Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hoboken Awarded Sports Equipment Grant plus 100 Giants Tickets

Another grant for the City of Hoboken's children.....

HOBOKEN AWARDED SPORTS EQUIPMENT GRANT, 100 GIANTS TICKETS FOR YOUTH

Mayor Dawn Zimmer is proud to announce that the City of Hoboken was awarded a grant through USA Football for acquiring sports equipment for the Hoboken Police Athletic League.

Hoboken gets football equipment grant!

USA Football, the sport's national governing body on youth and amateur levels, has awarded football equipment grants to approximately 800 youth and high school football programs throughout the United States this year based on merit and need. The equipment grant program, directed by USA Football and NFL teams, has awarded more than $3 million in football equipment through the NFL Youth Football Fund since 2006. All equipment grants are fulfilled by Riddell, the official helmet and protective equipment partner of USA Football.

Hoboken’s Director of Human Services, Leo Pellegrini submitted the Hoboken P.A.L.'s successful application to USA Football this spring. In addition, through the support of the New York Giants and USA Football, Hoboken P.A.L. has received 100 tickets to the Giants' September 2 preseason game against the New England Patriots as part of USA Football Month across the NFL to salute youth football.

"Even with multiple fundraisers and strict budget adherence, many well-run youth football programs like Hoboken P.A.L. need help to properly equip their teams," USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. "We are proud to assist the kids and families of Hoboken with the NFL Youth Football Fund's support and wish them a great time at the Giants-Patriots game on September 2."

Director of P.A.L. Bobby Gohde is coordinating the Giants-Patriot game trip with youth football players.

USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, each of its 32 teams and the NFL Players Association.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hoboken-awarded-sports-equipment-grant-100-giants-tickets-for-youth/
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Bada Bing! "Tony D." of Genovese Crime Family Pleads Guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Murder

Here is a press release from the Federal NY Southern District on a guilty plea from Anthony Palumbo aka "Tony D." a capo from the infamous Genovese crime family  whose reach has covered NYC, Brooklyn and New Jersey.......



Acting Capo of Genovese Organized Crime Family Pleads Guilty to Murder Conspiracy in Manhattan Federal Court

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ANTHONY PALUMBO, a/k/a "Tony D.," pled guilty today to a superseding Information (the "Information") that charges him with participating in a conspiracy to commit murder in aid of a racketeering enterprise, based on his involvement in the planned murder of an individual associated with Russian organized crime.

According to the superseding Information filed today in Manhattan federal court and other court documents in the case:

PALUMBO was a soldier and acting capo in the Genovese organized crime family, and operated crews in both Brooklyn, New York and New Jersey. During the time he served as an acting capo, he supervised racketeering crimes of his own “crew” of Genovese family members and associates. Both as a soldier and as an acting capo, PALUMBO was involved in overseeing various of the Genovese organized crime family’s rackets, including gambling, loansharking, and extortion activities.

In about 1990, DANIEL PAGANO, then a capo in the Genovese organized crime family, was imprisoned in connection with state charges. Subsequently, PALUMBO was placed in charge of overseeing the Genovese crime family’s interests in an illegal mob cartel. The cartel extorted petroleum companies affiliated with Russian organized crime that were engaged in a fraudulent motor fuel bootlegging scheme. Through this scheme, the petroleum companies evaded the payment of federal and state motor fuel excise taxes, and the Genovese and other organized crime families extorted a share of the illegal proceeds.

In about late 1992 or early 1993, during PALUMBO’s involvement in that scheme, a member of Russian organized crime asked PALUMBO and others to murder a hitman who worked for him. PALUMBO and his co-conspirators agreed to murder the Russian hitman, but higher-ups in the Genovese crime family would not authorize the murder, and the Russian hitman never was killed. During today’s plea proceeding, PALUMBO admitted that he agreed with others to commit the charged murder.

PALUMBO entered his guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge JAMES L. COTT. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge RICHARD J. HOLWELL on December 3, 2010. PALUMBO faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

Mr. BHARARA praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department in this investigation.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA stated: "Today, Anthony Palumbo acknowledged his role in plotting murder and will face the consequences. This office, along with our partners at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department, will continue to work to reduce the violent impact of organized crime in New York City."

This case is being handled by the Office's Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys AVI WEITZMAN, DANIEL GOLDMAN, and DAVID B. MASSEY are in charge of the prosecution.

Here is a link to more from Wikipedia on the Genovese crime family's New Jersey faction:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genovese_crime_family_New_Jersey_faction
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Ramos and Albano Pushing NJ Legislature to Protect NJ Jobs from Outsourcing

Here is the latest press release about a legislative initiative from NJ Assemblyman Ruben Ramos.....

RAMOS, ALBANO PUSHING MEASURE TO PROTECT NJ JOBS FROM OUTSOURCING

(TRENTON) – In light of the country’s continued economic woes, Assemblymen Ruben J. Ramos, Jr. and Nelson Albano are pushing legislation to protect jobs at home and discourage the “outsourcing” of American jobs to other countries.

The bill – A998 – would prohibit business entities from being eligible to perform any state contract or receive any state grant if the business eliminates jobs performed by its employees in the United States and assigns those functions to workers in a foreign nation.

“Now more than ever we need to be conscious of the businesses New Jersey invests in,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “We should be using every resource at our disposal to help retain and attract jobs to our country, and our state in particular.”

The bill also prohibits state funds or funds under the custody or control of the state from being invested in the securities of such a business entity.

“With unemployment rates remaining at an all-time high, we should be using taxpayer dollars to benefit our taxpayers,” said Albano (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “Companies should not be allowed to profit from state contracts while shipping all the jobs overseas when people in New Jersey are dying for work.”

Prior to receiving any state contract or grant, a business entity will be required to certify in writing to the state agency awarding the contract or grant that it is not prohibited by the bill’s provisions from performing such contract or receiving such grant. A business entity that is awarded any state contract or grant must agree that during the duration of the contract or grant it will not engage in conduct that would make it ineligible to receive a contract or grant under the bill.

The Division of Investment in the Department of the Treasury is also directed not to invest any state funds in the securities of any business until the division determines that such investment is not prohibited by the bill’s provisions.

The measure is currently awaiting a hearing before the Assembly State Government Committee. ◦
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Reminder- Hoboken to Host "Redevelopment 101" for Residents Tonight

Here is the latest effort from city Hall to help citizens understand the redevelopment process a bit better...

HOBOKEN TO HOST “REDEVELOPMENT 101” FOR RESIDENTS

Western Edge Redevelopment Project
On Tuesday, August 31, the City of Hoboken will host a “Redevelopment 101” informative seminar to educate the public on the redevelopment process.

“My Administration takes public input very seriously,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “As we move forward with various redevelopment projects, an informed public will be in a position to offer the feedback we need to reflect our community’s vision for our City.”

The event, which will take place at the Multi Service Center, 124 Grand Street, from 7pm to 9pm, will be taped, replayed on television, and posted on the City website.

Redevelopment attorney Joe Maraziti of Maraziti, Falcon, & Healey will speak in general terms about the redevelopment process from start to finish, while Jong Sook Nee of McManimon & Scotland will explain the financing tools that are available through redevelopment. The presentations will be followed by a question and answer session.

The City is in the process of creating the redevelopment plan for the Western Edge and will soon be announcing a public meeting to discuss a draft of the plan. Additionally, the City is currently conducting a study to determine whether redevelopment would be appropriate for Southwest Hoboken.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hoboken-to-host-redevelopment-101-for-residents/
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Hoboken Photo of the Day Another Pier A Park Photo

Pier A Park- What a place for some nice NYC views!

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Local Barre Groupon Today Only

I am a little late with this but don't mind helping out a local business get the word out form time to time on this site. This is good today only. 

Local Barre is featured today on the deal site Groupon - North Jersey. For one day only purchase either 3 Open Barre classes for $42 or an unlimited month for $99. These huge savings can only be found on Groupon.com

http://www.groupon.com/north-jersey/

We are a Core Fitness facility. Our instructors provide classes based on a combination of dance, pilates and yoga.

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.

Contact:
Local Barre
1180 Maxwell Lane
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: 201.743.8002
Email: info@localbarre.com 
Web: www.localbarre.com
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Photo of the Day- Pier A Park Fountain

Spent some time at Pier A Park over the weekend. Thankfully the citizens of Hoboken fought back developers who wanted to put high-rises here instead of a Park. Hoboken has been reaping the dividends of that wise decision ever since.

Pier A Park Fountain last weeekend

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City of Hoboken Arts and Music Festival Set for Sunday October 3rd, 2010

Here is an announcement from City Hall on the upcoming "Festivus for the rest of us" fall event.....

CITY OF HOBOKEN TO HOST 17TH ANNUAL FALL ARTS AND MUSIC FESTIVAL

Prior Arts and Music Festival - rainy day. Let's pray for sun.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the City of Hoboken are proud to host the 17th Annual Hoboken Fall Arts &Music Festival on Sunday, October 3rd from 11am to 6pm. Admission is free.

The fair will take place on Washington Street between Observer Highway and 7th Street and will include more than 300 artists, crafters, photographers, local businesses, restaurants, food vendors and more. A special children’s section will include rides, games, and more.

Three stages of live music will feature performances by Loretta Hagen, Lorax, Care Bears on Fire, Erin Lee and the Up Past Bedtime Band, Guitar Bar Allstars, and much more to be announced.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to take public transportation. More information is available at: http://www.hobokennj.org/visit/how-to-get-here/

Vendor applications are still available. For information, call 201-420-2207.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/city-of-hoboken-to-host-17th-annual-fall-arts-music-festival/
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Introduction to Judaism Class to be held in Hoboken beginning October 6th

The New Jersey Rabbinical Assembly is offering 3 locations for its comprehensive Introduction to Jewish Class, including at United Synagogue of Hoboken, beginning Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010. The other locations are Fair Lawn and East Brunswick.

The course will be of interest to anyone who wants to probe the depths of their Judaism, and will also serve as the educational basis for anyone considering conversion to Judaism. 

The classes will be on Wednesday evenings from October until May, 2011. They will begin at 7:00 pm with 45 minutes of learning Hebrew from scratch - and then a brief break followed by the topic for the day from 8:00 to 9:30 pm. Included in the price of the class are 7 wonderful Jewish books, and a source listing for many online articles of interest.

Classes will be taught by Rabbi Robert Scheinberg of the United Synagogue of Hoboken. The course is oriented towards a wide variety of individuals, including potential Jews by Choice and their spouses/significant others, non-Jews raising Jewish children, and born Jews who wish to learn more about their heritage.

A sample of the topics include:
  • Three Dimensions of Jewish Identity: Behaving, Believing, Belonging
  • Introduction to Rabbinic Judaism
  • Jewish Perspectives on God
  • Introduction to the Jewish Calendar
  • Judaism and Christianity: A Comparative Look; Hanukkah, "December Dilemma" issues
  • Halakhah: The Role of Law and Commandment in Judaism
  • Prayer in Judaism -- Communal & Individual
  • Shabbat -- A Palace in Time
  • Kashrut -- The Jewish Dietary Laws
  • Marriage, Divorce & Jewish Perspectives on Sexuality
  • The End of Life: Dying, Death, Mourning and Afterlife
  • Finding God through Joy: Purim
  • Contemporary Moral Issues: Jewish Perspectives on Bioethics
  • As If You Came Forth from Egypt: Passover
  • The Holocaust and Anti-Semitism
  • The Land of Israel & Ancient Judaism -- The Biblical and Rabbinic Background
  • Women and Judaism
  • The Four Streams of Contemporary Judaism
  • Judaism in America -- Challenges of the Melting Pot
  • Jewish Perspectives on Conversion
  • Zionism and the Modern State

Additional information about the course is available by contacting the Program Administrator, Ellen Nesson at ellen.nesson@gmail.com or at www.introjudaismNJ.com
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Another Hertz Connect Utilization Photo

Here is another example of utilization of cars for the new Hertz connect program....

Holy double utilization Green Hornet - Kato here! Photo taken 8/29/2010 at aprox. 3:00 PM. Location Park and 6th.

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The Triumphant Return of Grafix Avenger!

For those of you who were wondering, cyber-satirist Grafix Avenger is back from the farm (not the funny one) and off her blogger hiatus with a new creation honoring a well known political operative within Hudson County, who has a penchant for getting the same old same old elected almost every time except Beth Mason. Like a proverbial turd in a punch bowl, "Pinkers" otherwise know as Grafix Avenger is there to ruin the patronage party and spoil the whole batch. 


Click here to see her latest devilish creation.
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Hoboken Residents May Have Brown Water

Advisory Message has been issued by the City of Hoboken.

Sunday August 29, 2010 12:41 PM EDT

UNITED WATER: HOBOKEN RESIDENTS MAY HAVE DISCOLORED WATER. WATER IS SAFE FOR DRINKING

A message from United Water (http://www.unitedwater.com/hoboken/newscenter.aspx?id=5994)

CUSTOMERS IN HOBOKEN AND JERSEY CITY MAY HAVE DISCOLORED WATER
Water Is Safe For Drinking, Flushing Continues Throughout Sunday
Harrington Park, NJ,  Aug 29, 2010,   10:15 am

United Water customers in Hoboken and Jersey City may have discolored water throughout Sunday. The discoloration is caused by high levels of naturally occurring minerals in the water and a buildup of harmless sediment.

Although the water is discolored, it poses no health risks and it meets safe drinking water standards. However, customers may prefer to wait until it runs clear before drinking or washing clothes or dishes.

Crews are working throughout the system to flush the sediment; valves and hydrants have been opened to move the sediment out of the system quickly.

According to John Hroncich, operations manager for United Water Jersey City, company crews have been flushing the system throughout the weekend in order to help clear the discolored water from the mains. In addition, the company has increased the amount of chlorine used to treat the water and has screens in place to help remove the sediment.

Hroncich explained that the discolored water was the result of an equipment problem at the water treatment plant in Boonton. This sent a large amount of water, known as a “spike,” through the aqueduct, which disturbed the sediment in the mains.

“We apologize for the inconvenience,” said Hroncich. “We are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.”

For the latest updates, Jersey City customers can visit www.unitedwater.com/uwjc or call 1-800-575-4433. Hoboken customers can visit   www.unitedwater.com/hoboken or call 1-800-422-5987.

For full details, go to https://local.nixle.com/alert/3304631/?sub_id=306304. ◦
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Institute of Defensive Methods- Hoboken Business Profile

Being a blogger in a politically charged town such as Hoboken can potentially be a bit dangerous. I have been called a communist and a sadist by a drunk at his big birthday bash, shouted at in a court of law by another Cammarano crony and the latest tirade from "koko points web boy" was probably the least of my concerns. Despite my large stature it could be time to get a better defensive skill set should the need arise. I am definitely not the type to start a fight but finishing one quickly in one's favor quickly is always the best course. I was walking around in the SW area last week trying to expand my walking patterns in the Mile Square City and I stumbled upon this business that opened up in 2008. It could come in handy protecting my camera equipment from would be assailants. You never know.

Institute of Defensive Methods
Business Type: Martial Arts
Slogan:  Taking the Guesswork out of Conflict Resolution
Phone Main: 201-683-0104
Phone Secondary: 201-456-9820
Address: 451 1st St. Hoboken, New Jersey 07030
Email: cesar@idmnj.com
Website: http://www.idmnj.com/about.html

From their website:

We are a Martial Arts Facility committed to men, women and children of all ages. Serving New Jersey and the Tri-State area, IDM prides itself in providing the most Realistic Martial Arts training experience emanating from the philosophical concepts of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do.

Institute of Defensive Methods was founded on September 1, 2008 by Sifu Cesar Olavarria and his wife, Wendy. Mr. Olavarria established this organization to help people understand and express themselves when the need arises to resolve conflict during a violent encounter. Because of this mission, Institute of Defensive Methods provides the highest quality in martial arts training and self-defense resolutions for the real world.

Our philosophy is based on a moral culture to eliminate conflict with a power that is rooted with humanity, justice and wisdom. It is our firm belief that through martial arts training: one can garner enough strength to become a guardian of justice, to help build a more peaceful world and to cultivate the human spirit toward the highest possible level.




Cesar Olavarria demonstrates basic trapping:


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Photo of the Day- NYC Fire boat Spraying Water

I was able to snap this shot in NYC several weeks ago of a NYC Fire boat in action.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lt. Andriani "SWAT-ted" by Zimmer Administration with No Retro Pay

Update 8/28/2010:

According to the Resolution Pack for The City of Hoboken's next City Council Meeting the matter in the case of Lt. Andriani has been disposed of with a termination retroactive back to February 28, 2008.

Memo From Mayor Dawn Zimmer to City Council
For more history read below. Lt. Andriani was the centerpiece for the notorious Hoboken SWAT scandal a few years back before this blog was up and running. 


Here is the link to the agenda and resolution pack for the next 9/1/2010 City Council Meeting:

Agenda: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/agenda10/ccm-09-01-10.pdf
Resolution Pack: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/respack10/respac-09-01-10.pdf 


Update 5/12/2010 4:45PM:

I just got this brief statement from the Zimmer Administation moments ago:
"Hoboken Police Lieutenant Angelo Andriani's employment was terminated by Business Administrator Arch Liston and Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi effective Monday, May 10th."

Editorial Comment: Amen!

Original Thread:

Breaking News - Lt. Andriani "SWAT-ted" by Zimmer Administration

This is breaking news: Dawn Zimmer has sent out this press release calling for the suspension of Lt. Anngelo Andriani of the Hoboken Police Department pending an Internal Affairs investigation about a recent incident on January 18, 2010 regarding a "passenger casuing disturbance" issue at Tampa International Airport. This is a seperate issue from the ongoing SWAT team investigation.....

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer Calls For Suspension
Without Pay of Hoboken Police Lieutenant

City of Hoboken, January 27, 2010 – Mayor Dawn Zimmer is calling for the suspension without pay of Lieutenant Angelo Andriani of the Hoboken Police Department pending a Hoboken Police Department Internal Affairs Bureau investigation resulting from an incident involving Lt. Andriani with the Tampa International Airport Police Department. The incident occurred on the morning of Monday, January 18th in which Lt. Andriani was involved in a “passenger causing disturbance” according to TSA Supervisor Taylor Johnson.

“Lt. Andriani must be suspended without pay pending the IA investigation,” Mayor Zimmer said. “This type of behavior can not and will not be tolerated and we are taking swift and decisive measures to remedy the actions of this individual.”

Lt. Andriani is currently suspended (with pay) by the City of Hoboken as the result of an alleged incident which occurred approximately two years ago. The incident at the Tampa International Airport is being investigated separately as a violation of administrative policies related to Lt. Andriani’s current suspension.

In light of the recent incident, Mayor Zimmer is also calling on all parties to expedite the process involving the outstanding investigation involving Lt. Andriani. The alleged incident involved the Hoboken SWAT team which was subsequently disbanded. Mayor Zimmer has been and continues to demand a resolution to the outstanding SWAT team investigation. The public has waited long enough for a resolution of this case.

Here is a great story on Hoboken Now that gives extensive background on the case:

http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.ssf/2010/01/ex-team_commander_in_hoboken_s.html

Here is a video of Lt. Andriani displaying not the most professional behavior as a police officer (courtesy of NJ.com's Hoboken Now):

Hoboken SWAT team scandal

And as if this guy was not embarassing enough, here is a video of Lt. Andriani and his visit to Hooters from FOX News in 2008 as well as a lawsuit and other examples of alleged "white supremacist behaviors":



Editorial Statement:
The alleged behavior of Lt. Andriani is beyond deplorable as has been reported but it should not be used as an excuse to berate the rest of the Hoboken Police force. Many taxpayers are understandably frustrated that this officer has been suspended with pay for over two years and now this additional incident is brought to light.

Chief Falco by all accounts has brought fairness and discipline to the force since taking over as Chief. He has earned the respect of the officers and is not responsible for what transpired under Labruno's Administration before. With that said on a going forward basis the success of the HPD and the new Chief will be to maintain the public safety as efficiently as regulations allow for (i.e. union negotiations, bumping rules, due process,etc.) and continuing to hold the few bad apples accountable for bad their behavior should those transgressions occur in the future. ◦
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Reminder - Heirloom Tomato Tasting Festival Sunday August 29 at the HH Museum

Here is a quick weekend reminder- The Hoboken Historical Museum is hosting their annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting Festival Sunday August 29 at the Museum from 1-5PM.




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Mike Russo Civic Association- Should it be tax exempt?

This year the Russo Civic Association got a face lift (or a face off) and a new name, The Michael Russo Civic Association. Their website which appears a bit outdated  http://www.russocivic.com/ states:

"The Russo Civic Association has touched thousands of lives and has proved the most enduring Social and Recreational non-profit organization in the City, providing opportunities 12 months a year with an entirely volunteer base and self-raised budget. The Civic Association receives no government or foundation funds and relies entirely on the community and member donations. Membership in the Civic Association costs $60.00 a year for a family. All activities provided by the Civic Association are FREE."

Here are some recent photos of the organization's HQ at 420 Adams Street:

Michael Russo Civic Association at 420 Adams Street

New featuring Michael Russo installed this year.
Question: Even though this is a volunteer organization that has provided support to the community for 30years, should this organization be tax exempt given that it has been used as a political office for many campaigns over the years? Now I am not saying it is declared as tax exempt entity but if it was, would this create a problem by blurring a volunteer organization with a political one?

A look up of the tax records on the property indicate that the property changed hands about two years ago from Hoboken Wave LLC to Nicola and Julie Fuccilli of Waldwick, NJ. My information has it that plans are possible for a knockdown of the property and a rebuild. At some point in the future this would likely go before the zoning board. If this is true I wonder if such plans would put an end to the association that has "has touched thousands of lives and has proved the most enduring Social and Recreational non-profit organization in the City" (according to their website).

Here are the owners via the NJ tax database:

The current assessed value is $220,000 and it is no longer owned by the Russos or their LLC Hoboken Wave:

2009-2010 FUCCILLI, NICOLA AND JULIE
46 EVERGREEN STREET
WALDWICK, NJ 07463

2007- 2008 HOBOKEN WAVE, LLC
420 ADAMS STREET
HOBOKEN, N J 07030

Hoboken Wave? Neat name for an LLC don't you think. ◦
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50 Additional Early Bird Tickets Available for Spaghetti Block Dinner September 2, 2010

Here is and update form Hoboken City Hall on this upcoming event.......

 Mayor Dawn Zimmer and The City of Hoboken
invite you to attend the 6th Annual

Spaghetti Dinner Block Party

Thursday, Sept. 2nd • 5:00pm to 8:00pm


Walkway along Sinatra Drive between 1st and 2nd Streets

The early bird ticket deadline has passed
but we have just added another 50 tickets in this price range

Tickets are $15.00, Seniors are $12, children are $8,
Table of 10 is $150.00 if purchased by Tues. Aug. 31st
After the deadline, tickets are $20.00 each
($12 for Seniors, $10 for children, $200 for table of 10)
Seating is limited


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Discussion Thread - REVAL

$$$ REVAL $$$


Update: Based on the latest discussion about re-assessments on the PILOT thread on analysis provided for a long time reformer I have bumped this up to direct that conversation here. Under my previous commenting system it had generated interest but alas I am starting afresh. This discussion thread that has been created to allow readers to chime in how they feel about re-evaulations in Hoboken.

There has been much talk lately about the impact of a re-evaluation of all of Hoboken's properties for the purposes of more evenly distributed taxation of those properties. The last time one was done was 1988. Here are some leading questions to get the topic going:

- Is Hoboken long overdue for a REVAL of all of its properties?

- Was politics behind waiting over 20 years to do another reval. (i.e. protect the status-quo)

- Contrarian view- Why do a reval.? It won't solve our spending problems and could lead to litigation.

- The way condos have been assessed, has that been fair in relation to valuations of single family homes?

- Will many people be forced to move or will the reval. hurt 1/3, leave 1/3 unaffected, and help 1/3 with the changes in valuations?

-  Is it best to do it all in one shot or to do a rolling one as suggested by 30-day Mayor Peter Cammarano in his last great debate performance vs. Dawn Zimmer?

- How bad are the discrepancies in your opinion overall. 

The tax maps are the next step to complete before the revaluation can start. ◦
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Photo of the Day - Where is this?

The series of guessing where this photo was taken in Hoboken is back with what should be a fairly easy one for Friday. Take a guess or write the answer in the comments below.

Where is this in Hoboken?

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Uptown Farmer's Market - Photo highlights

The Hoboken Uptown Farmer's Market was busy last night when I stopped by. The market runs every Thursday between 13th and 14th and Hudson Street and has an assortment of vegetables and breads for local food producers. This market is scheduled to run through the end of October. Here are some shots of the fine produce.


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Highlights of Swingadelic at Hoboken's Sintra Park 8-26-2010

Last night was the finale for Hoboken's Music under the Stars program at Sintra Park for this year. It featured the fine performance of Swingadelic and their big band sound. Last week's star artist Juliio Fernandez was in attendance as well but he just watched and did not strap into a guitar, at least for the first set. Another fine concert series come to an end for this year but it will be back next year thanks to Geri Fallo, Hoboken City employees and the generous sponsors of the events and series as a whole. I have enjoyed this summer thanks to events like this that make me proud to call Hoboken my home. If you missed this performance hopefully you can get a taste with these highlights......

Video Highlights of Swingadelic at Hoboken's Sinatra Park 8-26-2010 part 1:



Video Highlights of Swingadelic at Hoboken's Sinatra Park 8-26-2010 part 2:



Photo Highlights of Swingadelic at Hoboken's Sinatra Park 8-26-2010:


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Vito's Lotsa Pata- Hoboken Eatery Profile

Here is a profile of a mobile eatery that specializes in pasta, Vito's Lotsa Pasta....

I spoke to the guy who runs the mobile food eatery and was able to take a few photos by their Sinatra and 14th Street location yesterday. I was on the go so I did not have time to stop and get a tasting but I could come back at a future time since they have the whole wheat pasta option.

Vito's Lotsa Pasta
Eatery Type: Italian, Pasta, Mobile
Lunch: 11am-2pm (1st and Sinatra Drives)
Dinner: 4pm-8pm (14th and Sinatra Drive)
Phone: 201-983-7501


Vito's Lotsa Pasta Logo

Menu
Here are some photos of this eatery on the go:


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Thursday, August 26, 2010

P.B.A. President Attacks Zimmer’s Credibility on Public Safety Cuts

Here is the latest political statement over the layoffs from the Hoboken PBA President Vince Lombardi....

P.B.A. President Attacks Zimmer’s Credibility
on Public Safety Cuts
A Statement from Vince Lombardi, President of Hoboken P.B.A.

“Yesterday Mayor Zimmer issued another statement claiming that she is ‘working to finalize a redeployment plan to ensure that there is no reduction in the number of officers patrolling our streets’ regarding her plan to slash 37 jobs from the Hoboken Police Department. I was appalled and disgusted to read this.

The Mayor’s plan will have a devastating impact on the City of Hoboken. For her to claim that she can cut 37 police jobs and have no impact on manpower and presence is an outrageous statement and an outright lie. You cannot fire 18 police officers and demote 19 others without jeopardizing the safety of the people of Hoboken and dramatically decreasing the department’s capabilities.

The Mayor’s plan is ridiculous in light of the city’s recently discovered $20 million budget surplus. She has less credibility talking about the public’s safety in Hoboken than George W. Bush had in talking about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Mayor Zimmer is now ‘inviting the police unions to join and have a voice in these discussions’ in a meeting at her office on Monday. We have no intention of cooperating with this obvious media publicity stunt. We will not allow our membership to be abused in this egregious manner. Any further discussion of the city’s layoff plan is absurd and we will not be a part of this nonsense.

We again call upon Mayor Zimmer and the city council to rescind their layoff plan and stop playing politics with the safety of the City of Hoboken.”


Note: The Hudson Reporter has a poll on this issue. Go to Hudson Reporter Poll on Police Layoffs to cast your vote.
Poll on Hoboken Reporter- Cast your vote!


Extra Note: This press release is from Michael Makarski Account Executive of Vision Media Marketing Inc. Vision Media Political is a firm operated by political operative Paul Swibinski who was recently retained by Beth Mason and Peter Cammarano. Are you starting to connect the dots?

Vision Media Political
http://www.visionmediapolitical.com/
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Hoboken Community Pool Open Through September 1

A little extension by the Zimmer Administration.....

Hoboken Community Pool To Remain Open 
Through September 1st

With temperatures next week predicted to reach 90 degrees, Hoboken’s community pool, which was scheduled to close on Friday, August 27th, will remain open until Wednesday, September 1st. As has been the case during other Saturdays throughout the summer, the pool will also open this Saturday, August 28th.


The pool is located at the Boys and Girls Club at 123 Jefferson Street and is open to children ages 5 through 12 between 11am and 5pm.



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Photo of the Day - Downtown Firehouse

Hoboken's Downtown Firehouse on Observer Highway

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Twit Network Movie - Parody Trailer

There is an upcoming trailer for a dramatic movie about the founding of  Facebook showing in the movie theaters now. Here is the parody trailer of the founding of Twitter if it was ever released as a movie.



My comment: I love how they say blogging is boring in the spoof. Boink! ◦
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Beth Mason Email Blast- Why Do Politicians in City Hall Want to Keep Your Money?

Here is another mass email distribution from Beth Mason sent to me by a source just 10 minutes ago. This email beats the repetitive pandering drum on the recurring theme from her or her camp of political advisors that the surplus is "$20 Million" and the city is hoarding your money. Have fun commenters.

This is getting tiresome but I always try to represent as many sides as possible on this blog ....

Dear Friend,

If you overpaid your phone bill would you ask for your money back? What about your tax bill?

Two years ago Hoboken’s municipal taxes went up 84%, and the city has been overtaxing you ever since. This resulted in a $20 million tax surplus, but the politicians in City Hall don’t want to give your money back.

They want to keep it.

And worse yet they want to spend it.

Hoboken Business Administrator Arch Liston is on record saying that the upcoming budget will not provide any real tax relief. Liston says returning your money would be “totally irresponsible”. Instead he and Mayor Zimmer plan to continue to overtax you and spend your money on labor contracts in 2011.Instead he and Mayor Zimmer plan to continue to overtax you and spend your money on labor contracts in 2011  rather than make good on their promise to provide a 25% tax cut.

I urge you to make your voice heard at the next Hoboken City Council meeting on September 1st when the City Council will vote to introduce Mayor Zimmer’s budget.

Tell City Hall to give your money back and cut your taxes immediately.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at (201)-916-8244 or Beth@MasonCityCouncil.org. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Thank you for your time.

- Beth Mason

My Commnent: The available surplus amount is actually $12 million by many accounts. I think it is fine for us all have a debate on what the number should be. I for one think that maybe giving a little bit back might be good but I don't know the whole picture yet. The budget has not been presented until it is I don't think anyone in good conciense really gauge what the appropriate surplus should be.

Reader email response to Beth Mason (damn, that was quick):

From: Hoboken Journal Reader "LincolnLogger"
Date: August 25, 2010
To: Beth@MasonCityCouncil.org
Subject: We're tired of your lies

Really?

Yes, we are.

Your latest announcement is yet another transparent ploy to rile up anyone against the Mayor and her forthcoming budget. False pronouncements of a "$20 million" surplus that is really $12 million are too thinly veiled to deceive any but the most unintelligent voter. Also considering that the city owes well more than $12 in bonds for the upcoming park repairs and other outstanding debts, it's really a poor financial position.

Basically, your "give back the money to the taxpayer" is a one-time budget scam, the likes of which David Roberts used to employ.

In a time when we need to exercise fiscal responsibility and restraint, you advocate doing the opposite. Please keep it up, it'll be nice to see the second ward regain their senses and elect someone new.

Sincerely,

"LincolnLogger" (real name witheld) ◦
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Eat Drink Hoboken Website Officially Launches

Here is another food and drink oriented website in town with dreams of expansion to round out the web sphere in Hoboken and provide a little extra competition for you know who. Keep up the good work David Liebler! I am more than happy to spread the word.......

One-Stop Resource, Hyper-Local Website Designed to Offer Consumers a Unique Place to Learn About Daily Specials, Deals and Coupons

Foodies Get the Dish on Daily Specials and Coupons; Food Places Get Added Exposure

HOBOKEN, NJ, August 24, 2010 – In one click on one website, consumers can now get detailed information on every single restaurant, coffee shop, bar and other food establishments by logging onto EatDrinkHoboken.com. Consumers no longer have to check multiple websites to discover deals, daily specials and coupons. Eatdrinkhoboken.com officially launches this week, debuting the first and only hyper-local food and beverage community directory of its kind. This unique and proprietary technology expands food and beverage directory options with an exclusive platform that combines listings, daily specials and coupons in a highly interactive, informative and engaging website.

“After an extensive and overwhelmingly successful beta testing period of nine months, we proudly present Eatdrinkhoboken.com,” says David A. Liebler, Founder/CEO of EatDrinkWebsites LLC with extensive knowledge in the online space and founder of CoedMagazine.com, a successful online college website and magazine publication that he sold recently.

“Our unique functionality and proprietary content management system redefines the food and beverage directory category with a website that offers visitors a one-stop resource for all their food, drink and entertainment needs. We have truly redefined the local / community online category and carved a niche – there is no other online website of this type. My team and I spent hours and hours visiting every food venue in this tiny community from bagel shops and coffee places to waterfront restaurants and kid family restaurants and compiled this information – including their location, hours of business, features, menus and every single daily special — so that consumers can obtain easy access and information. It is a huge time saver as consumers can access information on 201 Hoboken restaurants and food venues and 854 individual daily specials.”

Liebler, a ten-year Hoboken resident and entrepreneur, developed Eatdrinkhoboken.com in response to his own frustration with having to visit several websites to obtain information on food establishments in his community.

Eatdrinkhoboken.com lists more than 200 venues, each presented via individual micro-sites offering maximum information about every establishment. The website’s search function includes hundreds of variables such as food type, atmosphere and entertainment, allowing for highly customized results. In addition, daily dining specials and coupons as well as an event calendar listing music, comedy and community activities are featured. In fact, EDH now provides exclusive content for Boken Online. Non-profit organizations and charities can post events for free.

Thousands of consumers – not only from Hoboken but also from surrounding towns – now follow Eatdrinkhoboken.com on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. The site’s Blog posts articles that highlights chefs and bartenders of the week, while its Forum pages provide space for visitors to respond and comment on their own experiences.

“The consumer response has been overwhelming,” Liebler adds. “Our social media outreach is growing in popularity everyday and we are supporting the launch with an aggressive advertising and marketing campaign.”

Super Sophisticated Technology

Eatdrinkhoboken.com was developed in collaboration with Redstage Networks (Redstage.com,), a nationally renowned website design, programming and social media company. The Hoboken site is the first in a series of hyper-local community websites. “The exclusive technology supporting Eatdrinkhoboken.com is designed as a template to be used for many cities across the U.S.,” adds Adam Morris, president and CEO of Redstage Networks.

The site introduces an exclusive content management system. The fluid and interactive platform allows participating businesses to update their listings instantaneously. Each establishment’s dedicated micro-site includes a home page, photo gallery, coupon listings, facebook, twitter, delivery.com and opentable links and special events component. Liebler adds that it is a “win win” for everyone – consumers like the site as it saves time and gives them daily specials and coupons and the food/bars enjoy the added visibility and increased traffic.

Within the next 60 days, additional features will be added such as a sophisticated search function that will allow consumers to locate specific food items. For example, if one types in “turkey and swiss sandwich” the result is every place in Hoboken that offers this specific food item.

Regional and National Rollout

EatDrink sites for Jersey City, Morristown and New Brunswick will debut in the fourth quarter of 2010. Within five years, EatDrinkWebsites LLC plans to develop a minimum of 300 community sites across the country – five for each state.

About EatDrinkWebsites LLC

EatDrink Websites LLC is a privately-held company, headquartered in Hoboken, New Jersey, that develops and manages one-stop, hyper-local web platforms for the food and beverage category. The interactive design coordinates directory listings, daily specials and coupons all within one site. Starting with the launch of eatdrinkhoboken.com in August 2010, EatDrink will expand to fifty websites within five years.

About Redstage Networks

Redstage is a full service web design and development agency, based in Hoboken, New Jersey. Priding itself on its client focus, Redstage interprets the vision, achieves the business objectives and meets the deadlines of its customers with cutting edge technology and expertise. Clients range from multi-million dollar companies to start-ups. ◦
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Break Out Your Sliderules: Dan Tumpson Seminar on PILOTS

Dan Tumpson when he ran for City Council
Embedded below is an analysis of PILOT Agreements done by Dan Tumpson. Dan has run for both City Council and for Mayor and had been an advocate for years against the way PILOTS have been used in redevelopment projects. Dan took the time back in 2008 to explain the mathematics behind how PILOTS the way they have been done impact local residents taxes and the result has not been good as his math shows. This article is timely given the upcoming city Workshops on "Redevelopment 101 "at the Multi-Service Center.

Advocates for redevelopment on the other side of the political fence maintain that since other municipalities are doing them extensively, Hoboken should too since we get screwed by the county otherwise and pay more than our fair share as a municipality. This is a view that was and still is shared by former Mayor Roberts as well as Peter Cammarano who coincidentally is doing two years for taking bribes from a developer. In fact Mayor Roberts used to say "No good deed goes unpunished". I feel many in reform would respond "Well, two wrongs don't make a right".

Dan has a website called Hoboken Citizens and the URL is now http://www.hobokencitizens.net/. He has some other issues archived on that site for your perusal as well. While Dan did not win as a candidate a big part of me wishes that more people had listened too him on this topic as his predictions about the effect of PILOTS and they way they were concocted were eerily prophetic. Perhaps Dan's explanations were a bit wonkish but give the guy a break; he has a Ph.D. The more important thing is Dan appears to be right in at least that PILOTS cost regular tax payers money. He doesn't completely say no to PILOTS but concludes that the agreements that are created should at least be adjustable on a yearly basis so that taxes are not increased for everyone else. It is a subtle position but based on numerical analysis. However, from a pragmatic standpoint a developer would be unlikely to engage in a PILOT if they knew the taxation would work out to be the same. In order to get buildings you would nto normally get you have to give something up as a city. You just have to make sure you get back is worth it for the city. If you are good at math, hone in your skills and get calculating with Dan's explanation below......

Here is another article on how the agreement to build the W hotel (which is a fine hotel by the way and an asset to the City of Hoboken) screws Hoboken taxpayers by over 14%.....

Port Authority Redevelopment PILOT Deal Adds 14.1% to Hoboken Taxes
http://www.hobokencitizens.net/patax01.htm

And finally, the seminar......

Dan Tumpson's PILOT Seminar on Property tax Rates from 10/22/2008:



Feel free to state your opinion either way in the comments below but regardless of your stance, do take a stab at the math. Perhaps a simpler "PILOTS for Dummies" version of this seminar is forthcoming. As for me, I don't think PILOTS should be used for residential highrises. That is my opinion and quite a few other reformers out there. ◦
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Photo of the Day- View of NYC from Liberty State Park

View of NYC from Liberty State Park earlier this Summer

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Reader Question from Another Website on Bike Safety Gets No Answers

A bicycling enthusiast sent a letter to another Hoboken website today that seems to be getting a lot wrong lately. My take is that the webmasters recent behavior has left him isolated without any real answers as to the actual progress that is going on around town. Perhaps it is the agenda he is pining or just sheer laziness of that blogger but a simple search on Hoboken's website could have directed the reader the answer to the question. It is too bad that the reader doesn't know about my web site because I endeavor to find answers when I can but what in the hell do I know about Internet marketing? Silly me. I was supposed to kiss the ring of some other numerically challenged website way back when but couldn't stomach the prospect. Gag.

The bicycling enthusiast was concerned about what Hoboken was doing for bicycle safety and awareness.

A simple search  led me to this FAQ section on the City of Hoboken's website.....

http://www.hobokennj.org/departments/transportation-parking/bicycling/

Here is the section as it is today August 24 on bicycle safety:

"I’ve almost been hit by a bicyclist on the sidewalk. I’ve seen bikes riding the wrong way on one-way streets. What are you doing about that?"

Over the past year, The City of Hoboken has been focusing on the basic infrastructure to foster increased bicycle ridership in Hoboken as a way to mitigate parking and traffic demand in the city. The results have been significant increase in ridership around town, as well as in the specific “commute to PATH” sector. These improvements come at the expense of increased interactions and conflicts between bicyclists and drivers and pedestrians. To address this, the city has been moving on several fronts:

1. Through a grant from NJDOT, we have been working with a consultant on developing a Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Master Plan that is purposed to provide the City with guidance on how to best accommodate these critical modes in tandem with the other traffic on our streets. In July, 2010, we conducted our public input session and received a great deal of useful input from the community that will be included in the consultant’s recommendations. This plan is particularly important in terms of its ability to guide the city in a strong outreach and education effort about bicycling and roadway safety. This plan is completely funded by NJDOT and comes at no expense to the taxpayers.

Bike Lane - photo Courtesy of City of Hoboken
2. Over the past year, the Department of Transportation and Parking has been expanding the use of bicycle lanes where applicable and making adjustments to intersections and roadway segments to better work with bicyclists. We’ve installed “daylighting” poles at corners to improve visibility and required developers to include bicycle facilities in their projects. These measures help in defining boundaries for bicyclists and better position the City to begin stricter enforcement.

3. As part of the re-examination of both the basic zoning code and the specific requirements in upcoming redevelopment plans, we are including appropriate accommodations to improve the differentiation of streetspace between cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

4. The Department of Transportation and Parking has presented to the City Council Transportation and Parking Committee a plan for expanded bicycle facilities in tandem with a thoroughly reworked set of bicycle rules that address many of the most common concerns raised by the community about increased bicycling in Hoboken (i.e. riding on the sidewalks and bicycling the wrong way on one-way streets). These rules are the basis of increased enforcement and education of the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists in Hoboken.

5. We have been adding bicycling content and information the City website as we are able, and we are hosting several “savvy cyclist”, bicycle safety, and training workshops geared towards urban riding.

6. We have taken the opportunities of regular events (bike to work week, national park[ing] day, etc.) to begin our outreach and awareness efforts; however, these are obviously still not enough. We clearly need to do more about education and awareness, but we have been making great strides in a very short amount of time.

My comment: Good job City of Hoboken! At least you have a plan to help make bicycling safer. Now that you have a plan it is the implementation that matters. The devil is in the details. ◦
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Hoboken Journal Fact Check- Illegally Parked Car is Shared City Vehicle

Clipart from ChristArt.com
On another website in Hoboken today it was erroneously reported that the Mayor's vehicle was illegally parked on 7th and Monroe Street last night. I was able to confirm from two sources within the Administration that the car was not exclusively the Mayor's but it is indeed a City vehicle that is shared.

One of the sources Juan Melli gave me a quote:
"As opposed to past Administrations that had multiple vehicles, the City now has just one shared vehicle for use by all directors, the Mayor's office and the Business Administrator. The vehicle used by the prior Public Safety Director was returned to the Fire Department for their use. In this particular instance, Public Safety Director Alicea, who is on call and responds to situations 24/7, was using the vehicle in order to respond to emergency situations that may arise."

Additionally, the whole street is yellow because it is a school zone and since school is not in session it is perfectly legal to park there this time of year like all the other cars were doing. 

Whether it was a lie or a mistake the website that reported this false story on two counts needs to drop the anti-Zimmer Jihad agenda, hone in on their fact finding skills and rely less on the fact that they have a press pass to defend their credibility.



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Ruben Ramos Proposes Bill for Consumers with Medical Bills and Protecting Credit History

Here is another legislative initiative proposed by NJ Assemblyman Ruben Ramos of Hoboken from the NJ Assembly Democrats press office...

RAMOS PROPOSES MEASURE TO HELP CONSUMERS PAY MEDICAL BILLS WITHOUT TARNISHING CREDIT HISTORY


(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Ruben J. Ramos, Jr. is introducing legislation that would require health care providers to employ more practical measures when first attempting to collect payment for services, prior to reporting the outstanding debt to a private collection agency or a consumer reporting agency.

“Everyone has a responsibility to pay medical bills and debts and no one should escape or evade their responsibilities,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “However, emergencies happen. Sometimes unexpected medical costs are too much to pay all at once and good faith efforts are made. When these efforts are made, debt collectors shouldn't be harassing people and threatening their credit history.”

This bill would require that a health care provider, including a facility or an individual, observe certain practices during the collection of an outstanding balance in a patient account not reimbursed by a third party payer.

Specifically, in the case of a patient to whom a health care provider submits a bill for an outstanding balance, the provider must:

(1) Provide prior written notification to the patient that the provider intends to refer the patient’s account to a private collection agency at least 30 days prior to making that referral; and

(2) Not communicate information about the outstanding balance in a patient’s account to a consumer reporting agency until at least 45 days have elapsed since the date that the provider referred the patient’s account to a private collection agency.

“This bill provides a lifeline for debtors to make their payments and not have it affect their credit. At the same time, it also employs a measure of fairness to protect the interests of medical providers and debt collectors by allowing them to still pursue collections,” added Ramos.

A health care provider that violates the provisions of the bill would be subject to penalties to be determined by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services or the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs pursuant to statute. The bill would take effect on the 90th day after enactment and apply to health care services provided on or after the effective date.

Ramos intends to introduce the legislation the next time the Assembly is in session.

My comment: Since I have recently had a major medical episode of my own I can relate to the notion that it can sometimes be hard to pay medical bills even when you have health insurance. For discussion: Is this proposal a good or even necessary idea to help protect consumers of health care or does it create an undue burden on health care providers? Share your thoughts below..... ◦
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Hola! Grand Opening set for Bilingual Charter School August 27, at 8:30AM

Here is a press release from Hola in Hoboken on their school's grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony...

NEW JERSEY’S FIRST SPANISH-ENGLISH CHARTER SCHOOL OPENS ITS DOORS

Hoboken Dual Language Charter School celebrates with a ribbon cutting


On Friday, August 27, 8:30-9:30am, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will inaugurate the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa). After several years of planning and a rigorous application process, HoLa will welcome 132 K-2 students to its free, full-time Spanish-English dual language elementary school in September. A grade will be added each year until the school extends to 5th grade.

HoLa offers a comprehensive curriculum delivered in both Spanish and English by teachers trained in innovative strategies specific to dual language education, with the goals of academic excellence and bilingualism for all students, regardless of language background. The school features an emphasis on the arts, an experiential approach, and a multicultural perspective. Studies show that students in dual language programs tend to outperform their monolingual peers academically.

HoLa’s Director, María Acosta, holds two Masters, one in School Administration and the other in Bilingual Education. For the past five years she has been the Assistant Principal at the Lenape Meadows Elementary School in Mahwah, NJ. Ms. Acosta has also served as both Master Teacher and World Languages Supervisor, and has developed curricula for grades K through 8. Ms. Acosta has been a presenter at various local and state conferences on teaching techniques in a world language classroom. “We are very excited to unveil this dynamic program which will allow our students to master a challenging curriculum, as well as fluency in Spanish and English,” said Ms. Acosta.

The school will be located at 123 Jefferson Street, home of the Boys and Girls Club of Hoboken. HoLa has undertaken extensive renovations to the building over the past year in preparation for its use as a school. After school hours, regular programming at the Boys and Girls Club will continue as usual. “We are delighted to be partnering with the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School and believe that the school will complement the services we currently provide the community,” said Gary Greenberg, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Hudson County.

A charter school is a public school open to all students on a space-available basis and operated independently of the district board of education. All appropriately-aged Hoboken residents may apply, regardless of language skills or previous exposure to Spanish or English. If the number of applicants exceeds available spots in a given year, a public lottery will be held in January.

Charter schools have become a central component of the President’s Race to the Top initiative, an effort to reform the U.S. education system and narrow the achievement gap. Furthermore, President Obama has encouraged a focus on bilingualism. “We should have every child speaking more than one language,” he said in 2008. “We should be emphasizing foreign languages in our schools from an early age, because children will actually learn a foreign language easier when they’re 5, or 6, or 7 than when they’re 46, like me.”

For more information about the school, please visit holahoboken.org.

To read the press release in Spanish click read more below:

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Story on Paid Bloggers that Secretly Feed on Partisan Cash

There is a story recently published on The Daily Caller website titled "True stories of bloggers who secretly feed on partisan cash" by Jonathan Strong Published on 8/23/2010.

Here are two excerpts from this article I find interesting given some recent comments on another thread on this site.....

“It’s standard operating procedure” to pay bloggers for favorable coverage, says one Republican campaign operative. A GOP blogger-for-hire estimates that “at least half the bloggers that are out there” on the Republican side “are getting remuneration in some way beyond ad sales.”

.........

"Ad purchases at above market rates are a common means by which some campaigns seek to influence bloggers, according to numerous campaign operatives and bloggers.

Bloggers, aware of this, have begun to request improbably high rates on their own.


Florida political blog Shark-Tank.net, which reaches about 15,000 viewers per month, is asking campaigns for $3,200 a month for a large banner ad. For that same price, an advertiser could purchase similar space on political blogs reaching over 1 million readers each week.

Shark-Tank.net managing editor Javier Manjarres said in an interview that his site’s advertising and editorial decisions are “completely separate” and noted a “tough love” article the site published about Senate candidate Marco Rubio, one of the site’s biggest advertisers.

Beyond advertising purchases, some bloggers earn money as consultants to campaigns."

To read the full article click on the link below:

http://dailycaller.com/2010/08/23/true-stories-of-bloggers-who-secretly-feed-on-partisan-cash/

My statement:
I will state that I take no remuneration of any kind for my website either from ads or any other source. This blog is a non-profit citizen's blog. Should I ever decide to go for a for profit blog and take ads I will communicate this to my readers. I have in the past put up banners on my website (links to other blogs) but have never charged for them. Some say I am giving away my hard work for free. My response is that for now, the small amount of ad revenue I would make is not worth the hassle filing this site as a business and the other administrative work involved.

For discussion: If a site is taking political ads and providing political coverage, do you feel that this could impact the coverage of events? Has this happened already in Hoboken where a blog either had ads or a sponsorship influence the editorial slant? Share your thoughts below in the comments. ◦
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Photo of the Day - NYC Watchtower Building

As part of my morning commute to NYC I get to find out what time it is courtesy of the Watchtower building in Brooklyn NY. This is owned by the Jehovah Witnesses and has been on the market for some time. The Jehovah's have been attempting to unwind their large Real Estate holdings for some time and sold several of their buildings in Brooklyn already.

Here are a few recent links on the buildings status:
http://www.brownstoner.com/brownstoner/archives/2010/02/a_century_later.php
http://gothamist.com/2010/02/23/jehovahs_witnesses_plan_exodus_from.php


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Monday, August 23, 2010

The New Jersey Civil Circus - Paul Swibinski wins "BigTit Sucker of the Month" Award

No, the title of my post is not my idea but that of TV Show host Bill Brennan on his first show about Hudson County political corruption.It just goes to show that even with the arrest and guilty plea of Peter Cammarano, Hudson County has much work to do in cleaning up our governance.

The New Jersey Civil Circus is a new political Cablevision TV show with host Bill Brennan that goes into the corruption in Hudson County. For those who follow the political scene closely I have included two 30 minute segments from the very first show broadcast with special summary below for Paul Swibinski who has most recently been a political propagandist for both recently sentenced Peter Cammarano as well as Hoboken's Second Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason. I personally don't know Paul Swibinski so the opinions mentioned below reflect that of Bill Brennan and not this editor.

This first episode goes into the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue and the corruption and patronage associated with many of its beneficiaries. This program was started under Governor Whitman in the mid to late 90's and she gave money to five towns for regionalization of their fire departments. These 5 towns happened to just be the most corrupt towns in New Jersey according to Bill Brennan. While regionalization may sound like a good idea in terms of consolidation and efficiency, the information presented on this show is a cautionary tale to say the least what can happen when municipalities give up autonomy. The first segment already has almost 5,000 views so this show promises to be a popular show with taxpayers who actually demand services for their money. It probably won't be as popular with some politicians on the dole but I'm just guessing.


The New Jersey Civil Circus - Episode 1 Part 1 (Note: fast foward about a minute and 20 seconds for the start of the program):

The New Jersey Civil Circus from Me on Vimeo.
1st Segment of the New Jersey Civil Circus

The New Jersey Civil Circus - Episode 1 Part 2:

Segment 2 The New Jersey Civil Circus from Me on Vimeo.
This the 2nd segment of The New Jersey Civil Circus

Bill Brennan has on his show has started the Monthly Award for "Big Tit Sucker of the Month":

Bill Brennan's Monthly Award for "Big Tit Sucker of the Month"
And the Winner is Paul Swibinski:

Paul Swibinski also consulted for Peter Cammarano and Beth Mason from Hoboken

For the call on this month's "Big Tit Derby" go to the second segment of the video at the 2:00 minute mark. It is quite entertaining. Bill Brennan states in his segment that he estimates that Paul Swibinski gets $300,000 a year for simply signing his name (Bill's assertion not mine) as the reason for him winning the award by a mile.I find it a little hard to believe in all fairness to Paul that he gets $300,000 a year for doing nothing. Many local pols have used his services before because his track record on winning elections is pretty good even if you don't approve of his tactics. Still, that is a lot of money if it is all from Municipal Contracts.

For example, Bill points out that he has a $3,333.33 a month  no bid contract with the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue and charges that amount every month for "Professional Services Rendered".

NJ Senator Nick Sacco who holds three jobs was also a target along with others allegedly on the dole like Jeff Wells from Weehawken.

For discussion: For those of you who choose to watch some of this show, isn't this a great expose (assuming the facts pan out)? Paul Swibinski has had his footprint in Hoboken for many years for predominantly the old guard (patronage mill) line of candidates. Do you feel his presence on someone's campaign would be a detriment to them if they are reaching out to reform or good governance voters based on these assertions? Feel free to comment below..... ◦
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