unanimous.

Spiros Gives Summary 
The Hospital had a unexpected survey and they passed. The will be a list of recommendations and in 45-60 days the hospital will provide their remediation steps. The hospital will also be getting a credit from Medicare from a 2007 reconciliation that found the hospital is owed $1.5 million from that period, the bulk of which will be paid by this year. This was not expected and accounted for in the budget so it could be considered a windfall.

Kramer Steps Down
Later in the meeting its was announced that Kevin Kramer has stepped down from the board as he took a new position with another entity that could cause potential conflicts.


RFP Almost Ready for Release
An RFP to reach out to potential investors for strategic partnerships is almost ready to be released. Special Counsel from Lowenstein Sandler went over the proposal after an introduction by Toni Tomarazzo that emphasized the difficult economic times that the hospital is in. Spiros Hatiras, Alfred Fayemi, MD and Joseph Kozel, MD all reiterated Chair Toni Tomarazzo's assertion that this move is in the best long term interests of the hospital staying on as a viable concern. Toni said that the goal is to preserve the hospital as an acute care facility and not to close the hospital . She added for the hospital to grow to its potential that outside funding will have to come from private interests since the $9 million left in capital funds is not enough to take the hospital to where it needs to be and that public funds have already been put to the limit.

The RFP once the final draft is cut, should be posted on the HUMC Authority website soon.

Public Session
Hoboken citizens Valerie Pels and Tom Greaney (potential 2nd Ward candidate) stated that they thought it was a positive development that this RFP was moving forward and that there was some good news finally coming from the hospital. 4th Ward Councilman Mike Lenz also made a statement of support for this initiative and carefully framed it as preserving the hospital's functions to the community, especially those who need health care the most. Doctors from the OB GYN unit spoke on behalf of preserving their program which was finally making some headway after investment in facility upgrades.

Closed Session
Correction: I thought I had heard that the latest year's audit was discussed in closed session.It was not. The board had a discussion on ways to improve the financial situation of the Hospital.
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Hoboken Photo of the Day - Sewer Cap

Today's Hobolen Photo of the Day is that of a sewer cap courtesy of reader "Brian the Realtor". Perhaps new flash up poster "Aweshucks" will crawl out of it at any time after attacking my credibility while completely avoiding the central issue of why there is such aversion to dual appointments from many in reform. My advice to other posters is as always; pay no attention to the troll. After all, look at what they are possibly crawling out of.


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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

North Hudson Sewerage Authority Fact Sheet

If you ever wondered who handles our waste water in the City of Hoboken it is the North Hudson Sewer Authority. Put another way, it is the organization that helps the affluent (Hoboken) deal with its effluent (sewer water). With the appointment of Hoboken's designee generating ample discussion recently I figured it was time to give a brief overview of  this organization.....

North Hudson Sewerage Authority HQ at 1600 Adams Street Hoboken, NJ
North Hudson Sewerage Authority
Address: 1600 Adams St., Hoboken, NJ 07030
Website: http://www.nhudsonsa.com/
Email: info@nhudsonsa.com
Phone: (201) 963-6043
Fax: (201) 963-3907

Summary: The North Hudson Sewerage Authority serves the City of Hoboken, Union City, West New York and Weehawken. The Authority becames the first, and to date only, wastewater authority in New Jersey to privatize its operations in 1989 after an EPA consent order compelled local communities to surrender their failing treatment facilities in 1988.

The four municipalities include Union City, which accounts for 35% of annual flows, Hoboken, responsible for 31%, and West New York and Weehawken, which account for 26% and 8%, respectively. System assets consist primarily of about 100 miles of sewer mains and two waste water treatment facilities that provide both primary and secondary treatment. Combined treatment capacity of 33 million gallons daily (mgd) compares adequately to average daily flows of 22.5 mgd in 2008. Effluent is disposed of through outfalls into the Hudson River. The authority, which entered into a 15-year operation and maintenance contract with a private operator in 1997, bills 21,000 accounts directly, and no customer concentration exists. Collections are consistently at or near 100%.

Article on the success of this Public-Private Partnership by Chairman Richard J. Wolff Ph.D:

PUBLIC–PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP: TRY IT IN SMALL DOSES
http://www.ncppp.org/councilinstitutes/PPP_SmallDoses.pdf

Remaining Meetings:
All such meetings shall take place at the Authority's offices, 1600 Adams Street, Hoboken, New Jersey at 6:30 p.m., prevailing time.

August 19, 2010
September 16, 2010
October 21, 2010
November 18, 2010
December 16, 2010
January 20, 2011
February 3, 2011 (Reorganization)

Current Fiscal Year Budget:

Revenues
User Charges $35,160,000
Connection Fees $1,500,000
Other Revenues $200,000
Total Revenues  $36,860,000

Expenses
Plant Operations $13,752,000
Administrative and General Expenses $1,391,040
Personnel $797,500
Debt Service $20,919,460
Total Expenses $36,860,000

2010 Audit:
http://www.nhudsonsa.com/images_subpages/FY_2010_Audit.pdf

Fitch Rating (A grade):
http://www.nhudsonsa.com/images_subpages/NHWSA.pdf

Members of the Board:
Richard J. Wolff - Chairman
Harold Schroeder - Vice Chairman
Katia Stack - Treasurer
Patleo Spaccavento - Assistant Treasurer
Joseph Rivera - Secretary
David Lopez - Assistant Secretary
Frank Raia - Commissioner (Former Hoboken BOE member and HHA Commissioner)
Libero Marotta - Commissioner
Anthony Soares- Commissioner (Hoboken designee and Zoning Board Chair) ◦
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Smokey Hormel at Sinatra Park July 29 starting at 7PM

Tomorrow night Thursday July 29 7-9pm at Sinatra Park the performer will be Smokey Hormel with his band Smokey's Round-up.

Hoboken Journal reader "The Bank Robber" sent me a reminder recommending this performance. I intend to cover it unless something comes up. 

Here is a brief description from his website:
"Smokey’s Round-up celebrates Western Swing with the songs of Bob Wills, Milton Brown, Cindy Walker and others. Guitarist Smokey Hormel and his red-hot band play regularly all over Brooklyn."

Smokey's band's Website:
http://www.smokeyhormel.com/roundup.html

Smokey's Website:
http://www.smokeyhormel.com/

YouTube video - Smokey Hormel Performs on Soundcheck:

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HUMC Hospital Authority Agenda for Wednesday July 28, 2010 @ 7PM

Here is the agenda for today's meeting of the Hospital Authority July 28, 2010 at 7PM. We will see if there is any news about potential buyers of the Hospital that could help take this institution private again. One can only hope as a taxpayer or longer term Hoboken resident:

HUMC Emergency Room during the Winter
HOBOKEN MUNICIPAL HOSPITAL AUTHORITY

JULY 28, 2010 MEETING AGENDA

7:00 pm Regular Meeting

1. Open Public Meetings Act Disclosure Statement
2. Roll-Call
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Election of Officers
5. Approval of Minutes

May 26, 2010 Executive Session
June 23, 2010 Regular Session
June 23, 2010 Regular Session

6. Presentation by Special Counsel to discuss Strategic Alternatives
7. Report from the Hospital CEO
8. Report from the Authority
9. Committee Reports
10. Finance Report by Vincent Riccitelli, Acting CFO
11. New Business & Consent Agenda*

• Resolution approving the Sale of Surplus Motor Vehicles*
• Resolution Amending the Contract with Lowenstein Sandler PC*
• Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of a Request for Proposals*
• Resolution Approving Transfer of Funds to HHI for August*
• Resolution Approving Transfer of Funds to HHI for Sept. *
• Resolution Authorizing Payment of Claims*
• Resolution Adopting 2009 Budget*
• Resolution Adopting Annual Schedule of Meetings*
• Resolution Approving Official Publications*
• Resolution Designating Bank Depositories*
• Resolution amending OPRA fees*
• Resolution Approving the Credentials Committee Report*
• Any other matters that may come before the Board

12. Public Comments
13. Executive Session Closed to the Public (IF NECESSARY)
14. Adjournment of Meeting

ACTION WILL BE TAKEN AT THIS MEETING

MEETING PLACE
ASSUMPTION HALL
HOBOKEN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
308 WILLOW AVENUE, HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY ◦
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Movies under the Stars - Date Night Tonight at Pier A Park - 9PM

The Movies under the Stars series continues with Date Night tonight at Pier A Park starting at 9PM. For a plot summary of the movie click on the link below:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1279935/plotsummary


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Hoboken Photo of the Day - 50-50 Lottery Drawing St. Ann's

Today's photo of the day is a shot I took of the St. Ann's big 50-50 drawing. Someone remarked that all the chances in the barrel were potential Hudson County criminal indictments. I thought all those white pieces of paper could represent the municipal garage site selection process. All is jest of course. Someone was a lucky winner with a jackpot of over $22,000. Not a bad payday. The prize was just $3,000 dollars short of a Peter Cammarano Malibu Diner fundraiser. :)


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Site Update on Stats and Positive Feedback

Normally the summer is supposed to be a downer for web based traffic for political websites about Hoboken. I still view my site traffic as modest given the size of Hoboken but I had one of my best months in since the May 2009 Mayoral elections. As they say content is king but the change to new comment system of Intense Debate has helped drive traffic along with some very intelligent and knowledgeable commenters that contribute to this site. In the interest of transparency here are last week's growing numbers:

HJ Site Statistics July 19-25, 2010
I also received these brief messages of encouragement over the weekend which gave me a bit of a boost for my efforts in maintaining this part-time blog......

Reader email #1:

"Kurt,
I can't help but think your presence and staying on top of issues is helping make a difference in our community.
Keep it up!
- Larry"

Reader email #2:

Kurt,
Keep up the great informational public service that your blog provides....stay well !
Regards,
Rich

As always, divergent points of view are welcome even when this blogger/editor "goes off the reservation" and looses a bit of balance in the short term. For letters to the editor, ideas or tips just email me at kurt.gardiner@gmail.com and I will try to take your ideas into consideration. Thanks  for your continued support my merry (and sometimes cranky) band of readers. ◦
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Video: Cristina Fontanelli and the Jordan Thomas Orchestra

Today's video has Cristina Fontanelli and the Jordan Thomas Orchestra closing St. Ann's Festival 2010 in Hoboken NJ with "God Bless America":


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Hoboken Photo of the Day- St. Ann's Donations on Display

St. Ann's donations on display

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Beth Mason Email on Municipal Garage Shared Services Plan

Beth Mason just put out this email release to her distribution list on the announcement of the temporary agreement between Hoboken and Weehawken for the Municipal Garage to be shared mimicking an earlier talking point made earlier on Hoboken 411.....


Beth Mason's Shared Services Plan Stops Residential
Public Works Garage

Dear Friend,

Today Hoboken and Weehawken announced a shared services plan for a joint Department of Public Works Garage. This plan will keep the Public Works Garage out of residential neighborhoods, off of our waterfront, and will provide substantial cost savings for the taxpayers of both Hoboken and Weehawken.

I have always been an advocate of using shared services to cut Hoboken’s budget. In fact, on May 18th I was interviewed by CBS News regarding the re-location of the Hoboken Department of Public Works Garage. During this interview I stated that taxpayers would be better served by Hoboken entering into a shared services agreement with a surrounding community rather than placing the DPW Garage in a residential neighborhood or on the waterfront.

Thousands of residents agreed and we came together to protect the small town feel of our neighborhoods – a public works garage does not belong in the neighborhoods where our families live and our children play. Fortunately, our voice was heard and we found an innovative and dynamic way to solve a problem that was inherited from prior administrations.

I would like to take this opportunity to commend Weehawken Mayor Richard F. Turner and Mayor Zimmer for working together to put taxpayers and residents first, especially in these tough economic times.

In addition, I would like to thank you for working with me on this matter and many other important matters as we continue to make Hoboken a better place to live and raise a family.

- Beth Mason
2nd Ward Councilwoman

My commnent: This was Beth Mason's plan? You mean Dawn Zimmer had nothing to do with it other then put her pen to the agreement? Feel free to discuss below. ◦
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Municipal Garage Update: Weehawken and Hoboken to Share Garage Temporarily

The latest on the Municipal Garage developments from City Hall....

HOBOKEN AND WEEHAWKEN ENTER SHARED SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR CERTAIN PUBLIC WORKS OPERATIONS

(Agreement will avoid closure of Clinton Street)

Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Mayor Richard Turner Weehawken - Photo Credit City of Hoboken
Since assuming office, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer has been in discussions with neighboring municipalities to explore sharing services for municipal vehicle storage. Throughout the process, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner expressed strong interest in working with Hoboken if a suitable site could be obtained.

The day after Hoboken’s City Council voted to approve the closure of Clinton Street between 15th and 16th Streets for the storage of municipal vehicles, an opportunity arose that appeared to meet the needs of both municipalities. In the past, the same location had been discussed as a potential joint use location by the administrations of Weehawken and Hoboken. Mayor Zimmer and Mayor Turner immediately began negotiations to move forward together to share services between the two municipalities. The agreement is for joint use and equitable sharing of storage space at 1714-16 Willow Avenue. Freeholder Anthony L. Romano assisted in helping to identify the site as a potential location.

New Temporary Garage location
On Friday, July 23, the City of Hoboken entered into an agreement with Willow Avenue Enterprises, LLC for vehicle and parts storage services at the proposed joint services site, 1714-16 Willow Avenue -- a property located within Hoboken city limits on the North end of the Willow Avenue bridge. As a result of this agreement, Clinton Street will not be closed to vehicular traffic at this time.

The initial period of the agreement is for 60 days but can be extended by both municipalities for two additional 180 day periods. The cost is $15,000 per month. Hoboken and Weehawken will use this period to determine whether extending this arrangement for a longer term is in the interests of both municipalities.

If this temporary arrangement is determined to continue, the municipalities will work towards a long-term solution which may involve other neighboring municipalities and agencies.

The location includes both an interior garage and parts storage space and an exterior parking area for both municipality’s vehicles and salt storage. No garbage will be stored at the facility.

Vehicular traffic will be routed in such a way as to avoid residential neighborhoods.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hoboken-and-weehawken-enter-shared-services-agreement-for-certain-public-works-operations/

Editor's note: The Zimmer Administration was able to do this deal without City Council approval since the 2-month deal is under the new annual threshold of $36,000 per annum for bid waivers. According to a City Hall source, this deal only became available the day after the City Council approved the temporary solution between 15th and 16th and Clinton. ◦
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Local Barre - Pier A Fitness Tonight - 7PM

Local Barre, Hoboken's swank new fitness joint, is hosting Summer Fitness at Pier A Park tonight at 7pm.

Join Amber for asignature Open Barre core fitness class. Open Barre is a fusion of ballet fundamentals, core conditioning, Yoga and stretching for a total body workout using lightly weighted yoga balls, stretching strap, ballet barre (in-studio only), playground ball, and yoga mat to achieve a lean, flexible, youthful body. Open Barre is just that, open to beginners and all levels of practice.

Join the class at Pier A tonight and enter our free class raffle!

Local Barre
Phone- 201-743-8002
Email- info@localbarre.com
Website- http://www.localbarre.com/
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Ravi Bhalla Press Release on Second Bias Crime Being Cause For Concern

Hoboken City Councilman at large Ravi Bhalla has released this statement in response to the second bias incident in Hoboken this week. Below is his statement:


BIAS CRIMES MUST NOT BE TOLERATED IN THE CITY OF HOBOKEN
SECOND BIAS RELATED INCIDENT IN ONE WEEK IS CAUSE FOR CONCERN

One July 26, 2010, Councilman-at-Large Ravi S. Bhalla, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee of the Hoboken City Council and a long-time advocate for enforcement of hate crime laws, issued the following statement:

“On Sunday morning, an Asian man was apparently assaulted and knocked unconscious near First and Newark Streets in Hoboken. According to the police report, the perpetrator of this crime allegedly yelled anti-Asian slurs at the victim, who is of Vietnamese descent. This incident comes on
the heels of another incident last week involving anti-Semitic vandalism at the 500 block of Bloomfield Street. Last Wednesday, it was reported that the word “Jew” was spray-painted on the façade of an apartment building with an arrow pointed towards a window, according to a police
report.

While I am concerned that there have been two bias related incidents in Hoboken within one week, the Hoboken Police Department should be commended for classifying and charging each incident as a bias crime. The HPD, in both of these instances as well as prior bias related incidents, have demonstrated a depth of knowledge in the law and procedures involving bias intimidation investigations and charges, and a commitment to bringing such charges where appropriate.

While I certainly hope these incidents are isolated, I am certain of one thing: they are not by any means a reflection of Hoboken and its residents. One of Hoboken’s assets is its diversity and reputation as a place where people of all backgrounds are welcome and respected. Although these are serious incidents, they are not emblematic of Hoboken and its residents.

I am confident that the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office will prosecute the incident involving the Asian man as a bias crime if there is a sufficient factual basis to support this charge. Earlier this month, in reaction to a suspected bias incident in Middlesex County resulting in the beating death of a 49 year old Indian American, Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan stated that his office “remains mindful of the societal aim, as expressed in the state’s bias crime statute, to provide enhanced protection to racial, ethnic and religious minorities. Therefore, the issue of whether or not this crime falls within the ambit of a bias crime will be rigorously investigated and scrutinized.” I trust that the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office will apply a similarly rigorous standard in its investigation of this unfortunate incident. ◦
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ABC Meeting Recap - July 22, 2010

I attended last Thursday's Alcohol Beverage Control Board meeting on July 22, 2010 to get an idea of what transpires on this board. This Board has three commissioners Gerard Colangelo (Chair), Philip Salinardi, and Robert Philips and generally meets twice a month on Thursdays starting at 5:30PM.

The agenda had these three items:

1) License Transfer for New Sky Club Restaurant: The person to person transfer of a pocket license was approved to go from Cliff Street Restaurant, Inc. to Sanford Weiss at 700 First Street #17A. The plan is to open the restaurant by August 13th if everything else adheres to schedule. Hoboken restaurateur David Anthony is reportedly involved with the project.

2) The Bar Nine on Washington Street Gets Suspension: A 5 day suspension was given to the bar Nine at 333 Washington Street for violation of alcohol serving laws. The suspension will start on August 21st and last 5 days. No one representing the business showed up for this hearing. The fine is due to an incident on February 15, 2010 at 3:07 am where an inspector/officer caught 10-15 patrons in the bar after the 3 am cutoff on a Sunday morning after Valentine's Day. I know this from my experience bouncing part time. On the weekend in New Jersey, no patron is allowed into an establishment after 2am and all patrons must be out by 3am. Employees only are allowed after that cutoff. Employees in the restaurant field in Hoboken are supposed to have their bar cards on them at times while on duty.

Nine Hoboken, NJ - Will take a five day break in August due to suspension
3) Issue with W Hotel and Noise Complaints: Several people who have residences had filed a complaint abut noise at the W Hotel at 225 River Street . The Hotel had its representation present but none of the people who had filed the complaint bothered to show up. The Hotel attorney stated that they would be willing to do measurements of the sound at the appropriate times if they could get authorization. This case has been dragging on for some time.

Editor's note: I plan to cover other Board meetings as time permits to give readers an idea of what transpires at these meetings. ◦
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Video- The Stylistics at St. Ann's Festival

Sunday night July 25, outside St. Ann's Church an "old school" R&B group known as The Stylistics put on a show for the large crowd. Below are some video highlights:

The Stylistics at St Ann's Festival 7-25-2010:


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Update: Drown the "Insult Spewing" Clown at Hoboken St. Ann's Festival

Updated Post 7/26/2010: The Drown the Clown amusement game at St. Ann's Festival continues to be a draw despite its potential to offend some who might not respond that sense of humor. Here is more footage of this dementedly wicked clown with Rory Chadwick, proprietor of Midtown Authentic trying to and successfully dunking the clown. This video also features a legendary Hoboken dance performance to Sir Mixalot's "I like big butts".

Drown the Clown at St Ann's Festival 7-25-2010:


Remember this caveat: "WARNING: CLOWN JOKES MAY OFFEND SOME PEOPLE. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR YOU SHOULD NOT STAY."

Original Post 7/25/2010: One of the attractions at St. Ann's Festival is the Drown the Clown carnival game. The basic premise is a clown spews insults at the crowd and then people pony up money just to dunk the guy by throwing baseballs at a small target. Let me tell you that when it comes to throwing out insults, this clown has talent. He is a lot like Don Rickles only this clown is bi-lingual as he also throws out some of his taunts in Spanish (Hola!). He is also a pretty good dancer, for a clown.

There have been big crowds at this attraction but some have remarked that this clown's sense of humor is a tad bit (understatement) not politically correct. There is however a disclaimer as this vendor has made it clear to those who potentially may have issues with this bawdy sense of humor. Hung at  the front of the booth is this sign:

"WARNING: CLOWN JOKES MAY OFFEND SOME PEOPLE. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR YOU SHOULD NOT STAY."

No wonder why clowns freak so many kids out. For the record, clowns freak me out too. This video I submit as evidence.



For Discussion:
Is this all in good fun or is an amusement like this inappropriate this for a religious festival? Does the use of the word "midget" cross the line? ◦
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Update: Jesse Thomas and the Gin Mill Kings July 24 at 10 PM - Elysian Cafe

Update 7/26/2010:

Here are some video highlights from Saturday's Performance at the Elysian Cafe Hobokenites Larry Ochs on guitar and John Keim on keyboards backed up lead singer Jesse Thomas coming in from New Orleans. The backroom was packed for this noteworthy blues performance. Blogger's note: There is something about the lighting at the Elysian that makes getting good video and photos difficult so here goes anyway.

Jesse Thomas and The Gin Mill Kings at the Elysian Cafe 7-24-2010:


Jesse Thomas and the Gin Mills Kings at Elysian Cafe 7-24-2010

Original post  7/20/2010: Here is a free music event coming to Hoboken this weekend worth checking out:

Jesse Thomas and the Gin Mill Kings
When: Saturday July 24th 10:00 PM no cover
Where: Elysian Cafe, 1001 Washington Street Hoboken, NJ

The Elysian Cafe at Night

Jesse Thomas and the Gin Mill Kings are:

Jesse Thomas - vocals
Lawrence Ochs - guitar, slide
John Keim - keyboards
George Mattesini – bass, vocs
Ron Metz – drums

http://www.myspace.com/theginmillkings
http://www.myspace.com/jessethomas

The Gin Mill Kings: They provide fine foot stompin' live music and entertainment that knocks your socks.

The GMK's rock the house be it a pub, club, roadhouse, radio station or arena.

Ron lays down some seriously solid grooves on the skins. Geo pumps the bass with upbeat soul while John tears up the melodic keys. Lawrence fills in fanciful rhythms on the electric geetar, rippin' and smokin' up the neck. George's warm tenor vocs fill the room.

Jessie Thomas: New Orleans is renowned for the vibrancy and diversity of its music. Jesse Thomas, or Young Jesse as he was once known, is an artist who was brought up in an era when Crescent City R&B was at the peak of its popularity. Born, off Rampart Street, where "the music flowed day and night", Jesse's senses were assailed by the vibrancy of its rich musical heritage.

Jesse pays tribute to many of the artists he has worked with including Chris Kenner, Ernie K-Doe, Earl King, Huey "Piano" Smith, Dr. John, Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, Guitar Slim, Little Richard et al. His considerable talent and the sheer exuberance of his performance make him a treasure trove for all lovers of New Orleans rhythm and blues. ◦
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Hoboken Photo of the Day - St. Ann's Church Interior


St. Ann's Festival is still going on - here is a shot of the beautiful interior.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Amardeep Singh Bhalla on Library Board Appointment

Amardeep Singh Bhalla sent me this letter to the Editor on his recent Library Board appointment as a means of introduction to Hoboken Journal readers who might not know him......

Amardeep Bhalla

Dear Friends,

As a new member of our Library's Board of Trustees, I write to respectfully introduce myself to the community and request support for this important public institution.

By way of introduction, I have lived in our amazing town for eight years now with my wife Dilly. We have a one and a half year old boy and another boy on the way next month! By training I am an attorney, but I have spent the past 9 years working as the co-founder of a small non-profit, building it from one employee (myself) with a budget of less than $75,000, to a national organization of 11 employees with a budget just over one million dollars, and offices in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, DC.

The non-profit I helped found, the Sikh Coalition, is the nation's largest Sikh civil rights organization. We work to protect the rights granted by our constitution to all people living in America. In all honesty, it is a tough job. In the course of my duties at the Sikh Coalition I have had high stakes meetings with more than one United States Attorney General, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, and the Department of Transportation Secretary. I have also testified as an expert before numerous governmental bodies on civil rights issues, including last month before the United States House Judiciary Committee. I also worked for a short period as an adjunct professor at Columbia University before work at the Sikh Coalition demanded my full attention.

As you can imagine, building a non-profit necessarily entails recruiting staff, developing office policies, engaging a Board of Trustees, and communicating development to the community and stakeholders. It is these life experiences --- as a manager, fundraiser, and advocate --- that I hope to bring the Library’s Board of Trustees.

I would like to thank Mayor Dawn Zimmer for her trust in me. I am also excited by the team Mayor Zimmer has appointed to the Library’s Board of Trustees over the past year. They include Ilise Benun (a marketing professional); Forde Prigot (who has significant experience in finance); and Mairead Patterson (who is presently pursuing a Masters degree in Library and Information Science). Along with current past Board members, these new appointees present a strong mix of competencies for our Board.

I look forward to helping make our Library even stronger. Please feel to reach out to me if you have ideas and thoughts on strengthening our library. I can be reached at amarhoboken@gmail.com.

Sincerely,
Amar Singh Bhalla

Editors Note: Amardeep's appointment was brought up by Theresa Castellano in this week's Hoboken Reporter. It should be noted to the reader that Amardeep's brother Ravi Bhalla does sit on the City Council but Ravi Bhalla did not vote on this since this appointment is by Mayoral consent. It should also be duly noted that the Library Board is an unpaid position and that with the projects it has underway requires a good deal of time by its volunteers but has no compensation for the position. I guess I get tired when people like Terry Castellano misuse the word patronage much like Beth Mason misuses the word transparency. You would think with the Russo's history she being related would have a better understanding of that word's true meaning.

Amar is in my estimation more than capable of contributing positively to this board. Below are some references and links to his work. I let you the reader judge for yourself. I personally think it is great to see another minority class of people like Sihks want to get involved in local government and community. Raul Morales Sr., a Hoboken Hispanic was a key founder of the Hudson County progressive movement after all. Why not more than one Sikh getting involved in Hoboken? But most importantly, Amar's experience in fund raising and activism are the reasons why I believe he will be a valuable asset to the Library Board. 

Special Note: Keep in mind that funding for the Library is based on State funding  and the required minimum funding level is not controlled by this board.

For more information on Amar go to the following links:



Honors and Awards- from Sikh Coalition bio page

* 2009 - Caring for Children Award, Coalition for Asian American Families and Children
Honored for work to protect rights of minority students facing bias-based harassment in city schools.

* 2009 - Public Interest Achievement Award, North American South Asian Bar Association
Honored for work to protect rights of South Asians in the United States

* 2008 - Public Interest Award, Asian American Bar Association of New York
Honored New York City community civil rights work by minority bar associations.

* 2007 - Ronald H. Brown Dinner Award, St. John’s University Law School 
Honored at law school’s annual Ronald H. Brown dinner for civil rights work.

* 2005 - Union Square Award, Union Square Foundation
Received $50,000 award (donated to the Sikh Coalition) from the Union Square Foundation for public service work

* 2005 - Chavez, Houston and Korematsu Public Service Award, Benjamin Cardozo Law
Received award from Black, Latino, and Asian Law Students Association at Benjamin Cardozo Law School for public service work at the Sikh Coalition.

* 2005 – Human Rights Activist of the Year Award, Sikh Centential Foundation
Honored for work to protect civil rights of Sikhs in North America ◦
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Elvis Lives! Ryan Pelton at Hoboken St. Ann's Festival

Last night at the Hoboken St. Ann's Festival, Elvis tribute artist Ryan Pelton rocked the house with his tribute to Elvis that was spot on and energetic in spite of the heat. How could he stand wearing those leather pants in this weather? With performers such as Ryan, the King still truly lives.

Here is the description of Ryan's bio for the Saint Ann's Festival:

"Ryan Pelton is an international, award-winning tribute artist (Elvis). He has performed all over the world, from casinos to fairs, theaters to festivals; production shows to professional sports arenas. Entertaining audiences in the tens-of-thousands, there can be no doubt that Ryan Pelton is the rarest kind of performer - living up to his billing time and time again."

After seeing his performance first hand I would have to agree.

Video Highlights of Elvis Tribute Artist Ryan Pelton at Hoboken St. Ann's Festival July 24, 2010:





More Photos from Hoboken's 100th Annual St. Ann's Festival July 24, 2010:


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Hoboken Photo of the Day - The Old Hudson (Lipton) Tea Building

Today's Hoboken photo of the day- The Old Hudson (Lipton) Tea Building pre-condo. Should the developers have kept the chimney when they converted to condo? Photo Credit- "Brian the Realtor"

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hoboken Photo of the Day - The Columbia

Today's Photo of the Day is of The Columbia (formerly the Masonic Lodge) - Credit "Brian The Realtor"

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More on the "Cake Boss" Buddy Valestro- CIANJ Magazine

Buddy Valestro is a featured story in Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey web magazine http://www.cianj.org/. Go to page 44 of this online magazine for the whole story using this link:

http://www.cianj.org/commag/July_2010/pageflip.html

"Cake Boss" Buddy Valestro in NJ Commerce Magazine
There were some really good Q&A in the article but the one that stood out for me was that Buddy used to walk through of his store in the morning but due to the crowds he can no longer do it. If he did, the time he would spend signing autographs would leave him with no time to get anything done. It would seem that fame has a price after all. ◦
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Friday, July 23, 2010

Judge Orders TLC to Stop using the "Cake Boss' Title

From the Hollywood Reporter Website:

A federal judge has ordered TLC to stop using "Cake Boss" as the title of its popular reality TV show.

Seattle District Court judge Richard Jones has found that the title causes too much confusion with a software program called "CakeBoss," which assists professional cake bakers with business management.

To read the full link click below:
http://thresq.hollywoodreporter.com/2010/07/judge-shows-tlc-whos-the-real-cake-boss.html

"Cake Boss" Buddy Valestro at 100 year celebration of Carlo's Bakery
Will he now be called the "Cake King"?

Here is the court decision for your reading. Some interesting legal points were brought up:

Masters Software v. Discovery Communications Order

Feel free to make other suggestions in the comments below for the show's new name now that "Cake Boss" is off limits. ◦
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Hoboken Helps Residents with Heat

With weekend temperatures predicted to reach 95 degrees, the City of Hoboken is taking steps to help residents keep cool.

Community Pool open Saturday July 24th from 11 am to 5 pm for ages 5-12

Though usually open Monday through Friday, the City will open the community pool at the Boys and Girls’ Club (123 Jefferson Street) for ages 5 to 12 on Saturday, July 24th as well, from 11 am to 5 pm. The City will also open two cooling centers at 11 am at 220 Adams Street and at 311 13th Street and will monitor the situation throughout the day to determine how long to keep the cooling centers open.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hoboken-helps-residents-beat-the-heat/
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Open Letter to Mayor Dawn Zimmer on Police Layoffs

Here is an email I received from a Hoboken resident who wished to remain anonymous on the recent layoffs and it is addressed to Mayor Dawn Zimmer. I am publishing it here because this website is about presenting multiple points of view.  I normally like people to use at least their first name but due to the sensitivity of this issue have kept this person's identity anonymous like I did in yesterday's piece.

Hello,

I'm a resident of Hoboken, and I wrote a letter to Mayor Zimmer about the proposal to lay off 18 of Hoboken's finest. I would love to see it online and am attaching it for consideration.

I would like to remain anonymous as who I am or what I do bears no relevance to the letter. I'm simply a resident, and proudly so, of Hoboken who has something to say.

I saw the letter someone wrote about being thankful to Dawn Zimmer for "Getting the job done". I think it's so sad that this person feels this way. It's not as easy as they think. It's not so cut and dry.

Also, does anyone really believe the town will see benefit from this? Hoboken Police make far less than any other town. Look at Englewood, or Edgewater, or Guttenberg for example.

It would mean a lot to me to be able to have this letter on your site.

Dear Mayor Zimmer,

You don’t know me but I am a resident of Hoboken. I wasn’t born here, I wasn’t raised here, but I do have family here. My friends are my family, my husband’s co-workers are a band of brothers, and the streets, buildings, art and culture that make up this town are my life. They are my husband’s life as well.

He struggled and worked many different jobs and we moved many times trying to make our way to live here in Hoboken. Nearly 10 years ago we made that dream come true. Upon moving here, we immediately felt as though we had been in Hoboken our whole lives, it was a perfect fit. I felt I could walk anywhere in town and I know someone just around the corner. We support all the local businesses in town, have become friends over the years with the owners, again it feels like we are family.

My husband and I have been together for over 20 years and married over 13 of those. He’s my best friend and I his. Since I can remember he has always wanted to be a police officer. He’s always wanted to help people, to “protect and serve” as they say. I didn’t want to have him in danger risking his life for strangers, it scared me. However the people of Hoboken are not strangers, they are family.

I recall about a year before my better half decided to try to become a cop the moment when I realized it was his calling and I needed to step aside. We were going grocery shopping at our local A&P and pulling into a parking spot. We both noticed across the street and down a bit a young woman riding a bicycle and a car that had just parallel parked. I remember feeling that shock and just froze as I watched the car door open and the cyclist ride into the door. I covered my eyes and took a breath and looked over to my husband. Before I could utter a gasp, he was half way to her running full speed to the scene. He was the first one there attending to her and assessing the damage, phoning for help, and keeping things under control. And there I sat, stunned that all I had thought to do, time to do, was cover my eyes. His reaction told me that he was meant to help others. To have this fine man sit at a desk or at a cubical would be a crime in itself.

He almost didn’t make the cut off. He was getting too old to take the test and the town kept putting off hiring. I remember the months we waited on pins and needles to see if he made it. He worked so hard to get his one shot to do this and it would have killed me to see it not happen.

I remember sitting outside Ted and Joe’s having breakfast one morning when a pigeon pooped on his head. Being Italian, I consider that to be a sign of good luck and I exclaimed “That’s it, you are going to be hired I can feel it!” I know it sounds silly, and maybe the bird had nothing to do with it, but he did get hired.

At the end of his first day at the academy, he came home with muscles so stressed and sore he could barely get the key in the door. He fell into bed wearing all of his clothes and the look of total shock and exhaustion. He woke at 4 am the next day to do it all again. Boot camp for cops, that’s what it was, and he loved every single minute of it. He loved everyone there, and he especially loved and still loves his Hoboken graduating classmates. They are bonded for life, brothers and sisters, always there to watch out for one another no matter what. Being that he is an only child, you can imagine how special that is for him.

When he graduated it was the proudest moment in our lives. My father, who was sick with cancer, and has since passed away, came to the ceremony. I remember it was a particularly tough night for him as he was feeling especially bad, but he wouldn’t miss it for the world. He knew what my husband put into it, he knew it was all he ever wanted, and he had to be there for him because he was so proud. We all were, and still are, as we are for all of Hoboken’s Finest.

I think people have the wrong impression of cops, and especially Hoboken cops. I think people get mad at them for giving them tickets for driving through a stop sign, or for fighting in public because they are drunk, having open containers of alcohol, and urinating in our beloved streets, but they should be mad at themselves. If a police officer is writing you a ticket or arresting you, chances are you did something to deserve it and you should be upset with yourself. My husband has written such tickets and arrested for such crimes, but he’s also done much more.

My better half, and I do mean better, with the help of his partner, evacuated an entire building that was on fire. They had no masks on and were not wearing protective gear. They were patrolling and saw the smoke and acted on it. Simple as that, they ran into the building and saved people.

He’s held a woman’s head in his hands to keep it immobile after she was hit by a car riding her bike without a helmet. She couldn’t see around the intersection because someone illegally parked their car and blocked the view. She died in his arms. She had a fiancé, a family, a life.

So the when you think about cutting taxes, and you propose to cut back 18 jobs of these fine men, think a little more. There’s no other way to cut taxes, to get the money? There are nights on the weekend when there are only 6 men on duty in all of Hoboken. When there’s a fight at Lana, and someone is burglarizing a home, and an accident near the viaduct you have 6 men covering all of this. Does this make you feel safe?

Protect my family, protect my friends, keep Hoboken safe and proud and keep the jobs of these men who do risk their lives, do risk their sanity, do work hard to keep us all safe every day and every night and do not make half the salary others towns make.

This is the story of one fine man, but it’s only one story. Think about the others, the road they took to get the honor to serve us. Think about their families, and the sacrifices made to share our loved one with the public.

Hoboken Police are proud to serve Hoboken and deserve to keep their jobs. All of them.

- Hoboken Resident
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Transit Alert: Holland Tunnel NJ Bound North Tube closed July 25 from 1am-8am

HOLLAND TUNNEL CLOSURE NOTICE: NJ-BOUND NORTH TUBE WILL BE CLOSED SUNDAY, JULY 25 FROM 1AM - 8AM

Message from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey:

Work on the New Jersey side of the Holland Tunnel will require the closure of the New Jersey-bound North Tube Sunday, July 25, 2010 from 1 am until 8 am (Saturday night into Sunday morning).

During this time, motorists are advised to use alternate routes such as the Lincoln Tunnel for access to New Jersey.

Signage will be in place directing customers to the Lincoln Tunnel.

In case of emergency during this work, please call 201-360-5000.

Please visit http://www.panynj.info/alerts-advisories/advisories.html?tabnum=3 for the latest information.

For full details, go to https://local.nixle.com/alert/2925783/. ◦
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Video- Jay and the Americans at St. Ann's Festival July 22, 2010

Below is a brief video I shot of video of Jay and the Americans at St. Ann's Festival July 22, 2010:


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Video- Guitar Bar Allstars at Sinatra Park 7-22-2010

Here is a video of highlights from the performance of the Guitar Bar Allstars at Sinatra Park on Thursday 7-22-2010. This well attended event featured a variety of musical styles well executed with a high degree of virtuosity. I hope you enjoy my compilation....



And a small photo montage of the event at Sinatra Park:


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Photo of the Day - Red Bull Arena

Reachable via mass transit,  Red Bull Arena provides another sporting outlet for the Hobokenite willing to travel to Newark to see some professional soccer.


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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Flashback- Lane Bajardi on Zimmer and Taxes April 14, 2010- Update!

Update 7/22/2010 @10:35 PM: Lane Bajardi apparently doesn't like being held accountable for his previous statements that Zimmer and her supporters had no interest in cutting taxes. After reading my post here Lane apparently went back to Hoboken Revolt and deleted his comment on the thread. Only he or an Administrator can do that on that website. The original link is below......


http://www.hobokenrevolt.com/forum/topics/setting-the-record-straight?commentId=2490945%3AComment%3A1520

But the Hoboken Journal anticipated such a move by the unaccountable boisterous bushy browed blabber mouth and had saved both a screen capture of the original post as well as the link in Google cache.

Lane Bajardi histrionics. Ain't Google cache a bitch!
And for historical reference here is the link to the whole thread on Google Cache before the deletion. I am like an elephant, I rarely forget the important stuff but I am most certainly not red. That is Bajardi's color  given the proverbial crow pie he must be eating now.

Lane's Anti Zimmer post on Google Cache


Original Post 7/22/2010 @10:40AM:
Lane Bajardi - Hoboken Political Figure
Lane Bajardi made a statement on a Hoboken Revolt thread on April 14th, 2010 that I think is relevant now given previous statements by him that the Zimmer Administration was not interested in cutting the budget.....

Reply by Lane B. on April 14, 2010 at 12:27pm

"Roman, I told you last year when I met you after you published these lies the first time that nobody in my family has ever received any compensation directly or indirectly. I told you they were lies and you published them anyway. Your entire website is nothing but a smear campaign on behalf of the Mayor and her chosen School Board members. It is a biased political liefest designed to belittle those who are opposed to the Zimmer point of view.

I also categorically deny that anyone in my family was up for a city job. Just more lies design to silence dissent, but Roman knows that already and willfully repeats lies. He is not a reporter and does not hold the credentials of a reporter who deserves professional courtesies. He's nothing more than the House Organ of the Zimmer Administration. That is his right. However, he does not have the right to lie about me and my family.

This is all a sideshow designed to take people's attention away from the state of budgets and taxation in Hoboken, which - if you haven't noticed - hasn't changed one bit despite the election of so-called reformers. Taxes keep going up because there is actually no real interest on the part of these people to cut the budgets. Don't take it from me. Take it from Mike Lenz who said the Zimmer slate was not elected to cut taxes, and that nobody will hold it against them if they don't. Let's talk taxes, not the Roman Horsey sideshow of lies."

Editor's Note: According to a source of mine, this supposed conversation between Lane Bajardi never took place with Roman Brice.

Here is the link to the thread for reference and context:

http://www.hobokenrevolt.com/forum/topics/setting-the-record-straight?commentId=2490945%3AComment%3A1520

My comment:  What does Lane Bajardi have to say about Dawn Zimmer's willingness to make the tough decisions to cut the budget now? I guess Dawn Zimmer was in fact interested in making budget cuts despite Lane's previous assertions. Share your thoughts in the comments. ◦
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Hoboken Youth Soccer League Registration Now Open

Another City of Hoboken activity for the kids coming this Fall.......

Registration for the 2010 fall season of Hoboken’s Youth Soccer League is now open. The registration deadline is August 20, 2010 or whenever the program is full. Registration forms and instructions are available at http://www.hobokenyouthsoccer.com/. Residents with any questions may contact email@hobokenyouthsoccer.com.

Within a few weeks, the City of Hoboken will also begin accepting registration applications online.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hoboken-youth-soccer-league/
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Vince Lombardi PBA President on Layoff Announcement Yesterday

Vince Lombardi - Hoboken PBA President
I spoke with Vince Lombardi, Hoboken PBA President last night on the layoff announcement yesterday at City Hall and I did a lot more listening than talking. We had a long conversation that was initially off the record and I asked him if he wanted to make a statement on the record. This is my summation. It reflects his opinions and my attempt to get his views out to my readers for a sense of balance in reporting the impact of yesterday's announcement.

Vince Lombardi confirmed the Hoboken Patch story angle yesterday from his point of view. He said that the Patrolmen's union had a scheduled meeting yesterday morning which was followed by the Supervisor's union. He stated that the purpose of the meeting was to see where both unions were with respect to contract negotiations and that no mention of the pending announcement was made to them. Both Unions found out later through their attorney's that there would be a layoff announcement right before the press conference. Vince told me he took exception to the way things went down and felt that not telling the Union in the morning was a "low blow" in his opinion. He does not feel the the City has negotiated in good faith. Vince also relayed to me that from his understanding of the plan there would be an elimination of 11 sergeants as well as 18 patrolmen and that this would lead to a reduction in 7 patrolmen overall when union bumping rules have the sergeants moving down to patrolmen. Editor's Note: In the City's release it emphasized that "Through redeployment and civilianization, there will be no reduction in the number of patrol officers policing Hoboken's streets." There will be a slight reduction in the total number of patrolmen when you do the math.

Another point Vince Lombardi wanted to make as head of the Hoboken PBA is that he wants the Mayor to participate in the next meeting that is schedule with the union in August. He felt the head of the City Government should be present at the negotiations and not just Business Administrator Arch Liston. Vince said that the layoff plan will go to the State and given the change in leadership at that level the plan will get approval. He referred to the layoff plan approval process these days as a "rubber stamp". Once the plan is approved a 45 day notice will be put out and result in the actual layoffs happening around an October time frame. This will be in time as Vince put it to politically have an "impact on the 2011 budget".

Vince said he would submit a formal letter to the Mayor and if he copies me on it I will post.

Note: I do have to believe the union knew that layoffs were likely imminent given the credibility of Timothy Caroll and the number of sources in the story in his piece on Hoboken Patch on July 14, 2010. Feel free to share your thoughts below but do understand that Vince Lombardi's role is to stand up for the lower level officers. ◦
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